Tuesday, July 19, 2011

G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). He had a 2.53 GAA and a .925 save percentage in 52 games for the AHL-champion Binghamton Senators last season. . . .
D Lawrence Nycholat (Swift Current, 1996-2000) signed a one-year contract with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL). He had five goals and 23 assists in 32 games for the Hershey Bears (AHL) last season. . . .
F Scott King (Kelowna, 1996-97) signed a one-year contract with the Hannover Scorpions (Germany, DEL). He had seven goals and 15 assists in 49 games with Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL) last season. . . .
G Rastislav Stana (Moose Jaw, Calgary, 1998-2000) signed a two-year contract with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL). He had a 2.24 GAA and a .917 save percentage in 26 games with Severstal Cherepovets (Russia, KHL) last season.
I was saddened to read that Ralph Borger, who for years owned the MJHL’s St. Boniface Saints and was a driving force behind that junior A league, died on Sunday, 18 days past his 81st birthday. . . . Back in the day, when I was at the Winnipeg Tribune, I got to know the always-smiling Ralph and always enjoyed his company. And no one was more supportive of the MJHL than was Ralph. . . . Oh, those were some kind of meetings with Ralph and Ben Dzikowicz in attendance! . . . For more on Ralph and his contributions to hockey, check out this right here. . . . You have to know that hockey is better for this man having taken a huge interest in it.
Alan Caldwell over there at Small Thoughts At Large has done up his annual study of the WHL teams and mileage they will accumulate in the approaching season. Yes, the Prince George are No. 1 on the bus parade. . . . Check it out via the link over there on the right.
The Vancouver Giants have added veteran WHL scout Todd Ripplinger to their front office. Ripplinger, whose contract wasn’t renewed by the Regina Pats last month, is the Giants’ new director of player development. Ripplinger had been Regina’s director of scouting since 1997. . . . The Giants also extended the contracts of director of player personnel Jason Ripplinger and scouting director Terry Bonner, both of whom have been with the club since Day 1. . . . Yes, the Ripplingers are brothers. . . . Terry Bonner is the father of Giants general manager Scott Bonner and Kamloops Blazers GM Craig Bonner.
F Kevin King (Kootenay, 2006-11) has signed with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch. He had 76 points, including 33 goals, in 68 games with the Ice last season, then added 16 points in 19 playoff games as the Ice won the WHL championship. He had 227 points in 335 games with the Ice over five seasons. . . . Mark Holick, a former Ice head coach, is heading into his second season as the Crunch’s head coach.
Ben Pherson of the Rochester, Minn., Post-Bulletin offers up his opinion of what’s going on with NCAA hockey. That is right here, and he doesn’t think this is such a good idea.
Mark Driver of the Providence Journal checks in with old friend Ed Staniowski, whose goaltending helped the Regina Pats win the 1974 Memorial Cup at the Corral in Calgary. Staniowski certainly has had an interesting time since his hockey career came to an end. That story is right here.
JUST NOTES: F Marcel Noebels of the Seattle Thunderbirds has signed a three-year deal with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. From Germany, he was a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft. Last season, his first in the WHL, Noebels had 54 points, including 28 goals, in 68 games. . . . The MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers have acquired the rights to F David Conrad (Spokane, Tri-City, 2008-11) in a deal with the Winnipeg Saints. Conrad, from Winnipeg, is a 20-year-old. He had 24 points in 69 games with Tri-City last season. . . . G Julien LaPlante, who lost his scholarship to Union College, because he didn’t tell the coaching staff he had played 20 minutes in an exhibition game for the Portland Winterhawks, will attend Providence College. There’s more right here.
THE COACHING GAME: Former NHL player John Marks is the new director of hockey operations and head coach of the USHL’s Fargo Force. He spent last season as head coach of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers. With the Force, he takes over from Jason Herter, who left for an assistant coaching role with the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs. Marks was attractive to the Force at least in part because he played and coached at the U of North Dakota. . . . Former WHL coach Jeff Truitt is one the move again. But this time he is at least staying in Texas. Truitt, a former assistant and head coach with the Kelowna Rockets, stepped down as director of hockey operations with the Moose Jaw Warriors a year ago to become an assistant coach with the San Antonio Rampage, then the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes. But the Coyotes have moved their affiliation from San Antonio to the Portland, Me., Pirates, with the Florida Panthers now the Rampage’s parent club. Truitt, who just last week was working the Coyotes’ development camp, was named Monday as an assistant coach with the Texas Stars, who are hooked up with the NHL’s Dallas Stars. Glen Gulutzan, who was the Texas head coach last season, has moved up as head coach in Dallas. Last week, Texas named Jeff Pyle its new head coach. . . .
By now you likely have heard that former WHL and NHL star Joe Sakic scored a $1-million hole in one on Sunday. If you haven’t seen it, the video is right here, and it is outstanding. I can’t ever recall seeing the normally reserved Sakic celebrate like that after scoring a goal.
Today’s good read comes from Adrian Dater of SI.com. . . . Get yourself a double-double and check out this story right here. It’s all about Tim Horton and Tim Hortons.

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