Tuesday, September 13, 2011

F Ben Ondrus (Swift Current, 1998-2003) signed a one-year contract with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL). He had eight goals and 14 assists in 80 games with the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) last season. . . .
F David Svagrovsky (Seattle, 2002-04) was released after his one week tryout with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga).
It finally happened!
A WHL team ran out of players.
The Portland Winterhawks, with an unheard of 15 players away at NHL camps, have had to cancel a Friday night exhibition game against the Seattle Thunderbirds. Unfortunately for the Winterhawks, they also have had to cancel a Street Fair that was scheduled for Saturday.
“It is a shame about the Street Fair, but we have a lot of player meet and greets coming up this year,” Graham Kendrick, Portland’s director of media and public realtions, told me via email. “Our success the last couple of seasons has seen sponsorship go way up, and they all want player appearances. Our guys will be busy this season.”
The Winterhawks played in a preseason tournament in Kennewick, Wash., on the weekend and were able to dress only 16 skaters. According to a press release, they “lost one player to injury over the weekend and a second to a waiver claim from another team. . . .”
Thus it was felt that they wouldn’t have enough players to compete safely in the exhibition game against Seattle. (The Thunderbirds will play host to the Everett Silvertips on Saturday, 7 p.m., at the ShoWare Center in Kent.)
While the Street Fair has been cancelled, the news release states that “the organization decided to move many of planned Street Fair attractions and events to the opening night game on Friday, Sept. 23.”
With somewhere around 150 WHL players at NHL camps, you can bet there are other teams dangerously low on numbers.
For starters, the Kelowna Rockets, with eight players away, and the Kamloops Blazers, with seven gone, were under the 18-skater limit for a home-and-home weekend series.
The Blazers, also with C Logan McVeigh (concussion) and D Landon Cross (groin) injured, dressed just 15 skaters on Saturday in Kelowna, and lost LW Ryan Hanes to injury early on. The Rockets also had only 15 skaters in uniform for that one.
One night earlier, in Kamloops, the Rockets started with 16 skaters, but lost D Madison Bowey to a knee injury early in the first period. The Blazers went with 15 skaters for that one.
The player the Winterhawks lost on waivers? It was F Lukas Walter, 18, who was claimed by the Tri-City Americans. He had one goal in three exhibition games with Portland.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have hired Jamie Hodson as their goaltending coach. Hodson, from Lenore, Man., was a third-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL’s 1998 draft after a four-year career with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He went on to play nine seasons of pro hockey, in the AHL and ECHL.
F Killian Hutt, 20, has joined the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. Hutt had his 2010-11 season ended by a concussion in December and wasn’t able to return to the Swift Current Broncos. Then they released him prior to training camp as they trimmed the number of 20-year-olds on their roster. . . . RW Jordan DePape of the Kamloops Blazers, who is from Winnipeg, joined the NHL’s Jets for the Young Guns tournament in Penticton, B.C. However, a hip flexor problem that has bothered him since early in training camp has kept him off the ice and out of the Jets’ lineup. He didn’t play in Monday night’s 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. . . . D Morgan Rielly of the Moose Jaw Warriors is back skating after having his appendix removed on Sept. 1. . . .
Kootenay Ice F Jonathon Martin, a 16-year-old from Winnipeg, drew a four-game suspension for a charging major and game misconduct in a game against the Portland Winerhawks in Kennewick, Wash., on Saturday. This would seem to indicate that the WHL has stepped it up in terms of the suspension game. . . . The Everett Silvertips have reassigned G Andy Desautels, 17, who got into one game last season. A native of White City, Sask., he is expected to play in the SJHL this season. That leaves Everett with three goaltenders on its roster — veterans Kent Simpson, 19, and Luke Siemens, 19, and Austin Lotz, 16, who is from St. Adolphe, Man. Simpson is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on a knee and won’t be completely ready for another couple of weeks. It also means the Silvertips will open the season with Siemens and Lotz as their goaltenders as they wait for Simpson to get healthy. . . . 
The Central league’s Quad City Mallards have signed F Jeremy Boyer (Seattle, Saskatoon, 2006-10), who played out his junior eligibility last season with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and Yorkton Terriers. He put up 87 points in 50 SJHL games. . . . The Prince Albert Raiders have placed F Andrew Herle, 20, on waivers. He put up 24 points in 135 games with the Raiders. . . . If Herle isn’t claimed by another team, he is expected to join the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. . . . That leaves the Raiders with four 20-year-olds on their roster — D James Bettauer, F Brandon Herrod, F Justin Maylan, F Jonathon Parker and F Charles Wells. Herrod (Phoenix) and Parker (Buffalo) are in NHL camps.
Where is he now? Tim Preston (Seattle, Saskatoon, 1997-2002) no longer plays the game but he still is involved. Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times has his story right here.

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