Thursday, July 19, 2012

D Jiri Ryzuk (Kootenay, 2007-09) signed a one-year contract with Weiden (Germany, Oberliga). He had one goal and five assists in 37 games with Selb (Germany, Oberliga) last season. . . .
G Justin Pogge (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-06) signed a one-year contract with Ritten/Renon (Italy, Serie A). He had a 3.07 GAA and a .890 save percentage in 37 games with the Portland Pirates (AHL) last season.
And then there was one . . .
The Brandon Wheat Kings named Dwayne Gylywoychuk as their newest head coach on Wednesday, leaving the Victoria Royals as the only WHL team presently without a head coach.
However, there was ample speculation yesterday that the Royals, who have a news conference scheduled for today, will name Cory Clouston as their head coach.
Gylywoychuk, a former Wheat Kings defenceman and long-time assistant coach, replaces Clouston, who was let go with a year left on his contract after last season.
There also has been speculation that Rich Preston, the general manager and head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, still may end up as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings. I had heard that rumour a while ago, but put it to bed last week when the Hurricanes announced they had picked up the 2013-14 option on Preston’s contract. However, Preston does have a relationship with Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, who is looking for an assistant coach.
Meanwhile, in Brandon, Gylywoychuk, a 39-year-old Winnipeg native, has been an assistant coach with the Wheat Kings since 2003. As an assistant coach in Brandon, he has worked under head coaches Dean Clark, Mike Kelly, Kelly McCrimmon and Clouston.
McCrimmon is the franchise’s owner, governor and general manager, and many observers had expected him to end up back behind the bench.
Gylywoychuk played five seasons with the Wheat Kings and holds the franchise record for most games played (323).
Assistant coach Darren Ritchie will be back for a sixth season with the Wheat Kings.
Gylywoychuk also is serving as an assistant coach with Team West, the squad that will represent Manitoba and Saskatchewan at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge after Christmas.
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada has written his final 30 Thoughts it’s actually 44 thoughts for the 2011-12 season and they’re right here.
The Tri-City Americans have added Dan Price to their coaching staff, while announcing that assistant coach Brent Bilodeau has resigned. . . . Price, a former goaltender, worked under Americans head coach Jim Hiller with the Chilliwack Bruins (hey, remember them?). . . . Bilodeau, a former WHL defenceman who enjoyed a lengthy pro career, has been named a coaching advisor for the Tri-Cities Amateur Hockey Association.
F Andy Blanke has decided not to return to the Swift Current Broncos for his 20-year-old season. Instead, he will attend the U of Saskatchewan and play for the Huskies. Blanke, who is from Swift Current, had 11 points and a team-high 168 penalty minutes in 71 games with the Broncos last season. He played three seasons with them, missing only 10 games over that time. He finished with 28 points, including nine goals, and 312 penalty minutes.

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