Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday . . .

Fans of the Chilliwack Bruins gather outside Prospera Centre for a Keep the Bruins in Chilliwack Rally on Wednesday evening. There are more photos available at

F Chad Bassen (Regina, Vancouver, Medicine Hat, Everett, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with the Augsburger Panther (Germany DEL). He had five goals and four assists in 52 games for the Hamburg Freezers (Germany DEL) this season.
The WHL has six players on the Canadian team that will play at the under-18 IIHF World Championship in Germany later this month.
Those WHLers are defencemen Morgan Reilly (Moose Jaw Warriors), Ryan Murray (Everett Silvertips) and Reece Scarlett (Swift Current Broncos) and forwards Travis Ewanyk (Edmonton Oil Kings), Mark McNeill (Prince Albert Raiders) and Colin Smith (Kamloops Blazers).
The head coach is Mike Williamson of the Calgary Hitmen, while the assistants are Mark Lamb of Swift Current and Dale Hawerchuk of the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
The Canadian team leaves today for Germany.
Canada will play three exhibition games, against the U.S. on Saturday in Dresden, against Sweden on Monday in Crimmitschau and against Germany on Tuesday in Dresden.
The tournament runs April 14-24 in Dresden and Crimmitschau. Canada is in a Dresden-based pool with Czech Republic, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and will play its first round-robin game on April 15 against Czech Republic.
The other pool features Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the U.S.
The round-robin concludes on April 19, with the playoff round to start on April 21 and end on April 24.
There was interesting news out of B.C. on Wednesday when a former hockey player who at 13 years of age had been sexually assaulted by his coach was awarded $605,000  by a B.C. Supreme Court Judge Dev Dley.
The Victoria Times Colonist has the story right here.
There is reaction from Theo Fleury in this Canadian Press story right here.
The Tri-City Americans will announce today that they have signed G Eric Comrie, who was the 15th overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft. Comrie, the son of Bill Comrie, who owns The Brick and once was involved at the ownership level in the CFL, is the younger brother of NHLer Mike Comrie and Paul Comrie, whose career was ended by post-concussion syndrome. He was 24 at the time. . . . Eric Comrie, who played this season for the L.A. Selects, had at least considered going the NCAA route, as he visited Denver University in January. His brother, Paul, was a star with the Pioneers (1996-99). . . . The Americans also are expected to announce the signing of F Brian Williams, who was an eighth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. That signing should be announced on Monday. Williams, from Claremont, Calif., also plays in the L.A. Selects program.
Matt Coxford of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman reports that the Kootenay Ice should get two injured players back at some point during a second-round series with the Saskatoon Blades. D Luke Paulsen (separated shoulder) is questionable for Games 1 and 2 in Saskatoon on Friday and Saturday, but should play in Game 3 in Cranbrook on Tuesday. Paulsen missed almost a month with a concussion suffered Jan. 15, then injured his shoulder Feb. 22 and hasn’t played since then. F Drew Czerwinski (upper body) was hurt in Game 3 of the six-game series with the Moose Jaw Warriors. He is possible for the first two games against Saskatoon, but if he doesn’t play then should be ready for Game 3. . . . The Ice also is without F Brock Montgomery (mononucleosis) but has added F Sam Reinhart, 15, for the weekend. Reinhart will be rejoining his major midget team, the Vancouver-North West Giants, for the Telus Cup that opens April 18 in St. John’s Nfld.
The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Chase Deleo, their ninth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. Deleo spent this season with the Los Angeles Selects U-16 team, putting up 39 points in 35 games. . . . reports that Everett Silvertips D Rasmus Rissanen, who has signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, draws an AHL salary of $55,000 in each of the season with NHL salaries of $575,000 each season. He got a $150,000 signing bonus, payable over three years. . . . D Dylan McIlrath of the Moose Jaw Warriors will finish his season with the Connecticut Whale, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers. McIlrath was the 10th overall pick in the NHL’s 2010 draft and signed a three-year deal with the Rangers last month. . . . F Quinton Howden of the Warriors has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Florida Panthers, who selected him 25th overall in the 2010 NHL draft. . . . Eric Lavigne has resigned as head coach of the QMJHL’s PEI Rocket. Lavigne, who had a year left on his contract, cited personal reasons and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for his leaving.
Three Robservations from longtime WHL (R)observer Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post . . .
1. The future of Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Dave Hunchak is certain after the team's first-round ouster from the WHL playoffs. Although the playoffs were disappointing, it should be remembered that Hunchak is only the third head coach to extract 40 wins from the Warriors since the team moved from Winnipeg to Moose Jaw in 1984.
2. It could be said that a 40-win season in Moose Jaw is surprisingly unexpected. With that in mind, Hunchak should receive a contract extension -- a move which would be a welcome departure from tradition. Over the years, the Warriors have allowed too many first-rate coaches to get away (see: Lorne Molleken, Curtis Hunt, Mike Babcock). All three of those gentlemen coached in the NHL after leaving Moose Jaw.
3. Defenceman Ryan Murray, who is from White City, was named captain of the WHL's Everett Silvertips earlier this week. Thanks to the WHL's ridiculous partial interlocking schedule, Murray won't have an opportunity to play near his hometown until the 2012-13 season. Next season's only matchup between the Silvertips and Regina Pats will be in Everett, Wash. What kind of league is this? Every team should play in every arena every season. This should be fundamental. The players deserve this. The fans deserve this. Alas, it'll never happen.
(What Vanstone doesn’t mention is that Murray could be playing in the NHL come the 2012-13 season, which would mean he wouldn’t get to play in Regina. He has a late-1993 birth date (Sept. 27), already has played two WHL seasons and is being projected as an early selection in the NHL’s 2012 draft. He very well might be the WHL’s top defenceman next season. That being the case, it very well might depend on which NHL team selects him as to whether he is back in the WHL or moves on to the NHL in the fall of 2012. . . . By the way, White City is on the eastern outskirts of Regina.)
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