Wednesday, November 9, 2011

F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) signed a tryout contract with MoDo Örnsköldsvik (Sweden, Elitserien). Svensson has been on two tryout contracts this season, first with Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL), where he was pointless in six exhibition games, and then with Sierre (Switzerland, NL B), where he had one goal and three assists in eight games. This latest contract runs through the end of December. . . .
F Ryan Finnerty (Medicine Hat, Swift Current, 1997-99) signed a one-year contract extension with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). He has eight goals and eight assists in 17 games for the Steelers this season; he also is the Steelers’ head coach. The contract extension keeps Finnerty with the Steelers through the 2012-2013 season.
F Mackenzie Royer of the Tri-City Americans suffered a concussion on Sept. 30.
Royer, a 19-year-old from Spruce Grove, Alta., had three points in two games when he was injured.
He returned to the practice ice Monday for the first time since being injured.
According to Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald: “He lost an edge once during drills and lost control of the puck a couple of times, but for not having skated for five weeks, he looked pretty good.”
Americans general manager Bob Tory told Fowler: "We are doing what's right for him for his long-term health.”
Royer may have looked pretty good, but it seems he wasn’t feeling too well.
On Tuesday, the Americans announced that Royer was being sent home to recuperate and he has been dropped from their roster and put on the long-term injury list.
If you check out the WHL’s injury list that is dated Nov. 8, you will note that Royer is listed as having an “upper body” injury.
It turns out that it is a concussion.
There are 31 players shown with “upper body” injuries on that list. All 31 of them may have concussions.
The WHL, however, isn’t telling.
Meanwhile, in the OHL, F Tom Kuhnhackl of the Niagara IceDogs has been hit with a 20-game suspension — yes, 20 games — after he was hit with a charging major and game misconduct in game against the Kitchener Rangers on Friday.
Kuhnhackl was playing his second game with the IceDogs since coming over in a trade with the Windsor Spitfires. He drilled Kitchener D Ryan Murphy as he skated with his head down behind the Rangers net.
“In a website video,” The Canadian Press reported, “the Ontario Hockey League noted that Kuhnhackl made contact with the opponent's head and hit a vulnerable, unsuspecting player. The OHL also considered the speed and distance travelled when making its decision and noted that Murphy was injured on the play.”
Murphy, selected 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL’s 2011 draft, has missed Kitchener’s last two games. He has six assists in nine games this season.
Kuhnhackl is the son of Erich Kuhnhackl, who is generally considered as the best player in German hockey history. Tom, a fourth-round selection by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL’s 2010 draft, has five points in six games this season.
David Branch, the OHL’s commissioner, is among the first hockey executives to realize the direction in which the game is going. Branch obviously is most concerned about the respect factor among players and the safety factor. He wants the OHL’s players to respect each other and to recognize when an opponent is vulnerable. Put those two things together and the number of injuries, including concussions, should decline.
The object of the game should be to possess the puck, not to run over and injure an unsuspecting opponent.
Bill Potrecz of the Niagara Falls Review has a look at the story right here.
One of the interesting things is Kuhnhackl’s quote about “finishing his check.” That is hockeyspeak for making especially solid contact with an opponent, and it is something that you can bet Branch is serious about eradicating.
Kuhnhackl, who came out of the hit on Murphy with a leg injury, will be eligible to return to the IceDogs’ lineup on Jan. 6. He is expected to play for Germany in the IIHF World Junior Championship Division I in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Dec. 11-17.
Something of a shocker out of Everett on Tuesday as the Silvertips sent home F Tyler Maxwell, 20, after he asked for a trade.
Maxwell has played 216 games with Everett and is the franchise’s all-time scoring leader, with 107 goals. But after asking for a move, he was sent home to Manhattan Beach, Calif., and told to wait for the phone to ring.
Here’s what Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald put on his blog:
Maxwell declined to comment about the situation, so we've only got one side of the story. But Tips general manager Doug Soetaert made it sound like Maxwell wasn't really interested in being part of a rebuilding team, and that Maxwell subsequently wasn't being a positive influence in the dressing room. Everett has had players request trades in the past who weren't sent home, so the team's actions in this situation are a departure from the norm. . . . While Soetaert said he would try and accommodate Maxwell, he put no timetable for making a trade.
Patterson also filed a story for the Herald. That story is right here.
JUST NOTES: F Aaron Hadley, a 10th-round selection by the Vancouver Giants in the 2008 bantam draft, has committed to Western Michigan. Hadley is playing for the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. . . . Assistant coach Cam Tibbett is serving as the interim head coach of the Neepawa Natives while the MJHL team looks for a new head coach. That person would replace Bryant Perrier, who resigned as GM and head coach following a much-publicized haziing incident. As well, three players — forwards Justin Dalebozik, Riley Johnston and Tyler Swerdyiak — have returned to the team after having left. The Natives, who are 1-18-2, also have acquired D Michael Butler from the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks. . . . Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports that Warriors D Morgan Rielly won’t play this weekend with a lower-body injury. Rielly left a weekend game with what appeared to be an injury to his right knee. . . . Moose D Dylan McIlrath (undisclosed) and D Joel Edmundson (ankle) are expected to practise today but Gourlie writes that both are questionable for a Thursday game in Regina against the Pats. . . . Warriors F Sebastian Svendsen (knee) has missed 10 games but may play Thursday.
In Medicine Hat, the Emerson Etem Show, co-starring Hunter Shinkaruk, continued its run as the Tigers dropped the Seattle Thunderbirds, 6-3. . . . Etem had two goals — he has 25 in 19 games — and two assists. He leads the WHL in goals and points (43). . . . Shinkaruk had two goals and an assist. Shinkaruk, who isn’t eligible for the NHL draft until 2013, has 20 goals in 20 games, second only to Etem, and eight assists. . . . The Tigers have scored 83 goals this season. In other words, Etem and Shinkaruk have scored 54.2 per cent of the team’s goals. . . . Medicine Hat F Curtis Valk scored his first goal of the season, to go with his 12 assists. . . .

