Tuesday, August 2, 2011

D Tyson Marsh (Vancouver, 2001-04) signed a one-year contract with Riessersee (Germany, 2.Bundesliga). he had 10 goals and nine assists in 40 games with Alleghe (Italy, Serie A) last season.
The NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets have signed Nolan Pratt (Portland, 1991-95) as an assistant coach for its AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons. He’ll work alongside head coach Rob Riley and assistant coach Brad Larsen (Swift Current, 1993-97). . . . Pratt, a fifth-round pick by the Hartford Whalers in the NHL’s 1993 draft, played in 592 NHL regular-season. He spent the last three seasons playing overseas. . . .
Craig MacTavish is the new head coach of the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. MacTavish last coached in 2008-09, with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. He takes over from Don Lever, whose contract wasn’t renewed after last season. . . .
The QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada has signed J.F. Houle as its new head coach. Houle spent last season as head coach of the QMJHL’s Lewiston Maineiacs, who folded following the season. Last season, the Armada was the Montreal Junior; the franchise relocated to Blainville-Boisbriand after the season. Houle, the son of former NHLer Rejean Houle, replaces Pascal Vincent, now an assistant coach with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. . . . As Justin Pelletier of the Lewiston Sun Journal noted: “Maineiacs owner Mark Just hired Houle as a mid-season replacement amid one of the team's more disastrous runs in 2009-10. Together with assistant coach Darren Rumble and general manager Roger Shannon, Houle helped orchestrate one of the more stunning turnarounds in the league, guiding the Maineiacs to a 40-24-1-3 campaign and into the semifinals with one of the four youngest squads, top to bottom, in the league.” . . . Rumble now is an assistant coach with the Seattle Thunderbirds.
JUST NOTES: The Everett Silvertips are in the market for a director of player development with Scott Scoville have joined the scouting staff of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. Scoville, 36, had been with the Silvertips since 2002. He started out as head scout, before being named director of player development in June 2005. . . . D Patrik Parkkonen of the Medicine Hat Tigers is on the 24-player roster that Finland is bringing to its national junior team evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., this week. The camp runs from Saturday through Aug. 13. Teams from the U.S., Finland and Sweden will practise and play exhibition games.
Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets, reports that postconcussion syndrome has caused D Clayton Barthel (Seattle, Kelowna, 2002-07) to retire. Barthel, who turned 25 on April 2, was a third-round pick by the Washington Capitals in the 2004 NHL draft. Concussions limited him to just eight games with the Central league’s Arizona Sundogs last season. In 2007-08, he played just four games, with the ECHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
Jon Heshka, an associate professor specializing in sports law at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, has an interesting piece in The Globe and Mail today.
He writes about a lawsuit filed by 75 former NFL players against that league “alleging that the league failed to warn and properly protect them from the long-term brain injury risks associated with football-related concussions” and what impact that lawsuit may have on the NHL.
“Let’s hope the NFL suit will prompt the NHL to get rid of head shots from hockey,” Heshka writes. “Enrolment in youth hockey is declining. The reasons are myriad, but there’s no doubt that hockey violence and its effect on kids’ brains is a factor in their parents’ decisions. The NHL’s influence on youth hockey is unmistakable, and kids will mimic what’s modelled. The league does a disservice by not doing more.”
His entire piece is right here.

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