It would seem the Kelowna Rockets can forget about F Zemgus Girgensons, a 17-year-old Latvian whom they selected in the 2011 CHL import draft.
He played last season with the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, is there again this season, and doesn’t sound as though he is the least bit interested in playing in the WHL.
“You know, first of all I don’t see my future in the CHL,” Girgensons told Ryan Clark of the Fargo, N.D., Forum on the weekend. “I talked with other CHL teams that were interested in me. I thought about the Q (the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) and the Quebec Remparts, but (Kelowna) drafted me and didn’t say anything to me about it. After that, I felt they disrespected me a little bit. They pushed it a little bit onto my adviser and I don’t think he really liked it.”
For more on this story, check out Clark’s blog Slightly Chilled over there on the right.
The Prince Albert Raiders assigned F T.J. Constant, 18, to the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. He had a goal and five penalty minutes in 15 games with the Raiders. . . . The Raiders, who made a coaching change on Friday, also have added Dave Manson, who was part of the 1985 Memorial Cup-championship team, to their coaching staff. Manson, who played for the Raiders (1983-86) before going on to a terrific NHL career, lives in Prince Albert where he operates a business. Manson was an assistant coach with the Raiders from 2002-09. . . . He will work alongside head coach Steve Young, who was promoted Friday when Bruno Campese, who remains as general manager, stepped aside. . . . Craig Bedard also is on staff as an assistant coach.
Drew Wilson has more right here on the guy they call Charlie.
The Minnesota Wild has returned F Brett Bulmer to the Kelowna Rockets. Bulmer had three assists and six penalty minutes in nine games with the NHL team. Bulmer was a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. That would have been his 10th game, meaning the first year of his three-year contract would have kicked in.
Bulmer’s return leaves three WHLers — F Nino Niederreiter and F Ryan Johansen of the Portland Winterhawks and F Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels — in the NHL.
Niederreiter, 19, has yet to play with the New York Islanders because of a groin injury, although he is back skating.
Johansen, 19, is with the Columbus Blue Jackets; in fact, he has played nine games with them, scoring two goals, both game-winners, and drawing two assists. The word out of Columbus on Monday was that there may be an announcement today regarding Johansen’s immediate future.
The Edmonton Oilers said late last week that they will be keeping Nugent-Hopkins, 18, while F Brett Connolly, 19, has stuck with the Tampa Bay Lightning and won't be returning to the Prince George Cougars, at least not for a while.
THE COACHING GAME: The AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons have fired general manager and head coach Dan Price. The Dragons go into this week at 5-14-2, good for seventh place in the eight-team South Division. . . . On Monday, the Dragons announced that Barry Wolff is the new GM and head coach. Wolff most recently was associate head coach and assistant GM with the BCHL’s Langley Chiefs.
JUST NOTES: F Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants has drawn a two-game suspension for a penalty he incurred on Friday in Prince George. What was a checking-to-the-head major was turned into a boarding major before he was suspended. He has one game left to serve. . . . F Blake Gal of the Spokane Chiefs will watch for three games after he took a boarding major in a game against the host Tri-City Americans on Saturday. . . . As well, F Austin Carroll of the Victoria Royals got a two-game suspension under supplemental discipline for something he did against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday. . . . F Cody Beach of the Moose Jaw Warriors is the WHL’s player of the week. He had eight points, four of them goals, in three games last week. . . . Tyler Bunz of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the WHL’s goaltender of the week. He was 2-0-0, 1.00, .966 last week. . . . Vancouver, with F Matt Bellerive, F Scott Cooke, F Anthony Ast and D Blake Orban all out with undisclosed injuries, has brought in F Logan Harland, 16, from the AJHL’s Bonnyville Pontiacs. He had two points in six games with the Pontiacs.
If you are a fan of hockey movies, there is some good news — nay, great news _ for you. The movie Face-Off is being released on DVD on Nov. 15.
Dave Shoalts of The Globe and Mail has more right here.
If you are into rankings, Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports posts weekly CHL rankings that have some bite to them and make for a good read. Check out this week’s Buzzing The Net rankings right here. If you’re a fan of the Spokane Chiefs, you will love them.
Take a few minutes out of your day and watch this video. It involves a Vancouver sportscaster who won quite a prize in a lottery draw. The draw was made on a set at the TV station where he works. But he wasn’t there at the time. No, Barry Deley was shopping for groceries when he got the call from a fellow sportscaster. Enjoy!
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province has a question, via Twitter:
“With the upper body/lower body injury thing, shouldn't it be a checking to the upper body penalty, rather than a checking to the head?”
And now for today’s good read . . . we bring you a piece by Jim Diamond at examiner.com. It has to do with former WHL referee Mike Hasenfratz, who will work a Thursday night game between the host Nashville Predators and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Hasenfratz, who really is one of the good guys, hasn’t been working for a while and Diamond has his story right here.
Taking Note on Twitter