Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday . . .

D Craig Weller (Kootenay, 2000-02) signed a one-year contract with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). He had 16 goals and 36 assists in 41 games for the Cardiff Devils (Wales, UK Elite) last season and was named UK Elite Ice Hockey League Player of the Year, Defenceman of the Year, and a first team all-star.
As of early, early this morning, Craig Hartsburg still was the head coach of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. That was according to the WHL team’s website.
However, at least one media outlet was reporting that he had quit.
“Craig Hartsburg, who has stepped down as head coach of the WHL's Everett Silvertips,” read a report at, “is a top candidate to become right-hand man to head coach Brent Sutter, according to a member of the (Calgary) Flames staff. The spokesperson said there is work to be done but Hartsburg is of interest.”
Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun wrote it this way:
The Calgary Flames have nothing to announce just yet.
But a reunion for Craig Hartsburg and Flames head coach Brent Sutter doesn’t sound far off.
“Craig Hartsburg is a top candidate for a coaching job with the Calgary Flames,” Flames vice-president of communications Peter Hanlon said Thursday after TSN’s Bob McKenzie told the Twitterverse earlier in the day he expected Hartsburg to be named associate coach in Calgary sooner than later.
“However, there is work to be done before any official announcement.”
That complete story is right here.
As for Hartsburg leaving Everett, well, you know what they say about where there’s smoke. . . .
For all the Kyle Beach fans out there, Cody Pugh, a contributor to, takes a look back to see what the enigmatic former WHLer has accomplished to date and where he’s at in terms of making the roster of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
That piece is right here.
The Portland Winterhawks have dealt G Keith Hamilton, 19, to the Victoria ???? for third-, fourth- and eighth-round selections in the 2012 WHL bantam draft.
Hamilton, a second-round selection by Portland in the 2007 bantam draft, was 17-6-2, 2.91, .914 in backing up Mac Carruth last season.
It would seem that the Winterhawks got decent return for a goaltender who would have been in tough at training camp with Carruth, also 19, the No. 1 guy at this time.
The Winterhawks also have signed G Brendan Burke, the son of former NHLer Sean Burke, and G Jarrod Schamerhorn, and needed to make room for one of them as the backup for next season.
Burke was a third-round selection in the 2010 draft; Schamerhorn, who played for the major midget Kootenay Ice last season, was added to Portland’s list after the 2010 training camp.
Coincidentally, Hamilton and Schamerhorn both are from Kelowna.
Victoria, which finished the season as the Chilliwack Bruins, had Lucas Gore and Braden Gamble on its roster at season’s end. Gore was 20, so played out his eligibility. Gamble, now 20, was 2-8-1 in 19 games during the regular season.
Hamilton “will push for the starting job this year, and has solidified our goaltending corps as we now have three quality goaltenders at different age ranges in Hamilton, Braden Gamble and Jared Rathjen,” Marc Habscheid, Victoria’s GM/head coach, said in a press release.
Rathjen is a list player who is from Prince George. He played last season for the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who play out of P.G.
Before you start thinking that the ???? paid a steep price for a 19-year-old goaltender with minimal experience at the WHL level, here’s a note from Alan Caldwell at Small Thoughts At Large, which is linked over there on the right:
“An eagle-eyed reader has just pointed out to me that Portland traded their own 2012 3rd, 4th, and 8th round picks to Victoria back at the draft in return for Victoria's 2nd round pick, which the Hawks used on Zach Patterson. So it looks like this deal was just to get the picks back, essentially making the deal Hamilton for the 2nd rounder. Since Portland was still playing at the time of the draft, they couldn't actually trade Hamilton at that time.”
If you missed Game 2 of the NBA final on Wednesday night, well, you cheated yourself. A game like this is why we watch. And here’s hoping you didn’t change channels when the Miami Heat held a 15-point lead.
Dwyane Wade made a three from in front of the Dallas bench for an 88-73 lead with 7:14 to play, and he posed for three or four seconds.
(The pose came after some big-time strutting by LeBron and Chris Bosh after put-back dunks. Yes, the Heat makes it awfully easy to dislike it.)
Because the Dallas Mavericks went on a 20-2 run and eventually won when, with the score tied at 93, Dirk Nowitzki romped past defender Chris Bosh and laid in the winning points. With the Heat out of timeouts, it had to inbound from under its basket and Wade missed a desperation three at the buzzer.
Bruce Arthur of the National Post went back and looked at the game’s last seven minutes a second time. He came up with this:
“Heat misses last 7:15: Chalmers 3; LBJ layup; CB J; LBJ fade J; CB TO; UH J; LBJ pullup shot-clock 3 (twice); Wade pullup 3; Wade running 3.”
