Friday, May 4, 2012

F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract extension with the Bietigheim Steelers (Germany, 2.Bundesliga). He had 16 goals and 24 assists in 41 games for the Steelers this season. . . .
Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), who won promotion to the Czech Extraliga from 1.Liga last month, announced the signings of F Karel Hromas (Everett, 2004-06), F David Hruska (Red Deer, 1995-96), D Brett Palin (Kelowna, 2000-05) and D Lukas Pulpan (Vancouver, 2003-04) to one-year contract extensions. Hromas had seven goals and six assists in 44 games, Hruska had 27 goals and 28 assists in 52 games, Palin had six goals and 12 assists in 51 games, and Pulpan had five goals and 21 assists in 31 games this season. . . .
F Rick Girard (Swift Current, 1990-94) signed a one-year contract extension with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). Girard, who has played the last 14 seasons in the DEL, had 11 goals and 17 assists in 49 games this season. . . .
F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) signed a one-year contract with Plzen (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Balej started the season with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, Extraliga), where he had five goals and six assists in 20 games. He then moved to Kometa Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga), where he had two goals and three assists in 25 games. . . .
Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL) signed F Milan Bartovic (Brandon, Tri-City, 1999-2001) and F Mario Bliznak (Vancouver, 2005-08) to two-year contracts. Bartovic had 16 goals and 14 assists in 37 games for Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) while Bliznak had 11 goals and 18 assists in 52 games for Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) this season. . . .
The KHL is undergoing some changes for next season. Slovan Bratislava and Donbass Donetsk (Ukraine) are joining the KHL as "expansion" teams, Slovan from the Slovak Extraliga and Donbass from the Russian Vysshaya Liga. Lev Poprad (Slovakia) is moving to Prague (Czech Republic), already home to two teams in the Czech Republic Extraliga (Sparta and Slavia); and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl returns after the horrific plane crash at the start of this season. Lokomotiv announced that Carolina Hurricanes pro scout Tom Rowe will be its head coach next season. Rowe coached in Carolina’s system for four seasons, then spent three as an assistant with the Hurricanes before serving as a pro scout this season. . . .
In case anyone was wondering about the ticket prices in the KHL, Slovan is advertising season tickets for next season. The prices range from 209 Euros to 249 Euros ($272 to $325 Canadian) for existing season-ticket holders, and 249 Euros to 299 Euros ($325 to $390 Canadian) for new season-ticket holders. This includes 30 KHL regular-season home games and five or six home preseason games. Compare to your favourite NHL team's prices and discuss amongst yourselves.
Jon Rogger is the new head coach of the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. He is an assistant coach with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and will finish the season with them before joining the Bucs. Rogger, 34, has been with the Gamblers for four seasons. . . . The Buccaneers went 20-33-7, missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Rogger replaces Graham Johnson, an assistant coach who replaced head coach Regg Simon, who was fired on March 27. . . .
The OHL’s Soo Greyhounds have announced that assistant coach Nick Warriner, 31, won’t have his contract renewed. He had been with the ’Hounds through four seasons. . . . Mike Stapleton is the Soo’s head coach. . . .
Dave Hakstol, the head coach at the U of North Dakota, announced Thursday that Cary Eades, the associate head coach, won’t be returning. Eades, whose contract is up and won’t be renewed, had been with UND for eight seasons. He had been the associate coach for six seasons. He also played four seasons at UND and coached under head coach Gino Gasparini for seven seasons.
For complete bantam draft coverage — and I do mean complete — go to Alan Caldwell’s blog Small Thoughts at Large. There’s a link over there on the right.
For a look at the draft’s impact on NCAA schools, you may want to take a look at this piece from the Western College Hockey Blog. There is even a shot in there at Bruce Hamilton, the owner and GM of the Kelowna Rockets.
The Saskatoon Blades entered Memorial Cup mode in a big way on Thursday as the WHL held its annual bantam draft in Calgary.
The Blades are the host team for the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup tournament and GM/head coach Lorne Molleken added some experience to his roster with some draft-day deals.
Molleken acquired F Shane McColgan, 19, F Jessey Astles, 19, and a conditional 2014 third-round bantam pick from the Kelowna Rockets for F Ryan Olsen, 18, and second- and fifth-round selections in yesterday’s draft.
The Blades also added F Brenden Walker, 20, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for 2012 and 2013 second-round bantam picks and a third-rounder in 2014. The Blades also gave Brandon an option to switch 2014 first-round selections.
McColgan, from Manhattan Beach, Calif., was a fifth-round pick by the New York Rangers in the NHL’s 2011 draft. He had 64 points in 70 games last season but never really blossomed into the dynamic performer the Rockets had hoped for when they grabbed him 13th overall in the 2008 bantam draft. He had 69 points in his freshmen season and 66 in 2010-11.
“To be honest, the trade wasn’t surprising,” McColgan told Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier. “It was either between Saskatoon or Portland, and it was Saskatoon and I’m happy it was because they have the Memorial Cup.
