D Linden Saip, 19, has left the Kamloops Blazers to, according to a team-issued press release, “contemplate his hockey future.”
Saip, who is from Delta, B.C., had 53 points in 142 games with the Blazers. This season, he has seven points and 28 penalties in 13 games.
With Saip having left, the Blazers now are carrying 23 players, including two goaltenders and seven defencemen. That includes D Josh Caron, who is out with a broken collarbone.
Hey, whatever happened to Kim Clackson, a former WHLer who went a few rounds on behalf of the Victoria Cougars and Flin Flon Bombers back in the day? Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal talks with Clackson right here.
If you’re waiting for the Kelowna Rockets to cash in their chips or to make a coaching change, forget it. They may be 4-10 and in last place in the Western Conference, but . . .
“We’re not cashing in the season at all,” Bruce Hamilton, the team’s president and general manager, told DubNation’s Doyle Potenteau. “I’ve been in this business a long time, and my job is to get (the team) in the direction we need to go, and I believe that we’ll be going in the right direction. We’re going through what some of these teams have been going through for a long time; we're trying to re-tool, and it just takes time.
“And from my standpoint, I’m not making one excuse. This hockey club, in my mind, has underachieved from where we were six weeks ago to where we are today.
“Am I disappointed? Certainly, I am.
“Am I worried about my coach? Not one bit. My coach is as strong as ever, and there’ll be no coaching changes.
“As I told the players before they left for Portland: The coaching staff isn't going to change. Their attitude and how they’re going to work is going to change. We have a group of guys who need to understand what it takes to play on a Rockets team that works hard every night.”
The Rockets have brought in D Colton Heffley, who was a second-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft. He was in training camp but was returned to the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires. With that team’s GM and head coach having recently resigned, the Rockets chose to bring back Heffley.
“(Assistant general manager Lorne Frey) and I decided we may as well get him back here and get him going,” Hamilton told Potenteau. “He was a guy who deserved a better fate at the end of camp because we kept some older guys over him. He deserves a chance to go and play, and we’re going to have a group of those guys that are going to play. We’re going to get them into 40 games or so, and that’s going to be important.”
The Rockets now are carrying three 16-year-olds -- Heffley, D Damon Severson of Melville, Sask., and F Jason Siebert of Abbotsford.
D Nikita Kardashev, 18, has joined the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. Kardashev, from Minsk, Belarus, was selected by the Tri-City Americans in the CHL’s 2010 import draft. He reported to the Americans but didn’t get into any games. . . . F Cody Castro, an 18-year-old from Pasadena, Calif., has joined the NAHL’s Fresno Monsters. Castro played 49 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in 2008-09. Last season, he got into three games with Lethbridge and 19 with the Americans.
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