THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) signed a one-year contract with Kölner Haie (Germany, DEL). He had 29 goals and 51 assists in 71 games with Vancouver Giants and Brandon Wheat Kings this season. Köln CEO Thomas Eichin: "Matt is a top talent. We are glad we were able to get him because he fits into our scheme. Young and hungry. He also has the right professional genes. His father was a very successful player." . . . Matt's father Mark (Moose Jaw, 1984-1985), who is a Calgary-based player agent, played 12 seasons in Germany and made 50 appearances with the German national team. . . .
D Mike Egener (Calgary, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, AL-Bank Liga). He had two goals and six assists in 44 games for the Florida Everblades (ECHL). Esbjerg head coach (and former N.Y. Islanders D) Tomas Jonsson: "He's a big, strong guy and he will help us a lot with the game in our own zone. We have long wished for a defenseman of that caliber and Mike comes with some power, so I very much look forward to working with him." . . .
F Garrett Bembridge (Saskatoon, 1997-2001) signed a one-year contract with Valpellice (Italy, Serie A). He had 25 goals and 17 assists in 48 games for Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, 2.Bundesliga) this season. . . .
G Jeff Glass (Kootenay, 2002-05) signed a two-year contract extension with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). He had a 2.95 GAA and a .911 save percentage in 23 games for Astana this season.
JUST NOTES: D Tyler Bell, 17, has signed to play with the SJHL’s Estevan Bruins, unless he sticks with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. Bell spent the last two seasons with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. Right now, he would seventh at best on the Blazers’ depth chart. . . . The Blazers, by the way, are expected to announce the signing of an assistant coach today. Head coach Guy Charron is heading into the second year of a two-year deal, so perhaps an extension will be in order for him. . . . Kamloops didn’t renew the contracts of assistants Scott Ferguson and Geoff Smith after last season ended. . . . Interesting goings-on in the NorPac Junior Hockey League where officials have suspended four of its 12 teams for next season. Matt Baldwin of the Whitefish Pilot has that story right here. . . . F Taylor Piller, who won four championships in as many SJHL seasons, has decided to attend Simon Fraser University and play hockey there. Piller won two championships with the Humboldt Broncos and two more with the La Ronge Ice Wolves. . . .
THE COACHING GAME: Pat Bingham is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals. Bingham (Kamloops, New Westminster, 1985-89) is the ninth head coach in franchise history. He spent the last four seasons on the coaching staff of the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, taking over as head coach in November. . . . Former Prince George Cougars head coach Lane Lambert will be named today as an assistant coach by the NHL’s Nashville Predators. He has been the head coach of Nashville’s AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, for four seasons. . . . Former WHL D Ian Herbers, an assistant under Lambert for two seasons, is a candidate to take over as Milwaukee’s head coach. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post updates the situation involving the Regina Pats and contract negotiations with a few members of the organization. That piece is right here.
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