Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lev Prague (Czech Republic, KHL) announced the signings of F Jakub Klepis (Portland, 2001-02) and F Marcel Hossa (Portland, 1998-2001). . . . Klepis signed a one-year-plus-option contract and Hossa got a one-year contract. . . . Hossa had 14 goals and 17 assists in 54 games with Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL) and Dinamo Riga (Belarus, KHL), while Klepis had seven goals and seven assists in 44 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL) and Dynamo Moscow (Russia, KHL). . . . Klepis scored the game-winner for Dynamo with just under eight minutes left in the third period in Game 7 of the KHL final, a 1-0 victory over Avangard Omsk. Avangard had a three games to one lead in the series but couldn't close the deal.
Roman Vopat (Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, 1994-96) now is the co-general manager and head coach of the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters, who play in the Kootenay International league. . . . Rick Allen had been the interim general manager but stepped aside after the season ended. . . . Last season was Vopat’s first as head coach. He and assistant coach Jordan Foreman will share the GM’s duties. . . . In Vopat’s first season as head coach, the Dynamiters went 36-14-1 before losing a second-round series to the Fernie Ghostriders in seven games. . . .
Steve Spott, the GM and head coach of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, has been named head coach of Canada’s national junior team. . . . His assistant coaches will be Mario Duhamel (QMJHL-Drummondville Voltigeurs), Don Nachbaur (WHL-Spokane Chiefs) and André Tourigny (QMJHL-Rouyn-Noranda Huskies). . . . The 2013 World Junior Championship is scheduled for Ufa, Russia, Dec. 26 through Jan. 6. . . .
The Central league’s Missouri Mavericks have extended head coach Scott Hillman’s contract through 2013-14. In three seasons under Hillman, the Mavericks have a 107-71-18 regular-season record.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported Friday that the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed D Austin Madaisky of the Kamloops Blazers to a three-year contract. Madaisky was a fifth-round selection in the 2010 amateur draft. . . . Madaisky, who turned 20 in January, had 50 points, including 13 goals, in 70 games, then added seven assists in nine playoff games. . . . He is eligible to return to the Blazers for another season, but is expected to at least open the season in the Columbus organization, perhaps with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. . . .
The Brandon Sun is reporting that “the Brandon Wheat Kings and the Keystone Centre are expected to announce that a new lease agreement has been reached at a scheduled news conference on Wednesday morning.” . . . They have been operating under a five-year extension to a 10-year deal that was agreed to in 1997. It expires on May 31.
I kind of liked this from the end of a column by Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun:
After his New York Rangers came up three shot blocks short and lost 3-2 to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, seething coach John Tortorella uttered a total of 39 words in response to six questions over 72 seconds — an average of 6.5 words per answer.
Every profession has miserable, rude people. What's mystifying is how Tortorella gets away with his boorishness in a league that sells entertainment and relies on its connection to fans for survival. Maybe someone should ask why he has such contempt for them. Tortorella's answer would probably be two words.
The complete column is right here.
Ted Johnson, a former middle linebacker with the New England Patriots, is the latest retired athlete to speak out about concussions.
Johnson retired in 2005. He spoke Friday during a conference on pediatric concussions at Boston Children’s Hospital.
He had some horribly interesting comments.
“It’s a shame-based issue,” he said of concussions and post-concussion syndrome. “You can’t see into the brain. . . . It makes you feel like less of a man.”
He also talked about feeling pressured by head coach Bill Belichick to get back into action after being concussed.
“I was put in a position where I felt compelled to play against doctors’ orders, so I did,” Johnson told the conference, although he later said, according to The Associated Press, “that he held no grudge against Belichick, the Patriots or the NFL.”
Johnson also pointed out something that is terribly important in the way athletes look at concussions today.
There are more than 1,000 former players now involved in concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL. Some present-day players have said that those players knew what they were getting into when they agreed to play in the NFL.
However, Johnson pointed out, while that may be true today, it wasn’t true a few years ago which goes to show how far concussion-related research has come.
The Associated Press story on Johnson is right here.
The Victoria Royals, it seems, are thinking about bidding on the 2016 or 2019 Memorial Cup tournament. “We will not be satisfied until we host the Memorial Cup in Victoria,” Royals president Dave Dakers told Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times Colonist. “It would be a great event for the city.” . . . Dakers is the the president of sports and entertainment for RG Properties, which owns the Royals. RG Properties also manages the Royals’ home arena, the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. . . . Dheensaw also had another gem as he pointed out that should the Royals make the playoffs next spring, they may have to move some home games to Bear Mountain Arena. That’s because the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre will be home to the 2013 Ford world men's curling championship. While the Memorial Centre seats 7,006, Bear Mountain holds 2,300 fans. It is home to the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies.
Earlier in the week, The MacBeth Report broke the news here that F David Volek, who just completed his freshman season with the Regina Pats, had signed a junior contract with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, J20 SuperElit).
Volek, 18, had 32 points with the Pats and it was expected that he would return for another season.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post provided the Pats’ view of this situation right here.
The Färjestad news release was headlined J20: FBK Strengthens from Czech Republic.
The first three paragraphs of that release:
“Färjestad's J20 is strengthened for next season with a Czech national team member. Dominik Volek, most recently with the Regina Pats in the Canadian junior league, joins the club's J20 team. ‘From the reports we received, he is a very interesting two-way player with great potential,’ says Färjestad's Youth and Junior Manager Peter Johansson.
“Volek comes from the Canadian junior league where he played for the Regina Pats. His father, David, is a multiple Czech national team member who also played six seasons for the New York Islanders.
“Volek is one of three new forwards in the J20 squad.”
Of course, a lot can happen between now and late August, but that sounds pretty definitive.
Volek’s agent is his uncle, Ales, whose agency is called Alvo Sports Management. According to the agency website, Ales was a scout for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators from 1999-2002. Jiri Hudler Sr. is the head of player development for the agency.
Ales also is the agent for Roman Cervenka, who just signed with the Calgary Flames.
And here’s another connection for you — The MacBeth Report points out that the man in charge of running FBK from top to bottom, who just reorganized the FBK coaching and management staff for their junior programs, is former Flames F Håkan Loob. 

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