Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday . . .

F Marcin Kolusz (Vancouver, 2003-04) signed a two-year contract with Sanok (Poland, Ekstraliga) for next season. He had seven goals and 14 assists in 24 games for Podhale Nowy Targ (Poland, Ekstraliga) this season and also was an assistant captain of the Polish national team at this year's Division 1 World Championship. Kolusz had two goals and four assists in five games to lead Poland in scoring. . . .
G Riku Helenius (Seattle, 2007-08) signed a two-year plus option contract with JyP Jyväskylä (Finland, SM-Liiga). He had a 3.03 GAA and a .884 save percentage in 18 games for Södertälje (Sweden, Elitserien) this season.
They were playing street hockey at Portage and Main last night, which must mean the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers are headed to Winnipeg.
Which means, of course, that the Manitoba Moose, the AHL affiliate of the Vancouver Canucks, will need a new home.
Let’s see. There is an arena in Chilliwack that has yet to land a hockey team as a tenant. The WHL’s Chilliwack Bruins, you’ll recall, were sold and have relocated to Victoria. Vancouver-based RG Properties, which purchased the Bruins, has since killed off its other team, the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings.
Negotations aimed at bringing the BCHL’s Quesnel Millionaires to Chilliwack are on-going. But you have to wonder if they won’t be slowed by news that the Moose suddenly are available. If for no other reason than to let this sort itself out.
Or what of Regina, where the Pats again are embroiled in lease negotiations with their landord, Evraz Place? A few weeks ago, when the Phoenix Coyotes-to-Winnipeg rumours were running rampant, I was told that Evraz Place people had at least touched base with the AHL.
So . . . what if the Moose ended up in Regina? Could the Pats pack up and move to Chilliwack?
John Shannon, a hockey analyst with Rogers Sportsnet, tweeted Thursday night that he has heard that a destination for the Moose might well be St. John’s, Nfld., or Thunder Bay.
Or, hey, how about the Chilliwack Moose?
THE COACHING GAME: Steve Hartley has signed on as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads. He is the son of former NHL coach Bob Hartley. Steve will work under Dominique Ducharme, the Mooseheads’ new head coach. Hartley, 25, is a former goaltender who played at Miami-Ohio. He spent the last two seasons coaching the in the Quebec Junior AAA league. . . . Two former WHL head coaches, both of whom also played in the league, are out of work. Terry Ruskowski, who coached the Saskatoon Blades (1989-91), has stepped down as president, general manager and head coach of the Central league’s Laredo Bucks. He had been there for nine seasons, winning championships in 2004 and 2006. “My first instinct was to make sure hockey stays in Laredo,” Ruskowski told Pro 8 Sports-TV, “so I sacrificed my contract to make sure hockey stays in Laredo.” . . . Kenny Ryan of the Laredo Morning Times has more right here. . . . Serge Dube, who has played for the Bucks since 2002, is the Bucks’ new head coach. . . . Brad McCrimmon, another former Blades head coach (1998-2000), has resigned after three seasons as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. McCrimmon, who has head-coaching aspirations, also has worked as an assistant with the Atlanta Thrashers, Calgary Flames and New York Islanders.
Management of the Central leagues Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees say the franchise is still alive; however, the office is closed because the team can’t make payroll. Brian Sandalow of  Valley Freedom Newspapers has the story right here.
D Brayden McNabb of the Kootenay Ice signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. According to, his AHL salary each of the seasons will be US$67,500 with NHL salaries of $615,000, $690,000 and $740,000. McNabb, a second-round pick in the NHL’s 2009 draft, got a $270,000 signing bonus over the three years. . . . Gotta think McNabb will be buying lunch for the boys sometime during Memorial Cup week.
Medicine Hat Tigers F Emerson Etem has signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. He was the 29th player selected in the 2010 NHL draft. Last season, his second in the WHL, he had 80 points, including 45 goals, in 65 games. Etem who is scheduled to turn 19 on June 16, also was plus-41.
The Max Gardiner watch is on. Gardiner, a forward who was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the third round of the 2010 NHL draft, has left the U of Minnesota after one season with the Gophers. The Dubuque Fighting Saints hold his USHL rights, but he could be ticketed for the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, who have him on their college list. . . . The 6-foot-2, 187-pound Gardiner, who turned 19 on May 7, is from Minnetonka, Minn. He had a miserable season at Minnesota, though, getting just three points in 17 games.
The Tri-City Americans have listed F Justin Gutierrez, who played for the Alaska All-Stars midget AAA (U-16) team this season. He had 35 points, including 17 goals, and 40 penalty minutes in 39 games. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Gutierrez is a late birthday; he’ll turn 16 on Dec. 22. He is a younger brother to former WHLer Moises Gutierrez.
Wade Klippenstein, the assistant GM and director of player personnel with the Prince George Cougars, scored what is believed to be the first journalist scoop of his life Wednesday night when he tweeted congratulations to Brian Chow as the SJHL’s new president.
The SJHL made the formal announcement Thursday.
Chow, 52, has been with the Prince Albert Police Service for 29 years, while also scouting for the Spokane Chiefs.
Chow signed a three-year contract. He replaces Laury Ryan, who resigned in March after spending eight years in the office.
From Edmonton Oil Kings D Keegan Lowe: “i dont like the sound of 7 canadian NHL teams. whats gonna happen on hockey day in canada? 1 gets left out.”
If you’re on Twitter, you are able to follow him at @Klowe4.
Taking Note on Twitter

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