|The home of the Kootenay Ice now has a new name.|
D Travis Ehrhardt (Moose Jaw, Portland, 2004-09) signed a try-out contract with TPS Turku (Finland, SM-Liiga). He had one goal and six assists in 41 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) last season. The contract lasts until the start of the regular season (Sept. 13) and rolls into a one-year contract should Ehrhardt's try-out be a success. TPS play their first exhibition game on Friday. . . .
D Dustin Friesen (Swift Current, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract
with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, 2. Bundesliga). He had one goal and two assists in 19 games with the Chicago Wolves (AHL) and one assist in one game on loan to the Missouri Mavericks (CHL) last season. Friesen is due to arrive in Bremerhaven in the middle of next week to begin practices with the club. The Pinguins play their first exhibition game on Aug. 31 and begin their regular season on Sept. 21. . . .
F Justin Kelly (Prince Albert, Spokane, Saskatoon, 1997-2002) signed a one-year contract with Troja/Ljungby (Sweden, Allsvenskan), returning to the club after a 10-year absence. He had two assists in 14 games with Dusseldorf (Germany, DEL) during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season. The contract contains a clause in which either party can terminate the agreement at anytime prior to the end of September. Kelly is to arrive in Ljungby on Sunday and the team opens its exhibition season on Aug. 10. Sweden's Allsvenskan begins its regular season on Sept. 12. . . .
G Alexander Fomitchev (Calgary, Seattle, 1997-2000) signed a one-year contract with THK Tver (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). He had a 2.94 GAA and a .916 save percentage in nine games with Sarov (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) last season.
The Cranbrook RecPlex is no more. Under a 10-year deal, the home of the Kootenay Ice will be called Western Financial Place. . . . According to a news release, “Western Financial Group, an insurance and financial services company based in Alberta, won naming rights for the next 10 years and plans to work with the City of Cranbrook, the facility operators, and the company's regional partner, Falkins Insurance Group, to build on the longstanding tradition of providing the residents of Cranbrook and surrounding areas a first-class destination for entertainment, recreation, and community involvement.” . . . The 10-year deal that includes naming rights and other sponsorship and usage commitments, is worth $750,000, “including an advance of $500,000.” . . . The facility opened Oct. 13, 2000, and also includes a lap and wave pool, and racquet ball/squash courts.
Dan Mulhausen has had the ‘interim’ removed from his title as he has been named the Tri-City Americans’ vice-president of business operations and marketing communications. He had been in that role since the departure of Brian Sandy in December. . . . Mulhausen, 30, joined the Americans seven years ago as an account executive. For the last four seasons, he worked as the club’s director of marketing, media relations and game operations.
The Everett Silvertips have signed D Kevin Davis, the 11th overall selection in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. Davis, from Kamloops, had 46 points in 49 games with the bantam AAA Jardine’s Blazers last season.
D Paul Bonar (Moose Jaw, Everett, 2008-10) has committed to attend the U of Regina and play for the Cougars. Bonar, who is from Brandon, spent the last two seasons with the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. He played 44 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2008-09 and two with the Everett Silvertips in 2009-10.
Grant Armstrong is the Victoria Royals’ new director of player personnel. Armstrong spent the last four seasons as the Portland Winterhawks’ head scout. Armstrong, 50, is from North Vancouver. For the last two seasons, he was head coach of the junior B North Delta Devils, who played in the Pacific International league. He also was the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s director of hockey operations since 2010. . . . Armstrong’s signing doesn’t affect the status of Garry Pochipinski, who remains the Royals’ director of scouting.
The Portland Winterhawks have had two recent departures from their scouting department, what with Garry Davidson having stepped down as director of player personnel to join the Everett Silvertips as general manager and now Grant Armstrong leaving for Victoria. . . . “With the departures of Grant and Garry we now have two key scouting positions to fill, and we will begin that process immediately,” Portland GM/head coach Mike Johnston said in a news release.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes will be without D Adam Henry until at least January. According to the Hurricanes, Henry has been diagnosed with myocarditis, “a condition that’s an inflammation of the heart muscle and while there are various causes, it’s most often due to common virus infections.” . . . Henry, who will turn 18 on Nov. 24, had 21 points and 47 penalty minutes in 60 games as a freshman last season.
THE COACHING GAME:
The Victoria Royals have confirmed that assistant coaches Enio Sacilotto, Ben Cooper and Brady Robinson will be back for another season, as will Jeff Compton, the strength and conditioning coach. Robinson works with their goaltenders. . . . They will be working with new head coach Dave Lowry. . . . The Royals’ staff also will include Geoff Grimwood, the head coach of the major midget South Island Royals. He will work with the WHL team when available. . . .
Jim Mollard (Brandon, Winnipeg Warriors, 1981-83) has signed a three-year deal as the new head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. He actually signed a couple of weeks and I somehow missed this one. Mollard, 48, has been away from the game for 13 years, but he has coaching experience with the now-defunct Brandon U Bobcats and in Europe. He replaces Jomar Cruz, who resigned in May.
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