Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If you’re a regular around here, you are familiar with our friend Jessi,
who is a huge fan of the Tri-City Americans. Jessi was bowling with
the Americans the other day, and here she is with Adam Hughesman (left)
and Mitch Topping. Spies indicate that Jessi won the day!

 THE MacBETH REPORT: D Oleg Tverdovsky (Brandon, 1994-95) signed a contract for the rest of the season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia, KHL) after being released by Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). He was pointless in 12 games with Salavat Yulaev this season. He did report to Salavat Yulaev's farm team, Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), after clearing KHL waivers. Tverdovsky was pointless in two games with Toros before gaining his release. . . .
To make room on their roster, Metallurg traded D Renat Mamashev (Moose Jaw, 2000-01) to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) for an undisclosed 2012 KHL draft pick. Mamashev had two goals and four assists in 16 games with Metallurg this season, his first with the club after spending the past two seasons with Neftekhimik. . . .
F Stefan Meyer (Medicine Hat, 2000-05) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, Elitserien). He had no points in six games this season with the Abbotsford Heat (AHL). . . .
F Shayne Toporowski (Prince Albert, 1991-95) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) after a successful tryout. He has four goals and four assists in 11 games with Villach this season.
On a night in March 2005, a motorist pulled into a gas station in Maple Ridge, B.C., put $12 in gas into his vehicle, and attempted to flee without paying.
Gas station attendant Grant DePatie tried to stop the gas and dash. He was struck by the car and dragged to his death.
In the province of B.C., you now have to abide by Grant’s Law — pay for your gas before pumping.
Over the last three days, The New York Times has carried a three-part series, written by John Branch, detailing the life and hockey career of the late Derek Boogaard.
This series is, in a word, devastating.
In Part 3, Branch reveals that Dr. Ann McKee, a renowned neuropathologist who has examined the brains of numerous athletes, examined Boogaard’s brain and discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Boogaard’s family was informed during an October conference call.
Boogaard, who died at 28, was in a more advanced state of CTE than was Bob Probert, who died at 45.
“To see this amount? That’s a ‘wow’ moment,” McKee said as she pointed to magnified images of Boogaard’s brain tissue. “This is all going bad.”
She is right. This is all going bad.
The NHL, however, doesn’t see things that way.
Branch writes:
The NHL is not convinced that there is a link between hockey and CTE.
“There isn’t a lot of data, and the experts who we talked to, who consult with us, think that it’s way premature to be drawing any conclusions at this point,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said. “Because we’re not sure that any, based on the data we have available, is valid.”
Junior hockey operators need to take a long, hard look at what’s going on here. The evidence is starting to mount that CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head. There also is evidence that once it’s there, it’s there — it only grows.
The brain of a young hockey player gets jostled around enough just playing the game. Who knows what damage is done by repeated punches to the head in a fight? Who knows what damage is done if a player is involved in a dozen or more fights in a season?
Perhaps it’s time for a league like the WHL to take the bull by the horns and ban fighting. Get it out of the game. Write a rule that bans it.
Call it Derek’s Rule.
Part 3 of the NYT series is right here. It is devastating. Give it a look and take advantage of the various sidebars and videos available.
And, when you’re done, convince yourself again that adults should be sending teenagers out to fight on ice.
Late Monday night, more than 600 comments had been posted at the end of Part 3 of the NYT series.
Here’s one of them:
“Congrats to the Times for this excellent series. This is a sport that is in denial, much like the cigarette industry was for so long about the hazards of smoking. Clearly a league that does not care about its players. This is little better than the gladiators of old.
“This is a problem that cannot be ignored; players are getting bigger, faster and more powerful and I guess more players will have to end up in a stupor or die before anything is done about it.”
And then there was this one:
“Let me get this straight: adults purposely place a 16 year old kid in an adult environment (Junior A level for-profit hockey) and coerce him (you fight or you are cut from the team) to be violent and expose him to trauma and this is not called child abuse?
