Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Well, if that really was the debut day for the Canadian Hockey League Players’ Association, let’s just say it was rather inauspicious.
I mean, the worst movie you ever saw had a better debut.
It began with a tweet from the CHLPA:
“NEWS FLASH*** George Laraque signs on with the CHLPA as Executive Director”
Uhh, the gentleman’s name is Georges.
Later, Laraque apparently was to have appeared on a Toronto sports radio show. For some reason, he didn’t make it.
A report by The Canadian Press included this sentence: “Messages for Laraque weren’t returned.”
At the same time, David Branch, who heads up the CHL, was telling The Canadian Press that he knows nothing about the union and that he hasn’t been contacted by anyone from the CHLPA.
There was considerable CHLPA-related chatter on Twitter until later in the afternoon (Pacific time). That’s about when it got blown out of the twitterverse with the news that Avril Lavigne and Chad Kroeger were engaged.
Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. But, at least for now, the C in CHLPA doesn’t stand for credible.
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Here’s Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun:
While CHLPA spokesman Derek Clarke told the Windsor Star that the union has representatives on all 60 CHL teams, Brandon Wheat Kings goalie Corbin Boes said he has never been contacted personally and doesn’t know of any other players who have.
“That’s the first I’ve ever heard of it,” he said. “Very surprising stuff for me.”
“I read an article (Monday) about it and I saw today Georges Laraque is the executive director, but I don’t know a whole lot,” he continued. “I’d probably have to look more into it, but I guess in some ways it could be beneficial to players, but I don’t really see how it’s necessary, I guess.”
Clarke’s assertion in the Star that “99.9 per cent of the players on active rosters last year know about it” but have been asked to keep tight-lipped for now also seems dubious given the comments of former Wheat King and current Vancouver Giant goaltender Liam Liston, a WHL veteran who is apparently part of the other 0.1 per cent, tweeting, “You’d think that the CHL players might get contacted about this whole CHLPA thing . . . but that would make too much sense.”
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Scott Stinson of the National Post writes: “The CHL and its member leagues did not know anything about it. Players quoted in various stories are similarly uninformed, despite assurances from the CHLPA that an ‘overwhelming’ number of them support the initiative. And, most significantly, the people behind the organization have been cloaked in mystery.”
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Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal writes that neither Oil Kings captain Mark Pysyk nor any of his teammates seem to have heard from the CHLPA, nor do they know any more than anyone else about what’s going on.
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Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at the CHLPA and what it’s up against if it hopes to gain certification in Ontario. That piece is right here. . . . She also found a couple of OHL players who heard from people purporting to be from a potential union/association, but neither player sounds too impressed.
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Meanwhile, in other news . . .
F Brayden Cuthbert of the Moose Jaw Warriors hasn’t played since Jan. 22, 2011, when he was nailed in open ice by Red Deer Rebels D Mathew Dumba. Since then, Cuthbert has been dealing with post-concussion syndrome. Cuthbert, 18, is in Moose Jaw and is skating, but has yet to receive medical clearance to return to full-contact workouts. Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has that story right here.
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The junior B Kimberley Dynamiters, who play in the Kootenay International Junior league, have announced that they have added Kris Knoblauch to their coaching staff. He will work alongside head coach Roman Vopat and fellow assistants Jordan Freeman and Todd White. . . . Knoblauch spent the last two four seasons with the Kootenay Ice, the latter two as head coach. He lost his job when he agreed to be interviewed for the head-coaching position with his alma mater, the U of Alberta Golden Bears, while still under contract with the Ice.
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The Everett Silvertips have welcomed Lisa Rody, the wife of former WHL linesman Vaughan Rody, as their host family co-ordinator. She replaces Pat Jones, who had filled that spot since the Silvertips’ inaugural season (2003-04). She stepped down over the summer. . . . The Rodys have billeted players since 2004. Vaughan has worked the last 13 years as an NHL linesman after spending 10 seasons in the WHL. . . . As well, the Silvertips announced that Darren Parsons is returning for a second season as education co-ordinator. Parsons, originally from Prince Albert, played in the WHL with the Regina Pats and Brandon Wheat Kings (1986-89). He is a teacher at Lake Stevens Middle School.
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Hockey’s history is one of the most under-served areas of the game. Far too many leagues and teams have poor accounts of what happened back in the day.
The BCHL’s Merritt Centennials are preparing for their 40th anniversary season and are hoping to reconnect with a lot of the past.
The Centennials are looking for statistics and rosters from a number of seasons.
"The Centennials have never really had an accurate compilation of all-time statistics and we're close to getting there," Brian Wiebe, the team’s media and communications co-ordinator, said in a news release. "Out of 39 seasons, only a handful are missing."
Wiebe is hoping the team will be able “to compile all-time franchise leaders in goals, assists, points and penalty minutes for forwards and defencemen.”
As well, he said, “Because win-loss records are proving to be very hard to come by, for goaltenders we're just focusing on games-played, goals-against-average and hopefully, save percentage.”
Wiebe isn’t looking for originals to keep.
“All materials submitted will be returned if they are originals,” he said."
The team also would like to get scans of historic Cents photos that any fans may have.
The Centennials are missing full player stats and/or rosters for the following seasons:
1973-74
1976-77
1977-78
1978-79
1980-81
1981-82
1989-90
If you might be able to able, please contact Wiebe at 604-916-8448 or via email at info@merrittcentennials.com.
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The Victoria Times Colonist reports that there are a couple of players with familiar surnames in camp with the BCHL’s Victoria Frizzlies. . . . F Daniel Nachbaur, 17, is the son of Spokane Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur. Daniel spent last season with the NAHL’s Wenatchee, Wash., Wild. . . . D Logan Hawgood of Kamloops is the son of Greg, a former Blazers star and head coach. Logan, 19, played last season with the Helena Bighorns of the American West League.

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