“This, hopefully, being my last season of junior hockey, I want to win a Memorial Cup, and going to Saskatoon will be my best chance. I’m looking forward to going there in August.”
McColgan was with the Rockets at the 2007 Memorial Cup in Rimouski, Que., but was a healthy scratch for all four games.
The conditional third-round pick is contingent on whether McColgan returns for his 20-year-old season.
Astles, a sixth-round pick by Kelowna in 2008, has been hampered by concussion problems. He had seven points and 84 penalty minutes in 42 games this season.
Walker, a veteran of three seasons with Brandon, had 81 points, including 26 goals, in 68 games this season.
Walker is the fourth 20-year-old on Saskatoon’s roster, joining F Chris Collins, F Josh Nicholls and D Connor Cox.
With Walker gone, Brandon’s roster shows six 20-year-olds – F Mark Stone, F Dominick Favreau, F Michael Ferland, F Kevin Sundher, D Ryley Miller and G Brandon Anderson. However, Stone (Ottawa Senators), Ferland (Calgary Flames), Sundher (Buffalo Sabres) and Anderson (Washington Capitals) all may play professionally next season.
Kelowna, meanwhile, picks up Olsen, who had 32 points, 15 of them goals, this season, his second with the Blades. He was the 20th overall selection in the 2009 bantam draft.
The Prince George Cougars acquired F Jari Ericcson, 18, from the Everett Silvertips in a deal that involved the swapping of first-round bantam draft picks.
Ericcson, who is from Prince George, had 19 points, including six goals, in 69 games with the Silvertips this season.
The Cougars surrendered F Jujhar Khaira, 18, along with the 11th pick in yesterday’s draft and a 2012 third-rounder for Ericcson, the seventh overall selection and a conditional fourth-round pick.
The conditional pick will be tied into whether Khaira reports to Everett. From Surrey, B.C., Khaira had 79 points in 54 games with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings this season. He has committed to Michigan Tech, and is likely to be picked in June’s NHL draft.
Eric Comrie, the 13th overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft, will be the Tri-City Americans’ starting goaltender when next season arrives.
That picture became clear Thursday when the Americans dealt G Ty Rimmer, 20, to the Lethbridge Hurricanes for a 2013 second-round bantam draft pick and a third-rounder in 2014.
Rimmer, a 14th-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2007, was acquired a year ago from the Prince George Cougars in exchange for G Drew Owsley, who now has used up his junior eligibility.
Rimmer got into 46 games with the Americans, going 31-12-2. He led the WHL in GAA (2.43) and save percentage (.922), resulting in his being named the Western Conference’s top goaltender and to the conference’s first all-star team.
Rimmer’s departure leaves the Americans with seven 20-year-olds on their roster – F Justin Feser, F Patrick Holland, F Jordan Messier, F Jesse Mychan, F Nathan MacMaster, D Drydn Dow and D Derek Ryckman.
The Hurricanes now have six 20-year-olds on their roster – Rimmer, along with F Nick Buonassisi, F Graham Hood, D Tyler Kizuik, D Daniel Johnston and D Landon Oslanski.
Comrie was the 13th overall selection in the 2010 bantam draft. He played in 31 games this season, going 19-6-2, 2.67, .900.
Yesterday, the Americans used a third-round selection, 61st overall, on Comrie’s brother Ty, a 5-foot-10, 140-pound centre from the major bantam Los Angeles Selects.
The Moose Jaw Warriors traded G Luke Siemens, 20, to the Prince Albert Raiders for a 2012 fourth-round bantam draft pick and a third-rounder in 2013.
Siemens was acquired by Moose Jaw from the Everett Silvertips as this season began. He went 35-14-5, 2.56, .907 as the Warriors won the East Division. Siemens then helped the Warriors reach the Eastern Conference final.
Siemens had an interesting season in Moose Jaw. Despite putting up 35 victories, he sat out three games in January as head coach Mike Stothers said his goaltender needed to re-focus.
Siemens started the Warriors’ first 12 playoff games, but was on the bench for the last two as Stothers turned to Justin Paulic, 16, who had played in one regular-season game.
The Warriors also dealt D Dallas Ehrhardt, 20, to the Prince George Cougars for D Reid Jackson, 19, and a 2013 seventh-round bantam draft pick.
Ehrhardt had 22 points and 78 penalty minutes in 67 games this season. He was a fourth-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2007 bantam draft.
Jackson, the son of long-time NHL scout and former WHL coach Les Jackson, had 12 points in 48 games with the Cougars after coming over from the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He had one assist in seven games with the Hurricanes, with whom he played the two previous seasons.
The Warriors still show six 20-year-olds on their roster – F Justin Kirsch, F Cody Beach, F Quinton Howden, F Eric Arnold, D Kendall McFaull and D Dylan McIlrath – but five of those may be moving on.
Beach (St. Louis Blues), Howden (Florida Panthers), McFaull (Winnipeg Jets) and McIlrath (New York Rangers) could play pro next season. Arnold has signed with a pro team in his native Switzerland.
