Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rick Brodsky, the owner of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars, has owned the NAHL’s Wichita Falls, Texas, Wildcats for eight seasons. That run, however, is about to end as Brodsky sells his share to New Jersey businessman Alex Shnayderman, who grew up in Winnipeg.
The NAHL board is expected to approve the deal today.
Head coach Paul Baxter owns part of the team, as does local businessman Roy Davoult.
When Brodsky got involved in the team’s ownership — he actually took over a franchise that was struggling with debt — he had hoped to be able to help provide better players for the Wildcats.
That never happened.
"I thought we'd be able to get really good talent from the WHL, and that just never developed whatsoever," Brodsky told Zach Duncan of the Wichita Falls Times Record News. “Good American players were being recruited by Canadian Tier II teams that were able to pay them instead."
Duncan’s complete story is right here.
It’s worth noting that Brodsky quite enjoyed his stint as the Wildcats’ owner. He liked nothing better than to head down to Wichita Falls and accompany the team on a road trip, oftentimes taking a turn driving the team bus.
The Kamloops Blazers kept it all in the family Tuesday as they announced the signing of forward Nick Chyzowski to a WHL contract.
Chyzowski, 15, was the 44th overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft. The Blazers dealt a second-round pick in the 2013 draft and a 2012 fourth-rounder to the Edmonton Oil Kings in order to grab Chyzowski at No. 44.
Chyzowski’s father, Dave, is a former Blazers forward (1987-90) who now is the team’s director of sales and marketing. The New York Islanders selected Dave with the second overall pick of the NHL’s 1989 draft; the Quebec Nordiques took Mats Sundin with the first selection. Chyzowski played 126 NHL games before going on to a lengthy career in Europe.
Nick, who actually signed the contract a couple of weeks ago, said he feels “a little bit” of pressure playing for his father’s former team, “but I think I’ll be able to deal with it.”
Last season, Chyzowski captained the bantam AAA Jardine’s Blazers and led them in scoring, with 83 points, including 41 goals, in 49 games. He is expected to play next season with the major midget Thompson Blazers.
Chyzowski describes himself as “a good two-way forward. I’ve good defensive ability and I also have good offensive awareness.”
While he recognizes that genetics may have something to do with the ability he has shown to this point, he added that “it’s also a lot of because of who I am.”
As one might expect, he said “it’s really exciting” to sign with the Blazers.
He added that on draft day “I was really excited . . . I know it’s a big accomplishment to get drafted but it’s only the beginning.”
Last week, the Blazers signed forward Jayden Halbgewachs, their first-round pick, 19th overall, in the 2012 draft. He is from Emerald Park, Sask.
Halbgewachs and Chyzowski are expected to attend the Blazers’ rookie camp that is scheduled to open on Aug. 23.
A couple of interesting NHL draft-related tweets from James Mirtle (@mirtle) of The Globe and Mail:
“Only two players drafted later than 42nd in 2010 draft have played an NHL game in two seasons since. Most picks after Round 1 are projects.”
“And only 11 players out of 210 two years ago have played an entire NHL season. So few of these kids bring immediate help to a team.”
The BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies have a news conference scheduled for today at which they are expected to introduce Bill Bestwick as their head coach. Bestwick is a long-time Nanaimo Clippers general manager and head coach, who at present is a Nanaimo city councillor. . . . Mira Laurence of CTV News Vancouver Island broke the Bestwick story.
F James Henry and G Deven Dubyk, both of whom completed their major junior eligibility last season in the WHL, have agreed to join the U of Manitoba Bisons. . . . Henry played more than four seasons with the Vancouver Giants, before being dealt to the Moose Jaw Warriors laste season. He finished with 71 points in 69 games split between the two teams. . . . Dubyk finished last season with the Red Deer Rebels, after starting with Moose Jaw and then moving on to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.
Dean Evason has left the Washington Capitals and signed on as head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals, the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predators. Evason had been an assistant coach with Washington for seven seasons. In Milwaukee, he takes over from Ian Herbers, now head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears. . . . With Washington looking for a head coach to replace Dale Hunter, there was no guarantee that Evason would be back with the Capitals. . . .
Former NHL D Drake Berehowsky is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. They have an affiliation with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Berehowsky had spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen. . . . The Solar Bears are preparing for their first season in the ECHL. Orlando had an IHL franchise from 1995-2001. . . .
Dale Hunter, who stepped aside as the Washington Capitals head coach following the season, has returned as head coach of the OHL’s London Knights. With him back, his brother, Mark, goes back to being only the general manager. . . . The Knights are the OHL’s defending champions. . . . Dale had been their head coach since November 2001. He left in November 2011 to replace Bruce Boudreau as Washington’s head coach.
The legendary Red Fisher is retiring after 58 years as a sports writer, first with the Montreal Star and then the Montreal Gazette. . . . Ken Dryden, as only he can do, writes about Fisher’s career right here.
Ryan Leaf, once the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft, appeared in a courtroom in Great Falls, Mont., on Tuesday. “I’m lazy, and dishonest and selfish,” Leaf told the court. “These were behaviors I had before my addiction kicked in.” . . . If you have followed Leaf’s post-football time, this is an amazingly sad story. Kimball Bennion of the Great Falls Tribune was in court and has the story right here.

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