Tuesday, July 5, 2011

F John Lammers (Lethbridge, Everett, 2001-06) signed a one-year contract with Klagenfurt (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). He had 10 goals and 11 assists in 49 games for Plzen (Czech Republic, Extraliga) last season. . . .
D Vladimir Sicak (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) and D Josef Melichar (Tri-City, 1997-99) signed one-year contracts with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Sicak had five goals and 12 assists in 49 games for Kärpät Oulu (Finland, SM-Liiga); Melichar had five assists in 41 games with Linköping (Sweden, Elitserien) and one assist in 12 games on loan to Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic, Extraliga) last season.
First came the news Tuesday afternoon that Mark Ferner had resigned after four seasons as general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.
Then came the news that the WHL’s Everett Silvertips had scheduled a news conference for this afternoon, at which they will introduce their new head coach.
And then came a news release from the BCHL that contained this opening paragraph:
“The British Columbia Hockey League announced Wednesday that the Vernon Vipers have hired Jason Williamson as their new head coach after Mark Ferner accepted a job with the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League.”
So much for Everett’s secret.
Ferner, 45, played three seasons with the WHL’s Kamloops Junior Oilers/Blazers before going on to a pro career. He later turned to coaching and was on the Blazers’ staff for one season as an assistant coach and two as associate before taking over as head coach early in the 2004-05 season.
The Blazers finished 19-27-6 under Ferner that season. He was fired early the next season with the Blazers at 16-16-0.
The Vipers, in four seasons under Ferner, went 165-51-7, winning three straight BCHL titles (2008-09, 2009-10 and 2009-11) and national titles in 2009 and 2010. They lost in the RBC Cup championship game in 2011.
Williamson, 30, Ferner’s assistant for all four seasons, already has taken over as the Vipers’ GM and head coach.
In Everett, Ferner, who is a Regina native, replaces Craig Hartsburg who left after two seasons to accept the position as associate coach with the NHL’s Calgary Flames.
Ferner’s signing leaves only the Moose Jaw Warriors and Regina Pats as WHL teams without head coaches.
I was told Tuesday evening that Brad Lauer, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach alongside Cory Clouston with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, is to be named an assistant coach with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. Mark Holick just completed his first season as head coach of the Crunch, which is affiliated with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. . . . Holick is a former head coach of the WHL’s Kootenay Ice; Lauer was an assistant coach with the Ice when Clouston was the head coach. . . .
Clouston, who has yet to find a coaching job after being fired by the Senators following the end of last season, was interviewed by the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL draft. The Red Wings have an opening for an assistant coach or two. . . .
As expected, John Torchetti is the new head coach of the AHL’s Houston Aeros. The parent Minnesota Wild made the announcement Tuesday. . . . Torchetti, 46, had been an associate coach with the Atlanta Thrashers, who, of course, now are the Winnipeg Jets. . . . Torchetti replaces Mike Yeo, who now is head coach of the Wild. . . .
Colin O’Hara is the new GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm SilverBacks. He signed a three-year contract. O’Hara replaces Tim Kehler, who resigned last week despite having two years left on his three-year deal. . . .
Tom McCarthy is the new head coach of the North Bay Trappers, who play in the junior A Northern Ontario junior league. McCarthy was the 10th overall selection in the NHL’s 1979 draft, taken by the Minnesota North Stars.
JUST NOTES: F Sven Bartschi of the Portland Winterhawks signed a three-year deal with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. He was the 13th overall selection in the 2011 NHL draft. Bartschi is in Calgary attending the Flames’ development camp. Bartschi, from Switzerland, had 85 points, including 34 goals, in his freshman WHL season, then added 27 points in 21 playoff games. . . .
One WHL team has offered season tickets to William and Catherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are touring around Canada these days. In fact, the Duke took time out for a little street hockey on Tuesday in Yellowknife. . . . Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at the season-ticket offer right here.

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