Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday . . .

G Marek Schwarz (Vancouver, 2004-05) signed a one-year contract with TPS Turku (Finland SM-Liiga). He had a 2.84 GAA and a .914 save percentage in 44 games for Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic Extraliga) this season. Schwarz is currently the only goaltender under contract to TPS for next season. . . .
F Mark Derlago (Brandon, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with Lausitzer Fusche Weisswasser (Germany 2.Bundesliga). He had 45 goals and 36 assists in 67 games for the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL) and one assist in eight games with the Texas Stars (AHL) this season. . . .
F Dustin Johner (Seattle, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract with TIngsryd (Sweden Allsvenskan). He had 13 goals and 23 assists in 47 games for Växjö Lakers (Sweden Allsvenskan) this season. Tingsryd GM Anders Gustavsson: "Dustin is one of our four centres and we know him well after seeing him last season. He has the character that we want in the team, and we know that he is a good skater and a good scorer." . . .
F Dalibor Bortnak (Kamloops, 2008-11) and F Jaroslav Vlach (Prince George, 2009-11) signed tryout contracts with Liberec (Czech Republic Extraliga). Bortnak had 13 goals and 31 assists in 57 games for the Blazers and Vlach had four goals and eight assists in 55 games with the Cougars this season. Liberec GM Ctibor Jech: "Dalibor and Jaroslav in the past were key players in our youth teams. Now back with the club after playing overseas, they have brought back the experience of the elements typical of hockey overseas."
In Cranbrook, the Kootenay Ice got a goal and two assists from F Cody Eakin as they beat the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers 3-1 to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference final. . . . The Ice, which has won 10 straight playoff games this spring, gets its first chance to wrap up the series tonight at home. . . . F Max Reinhart opened the scoring for the Ice on a 5-on-3 PP at 6:33 of the first period. It was his ninth goal of these playoffs. . . . Medicine Hat F Emerson Etem, with his 10th, tied it at 1:13 of the second on a PP. . . . Eakin, with his sixth, broke the tie at 14:08 of the second. . . . Ice F Jesse Ismond, with his second, iced it at 3:35 of the third. . . . Eakin has 16 points in 13 playoff games with the Ice. He has three goals, each one a game-winner, and four assists in this series, including two goals and four helpers over the last two games. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 22 shots, 10 fewer than Medicine Hat’s Tyler Bunz. . . . Lieuwen, 19 and undrafted, is 11-2, 1.96, .930 in the playoffs. . . . Ice F Drew Czerwonka took a nasty fall into the boards in the second period. He was placed on a backboard, stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital via ambulance. X-rays were negative and he apparently walked out of hospital. It’s not know if he will play in Game 4. . . . Attendance was 2,972. Perhaps a lot of people stayed home to watch the game on Shaw and then switch over to for Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks. . . . Medicine Hat F Cole Grbavac ended up with a two-game suspension for that hit on Ice F Steele Boomer in Game 1. Grbavac didn’t play last night as he completed the suspension. . . . Boomer is believed to have a concussion and may miss another game or two. . . .
The Portland Winterhawks will meet the Chiefs in Spokane tonight with the Western Conference final tied 1-1. The teams exchanged 2-1 victories in Portland, with Spokane winning on Friday and the Winterhawks on Sunday. . . . It turns out the Chiefs spent one more night in Portland than they originally had planned. When they got on their bus after Sunday’s loss, they discovered that there were mechanical problems. So after an hour with no resolution, the Chiefs checked back into their hotel and spent the night.
In the OHL, the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors defeated the Niagara IceDogs 4-1 on Tuesday, to win the Eastern Conference final, 4-1. The Majors are the host team for the Memorial Cup, which means whichever team wins the Western Conference title is automatically in, as well. At present, the Owen Sound Attack holds a 3-1 lead over the Windsor Spitfires, who have won the last two Memorial Cup titles. Game 5 is Wednesday in Owen Sound.
JUST NOTES: F Cameron Abney of the Edmonton Oil Kings signed last week with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. A third-round pick in the 2009 NHL draft, Abney got a US$165,000 signing bonus over three years. His AHL salary will be $50,000, $55,000 and $55,000, with an NHL salary of $580,000 each season. . . . F Mike Krgovich (Red Deer, Chilliwack, 2006-09) has commited to attend Simon Fraser University and play for the SFU team in the B.C. Intercollegiate League. He also played for the BCHL’s Surrey Eaglesa nd Coquitlam Express. . . .
THE COACHING GAME: The NHL’s Calgary Flames have dumped assistant coach Ryan McGill, who is a former WHL player and coach. The Flames have decided not to pick up the option on McGill’s contract. He is the third member of the coaching staff to be sent down the road since the regular season ended. Earlier, the team chose not to pick up the options for goaltender coach Jamie McLennan, a former WHLer, and assistant coach Rob Cookson. . . . The OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs are shuffling the deck, having moved former NHL star Doug Gilmour from head coach to general manager, while former NHL D Todd Gill is the new head coach. Gill owns the CJHL’s Brockville Braves, a junior A team he also serves as GM. Larry Mavety, the Frontenacs’ longtime GM, stepped aside but remains as a special advisor. . . .
Today’s good read comes courtesy of the Sports Guy. That would be Bill Simmons of He pontificates mostly on the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, explaining why they might move and why they won’t at least for now, with a side trip to the sad saga of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His essay includes this line: “When a commissioner keeps siding with owners over fans, he becomes nothing but a puppet with strings trickling out of his back.”
The complete read is right here. It’s a long one, but well worth it.
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