Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chilliwack Tigers? Nah, never happen!

Lee Goren (Saskatoon, 1995-96) signed a one-year contract with SkellefteƄ (Sweden, Elitserien). He had 12 goals and 26 assists in 34 games with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL) and one assist in one game with Bern (Switzerland, NLA) last season.
The Chilliwack Tigers?
Kind of just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
Following Medicine Hat city council’s decision Monday to defeat a funding proposal for a $94.5-million sports complex, WHL commissioner Ron Robison expressed the WHL’s disappointment in a not-so-subtle threat.
According to CHAT-TV, Robison said the Tigers are the lone WHL franchise playing in a facility that doesn’t meet league standards.
Furthermore, Robison said, the construction of a new arena and event centre is necessary for the Tigers' future in Medicine Hat.
Medicine Hat lose the Tigers? Not a chance, you’re thinking. Well, geez, the good folks of Chilliwack never thought they’d lose their Bruins, either, although the franchise had only been there through five seasons. The Bruins, of course, now are the Victoria Royals.
But before anyone goes off the rails here, the commissioner apparently wants to meet with Medicine Hat city officials.
Graham Kelly, one of the aldermen who voted against the funding proposal (the vote was 6-3), has said he will bring forth a plan by Labour Day that will involve spending about $35 million on a new facility.
One of the aldermen who voted in favour of the proposal  was Jeremy Thompson, who played for the Tigers in 1993-94.
In a news release posted on the Tigers’ website, Dave Andjelic, the club’s director of marketing and public relations, said:
“We are extremely disappointed with the outcome of city council’s six to three vote against building the Regional Events Centre.”
The new release continues:
“After countless hours of work and (more than) $500,000 spent on designing and preparing an events centre model that fits the Medicine Hat community and with the dissolution of the steering committee, the city is right back at the place it started in 2004. The regional events centre project has effectively been shelved.”
Andjelic continued: “I don’t think certain aldermen can keep saying they are in favour of this project but continue to vote against it. I seriously doubt the public will buy this any longer and will regard this as a tactic to deflect criticism that is sure to follow. We sense the public is very disappointed with the result.”
Not only are the Everett Silvertips in the market for a head coach, they also need a new director of public relations and broadcasting following the resignation of Jon Rosen.
Rosen, who is suffering through the trials and tribulations of his Los Angeles Dodgers, has been the radio voice of the Silvertips. He will stay with the team through the end of July.
Rosen, 29, spent four seasons with the Silvertips. He said he doesn’t have any “definitive plans” but wants to pursue other broadcast opportunities.
The Silvertips also are needing a head coach, following the resignation earlier this month of Craig Hartsburg, who now is an associate coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Brad Whelen has left the Calgary Hitmen. Whelen, the club’s assistant general manager and head scout, has joined the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning as western Canadian scout. Whelen spent 15 seasons with the Hitmen, the first five as a regional scout and the last 10 as head scout. He added AGM to his title last summer. . . . The Lightning has hired five scouts over the last few days.
The Vancouver Giants are set to announce the addition of Glen Hanlon to their coaching staff. Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun tweeted the news Tuesday afternoon. A news conference is likely to be held Thursday.
Hanlon, 54, was a goaltender with the Brandon Wheat Kings (1974-77) and was a third-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1977 NHL draft. He played in the NHL with the Canucks, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.
As a coach, he has worked as an assistant with the Canucks and Washington Capitals, and as a head coach with the AHL’s Portland Pirates and with the Capitals. He also has extensive international experience, most recently as head coach of the Slovakian national team.
Hanlon is a key hire for the Giants who were in dire need of an experienced coach to work as head coach Don Hay’s assistant. That’s because Hay will miss about a month of the regular season as he tends to his duties as head coach of Canada’s national junior team.
The Giants also are in the process of shuffling their support staff, a situation that apparently started in February when a trainer missed the flight back from Whitehorse after a game against the Kamloops Blazers. The Giants also have chosen to replace veteran equipment manager Grant (Granny) Ferguson and have filled that spot by moving in former player/assistant coach Chad Scharff.
On the night that the Portland Winterhawks’ 2010-11 season came to an end, columnist Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune reported that general manager/head coach Mike Johnston and others in the front office had agreed to multi-year contract extensions.
The Winterhawks issued that news release on Tuesday.
Johnston and Travis Green, the assistant GM/assistant coach, have signed four-year extensions.
Kyle Gustafson, the other assistant coach, Garry Davidson, the director of player personnel, Matt Bardsley, the director of hockey operations, Rich Campbell, the athletic trainer/strength and conditioning coach, and equipment manager Rob Gagne all signed what the Winterhawks called “multi-year contract extensions.”
“The job Mike, Travis and the entire hockey operations staff have done to transform a last-place team into the Western Conference champion in less than three years is nothing short of remarkable,” said Winterhawks owner Bill Gallacher in the release. “The stability these extensions will provide the organization will be incredibly valuable as Mike and Travis continue to pursue the goal of bringing the Memorial Cup back to Portland.”
The WHL won’t release its 2011-12 regular-season schedule until next week at the earliest, but the Brandon Sun has reported that the first game will be played Sept. 22 with the Wheat Kings visiting the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . That will be the first regular-season game to be played in Moose Jaw’s new facility. . . . G Graeme Gordon, who won two straight RBC Cup championships with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers, has committed to attending Simon Fraser University and playing hockey there. Gordon, who is from North Vancouver, played last season with the UBC Thunderbirds. . . . The ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones have added former NHLer Andrew Cassels as an assistant coach. Cassels, 41, will work alongside head coach Jarrod Skalde. . . . You may recall during last season’s playoffs when the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies ended up with majority owner Len Barrie helping out head coach Victor Gervais behind the bench. Well, Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist reports that Barrie may not going to coach in 2011-12, but there will be a new head coach. Gervais has been moved to an assistant position. Dheensaw’s story is right here.
Rich Cimini of has today’s good read. It’s about former New York Jets running back Emerson Boozer and his relationship with The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, who died Saturday. Boozer and Clemons were college football teammates at Maryland; in fact, Cimini writes that perhaps only a car accident kept Clemons from a career in the NFL.
That story is right here.
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