So it’s 1-1 heading to Dallas for three games, with the first on Sunday. You won’t want to miss it.
I have turned into something of an NBA watcher after being unable to watch NHL playoffs in a hotel in Mt. Vernon, Wash., a few weeks ago. Instead of watching Game 7 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks — the hotel didn’t provide access to Versus (or CBC) — I watched NBA playoff action. And I haven’t stopped.
Thank you, Mr. Bettman.
The afore-mentioned Bruce Arthur has today’s good read, too. It’s a farewell of sorts to Shaq.
And it’s right here.
Condolences to the family of Tom Mangan, a member of the Kamloops Blazers’ board of directors (2003-06), who died Thursday afternoon after battling prostate cancer. He was 64. . . . Mangan was active in the Kamloops sporting world. . . . He also served on the board of the Kamloops Blazers Sports Foundation, which handed out more than $1 million in grants before the WHL franchise was sold over the summer of 2007. And he was on the committee that backed the 2010 World Masters athletics championship that was in Kamloops.
There are a couple of comments posted on the blog after yesteday’s comment about Game 1 of the Stanley Cup not being televised by Seattle’s NBC outlet.
A couple of hockey fans — and friends — from the Seattle area also emailed me to point out that it really isn’t a big deal.
“KING5, the NBC affiliate, never shows prime-time NHL games,” noted one fan. “Because they would rather show the news.
“So they have a sister station, KONG, which they move the game to. KING is channel 5, KONG is channel 6.
“The problem used to be that Comcast didn’t carry KONG in HD. But they have added to it.
“But, as I always point out . . . Anyone with basic Comcast cable still gets CBUT on channel  99. And if they have Comcast HD, they get the HD feed. And who the heck would want to watch NBC when you can have CBC.”
The second fan wrote:
“No big deal here – Everyone watches HNIC anyway. Can’t miss Coaches Corner.”
Chris Rumble, a defenceman with the NAHL’s Wenatchee, Wash., Wild, is working on a 90-minute documentary that should be worth a watch. He spent the 2010-11 season getting video and audio — he even had referees mic’d up in four gmes — for the doc that he is editing more than 80 hours of video right now. The hopes to have two shows — one PG, the other uncensored — ready in August.
Corey Voegele of the Wenatchee World has the story right here.
By the way, Rumble is the son of former NHL D Darren Rumble, who spent last season on the coaching staff of the QMJHL’s Lewiston Maineiacs. That franchise, of course, folded earlier this week, meaning Rumble is available. He was shortlisted for a couple of QMJHL head-coaching spots and has been in contact with at least one WHL team.
The Saskatoon Blades and Credit Union Centre have agreed in principle on a three-year lease. Why just three years? Cory Wolfe of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has that story right here.
THE COACHING GAME: The SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves have signed GM/head coach Bob Beatty to a five-year contract extension. Beatty has completed seven seasons as the Ice Wolves’ head coach. They have won the last two SJHL championships. . . . I mentioned here yesterday that Wes Werhun, a new assistant coach with the AJHL’s St. Albert Steel, had been with the midget AAA St. Albert Raiders. It turns out he was with the St. Albert Merchances of the Capital Junior B league. Thanks to the sharp-eyed reader for the note on that one. . . . The BCHL’s Langley Rivermen have hired Steve O’Rourke, 36, as their general manager and head coach. He had been an assistant coach with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat for two seasons. Assistant coaches will be Bobby Henderson, a son of co-owner Roy Henderson, and Jordan Emmerson. Bobby Henderson, who was on the coaching staff of the junior B Mission, B.C., Ice Breakes last season, played with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chief before attending the U of Nebraska-Omaha. Emmerson, who is form Abbotsford, played for hte BCHL’s Penticton Panthers before going on to the U of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Four of the 16 goaltenders invited to Hockey Canada’s sixth annual goaltending camp are from the WHL. Tyler Bunz (Medicine Hat), Calvin Pickard (Seattle) and Kent Simpson (Everett) are among the 10 who will attend the under-20 camp, while Chris Driedger (Tri-City) is on the under-18 list. . . . If you’re at the U-20 camp, you are at least on the radar of the Canadian national junior team’s scouting staff. . . . The camp is scheduled fro the Norma Bush Arena in Calgary, June 9-12. . . . F Taylor Stefishen, who had 67 points in 68 regular-season games with the Prince George Cougars last season, had his NHL rights traded on Thursday. Stefishen, who played two seasons at Ohio State before joining the Cougars for his 20-year-old season, was a fifth-round selection by the Nashville Predators in the 2008 NHL draft. On Thursday, the Preds dealt him to the Washington Capitals for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft. Nashville gets the pick if Stefishen appears on the Capitals’ reserve list during either of the next two seasons.
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