Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday . . .

A Canadian has never won an Olympic shot put medal. Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops is planning on becoming the first as he has his sights set on London and the 2012 Olympic Summer Games. This season, he already has had a six-meet victory string and he’s ranked No. 1 on the Diamond League and No. 3 in the world.
Allan Maki of The Globe and Mail has that story right here.
Later Saturday, Armstrong broke his own Canadian senior shot put record with a throw of 22.21 metres. That also is the best throw in the world this season. . . . Prior to Saturday, his most-recent Canadian record throw was 21.72m at a meet in San Diego on April 23. Armstrong surpassed that mark four times in Calgary on Saturday.
Clayton Stoner remembers looking at his cell phone and having a "bad feeling."
That’s how Michael Russo of the Minneapolis StarTribune began a story on the Minnesota Wild defenceman who played in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans.
Stoner’s brother, Luke, had been killed in a logging accident on B.C. Island.
The complete story is right here.
SOME NHL DRAFT NOTES: The first round took almost four hours. Rounds 2-7 were completed in less than that. . . . The Edmonton Oilers selected F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels with the draft’s first pick. He is the first WHL player to be selected first overall since Prince Albert D Chris Phillips was taken by the Ottawa Senators in 1996. . . . D Keegan Lowe of the Edmonton Oil Kings had asked the Edmonton Oilers not to select him. He was taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round. His father, Kevin, is the Oilers’ president, hockey operations. . . . Laurent Brossoit of the Oil Kings was the first WHL goaltender selected when he was taken by the Calgary Flames in the sixth round. Interestingly, former Oil Kings head coach Steve Pleau scouts for the Flames. Brossoit played three games for Pleau, one in 2008-09 and two in 2009-10. . . . G Nathan Lieuwen of the Kootenay Ice, who was the WHL’s playoff MVP, was taken by the Buffalo Sabres in the sixth round. . . . Brossoit was taken 164th overall; Lieuwen was No. 167. . . . The Oilers took Vancouver D David Musil with the first pick of the second round. His father, Frank, is a former NHLer who now scouts for the Oilers. . . . The Anaheim Ducks used a sixth-round pick on D Josh Manson of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. He is the son of Dave Manson, a former Prince Albert defenceman and coach. . . . The Carolina Hurricanes grabbed the last WHL player selected when they took F Brody Sutter of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the seventh round, 193rd overall. He is the son of former NHLer Duane Sutter, who now is the Calgary Flames’ director of player personnel. . . .
The St. Louis selected F Demitrij Jaskin in the second round. He is from Omsk, Russia, but has played internationally for the Czech Republic's U-18 side. He was taken by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2010 CHL import draft. Sibir Novosibirsk selected him with the first pick of the KHL's 2010 draft. If he comes over here, chances are he'll end up with the AHL's Peoria Rivermen. . . . According to the USHL, “A total of 28 players who skated in the USHL during the 2010-11 season had their names called by NHL clubs.” . . . According to Skip Berry, the director of broadcasting and media relations for the Tri-City Storm, “The impact of the USHL overall on the draft is around 41 players, drafted out of the USHL/played in the USHL, just five players behind the OHL.” . . . The WHL had 33 players selected, with 22 taken from the QMJHL. . . . A year ago, there were 43 WHL players taken in the draft. . . .
WHL teams and the number of 2011 draft picks:
4 — Edmonton, Portland, Saskatoon.
3 — Spokane, Swift Current.
2 — Prince Albert, Red Deer, Seattle, Vancouver.
1 — Brandon, Kelowna, Kootenay, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Moose Jaw, Tri-City.
0 — Calgary, Everett, Kamloops, Prince George, Regina, Victoria.
By division:
East — 11
U.S. — 10
Central — 9
B.C. — 3
Best tweet from the draft came from F Rocco Grimaldi:”I have decided to take my talents to South Beach and join the Florida Panthers. haha.”
Grimaldi, who is listed at 5-foot-6, was taken 33rd overall by Florida. He is out of the U.S. National Team Development Program; his WHL rights belong to the Portland Winterhawks.
THE COACHING GAME: Michael Russo of the Minneapolis StarTribune reported Saturday afternoon that the Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild, were down to a shortlist of four in a search for a new head coach. According to Russo, that list included Gary Agnew, Ryan McGill, Kirk Muller and Trent Yawney. . . . An hour later, Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet reported that Muller is expected to be named head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, who are hooked up with the Nashville Predators. . . . The Aeros are looking to replace Mike Yeo, now the head coach of the Wild. . . . The Admirals need to replace Lane Lambert, now an assistant coach with the Predators. . . . While all this was going on, both Vancouver papers are reporting that Muller is in the running — and perhaps the leading candidate — for the position of head coach of the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate, which it seems will be the Chicago Wolves. . . . The AHL’s Abbotsford Heat also is in need of a head coach, although I’m told assistant Troy Ward has the inside track there. The Heat is looking for a replacement for Jim Playfair, who now is on the Phoenix Coyotes’ staff. . . . The AHL’s Providence Bruins have signed Bruce Cassidy as their head coach. The Boston Bruins affiliate made the announcement Saturday. Cassidy, 46, is the 10th head coach in Providence history. He has been an assistant coach there through three seasons and replaces Rob Murray. . . . Kevin Dineen, the new head coach of the NHL’s Florida Panthers, has said that assistant coach Gord Murphy and goaltender coach Robb Tallas will return. Dineen told George Richards of the Miami Herald that he will hire one more assistant.
Today’s good read comes from Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal. It involves the Boston Bruins, a Stanley Cup celebration and a $100,000 bottle of champagne.
It’s right here.
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