Saturday, September 3, 2011

Condolences to the family of Les Widdifield, who died Monday in his hometown of Saskatoon.
Les, who was 86, had scouted for the New Jersey Devils since 1986.
The Devils won three Stanley Cups during that time; Les gave his Stanley Cup rings to his grandchildren.
"The entire New Jersey Devils organization is saddened by the loss of Les Widdifield," Devils' general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. "Les was a caring family man who devoted his life to his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was part of the Devils' family for a long time and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Twyla, and the entire Widdifield family."
I used to see Les a lot in Regina during my days at the Leader-Post. He always was quick with a smile and a quip and we enjoyed many a conversation. I can tell you that those chats warmed many a long winter night.
A funeral service was held Friday in Saskatoon. Feel free to send messages of condolence to mail@saskatoonfuneralhome.com. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be came to Kidsport, the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, or any charity of choice.
(Thanks to Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger for some of the information here.)
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THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Chris Heid (Spokane, 1998-2003) signed a one-month tryout contract with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). He had no goals and three assists in 39 games with Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL) last season. . . .
F Petr Kalus (Regina, 2005-06) signed a two-year contract with Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Kalus was released earlier this week from a tryout contract with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland, SM-Liiga), where he had one assist in three exhibition games. Last season, Kalus had seven goals and two assists in 44 games with Houston Aeros and Springfield Falcons (both AHL).
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JUST NOTES: The Victoria Royials have signed G Jared Rathjen, 17, F Taylor Crunk, 16, and F Reid Halabi, 16. Rathjen, from Prince George, is a list player who played at home for the major midget Cariboo Cougars last season, winning 20 games with a 2.73 GAA. Crunk, a ninth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft, had two goals in the Royals’ intrasquad game. From San Jacinto, Calif., he had 16 points in 19 games with the California Titans of the North American Prospects league last season. Halabi, an eight-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft, had 24 points in 31 games with the CAC Canadians of the Alberta major midget league last season. He is from Edmonton. . . . F Liam Stewart, the son of actress Rachel Hunter and rocker Rod Stewart, is in camp with the Spokane Chiefs. Right here is a story on Liam that appeared in the Daily Star in June.
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Today’s good read — and thanks to Kenton Rein for the email — is from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star and it highlights D Chris Tanev of the Vancouver Canucks. He’s an NHL defencemen despite the fact he rarely, if ever, throws a body check. Read all about him right here.
By the way, you may have recognized Kenton Rein’s name. A goaltender, he played one game for the Prince Albert Raiders in 1983-84 and later spent two seasons (1985-87) with the Prince Albert Raiders. He went on to a four-season pro career, making stops in the IHL, AHL and ECHL.
So whatever happened to Rein?
“A couple of concussions made my hockey career an uphill battle so I decided early on to get out and get into school,” he wrote in an email. “I am a corporate partner at a firm in Toronto in my 13th year of practice now.”

gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca
     
gdrinnan.blogspot.com
     
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