Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I have known Glen Erickson for a long time. We first met in the late 1980s when I was the sports editor at the Regina Leader-Post and he was running a hotel in Saskatoon.
Years later, I ended up in Kamloops and Glen wound up in Kelowna where he has worked in the golf industry and written about junior hockey. He is a familiar face in the arenas and on the golf courses in this part of the world. And he has never forgotten Saskatchewan, where he has been known to play the odd round of golf when he visits.
I hadn’t seen Glen since the last hockey season when he was hale and hearty.
So imagine my shock on Tuesday when I discovered that Glen has been diagnosed with cancer, all of which began with a lump on his neck.
Anyway . . . he has started radiation and chemo treatments and is documenting it all on a blog titled It’s A Mental Game.
Meanwhile, in Regina, Shelley Lowes continues to take on the big C with the courage of a champion.
She, too, is documenting the battle and, yes, I am a regular visitor to her blog.
Shelley is the wife of Bob Lowes, a former WHLer player and coach who now scouts for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
Shelley’s blog is titled We can . . . with love!
And she is proving that, yes, we can. In her most-recent posting, on Tuesday morning, Shelley writes: “WAAAAAHOOO!! 11 of 12 is today! The light is getting brighter!”
You are able to find both blogs over there on the right. Please stop and visit them both and keep Shelley, Glen and their families in your thoughts.
F Mike Bayrack (Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Prince George, 1995-99) signed a one-year contract with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). He had 29 goals and 37 assists in 47 games with the Braehead Clan (Scotland, UK Elite) last season. . . .
F Ty Morris (Swift Current, Vancouver, Red Deer, 2003-05) was released by the Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, 2.Bundesliga) after his try-out contract had expired. He had one goal in two games during his try-out. Last season, Morris, who holds dual German-Canadian citizenship, had five goals and 24 assists in 31 games with the Bietigheim Steelers (Germany, 2. Bundesliga). . . .
D Michal Rozsival (Swift Current, 1996-98) signed a lockout contract with Plzen (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and 12 assists in 54 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season. Rozsival signed a one-year, $2-million contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Sept. 11.
One year after revealing a loss of $197,226 for the 2010-11 season, the community-owned Swift Current Broncos announced Tuesday night that they are showing a profit of $4,238 on the 2011-12 season.
If there any doubts in your mind about how hard organizations like the Broncos, who play in the smallest market in all of the CHL, have to work in order to survive, consider that the hockey operation lost $964,064.
According to a news release from the Broncos, “Additional revenues from drafted NHL players, the World Junior Hockey Championship and increases in Corporate Sponsorship, Corporate Suites and Fundraising provided enough monetary support.”
For 2010-11, the hockey operation’s deficit was $882,587. I can’t find the story at the moment, but I believe the hockey operation’s deficit was more than $800,000 for 2009-10, as well. This really does show just how hard the good folks of Swift Current work to keep their Broncos.
Here’s more from Tuesday night’s news release:
“Income from ticket sales and per game attendance was slightly greater than the previous year with average attendance at 2,204 (up from 2,136 the previous year). Fundraising events continued to grow this past season as revenue from these events increased from $42,865 to $77,063 this past year. Concession and souvenir sales stayed relatively the same from the previous year. The club also announced that they recorded 797 hours of community service last year (up from recent years).”
The NHL has cut a deal with the CHL under which players could be recalled from major junior teams should the NHL lockout come to an end.
These would be players who aren’t in their 20-year-old season. These players, all of whom have been drafted, could be recalled and go through training camp with their NHL teams. They then would have to stay with the NHL teams or be returned to their junior teams, as per present regulations.
Bob McKenzie of TSN reported Tuesday that WHL players on that list include D Mathew Dumba, Red Deer Rebels (Minnesota Wild); D Ryan Murray, Everett Silvertips (Columbus Blue Jackets); D David Musil, Vancouver Giants (Edmonton Oilers); D Derrick Pouliot, Portland Winterhawks (Pittsburgh Penguins); F Ty Rattie, Portland (St. Louis Blues); D Morgan Rielly, Moose Jaw Warriors (Toronto Maple Leafs); D Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oil Kings (New York Islanders); and F Matej Stransky, Saskatoon Blades (Dallas Stars).
