Wednesday, February 1, 2012

THE MacBETH REPORT:
The international transfer deadline passed as the month changed from January to February, thus the flurry of activity over the last couple of days. There was one other move that apparently was made right before the deadline . . .
F Brad Schell (Spokane, 1999-2004), released earlier Tuesday by Dornbirn (Austria, Nationalliga), signed a contract for the rest of this season with Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga).
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ASK THE COMMISSIONER:
What are the actual payable education amounts? Along with the 'fine print' — could the WHL publish a standard education contract online for transparency? And could the WHL provide online a FAQ for parents/players?
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Fans of the Swift Current Broncos are going to have an opportunity to hear about the direction the organization has charted and also to say their piece at the inaugural Community Interaction meeting set for Thursday, 7 p.m., in the auditorium at the Credit Union iPlex. Liam Choo-Foo, the chairman of the Broncos’ board of directors, will present the organization’s “strategic framework.” He then will be joined by GM/head coach Mark Lamb and others for a question-and-answer session.
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The Tri-City Americans have extended the contract of Barclay Parneta, the prospect development coach and head scout. The Americans didn’t announce any details, not even length. . . . Parneta joined the Americans in August 2010 after spending seven seasons as an NHL scout.
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The Regina Pats are in need of a radio play-by-play voice, and they need one in a hurry. The Pats announced Tuesday that Dan Plaster, their co-ordinator of broadcasting and communications, will be leaving in a couple of weeks to join the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders’ front office. Plaster will work in community relations with the football team. . . . Pats president Brent Parker isn’t happy with the CFL team, and Greg Harder’s story should be on the Regina Leader-Post’s website at some point today.
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After the 1993-94 season, Rick Brodsky picked up the Victoria Cougars and moved the franchise to Prince George. The Cougars are back in Victoria this week for the first time since the move, as they play a Tuesday-Wednesday doubleheader with the Royals, who, let us not forget, used to be the Chlliwack Bruins. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist spoke with Brodsky about then and now. . . . That piece is right here.
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F Brett Connolly of Tampa Bay played six shifts as the host Lightning scored a 5-4 OT victory over the Washington Capitals last night. . . . Connolly, whose WHL rights belong to the Tri-City Americans, played three shifts in the first period (he also served a too-many-men penalty), two in the second and one in the third. . . . He ended up playing a career-low 5:08. . . . Hello, Steve, this is Bob Tory calling. . . .
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F Nino Niederreiter played 9:00 over 14 shifts as his New York Islanders beat the host Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2. Niederreiter played five shifts in each of the first two periods and four in the third. . . . That included 2:05 in PP time. . . . His WHL rights belong to the Portland Winterhawks. . . .
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THE COACHING GAME:
There would appear to be something of a mess in Thunder Bay, Ont., where Lonny Bohonos (Moose Jaw, Seattle, Portland, 1991-94) has replaced Todd Howarth has head coach of the junior A Superior International league’s Thunder Bay North Stars. According to a news release issued by the team, Bohonos was named interim head coach after Howarth stepped down for personal reasons. Uhh, not so fast. Reuben Villagracia of the Thunder Bay Chronicle quotes Howarth as saying he has been fired. “My teams never quit,” Howarth told Villagracia. “Ever. And I didn’t either. Let’s be honest here.” . . . That complete story is right here.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES:
In Saskatoon, F Matej Stransky scored two goals to help the Blades to a 3-1 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Stransky has 28 goals; last season, he finished with 26 points. . . . Yes, points!. . . Late in the third period, Stransky missed the empty Swift Current net and the Broncos broke back on a 3-on-1 break but weren’t able to score. . . . Saskatoon F Josh Nicholls then ended it with an empty-netter. . . . Nicholls had assisted on the Blades’ first two goals. . . .  The Blades are 8-2-0 in their last 10 and have moved into fifth in the Eastern Conference, a point ahead of the idle Kootenay Ice. . . . The Broncos have lost two in a row. . . . This was Saskatoon GM/head coach Lorne Molleken’s 550th WHL coaching victory. He had moved into second place on the WHL’s all-time list on Saturday with an 8-1 victory over the visiting Regina Pats. Molleken had been tied with Ernie (Punch) McLean (548). Molleken now trails only Ken Hodge (742). . . .

