THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Justin Keller (Kelowna, 2003-06) signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). He had 20 goals and 19 assists in 44 games with Linz Black Wings (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) last season. Keller led the league in playoff goals with nine in helping Linz win the league championship. . . .
F Konstantin Pushkaryov (Calgary, 2004-05) signed a two-year contract with Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL). He had one goal and two assists in 20 games with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL) and five goals and two assists in six games on assignment to Barys-2 Astana (Kazakhstan, Premier League) last season. . . .
F Tyler Metcalfe (Seattle, 1999-2005) signed a one-year contract with Szekesfehervar (Hungary, Austria Erste Bank Liga). He had 14 goals and 23 assists in 50 games for Arystan Temirtau (Kazakhstan, Premier League) last season. . . .
F Michal Repik (Vancouver, 2005-08) signed a one-year contract with Lev Prague (Czech Republic, KHL). He had 14 goals and 21 assists in 55 games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL) and two goals and three assists in 17 games with the Florida Panthers (NHL) last season. . . .
F Cody Almond (Kelowna, 2005-09) signed a three-year contract with Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A). He had seven goals and eight assists in 46 games with the Houston Aeros (AHL) and one goal in 10 games with the Minnesota Wild (NHL) last season. According to the press release from Genève-Servette, it was discovered that Almond has dual Canadian-Swiss citizenship; thus, he will not count as an import.
The Central league’s Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees have ceased operations after nine seasons. “The economics of playing in the Valley are no longer financially viable,” reads a news release issued by the organization. “The loss of Laredo for this coming season and the losses of close rivals such as Corpus Christi and Austin in recent years have created a larger financial burden than the team can bear.”
F Brendan Leipsic of the Portland Winterhawks was honoured Tuesday night as Winnipeg’s Jewish Athlete of the Year at the 40th annual Y Sports Dinner. Leipsic, 18, had 58 points, including 28 goals, in 65 games with Portland. He is eligible for this weekend’s NHL draft.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed two members of their front office to multi-year extensions. . . . Alan Millar, who has been director of hockey operations for two seasons, also has had his title changed to general manager. . . . Corey Nyhagen, the director of business operations, also received an extension. . . . The length of the extensions wasn’t announced.
Dan Elliott is the new manager of media relations for UBC Athletics. Elliott starred as a linebacker with the Thunderbirds football team (1994-98) and was an integral part of the Vanier Cup-wining team in 1997. He was a two-year captain (1997-98), a three-time Canada West all-star (1996-98) and a second team All-Canadian (1998). . . . Elliott spent the last two seasons as the radio voice of the Vancouver Giants for whom he also handled media relations.
THE COACHING GAME:
Dave MacQueen, a veteran OHL coach, has signed on as head coach of the Dornbirn Bulldogs in Austria. . . . He had been general manager and head coach of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting from 2006 until being fired on Feb. 6, 2011. . . .
Craig Hartsburg, the former Everett Silvertips head coach (2009-11), is off to the Columbus Blue Jackets as associate coach to head coach Todd Richards. Hartsburg spent last season with the Calgary Flames, but was dumped after the season with one year left on his contract. With Columbus, he replaces Brad Berry, who left to return to the U of North Dakota coaching staff. . . . The Blue Jackets also added Keith Acton as an assistant coach. He was last on the staff of the Toronto Maple Leafs. . . .
Dean Evason, who was named Tuesday as head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s game between the Brewers and the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. He did it while wearing shorts and flip-flops, and Brewers slugger Ryan Braun apparently hit it about 600 feet.
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