The NHL and CHL will monitor the situation as the lockout continues. Should it run into January, you can bet there will be adjustments made.
Don’t forget that Calgary Hitmen F Victor Rask, 19, is eligible to play in the AHL because the Carolina Hurricanes drafted him out of Sweden.
The Regina Pats have traded D Brandon Underwood, 20, to the Red Deer Rebels for a fourth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Underwood began his career with the Kamloops Blazers, who traded him to Regina prior to last season. He had 13 points and 76 penalty minutes in 54 games with Regina last season. A broken foot from a blocked shot resulted in his missing a chunk of games. . . . In 205 regular-season games, the native of San Marcos, Calif., has 30 points, five of them goals, and 349 penalty minutes. . . . The move leaves Red Deer with four 20-year-olds — Underwood and forwards Turner Elson, who is under contract to the NHL’s Calgary Flames, Charles Inglis and Adam Kambeitz. . . . Regina, meanwhile, also has four on its roster — G Matt Hewitt, D Colton Jobke, F Andrew Rieder and F Lane Scheidl. Jobke, however, is going to camp with the AHL’s Houston Aeros, so his future is up in the air, while Rieder continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery. . . . The Rebels are scheduled to visit Regina on Oct. 5.
“It’s unfortunate we have to make decisions based on the kid’s age,” Regina general manager Chad Lang told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “This one was even a little more difficult in the fact that I truly believe the acquisitions of him and Jobke early in the season were huge contributing factors to our success. They really played a significant role in changing the culture of our dressing room and the dynamics of our hockey club. It’s always hard to have to part with those guys. For what (Underwood) has done for our organization it’s almost a bit of reward to find him a spot and ensure he can play out his 20-year-old year in the WHL.”
Charles Inglis (@CharlesInglis) of the Red Deer Rebels: “Tweeter feed just got littered with suspensions from the whl, I guess open ice hits arnt apart of the game anymore.”
The Regina Pats will be without head coach Pat Conacher as they play three games over the next four nights. Conacher has left the team to tend to an undisclosed family matter. Assistant coaches Malcolm Cameron and Josh Dixon will handle the coaching duties. . . . The Pats visit the Swift Current Broncos tonight, the Kootenay Ice on Friday and the Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday. . . .
Barclay Parneta
The Tri-City Americans have extended the contract of Barclay Parneta, their prospect development coach and head scout, through 2014-15. Parneta has been with the Americans since August 2010. Before that, he spent seven seasons as an NHL scout, with the St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades have assigned F Drake Bodie, 17, to an unnamed team. Brodie, from Thompson, Man., played in four exhibition games and one regular-season game before the move. He was a seventh-round selection in the 2010 bantam draft. . . . The Blades now are carrying 23 players, including seven defencemen and 14 forwards. . . .
F Jayce Hawryluk, 16, has been medically cleared and was back taking part in a full practice with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday. He suffered a concussin the Wheat Kings’ intrasquad game. . . . Brandon F Geordie Maguire isn’t expected to play tonight against the visiting Saskatoon Blades. He has the dreaded lower-body injury. . . .
Two players who lost out in the 20-year-old game have, as expected, surfaced in the junior A ranks. F Christian Magnus, who was dropped by the Swift Current Broncos, is with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires, while F Taylor Makin, released by the Vancouver Giants, has joined the AJHL’s Brooks Bandits. . . .
D Dylan Kuczek, who had two points in 33 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings last season, has joined the MJHL’s Portage Terriers. Kuczek, 18, is from Winnipeg.
With a new season about to start, the U of Alabama-Huntsville Chargers have announced a coaching change, with Kurt Kleinendorst replacing Chris Luongo. . . . The school didn’t give a reason for Luongo’s departure, other than to say that he resigned. . . . Kleinendorst spent the last two seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators. . . . Luongo was the head coach for the last two seasons, going 6-53-3. . . . UAH is the lone independent in U.S. college hockey.
Might the OHL’s Brantford Battalion be on the move, perhaps to North Bay? Dave Pollard of the Toronto Sun thinks so and his reasoning is right here.

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