Thursday, September 1, 2011

F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) was released from his tryout contract by Eisbären Berlin. He was pointless in six exhibition games for Eisbären during the tryout. . . .
F Justin Taylor (Red Deer, 2003-04) signed a two-month tryout contract with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had 10 goals and 19 assists in 51 games with the Idaho Steelheads and Ontario Reign (both ECHL) last season.
On a day when Peter Chiarelli, the general manager of the Boston Bruins, said forward Marc Savard’s career may be over because of post-concussion syndrome, the OHL announced that all of its players will wear soft cap shoulder and elbow pads this season.
According to the OHL, its board of governors is adamant that stiffer penalties will be handed out to repeat offenders when it comes to checks to the head.
This all is most admirable and a definite step forward in the drive to cut down on concussions — and it is a move the WHL announced it was making on June 15.
However, as one Twitterer tweeted: “What about fists to the face/head? Where's that crackdown?”
The Kootenay Ice will have eight players off its roster attending NHL camps. That includes six drafted players — D Brayden McNabb and G Nathan Lieuwen (Buffalo), F Drew Czerwonka (Edmonton), F Cody Eakin (Washington), and F Max Reinhart and D Joey Leach (Calgary). As well, D James Martin (Calgary) and F Joe Antilla (San Jose) have accepted training camp invitations. . . . The Ice, the WHL’s reigning champion, opened training camp on Wednesday. Their annual Blue-White game ends camp on Sunday at noon.
D Ben Fanelli is returning to the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers after not playing at all last season. The Rangers will hold a news conference today with Fanelli in attendance. Fanelli, 18, hasn’t played since Oct. 31, 2009, when he suffered a fractured skull and various facial fractures after being hit from behind by D Mike Lambas of the Erie Otters.
Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo! Sports has a good look at what Fanelli has been through — and the good things he has accomplished of late — right here.
JUST NOTES: The Tri-City Americans have signed D Clint Filbrandt, 16, who was a 10th-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. Hehad 29 points and 86 penalty minutes with the CNHA Blazers of the Alberta Minor Midget league last season. Filbrandt attended the Americans’ rookie camp and now is in main camp. “Clint had an excellent rookie camp and continued his strong play into main camp,” Americans GM Bob Tory said in a news release. “He will participate in both the Everett and Tri-City tournaments and then return home to Calgary to play this season with his AAA Midget club.” . . . The Prince George Cougars have signed D Marc McNulty of Medicine Hat. The 6-foot-5, 181-pounder was a 10th-round bantam draft pick in 2010. He played last season with the Medicine Hat Tigers of the Alberta Midget league. “He might be the most improved player in our entire camp,” Wade Klippenstein, the Cougars’ assistant general manager, said in a news release. “Initially, he was a 10th-round draft-pick. If the bantam draft was held again tomorrow, I guarantee you he wouldn’t be a 10th round pick.” McNulty will be in the Cougars’ lineup for games in St. Albert, Alta., this weekend. . . .
The Kamloops Blazers have signed F Devin Oakes, 16, and D Tyler Bell, 17, both of whom are listed players. Oakes, from Prince Rupert, B.C., played last season for the midget AAA Pursuit of Excellence prep team in Kelowna, putting up 24 points, including 10 goals, in 41 games. Bell, who is from Regina, is another listed player. Bell has played two seasons with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. He had 22 points, including five goals, and 58 penalty minutes in 44 games last season. . . . G Jamie Tucker, who played last season with the Prince Albert Raiders, has cleared WHL waivers and will play this season with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. Tucker, now 20, is from Victoria. . . .
TSN made it official on Wednesday. Dennis Beyak, a former radio voice of the Flin Flon Bombers, Saskatoon Blades, Victoria Cougars and Seattle Thunderbirds, will call the play of Winnipeg Jets games on TSN Jets and on Sports Radio 1290 in Winnipeg. . . . Beyak also did a turn as GM of the Tri-City Americans and the Thunderbirds. . . . Brian Munz, a former radio voice of the Prince Albert Raiders on CKBI, will call Jets games on Sports Radio 1290 when Beyak is providing the TV call. . . . Shane Hnidy (Swift Current, Prince Albert, 1991-96) has retired from playing and joined the Jets broadcast crew as an analyst. . . . The Victoria Royals drew a crowd of 1,756 fans to their intrasquad game Wednesday night at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed Dusty Imoo as their goaltending coach. Imoo played in the WHL (New Westminster, Lethbridge, Regina, 1987-91) before moving on to play in the IHL, ECHL and Japan for a total of 15 seasons. He also played for Japan in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano. Imoo takes over from Paul Fricker in Seattle. . . .
The Victoria Times Colonist is reporting that owner Len Barrie is expected to name himself head coach of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies on Friday. Barrie stepped behind the bench late last season, with then-head coach coach Vic Gervais stepping down to assistant coach, a position he continues to hold.
Here’s a note from a story written by Sean Rooney of the Medicine Hat News:
“Though the Tigers don't release their training camp rosters publicly, they did cut a dozen or so players between Monday and Tuesday night and had 46 players between the two teams that played Tuesday. Most of the cuts were 15- and 16-year-olds.”
The Tigers don’t release their training camp rosters publicly? And the WHL office allows this to happen?
Hey, WHL, this is 2011. Isn’t it time all of your teams started to treat their fans with the respect that most businesses give to paying customers?
The Tigers don’t release their training camp rosters publicly? Do they have something to hide? You wouldn’t suppose one of your teams would have an undrafted European practising with it, do you? Nah, that would never happen.
F Trevor Moore, whose WHL rights are held by the Tri-City Americans, has committed to attend Denver U and play for the Pioneers beginning with the 2013-14 season. The 5-foot-6, 165-pound Moore will play this season for former WHL player/coach Drew Schoneck with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. The Storm selected Moore with the eighth overall pick in the USHL’s 2011 futures draft. Moore, who was listed by the Americans, is from Thousand Oaks, Calif. He had 41 points in 35 games with the L.A. Selects last season.
Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star has a call for action following Wednesday’s startling death of former WHLer/NHLer Wade Belak. That piece is right here.
F Matt Kassian hopes to crack the lineup of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild this season. He is an enforcer who played with the Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers. He also is highly intelligent and great conversationalist. And, despite recent happenings, he isn’t about to change his game, nor does he feel there is a need to. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal has that story right here.
Today’s good read comes from Tim Panaccio of He writes about former WHLer Todd Fedoruk and the demons he battles on a daily basis. Fedoruk, an NHL enforcer, didn’t play at all last season as he worked to regain his health. He will attend the Vancouver Canucks’ camp as a free agent. Panaccio’s story is right here.
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