Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday . . .

F Gal Koren (Kelowna, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia, Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had one goal and two assists in 36 games for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) last season.
It seems the good folks of Medicine Hat are going to have to wait a while longer for a new arena.
Despite the owners of the Medicine Hat Tigers throwing their weight behind the proposed $94.5-million Regional Event Centre, Medicine Hat's city council voted Monday to reject a funding model for the project.
However, as Amanda Stephenson of the Medicine Hat News reports, the project may not be dead, although it might well be on life support.
Her story is right here.
Bill Shaw is the new head coach of the Eastern Washington University Eagles, who have joined the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League. Gary Braun, a former WHL coach, decided to step aside, with Shaw, an assistant coach for three seasons, moving up as head coach. Braun went 115-29-8 in five seasons with the Eagles. At the same time, the Eagles named J.C. Thomas as their assistant coach. He spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International junior league. Thomas played for Braves from 2001-07. . . . The MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers have signed Chris Poponick as their general manager/director of business operations. The Selkirk native replaces Ken Petrash. Poponick spent 12 seasons as an assistant coach with the junior B Selkirk Fishermen.
The Chilliwack Bruins now officially are the Victoria Royals. The WHL’s newest franchise, which was sold and relocated to the B.C. capital from Chilliwack, announced its nickname and colours on Monday.
Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist has the story right here.
Dheensaw also reports on the Royals and school, billets and training camp right here.
Rocker Rod Stewart’s son Liam, 17, played last season in the Los Angeles Junior Kings program. He has since been selected by the Lincoln Stars in the USHL draft. But he was born in London and is hoping to play for Great Britain. There’s more right here.
Drew Wilson, the radio voice of the Prince Albert Raiders on CKBI, is already preparing for the 2011-12 season. He ran 10 kilometres in the annual Prince Albert Road Race on Sunday. How did he do? Well, as he puts it: “My motto was slow and steady finishes the 10k.”
Mark Recchi announced his retirement from the NHL on Wednesday night, in the aftermath of the Boston Bruins’ victory in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
Is the 43-year-old Recchi a cinch to be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame?
There’s more on that right here.
While Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, works to purchase the NHL’s Dallas Stars, he also has been buying up hotels. There's more right here.
It’s safe to say that the NHL — and, by association, the sport of ice hockey — has an image problem.
The good folks at EA Sports, who this week will reveal the name of the player whose likeness will grace the cover of NHL 12, have issued a news release heralding the announcement.
NHL 12, they say, will reignite “the beloved fighting engine that first appeared in NHL 10 with all-new goalie battles. When the action gets heated, send a message by leaving the net, dropping the gloves, and trading punches with rivals during fights.”
As Jeff Blair wrote in The Globe and Mail: “There really is a special place in hell for these people, no? No report on whether you can pick a city of your choice to burn after your team craps the bed in the playoffs.”
Yes, it’s NHL draft week, with the first round scheduled for Friday and the last six on Saturday. It’ll be held in the Xcel Energy Center, the home arena of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild.
As usual, TSN will be all over the draft. It’s live coverage begins Friday at 4 p.m. PT.
Veteran analyst Bob McKenzie has released his top 30 draft prospects and here they are:
According to a TSN news release: “Over the past seven years, McKenzie has an 84 per cent accuracy rate in projecting the 30 players selected in the first round. Last year, 25 of McKenzie’s top 30 players were selected in the first round of the draft.”
Six of McKenzie’s top 30 are from the WHL, with three of those being from the Portland Winterhawks, who also own the WHL rights to C Rocco Grimaldi, who is in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.
Here is McKenzie’s top 30:
1. C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer (WHL)
2. D Adam Larsson, Skelleftea (Sweden)
3. C/LW Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John (QMJHL)
4. LW Gabriel Landeskog, Kitchener (OHL)
5. C Sean Couturier, Drummondville (QMJHL)
6. D Dougie Hamilton, Niagara (OHL)
7. C Ryan Strome, Niagara (OHL)
8. D Ryan Murphy, Kitchener (OHL)
9. C Mika Zibanejad, Djurgarden (Sweden)
10. D Jonas Brodin, Farjestad (Sweden)
11. D Nathan Beaulieu, Saint John (QMJHL)
12. C Mark Scheifele,  Barrie (OHL)
13. D Duncan Siemens,  Saskatoon (WHL)
14. RW Joel Armia, Assat (Finland)
15. RW Tyler Biggs, US U-18
16. LW Sven Bartschi, Portland (WHL)
17. D Jamie Oleksiak, Northeastern (NCAA)
18. LW J.T. Miller, US U-18
19. C Mark McNeill, Prince Albert (WHL)
20. D Joe Morrow, Portland (WHL)
21. D Oscar Klefbom, Farjestad (Sweden)
22. LW Brandon Saad, Saginaw (OHL)
23. C Rocco Grimaldi, US US-18
24. RW Nicklas Jensen, Oshawa (OHL)
25. RW Ty Rattie, Portland (WHL)
26. C Boone Jenner, Oshawa (OHL)
27. LW Matt Puempel, Peterborough (OHL)
28. C Zack Phillips, Saint John (QMJHL)
29. RW Tomas Jurco, Saint John (QMJHL)
30. D Connor Murphy, US U-18

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