Friday, July 29, 2011

News and notes . . .

F Justin Mapletoft (Red Deer, 1996-2001) signed a one-year contract with the Schwenninger Wild WIngs (Germany, 2.Bundesliga). He had 16 goals and 19 assists in 52 games with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL) last season. . . .
D Stepan Novotny (Kelowna, Swift Current, 2008-11) signed a two-year contract with Lev Poprad (Slovakia, KHL) after a successful tryout. He had 22 goals and 18 assists in 58 games with the Broncos last season.
JUST NOTES: Dan O’Connor is the new radio voice of the Prince George Cougars. A 26-year-old from Tsawwassen, O’Connor takes over from Andy Neal as director of broadcasting and corporate sales. He spent the last four seasons with the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. Neal and his family are relocating to Victoria. . . . The Calgary Hitmen have claimed F Kenton Miller, 20, off waivers from the Spokane Chiefs. Miller, from Redvers, Sask., had 28 points, including 10 goals, in 55 games last season. His departure leaves the Chiefs with four 20-year-olds on their roster — D Corbin Baldwin, F Darren Kramer, F Steven Kuhn and F Matt Marantz. The Hitmen also show four 20s on their roster — Miller, along with F Jimmy Bubnick, D Ben Wilson and G Mike Snider. . . .
Former Brandon Wheat Kings G Rick Knickle (1977-80) is the Phoenix Coyotes’ new director of amateur scouting. He replaces Keith Gretzky, who reportedly is to join the scouting staff of the Boston Bruins. The Coyotes also named veteran scout Glen Zacharias as their western amateur scout. . . . The Colorado Avalanche has signed Saskatoon Blades D Duncan Siemens to a three-year contract. The Avs selected Siemens with the 11th pick of the 2011 NHL draft. . . .
The 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game will be held at Prospera Place in Kelowna on Feb. 1, with the skills competition and 3-on-3 challenge on Jan. 31. . . . The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Cavin Leth to a WHL contract. Leth was the 39th overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft. He had 45 points, including 28 goals, and 120 penalty minutes in 32 games with the bantam AAA Lethbridge Val Matteoti Golden Hawks last season. That selection had been acquired by the Broncos from Kootenay in the blockbuster January deal that had F Cody Eakin move to the Ice. . . .
The Canucks won Game 3, 4-3, on Wednesday, to sweep the three-game Ted Hargraves Cup series with the Bruins at the BC Hockey under-17 camp in Salmon Arm.
F Nick Hermary, with two, F Dexter Dancs and F Nick Petan, with his third goal in three games, scored for the winners. F Austin Ferguson, F Matt Needham and F Brandon Potomak replied for the Bruins.
After the victory, Bruins coach Brandon West, who will work as an assistant with the BCHL’s Westside Warriors this season, was heard to tell his guys: “Congrats boys. You are the only Canucks team to win a trophy.”
The BC Hockey evaluation staff will short-list about 20 players over the next two weeks. Those players will be closely watched and 11 of them will be selected, along with 11 players from Alberta, to play for Team Pacific at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Windsor, Ont.
Hockey Canada announced Wednesday that is has moved the 2012 WHC from Winnipeg to the Windsor region. The 10-team event, which features 27 games, is scheduled to run Dec. 29 through Jan. 4. The tournament will be centred in the WFCU Centre, the home of the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, but games will played throughout the region. With the shifting of the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg, Hockey Canada and True North Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Jets, felt it best to move the tournament.
ON THE MOVE: G John Gibson has decided not to attend Michigan and play for the Wolverines, Instead, he is expected to join the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. Gibson, from Pittsburgh, was selected by the Anaheim Ducks with the 39th pick of the NHL’s 2011 draft. . . . D Connor Murphy, who went 20th overall to the Phoenix Coyotes in that draft, was headed to Miami of Ohio where he would play for the RedHawks. But Murphy, who is from Dublin, Ohio, has changed his mind and now apparently is headed to the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. . . . Earlier in the week, the Saginaw Spirit landed D Jamieson Oleksiak, who was taken 14th overall by the Dallas Stars in 2011, as he left Northeastern University after one year there. . . . There also are reports that Sarnia will be getting F Reid Boucher, a New Jersey Devils’ draft pick (99th overall, 2010). Boucher, from Grand Ledge, Mich., had said he would attend Michigan State in 2012-13. . . . The New York Rangers have signed F J.T. Miller, the 15th pick in the 2011 NHL draft. And, rather than attend the U of North Dakota and play for the Fighting Sioux, he is expected to end up with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. Miller was drafted after playing last season with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, so could be assigned by the Rangers to the AHL. It is more likely, however, that he will play for Plymouth.
The Dallas Stars are one of eight NHL teams who will take part in the annual prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich. This year’s edition runs from Sept. 10-14.
Included on the Stars roster are a number of players who were in the WHL last season — F Matt Fraser (Kootenay), F Scott Glennie (Brandon), F Cole Grbavac (Medicine Hat), F Matej Stransky (Saskatoon), D Jace Coyle (Medicine Hat), D Brenden Dillon (Seattle) and D Alex Theriau (Medicine Hat). Of that group, Fraser, Coyle and Dillon have used up their junior eligibility.
John Sharp of the Peoria, Ill., Journal Star reports that Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Thursday that “helps educate people about concussions while making it harder for student-athletes to slip by and return to the playing field before they are ready.”
Sharp continues: “Quinn signed HB200 during a ceremony at Soldier Field in Chicago. The new law requires athletes to receive written clearance from a licensed health professional before returning from a concussion. It also ensures that student-athletes, parents and coaches are able to identify signs of a concussion through increased education. . . .
“The new law makes a set of guidelines, adopted by the Illinois High School Association in April, mandatory for all elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. Those guidelines specify when a student-athlete can return from a post-concussion injury.”
Sharp’s story is right here.
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