In Saskatoon, the Blades scored the game’s first three goals and went on to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-2. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov stopped 41 shots. . . . Brandon F Mark Stone has his season-opening point streak snapped at 18 games. . . .

In Swift Current, F Brooks Macek scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Calgary Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the Broncos. . . . It was $2 Tuesday and attendance was 2,237. . . . F Cody Sylvester had two goals for the Hitmen, while F Taylor Vause did the same for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current F Trevor Cameron forced OT with his second goal of the season, at 16:28 of the third period. . . .

In Victoria, F Michael St. Crois had two goals and two assists to lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to an 8-2 victory over the Royals. . . . St. Croix is riding an 11-game point streak, with six goals and 13 assists during that time. . . . D Cody Corbett, who joined the Oil Kings from the Minnesota high school ranks late last month, scored his first goal and set up another. . . . The Oil Kings held a 35-19 edge in shots. . . . Victoria F Kevin Sundher (undisclosed) didn’t play the second or third periods. . . . The game was the first in a four-game B.C. tour for the Oil Kings who meet the Giants in Vancouver on Wednesday. . . . The Oil Kings are out of their building, as are the parent Oilers, because of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. . . . From Nov. 25 through Dec. 18, the Oil Kings will play 11 straight home games.
For today’s good read we go to the Regina Leader-Post and Ian Hamilton, one of our country’s most under-appreciated sports writers.
Hamilton spent some time chatting with Malcolm Cameron, an assistant coach with the Regina Pats, who only sounds as though he’s pals with Reggie Dunlop.
As Pats captain Brandon Davidson told Hamilton: “(Cameron) has been through a lot of things and he has been around hockey for a long time, so he's always got stories for the boys. (The tales) are just thrown out randomly. . . . Most of them are pretty funny, so it's good to hear them. But you never want to be in them."
That story is right here.
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