“What we now know about children exposed to chronic emotional and physical trauma is that they typically develop a biologically based hyper-vigilant fight/flight system and maladaptive coping mechanisms such as emotional numbing through alcohol and drug use.
“The old men who run hockey need to wake up to the realities of brain science and stop grooming adolescent boys as hockey gladiators.
“I played hockey in the Canadian juniors back in the 70's and was keenly aware that it was always the frustrated and angry adults most interested in living out their rage, blood lust, and impotence through the violence of the kids on the ice.
“Sadly, too many of these adults are still running the game today. Yea Don Cherry, I'm talking about you. When was the last time you dropped the gloves and were able to put 'em up?”
Meanwhile . . .
If you click right here, it will take you to a three-minute video clip of the Winterhawks’ Wedding from Fox 12 Oregon. There is entertaining stuff here, including video of the bride waiting and her reaction when the Teddy Bear goal is scored.
THE COACHING GAME: Stan Drulia has resigned as head coach of the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers and move up to the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals as an assistant under new head coach Ian Herbers. All of that came about because Kirk Muller, the Admirals’ head coach, moved up to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes as their head coach last week. Clark Donatelli, an assistant coach with Drulia, was named the Nailers’ interim head coach.
JUST NOTES: The NHL’s Calgary Flames have recalled G Leland Irving (Everett, 2004-08) after putting Henrik Karlsson (knee) on the injured list. Karlsson was injured Saturday in a 5-1 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver. Irving, a first-round selection by the Flames in the NHL’s 2006 draft, has yet to play in the NHL. He has been with the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat. Dan Kinvig of the Abbotsford News reports that Irving, who played Sunday afternoon in a 3-1 victory over the host Chicago Wolves, and some teammates were watching the NHL game in a Chicago restaurant when Karlsson went down. “Ten minutes later," Kinvig reported, “Irving's cell phone rang. It was Heat head coach Troy Ward, informing him he was being recalled by the Flames.” . . . On Monday, Irving, 23, told Kinvig: "It was pretty exciting, and the guys were excited for me. It was very cool to share it with your teammates – the guys that helped you get there. It just means that much more when I've had to wait a while and work hard to even get a chance (in the NHL)." . . . This season, with the Heat, Irving is 15-7-0, 2.30, .914. . . .
The Prince Albert Raiders have added F Joey Santucci, 17, to their roster through Dec. 16. Santucci has 18 points and 48 penalty minutes in 21 games with the junior B Grandview Steelers of the Pacific International junior league. . . . The Spokane Chiefs have assigned D Cole Hamblin, 18, to the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelrs. he had one assist in seven games this season with the Chiefs. The Chiefs are left with a 23-man roster, including two goaltendes and eight defencemen. . . .
F Emerson Etem of the Medicine Hat Tigers is the lone WHL player on the preliminary roster for the U.S. national junor team. The roster was announced Monday. . . . The roster is 29 players deep and will be cut to 22 after a camp that is to open in Camrose Alta., on Dec. 17. . . .
The Calgary Flames have signed F Michael Ferland of the Brandon Wheat Kings to a three-year NHL contract. He was a fifth-round selection in the 2010 NHL draft. Ferland, 19, has 42 points, including 17 goals, in 29 games this season. He is to report to the Canadian junior team’s selection camp in Calgaryon Saturday. . . .
City council in Gatineau, Que., has voted to build a 4,000-seat multi-purpose facility that will replace Robert Guertin Arena, the home of the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. It looks like the cost will be between $50 million and $53 million.
Darren Desaulniers of the Ottawa Citizen has more right here.
In St. Catharines, Ont., city council has voted to build a multi-purpose facility with 4,500 to 5,300 seats for a maximum of $50 million. Bill and Denise Burke, who own the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, say they will sign a 20-year lease.
Marlene Bergsma of the St. Catharines Standard has more right here.
In Medicine Hat, city council . . . ahh, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel presents a day in the life of D Victor Bartley (Kamloops, Regina, 2004-09) right here.
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