The Cougars now have seven 20-year-olds on their roster – F Jaroslav Vlach, F Greg Fraser, F Brock Hirsche, F Campbell Elynuik, D Daniel Gibb and D Ricard Blidstrand. Vlach and Blidstrand, as imports, aren’t likely to return as they would be two-spotters.
The Everett Silvertips dealt F Jordyn Boyd, 18, to the Kootenay Ice for a fifth-round pick in yesterday’s bantam draft.
Boyd, a sixth-round pick in the 2010 draft, had 11 points and 26 penalty minutes in 53 games as a freshman with Everett this season.
In one of the more interesting selections in the bantam draft, the Portland Winterhawks used the 64th pick on D Caleb Jones, who played bantam this season in Texas.
The Winterhawks, of course, acquired the right to speak with D Seth Jones, Caleb’s older brother, from the Everett Silvertips the other day.
While Seth is expected to be an early NHL draft pick in 2013, Caleb is said to be growing into a fine player himself.
The Vancouver Giants have cut a two-year broadcast deal with Team Radio, which means games will be heard on two stations (Team 1040 and Team 1410). They have been on AM 650.
Team Radio also holds the rights to games involving the Vancouver Canucks, B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reports that “Giants VP of operations Peter Toigo says that the plan is to have games that don’t conflict with the Vancouver Canucks’ broadcasts on Team 1040, and ones that do move to Team 1410.”
As well, Ewen reports that “in the event of a multi-game tie-up, there could be Giants’ games that are joined in progress or internet only.”
The Giants also are looking for a new voice as they dropped Dan Elliott after the season. He had been their play-by-play voice and media relations man for two seasons.
Mitch Kirkup, a former WHL on-ice official, hasn’t been the same since he was attacked following a rec game in Winnipeg in June. In fact, he hasn’t officiated since the incident. And now the attacker is going to jail. . . . Kirkup has stayed involved in hockey as he now scouts for the Spokane Chiefs.
Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press has that story right here.
Here is how David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail began a story that appeared on the newspaper’s website last night:
Eliminating fighting and head shots from hockey is simply a matter of common sense, according to Charles Tator, the renowned concussion doctor.
“We have no treatment for concussions, we have no treatment for the accumulative concussion, we have no treatment for the repetitive concussion, and it is the repetitive concussion that causes brain damage,” Tator said Thursday night during a panel discussion about hockey fights at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. “Let’s get head shots out of hockey.”
That story is right here.

Game 1 . . .
In Edmonton, G Laurent Brossoit stopped 24 shots as the Oil Kings opened the series for the Ed Chynoweth Cup with a 3-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for tonight in Edmonton. . . . F Rhett Rachinski got Edmonton on the board at 1:25 of the first period. Second-period goals by D Martin Gernat at 4:59 and F Jordan Peddle (shorthanded) at 14:30 gave the home team a 3-0 lead. . . . Portland F Marcel Noebels scored on the PP just 12 seconds after Peddle’s goal. . . . Portland F Sven Baertschi got his club to within one at 16:39 of the second. . . . Portland G Mac Carruth stopped 26 shots. . . . Portland was 1-3 on the PP; Edmonton was 0-5. . . . Portland F Ty Rattie left the game at 4:22 of the third period after absorbing a hit from Edmonton F Mitch Moroz. Rattie, who fell awkwardly and hit his head on the ice, is believed to have had two concussions this season. . . . Portland then moved F Nic Petan into Rattie’s spot alongside Baertschi and Noebels. . . . Attendance was 7,466.
If you are wondering, club seats in Edmonton are going for $42.50, with side seating at $32.50 and end seats at $29.50. The cheapest seat available if buying through Ticketmaster was $31.50, including service fees. . . . Someone who was there tells me that ticket prices were “the talk of the press box.” . . . . And you thought junior hockey tickets were priced for family entertainment!
In Portland, there are tickets available at $48.25 (front row), $24 (club), $24 (100 level) and $19.50 (200 level). There also are family packages available with tickets at $9 and $13.
The OHL final features the London Knights and Niagara IceDogs. . . . Tickets to IceDogs’ home games will set you back $25 (premium), $24 (ends) or $20 (standing room) and that includes HST. . . . I didn’t have the patience to sit at a computer and try to access Knights’ ticket prices, but the one I did see was $41.75.
In the QMJHL final, it’s the Rimouski Oceanic and the Saint John Sea Dogs. In Saint John, a lower bowl ticket will cost you $21.50 and it’s $19.50 in the upper bowl. The prices are $20.50 and $18.50 for seniors and students, and $15 and $13 for youths. . . . I wasn’t able to find ticket prices for Oceanic home games.
Here is the schedule for the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup (all times local):
Thursday, May 3: Portland 2 at Edmonton 3 (7,466)
Friday, May 4: at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 6: at Portland (Rose Garden), 6 p.m.
Tuesday, May 8: at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
x-Thursday, May 10: at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, May 12: at Portland (Rose Garden), 6 p.m.
x-Sunday, May 13: at Edmonton, 6 p.m.

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