Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Prince Albert Raiders will add four ex-players to their Wall of Honour on Feb. 18 as they play host to the Moose Jaw Warriors. Peter Anholt, James Patrick, Ken Baumgartner and Mike Modano will be added to the wall as the Raiders continue to celebrate their 40th anniversary season.
No one deserves this more than Anholt, a defenceman who played on three Centennial Cup (now RBC Cup) champions and later returned as an assistant coach and later worked as the club’s head coach.
Patrick, also a defenceman, played one season with the Raiders (1980-81), helping the team win its third Centennial Cup. He was named junior A player of the year and also was the Centennial Cup MVP and an all-star.
Baumgartner, also a defenceman, was a physical presence of mythical proportions from 1983-86, including the Memorial Cup-championship season of 1984-85. Legend has it that Baumgartner often would skate into post-whistle scrums with the words: “Daddy’s home.” . . . He was the Raiders’ Scholastic player of the year in 1985 and 1986. Fans seated near the penalty box in Medicine Hat would bring text books to games and pretend to be reading them whenever Baumgartner was sent off, which happened quite frequently.
Modano, a centre, put up 294 points in 176 games with the Raiders (1986-89). His third season was cut short when he suffered a broken scaphoid during the WHL all-star game in Brandon. One of the best players ever to play in the WHL, Modano was taken first overall by the Minnesota North Stars in the NHL‘s 1988 draft.
The Raiders also will add four builders to the Wall of Honour -- the Booster Club, which was formed in 1975; Steve Peneff, a former trainer (1972-84) and volunteer; John Holash, a long-time fan and supporter who was instrumental in bringing some international games to Prince Albert in the early 1990s, which benefited the Raiders financially; and, the Bring Back the Magic Campaign committee that worked so hard on raising money so that the Comuniplex could be renovated in order to meet WHL requirements. Included on that committee were Ab Pellegrini, Vic Lemieux, Gary Anderson, Craig Mitchell, Joe Barczai and Bob Twyver.
(Thanks to Craig Mitchell for pointing out this announcement.)
Sometimes common sense does prevail. . . . The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has lifted the suspension of Peterborough coach Greg Walsh. He is the coach who took his team off the ice after one of his players was the object of a racial slur. The Toronto Sun story is right here.
Veteran hockey writer Terry Doyle examines the situation right here.
F Nino Niederreiter of the Portland Winterhawks is looking forward to playing for Swizterland at the World Junior Championship in Buffalo. Katie Strang of Newsday has more on her blog right here.
After Switzerland’s performance last season, Neiderreiter and Co. may have been thinking a medal would be within reach this time around. However, the Swiss won’t be sneaking up on anyone this time around. Last night, they lost 8-0 to Canada in an exhibition game.
The NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers have signed Joe Paterson as the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. John Paddock had been serving as head coach since Nov. 8, when Greg Gilbert was fired. At that time, Paterson joined the Phantoms as an assistant coach. He was scoouting for the Atlanta Thrashers before getting back into coaching. Paddock now returns to his duties as the Flyers’ assistant GM. . . . How small is the hockey world? Paterson last coached in 2008-09 with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, whose head coach was Greg Gilbert. . . . The Spokane Chiefs should sleep well over the Christmas break. They are 11-2-4 in their last 17 games, which followed an 8-8-1 start. . . . Lost in the rush for Christmas was Spokane head coach Don Nachbaur’s 450th career victory. He is tied with Peter Anholt for eighth on the all-time list. . . . Nachbaur would never admit it, but you can bet that the fact No. 450 came against the Vancouver Giants -- the host Chiefs put up a 4-0 victory on Saturday -- and Don Hay, who won his 500th game earlier in the season. . . . G James Reid earned that victory, his 69th with the Chiefs, second only to Dustin Tokarski’s 77. . . . It was Reid’s 11th shutout, leaving him four back of Tokarski’s franchise record. . . . Figure out this one: Spokane F Dominik Iher, who turns 18 on Dec. 31, had one point in his first nine games this season. In his next 18 games, he put up 21 points. He goes into the break with seven goals over his last five games. Gotta think he wanted to keep playing. . . . F Jonathan Parker of the Prince Albert Raiders is the WHL’s player of the week. He had nine points, including four goals, in three games last week. . . . Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the WHL’s nominee as the CHL goaltender of the week. He was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a .984 save percentage. . . .
Latvia and Denmark have earned promotion to the IIHF World Junior Championship that is scheduled for Calgary and Edmonton next year. . . . Latvia won the Division 1 Group A tournament in Belarus. Latvia beat Belarus 3-1 in a final round-robin game that featured two teams that had been 4-0. . . . This is the group that is one level below the big boys, who will open their tournament on Sunday in Buffalo. Latvia’s roster included F Kristians Pelss of the Edmonton Oil Kings. He had two goals and two assists in five games. One of those assists came on the game-winner against Belarus. His NHL rights are owned by the Edmonton Oilers, who took him in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. . . . Denmark won the Division 1 Group B tournament in Slovenia, with a 4-1 record. Denmark‘s roster included Brandon Wheat Kings F Mark Mieritz. He had three points, two of them goals, in five games. . . . F Gal Koren of the Kelowna Rockets played for host Slovenia in that tournament, putting up eight points, including three goals, in five games. He also was plus-8. F Gasper Kopitar, who began the season with the Portland Winterhawks had four points, including two goals, for Slovenia. The Slovenia’s also had a 4-1 record, but they lost 2-1 to Denmark. . . . The highlight for Slovenia was a 3-2 victory over highly favoured Austria, with Koren and Kopitar both scoring.
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