Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kootenay, Victoria cut a deal

F Todd Dutiaume (Brandon, 1991-94) signed a one-year contract extension as player-head coach with the Fife Flyers (UK Elite). He had six goals and 12 assists in 14 games for the Flyers last season as they played in the UK Northern Ice Hockey League. . . .
F Igor Valeev (Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Swift Current, 1998-2000) signed a one-year contract with Kazzinc-Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakhstan, Russia Vysshaya Liga). He had no goals and three assists in 24 games for Molot-Prikamie Perm (Russia, Russia Vysshaya Liga) and two goals and three assists in nine games with Arystan Temirtau (Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan Vysshaya Liga) last season. . . .
D Darrell Hay (Tri-City, 1996-2000) signed a one-year contract with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had five goals and 10 assists in 52 games for Mlada Boleslav (Czech Repoublic, Extraliga) last season. Liberec GM Ctibor Jech: "Last year in Mlada Boleshla, he was one of the best defencemen. After the season, we decided to make him an offer and we are very pleased that he accepted. We expect that in addition to the typical Canadian style, as a right-hander, he will also contribute on the power play." . . .
F Jeremy Boyer (Seattle, Saskatoon, 2005-10) signed a one-year contract with Valence (France, Division 1). He had 42 goals and 45 assists in 50 games with the Humboldt Broncos and Yorkton Terriers (both SJHL) last season.
The Kootenay Ice, with a glut of potential 20-year-olds on their roster, have made a move to at least partially alleviate that situation. They dealt D Hayden Rintoul, 20, and an undisclosed conditional bantam draft pick to the Victoria Royals for F Dylen McKinlay, 19.
The Ice, the WHL’s reigning champion, still has six 20-year-olds on that roster, but Kootenay isn’t expecting D Brayden McNabb (Buffalo Sabres) or F Cody Eakin (Washington Capitals) to return.
The other four 20s are F Joe Antilla, F Jesse Ismond, G Nathan Lieuwen and D James Martin.
“Victoria wanted a puck-moving d-man and we wanted a forward who could possibly play in our top six,” Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice’s president and general manager, told me via text message. “We have liked him for a long time and inquired about him two years ago.”
McKinlay, from Langley, B.C., is heading into his fourth WHL season. His first three all were with the Chilliwack Bruins. He had a break-through season in 2009-10, with 43 points, including 20 goals, in 72 games. Last season, he struggled with some injuries and finished with 20 points, six of them goals, in 55 games. He also has some sandpaper in his game and you can bet B.C. Division teams won’t be sad to see him in another division.
McKinlay was a seventh-round selection by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL’s 2010 draft but wasn’t made a qualifying offer, so is a free agent.
Rintoul, from Calgary, also is going into his fourth WHL season. He played his first three seasons with the Ice, totalling 93 points, including 19 goals, in 188 regular-season games. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder had 26 points, eight of them goals, in 67 games. He had four points in the Ice’s 19-game run to the championship.
The Royals, then in Chilliwack, carried two 20-year-old defencemen — Jeff Einhorn and Brandon Manning — last season, so were looking for some experience on the back end.
Included among eligible 20-year-olds on the Bruins’ season-ending roster were G Braden Gamble, F Curt Gogol and F Robin Soudek.
Cleeve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist has more on the trade right here.
Jeff Hollick, the radio voice of the Ice, reported later Thursday that Kootenay has added Russian F Alex Kuvaev, 18, to its protected list. Kuvaev had 24 points, including 11 goals, with the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season but was dropped by them prior to the CHL’s 2011 import draft.
The Ice won the WHL championship last season with a roster that didn’t include any import players. As well, president/GM Jeff Chynoweth chose not to take part in the import draft for a second straight year.
Asked if Kuvaev would report, Chynoweth told me, again via text: “Don’t know that for sure. All indications are he is, but I have not been able to confirm everything with his new agent.”
Murray Baron, who played 988 regular-season NHL games, has signed on as an assistant coach with the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International junior league. Baron, 44, will work alongside new head coach Geoff Smith, who joined the Storm after his contract wasn’t renewed by the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. . . . Also on the Storm’s coaching staff are Brent Fritz and Brad Priestlay. . . .
Dave King, a one-time head coach of the WHL’s Billings Bighorns, has stepped aside as an assistant coach with the Phoenix Coyotes and has been named the NHL team’s development coach. . . . Jeff Truitt, another former WHL head coach (Kelowna, Moose Jaw) was on the ice helping run the Coyotes’ development camp on Thursday. Truitt was an assistant coach with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, which was affiliated with the Coyotes last season but now is hooked up with the Florida Panthers.
F Brett Connolly of the Prince George Cougars has moved to Toronto and is working with a personal trainer as he tries to shake the injury bug that has plagued him the last two seasons. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune has that story right here. These days, Connolly, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft, is in camp with the Tampa Bay Lightning prospects.
Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald is reporting that an official announcement is expected Wednesday regarding a new conference for some of the NCAA’s top college hockey schools.
That story is right here.
Remember the Detroit Red Wings fan who was charged for taking part in the age-old tradition of tossing octopi during the playoffs?
Well, he was back in court on Thursday.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports has the latest on the Puck Daddy blog right here.
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