Tuesday, August 14, 2012

F Andrej Podkonicky (Portland, 1996-98) signed a one-year contract with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had three goals and three assists in 16 games with Kometa Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga) and six goals and nine assists in 31 games with Mlada Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga) last season. . . .
F Gilbert Brule (Vancouver, 2002-06) signed a one-year contract with ZSC Zurich (Switzerland, NL A). He had eight goals and 10 assists in 27 games with the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL) and five goals and nine assists in 33 games with the Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) last season. . . .
F Tyler Redenbach (Prince George, Swift Current, Lethbridge, 2001-05) signed a one-year contract extension with HIFK Helsinki (Finland, SM-Liiga). He had six goals and 15 assists in 23 games with Olten (Switzerland, NL B) and six goals and 13 assists in 26 games for HIFK after joining the club in January. . . . Redenbach is a former WHL scoring champion, having won the title in 2003-04 when he put up 105 points for the Swift Current Broncos.
D Zach Habscheid won’t be back with the WHL’s Victoria Royals. Instead, Habscheid, 20, will play for the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede. The son of veteran coach Marc Habscheid, Zach played three seasons under his father, two with the Chilliwack Bruins and last season with the Royals. In 139 regular-season games, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Habscheid had 13 points, two of them goals, and 195 penalty minutes. Injuries, including concussions, limited him to 45 games in 2010-11 and 41 games last season.
Terry Ruskowski (Swift Current, 1971-74) is the new general manager and head coach of the Central league’s Quad City Mallards. He replaces David Bell, who resigned from both positions after one season with the Mallards. . . . Ruskowski, 57, has been a pro coach for 17 seasons, nine of those in the CHL. He spent eight seasons with the Laredo Bucks and last season with the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees. He also almost two full seasons (1989-91) as head coach of the Saskatoon Blades. He lost his job late in the 1990-91 season with the Blades at 22-30-2. . . . Saskatoon GM Daryl Lubiniecki hired Bob Hoffmeyer to replace Ruskowski. Hoffmeyer finished the season but didn’t return to the Blades, ultimately signing on as head coach of the IHL’s Kalamazoo Wings. . . . Lubiniecki then signed Lorne Molleken as head coach.
David Branch, the commissioner of the OHL, won’t name names when it comes to the Windsor Spitfires and the recruiting violations that cost them a $400,000 fine and five draft picks. (The Spitfires, it must be noted, are appealing.) . . . “For good or bad,” writes columnist Bob Duff of the Windsor Star, this could prove to be Branch’s defining moment in a long and storied career as the man in charge of the OHL.” . . . Duff also calls for Branch to reveal the names of the players who were involved in this situation. Not doing so, says Duff, tars too many players with the same brush. . . . That piece is right here.
Bob Duff, the afore-mentioned Windsor Star columnist, has another piece right here that includes reaction on the Spitfires situation from some U.S. hockey people.
Here’s some of what Duff writes, this in reference to a lawsuit that was filed by the OHL's Kitchener Rangers following a story that appeared in the Michigan Daily:
Herschel Fink, the Detroit-based lawyer who represents the paper, has implied that he might put the entire Canadian Hockey League and its recruiting practices on trial, a can of worms that no junior hockey operator wants to see opened.
"Sometimes things come out and there are unintended consequences that you wish you hadn't started," Fink said in an interview with Toronto's Sportsnet 590 The Fan. "I don't know if that's going to be the case here.
"If it did go all the way and if it moved into the U.S. courts . . . there's a potential to dig into this whole question of compensation of players and whether it takes place and how the league deals with this issue."
That's a scary proposition for those in the hockey development business and may very well be why everyone is afraid to cast the first stone against the Spitfires.

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