Friday, December 9, 2011

D Juraj Valach (Tri-City, Vancouver, Regina, Red Deer, 2006-08) has been assigned on loan by Kometa Brno to Slavia Prague (both teams Czech Republic, Extraliga) for the rest of this season. He has one goal and three assists in 24 games for Brno this season. The "loan" is effectively a trade between the two clubs. Brno "loaned" Valach and F Tomas Pospisil to Slavia Prague; in return, Slavia has loaned D Jiri Vlasicek and F Tomas Svoboda to Brno. . . .
G Ian Gordon (Swift Current, Saskatoon, 1992-95) signed a one-year contract extension with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). He has a 2.65 GAA and a .906 save percentage in 16 games with Ingolstadt this season. The extension keeps Gordon in Ingolstadt through the 2012-2013 season.
There were times during my 17-year stint at the Regina Leader-Post where Rob Vanstone and I would hope in my vehicle and head for Swift Current to watch the Broncos.
We knew the chances were good we would see an entertaining hockey game. And if the game wasn’t entertaining, we knew Graham James, the Broncos' GM and head coach, would entertain us after the fact. We would, in other words, have something about which to write.
That’s what Vanstone writes about right here . . . that and a whole lot more. And I vouch for everything he writes here, because I oftentimes was right there.
Here’s part of a Chris Selley piece from the National Post:
“If fighting in the NHL is appalling and unconscionable, then what adjectives go with the situation in junior? Shouldn't this be a far bigger issue than it is? . . .
“I'm not claiming that banning staged fighting in junior hockey would necessarily get rid of it in the professional leagues, though it couldn't hurt. What I'm saying is that fighting in junior hockey has always struck me as tantamount to child abuse.”
Selley’s complete column is right here.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post had an interesting piece in Thursday’s paper involving reaction to recent developments in the Derek Boogaard story.
In the column, Harder quoted Regina Pats president Brent Parker on the role of fighting in hockey.
“Humans are creatures of habit,” Parker told Harder. “It’s so easy for us to say it has always been part of the game and it needs to be part of the game. I don’t know if it does. First and foremost we have to be concerned about the safety of our athletes. We’ve done some things as a league with our seven-point plan to make sure we’re addressing head blows. But I don’t think you will ever legislate head injuries out of contact sports. There’s a reason the helmet was invented.”
Parker also admitted that his feelings about fighting have been altered, as Harder wrote, with happenings of last summer.
“You have a different appreciation for it having attended some funerals this summer that I’d rather not have had to attend,” he said. “I think my views have changed. I guess I’ve always been a proponent of liking physical hockey and I don’t think that part has to change but the needless fights and needless shots to the head and the lack of respect for each other as players, that’s the part that needs to change. It’s not just hockey. It’s (contact) sports in general.”
Harder’s complete column is right here.
F Colin Jacobs of the Seattle Thunderbirds will play his first game this season tonight against the visiting Prince George Cougars. He has been out since suffering an undisclosed injury in the Buffalo Sabres’ prospects camp. He was a fourth-round selection by Buffalo in the 2011 NHL draft. . . .
F Marcel Noebels of the Seattle Thunderbirds is expected to miss five WHL games as he plays for Germany at the World Junior Championship (Division I, Group A). The tournament runs from Sunday through Dec. 17 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Also in the tournament are Austria, Belarus, Great Britain, Norway and Slovenia. The winner of this tournament will play with the big boys next year. . . . Noebels has 20 points in 25 games in his sophomore season with Seattle. . . .
The NAHL’s Wenatchee Wild and Topeka RoadRunners are scheduled to play an exhibition game at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City, Kansas, on Wednesday. That arena is a 5,500-seat facility that is looking for a main tenant. . . . Hmmm! Dodge City Cougars? . . . Another hmmm! As the crow flies, it is 839 miles/1,350 kilometres from Brandon to Dodge City. . . .
Ken Stickney is the front man for Portland Winterhawks’ owner Bill Gallacher. Stickney sat down for a chat with Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune and that piece is right here. It turns out that Gallacher really does want to bring the NHL to Portland.
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Steve Yzerman, the general manager of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, said Thursday night that freshman F Brett Connolly will attend the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp that opens Saturday in Calgary.
Connolly, 19, has eight points, including four goals, in 27 games with the Lightning. He was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft.
Shortly after Yzerman made the announcement, Connolly tweeted: “Well let's go get a gold medal.”
Shortly after that, he tweeted: “Thanks for all the support from the fans in Canada. We are going to do everything to bring the gold home.”
The best tweet of them all, however, came from freshman F Chase Witala of the Prince George Cougars: “there goes my chances of making team Canada as the 13th forward. #suprisedtonotgetthecampinvite”
Of course, Connolly is from Prince George and would have to play with the Cougars had the Lightning not kept him.
If you missed it, the Anaheim Ducks have assigned F Devante Smith-Pelly to Canada’s team, as well. He had five points in 26 games with the Ducks.
He played three seasons with the OHL’s Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors and was a second-round pick by Anaheim in 2010.
The Seattle Thunderbirds have added F Connor Honey, 17, to their roster. Honey, from Edmonton, had seven points, including one goal, in 17 games with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers. . . . Last season, he played midget AAA with the Edmonton-South Side Athletic Club and won the league scoring title, with 56 points in 34 games. . . . He attended Seattle’s camp prior to the start of this season. . . .
Things just get worser and worser for the Red Deer Rebels. They looked like world-beaters during a tour of the B.C. Division a while back. Now they have lost 11 in a row and will entertain the Brandon Wheat Kings tonight. . . . They will do it withoug G Patrik Bartosak, who will be out indefinitely with an undisclosed upper-body injury. He was hurt in the second period of the Rebels’ 2-1 loss to the Warriors in Moose Jaw on Wednesday night. . . . Red Deer also is without D Aaron Borejko and forwards Josh Cowen, Adam Kambeitz and Daulton Siwak, all of whom are injured. As well, D Matt Dumba and D Alex Petrovic will leave after tonight’s game for the Canadian junior team’s selection camp. . . . G Bolton Pouliot will start tonight, with Tyler Oswald, 18, backing him up. Oswald has been with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers. . . .
In Edmonton, F T.J. Foster had two goals and two assists as the Oil Kings erased a 2-1 deficit and beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 7-3. . . . The Oil Kings now have won eight in a row. . . . Edmonton has scored six or more goals in five of those eight victories. . . . Brandon has lost six of its last nine games. . . . The Wheat Kings led 2-1 at 11:02 of the second period. Edmonton scored five goals in 8:36 before the period ended. . . . The Oil Kings are 20-8-3 and riding high atop the Eastern Conference, two points clear of the Moose Jaw Warriors and Kootenay Ice.



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