Friday, August 17, 2012

N-H-L L-O-C-K-O-U-T!
That is just in case anyone asks if you know how to spell lockout.
Because it is coming and it’s coming in a big hurry.
The Detroit Red Wings’ annual eight-team prospects tournament that is held in Traverse City, Mich., was cancelled on Thursday. Every year, dozens of junior-aged prospects played for rookie teams in the tournament. But not this year.
The Traverse City wing-ding . . . the five-team Penticton Young Guns tournament that had become a fixture over the last few years . . . a handful of NHL exhbition games in Europe . . . have I missed anything on the list of cancellations.
For what it’s worth, I’m not expecting to see NHL teams in action at all in 2012-13. The gulf between the NHL and NHLPA right now is best described as an abyss. In the end, all you have to do is follow the money, and the biggest stumbling block is going to involve revenue sharing, something the richest franchises don’t even want mentioned.
How bizarre is all of this? Consider that Ed Snider is a big wheel in the NHL. He is the chairman of Comcast Spectacor, a company that owns, among other things, the Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast SportsNet. The first offer made by Snider and the owners to the players called for cap length of five years on player contracts. The Flyers — Snider’s Flyers — signed forward Wayne Simmonds to a new contract this week that is six years in length.
You figure it out!
One other thing . . . the NHLPA has never been led by someone like Donald Fehr. The NHL and its team owners are about to find out what baseball learned a long time ago – Fehr is the real deal.
There won’t be any capitulating by the players this time around.
Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, has never been one to capitulate.
So, hockey fans, get ready to take another one you know where.
F Brad Hoban, who played 325 games with the Swift Current Broncos, has decided to attend the U of British Columbia (UBC) and play for the Thunderbirds. Hoban put up 176 points, including 69 goals, while with Swift Current. Last season, in 69 games, he had a 53 points, 21 of them goals.
The Brandon Wheat Kings added some toughness on the back end and firmed up their 20-year-old situation, at least for now, by acquiring D Tyler Yaworski from the Prince Albert Raiders on Thursday. . . . Brandon sent a fifth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft the other way. . . . Yaworski, who has three WHL seasons under his belt, had 23 points and 188 penalty minutes in 71 games last season. . . . Brandon’s other 20s are D Ryley Miller and F Dominick Favreau. . . . The Raiders, meanwhile, are down to three 20-year-olds — F Anthony Bardaro and D Antoine Corbin, along with G Luke Siemens, who was acquired earlier from the Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Wheat Kings also revealed that D Dylan Kuczek, an 18-year-old Winnipegger, “has informed the club that he will not be returning.” Kuczek, a second-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, had two points and 27 penalty minutes in 33 games last season.
The Everett Silvertips have added D Landon Oslanski, 20, to their roster after claiming him on waivers from the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Oslanski was selected by the Spokane Chiefs in the third round of the 2007 bantam draft. He played one game with the Chiefs before being dealt to Lethbridge as part of the swap that moved F Kyle Beach to Spokane.
In 207 career games, Oslanski has 70 points, including 16 goals, and 239 penalty minutes.
The addition of Oslanski leaves Everett with five 20s on its roster, the others being G Brandon Anderson, who has signed with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and could open the season in their organization, and forwards J.T. Barnett, Cody Fowlie and Ryan Harrison. Anderson’s rights were acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings last month.
The Hurricanes’ roster still includes five 20-year-olds — D Daniel Johnston, D Tyler Kizuik, F Graham Hood, F Nick Buonassisi and G Ty Rimmer, the latter having been acquired from the Tri-City Americans in May.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports here that G Andrey Makarov of the Saskatoon Blades “has accepted an invitation to the Buffalo Sabres’ training camp next month.” The move was confirmed by Jay Grossman, Makarov’s agent. . . . Makarov, one of Russia’s top junior-aged goaltenders, was selected in the NHL’s 2012 draft, despite being ranked seventh among draft-eligible goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting. . . . After the draft, Makarov, 19, was in the Florida Panthers’ development camp.
F Ryan Hanes, a 20-year-old who was placed on waivers by the Kamloops Blazers, hadn't heard from any team or teams as of Thursday evening. "Hopefully, I can go somewhere and play," he wrote in a text last night. . . . With the Blazers a week from training camp, Hanes found himself fifth on the Blazers' 20-year-old depth chart. Assuming he cleared WHL waivers, Hanes now is a free agent.
David Robinson, who played two-plus seasons with the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?), is getting into the coaching game. After spending last season at the U of Calgary, Robinson is returning to his hometown of Vernon and will work as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Vipers. After leaving the Bruins, Robinson finished the 2009-10 season with the Vipers and captained the team the following season.
And, finally, a tip of the cap in the direction of the Danbury Whalers of the Federal Hockey League. The Whalers have made a key signing in the person of Dan Barletta. There aren’t a whole lot of hockey teams who employ organists, but the Whalers now are one of them. There’s more right here.

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