In Medicine Hat, F Charles Inglis broke a 2-2 tie with two second-period goals as the Red Deer Rebels doubled the Tigers, 6-3. . . . Inglis scored at 12:46 and 18:52 of the second. He’s got 13 goals. . . . The victory lifted the Rebels to within two points of the idle Brandon Wheat Kings for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. . . . F Tyson Ness also scored twice for Red Deer. He’s got 14. . . . F Emerson Etem scored all three Medicine Hat goals, including his WHL-leading 10th shorthanded score. . . . Etem has a WHL-leading 47 goals in 45 games. He has 81 points and is third in the scoring race, behind Portland F Ty Rattie (86) and Regina F Jordan Weal (83). . . . Etem actually leads the entire CHL in goals and shorthanded goals. . . . Red Deer G Deven Dubyk stopped 24 shots. . . .

In Victoria, F Daulton Siwak broke a 2-2 tie at 15:16 of the second period and the Prince George Cougars went on to a 4-2 victory over the Royals. . . . Cougars F Greg Fraser had tied the game at 7:24 of the second with his 13th goal. . . . Siwak got the winner, his ninth goal of the season. . . . F Troy Bourke, who somehow wasn’t selected for the Top Prospects Game, had three assists for the Cougars. . . . The victory was the 500th for the Cougars since the franchise left Victoria for Prince George after the 1993-94 season. . . . The Cougars are three points behind the Royals, who hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . . They meet again tonight in Victoria. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Dominik Uher scored four goals to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 5-3 victory over the host Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . This was Uher’s first four-goal game in the WHL. . . . Uher’s third goal, at 18:48 of the third period, broke a 3-3 tie. He added an empty-netter, for his 20th of the season, at 19:51. . . . Uher, from the Czech Republic, has 45 points in 40 games. He put up 23 points in 14 games in January, after returning from the World Junior Championship. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 35 shots. . . . Mitch Elliott, normally a forward, played on the back end for Seattle. He had been a healthy scratch for the last two games. It was his first time on defence since playing there once in the exhibition season.
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TUESDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Cory Millette, Red Deer.
F Brendan Hurley, Medicine Hat.
D Corbin Baldwin, Spokane.
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Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star reports that insurance companies may be getting antsy when it comes to covering the contracts of NHL players in these days when concussions are so prevalent. That story is right here.
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Dave Hakstol, the head coach of the University of North Dakota hockey team, is not a happy man these days. He feels that NCAA hockey coaches are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to recruiting against CHL teams. And he is thinking that the time have arrived for NCAA coaches to campaign for a rule change or two.
Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has more right here.
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Congrats to old friend Jim Hughson of Hockey Night in Canada and the other four gents who will be inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton this summer. Hughson will be joined by Scott Niedermayer, Rod Brind’Amour, Bob Hindmarch and Scott Harper when the hall doors swing open on July 27. . . . Ever since Hughson covered the Brandon Wheat Kings for radio station CKLQ in 1978-79, my wife has him as the best play-by-play man in the history of sports. Period. And he didn’t even call the play that season, because CKX was the rights holder.
Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun has more right here.
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Reading the latest stories about Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and the newest diagnosis of his injury/problem, I couldn’t help but think back to a story that freelancer Jim Riley wrote for the Seattle Times earlier this season. It dealt with F Branden Troock of the Seattle Thunderbirds.
“Troock went to the Seattle Sports Concussion Program at Harborview Medical Center and then was evaluated by a headache specialist at the University of Washington,” Riley wrote. “He was eventually diagnosed with a neck injury. Although the concussion had healed, a nerve that travels from his neck to his eyes was causing his migraines.”
Seattle trainer Phil Varney told Riley that “the neck injury was mimicking concussion symptoms, and that made it very difficult. He'd get dizzy when he did activity."
Troock ended up being treated by an acupuncturist.
Riley’s story is right here.
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Robert MacLeod of The Globe and Mail wonders if it’s time for Sidney Crosby to consider retirement and sliding into a role as an ambassador for the game. That piece, which was written a couple of hours before the news conference in Pittsburgh, is right here.


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