Thursday, July 14, 2011

No Kuvaev in Kootenay

F Alex Kuvaev’s stay on the Kootenay Ice’s roster was rather short.
Kuvaev, from Moscow, had 24 points in 58 games as a 17-year-old freshman with the Lethbridge Hurricanes last season.
However, the Hurricanes dropped Kuvaev prior to the CHL’s 2011 import draft. A short while later, his rights were picked up by the Ice.
But word got out Wednesday that Kuvaev has signed with Dynamo Moscow so the Ice has dropped him off its list.
It turns out that Dynamo has acquired Kuvaev’s rights from HC Vityaz Chekhov, another KHL team, and signed him to a three-year contract.
Dynamo gave up F Nikita Dvurechensky in the exchange. He was part of the Russian team that won the 2011 World Junior Championship. He also played on the Russian team that won the 2010 Subway Series.
Of course, all of this means the Ice, the WHL’s defending champion, may end up playing another season without an import player on its roster.
“Don Cherry will once again be happy with the Kootenay Ice. LOL!” Ice president/GM Chynoweth told me via email.
There is an interesting tidbit in a piece by Bill Meltzer of on young import players and the decisions with which they are faced about where they should play. Deep in the story was a bit on German F Marcel Noebels, who put up 54 points in 66 games as a freshman with the Seattle Thunderbirds last season.
The Philadelphia Flyers selected Noebels, who played with the Krefeld Penguins in the German DEL in 2009-10, in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL draft. And now, it seems, Noebels, who had three points in 33 games with Krefeld, has received another offer from the German team.
"I will do whatever the Flyers want me to," Noebels told Meltzer during Philly’s development camp. "It would be great to play for Krefeld, but whatever helps my chances of playing in the NHL is what I'll do."
Mike Stothers is the new head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors. He signed a multi-year deal and was introduced on Wednesday. Stothers, 49, spent last season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. A former NHL defenceman who has been coaching since 1991, Stothers was the head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack for five seasons (2002-07). . . . The Warriors also re-signed assistant coach Mike Vandenberghe to a multi-year contract, while choosing not to excercise their option on Trevor Weisgerber, their other assistant coach. . . . Stothers replaces Dave Hunchak, who was fired following last season and has since signed on as associate coach with the Kamloops Blazers. . . .
The signing of Stothers means the Regina Pats are the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams without a head coach in place. It was speculated earlier in the week that they were close to signing former Kootenay Ice head coach Ryan McGill. That hasn’t happened, though, but the odds of it coming to pass may have increased Wednesday because the AHL’s Texas Stars named Jeff Pyle as their new head coach. Pyle had been head coach of the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. . . . Pyle replaces Glen Gulutzan, now the head coach of the parent Dallas Stars. . . . Pyle had been the Gladiators’ director of hockey operations and head coach for eight seasons. . . .
The ECHL’s Alaska Aces, who won the Kelly Cup last season, have named Rob Murray as their new head coach. Murray, 44, spent the last eight seasons on the staff of the AHL’s Providence Bruins, the last three as head coach. . . . Murray replaces Brent Thompson (1988-91), who now is head coach of the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who are affiliated with the New York Islanders. . . .
The Central league’s Bloomington Blaze has named Jason Christie (Saskatoon, 1986-90) as its head coach. . . . The Blaze used to be the Bloomington Prairie Thunder. Christie was the CHL’s coach of the year with the Prairie Thunder last season.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette writes that a goaltender who played 20 minutes for the Portland Winterhawks during an exhibition game has had his plans for a U.S. college gig altered. That piece is right here.
———F Tyler Redenbach, who won the WHL’s 2003-04 scoring title while with the Swift Current Broncos, has signed with EHC Olten, which plays in the Swiss National League B. Redenbach, 27, had 36 points, including 30 assists, in 43 games with Finnish team SaiPa Lappeenranta (SM-Liiga) last season. His season ended prematurely thanks to a hand injury. That was his second season with that club. Redenbach played in Denmark in 2008-09.
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