Saturday, September 8, 2012

If you aren’t aware, John Leake is the author of Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery.
The book is the story of parents searching for the truth about what happened to their son.
Duncan MacPherson was a former Saskatoon Blades’ defenceman who was embarking on what he hoped would be a coaching career in Scotland when he chose to tour Europe for a bit.
He never made it to Scotland. His body later was found on an Austrian glacier.
In between MacPherson’s departure from Canada in the summer of 1989 and the discovery of his body there were 14 years and a whole lot of intrigue and incompetence.
Leake appeared on a live Twitter chat on Friday. Here are some of his comments . . .
This is the key question – were his injuries caused by a fall and ice movement or by something else connected with a human. . . .
The parents suspected some form of culpability, though they weren't sure if it was intentional. The crime is concealment. . . .
Duncan's body had sustained sharp force trauma to three of his limbs, and the amputated limbs were found with his body. . . .
It is important to understand that NO information was offered to the parents. They had to repeatedly ask for everything they got. . . .
Hinterhoelzl maintains he assumed that Duncan forgot his clothing in the ski school office. . . .
Dr. Rabl told the parents that – according to the radiologist – the CT scan indicated no signs of violence to the body. . . .
When the parents heard this from Rabl, they decided to have the body cremated. Later they became aware of the chopped up limbs. . . .
In 1989, Canadian External Affairs withheld information from the MacPhersons indicating that Duncan had died on the ski slope. . . .
The MacPhersons asked me to investigate and write a book about this case because it is so incredibly convoluted and confusing. . . .
The Canadian government has been ineffectual at best. . . .
It is impossible to explain what happened in any form of conversation. Only a comprehensive narrative can make it understandable. . . .
It would have been very easy to determine the cause and manner of Duncan's death if the authorities had WANTED to do so. . . .
Our only hope for getting some kind of justice for the MacPherson family is through public awareness of the story. . . .
So far, the MacPherson's efforts to obtain clarity and redress have been successfully blocked by Austrian authorities. . . .
The Innsbruck public officials who participated in this cover-up should be severely punished.
If you haven’t already read Cold A Long Time, you should. If you can’t find it in a book store, check out this website.
But be forewarned . . . as you read this book, you will get angrier and angrier because as much as it is a book about a search for truth, it is a book about injustice.
There are some people out there who need to look in a mirror and then speak up about whatever it was that happened to Duncan MacPherson.
F Taggart Desmet (seven games with Calgary, 2000-01) signed a one-year contract with Meran (Italy, Serie A2). He had 10 goals and 23 assists in 43 games with Valpellice (Italy, Serie A) last season.
The Vancouver Giants had four goaltenders on their roster as they prepared to play an exhibition game against the Kamloops Blazers in Ladner, B.C., on Friday night. That list got whittled to three early in the day when Jackson Whistle, 17, was dealt to the Kelowna Rockets for a 2013 third-round bantam draft pick.
Whistle, who is from Kelowna, played the last half of the Giants’ 7-4 loss to the Blazers, giving up four goals on 16 shots.
Whistle got into 21 games with the Giants last season. He was 1-7-3 as a starter. Overall, he was 3.61, .873. In Kelowna, he will work as the backup to Jordon Cooke, 19, who takes over from the graduated Adam Brown.
Whistle was a fourth-round selection in the 2010 bantam draft. There was time when he and Payton Lee, a second-round pick in 2011, were seen as the future of the Giants’ goaltending.
That obviously won’t happen, but Lee, 16, remains in camp, along with Liam Liston, 19, and Tyler Fuhr, 17.
Liston was acquired over the summer from the Lethbridge Hurricanes, while Fuhr, from Sherwood Park, Alta., perhaps has been the biggest surprise in camp. He’s a walk-on who has been terrific. He started Wednesday’s 7-4 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops and stopped 15 of 17 shots over the first half. The Giants gave up quite a few odd-man breaks and Fuhr kept them close. Whistle played the second half, giving up four goals on 16 shots.
The Saskatoon Blades are down to three 20-year-olds after having released veteran F Chris Collins.
That move leaves the Blades with D Connor Dox, F Josh Nicholls and F Brendan Walker as the 20s.
Collins, from Calgary, was acquired from the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?) during 2010-11. With the Blades, he had 67 points, including 25 goals, in 112 games. Last season, Collins put up 26 points in 56 games with the Blades. In his career, he has 108 points in 200 regular-season games.
JUST NOTES: F Burke Gallimore (Spokane, Saskatoon, Seattle, 2006-12) has decided to attend the U of Alberta and play for the Golden Bears. Gallimore, who is from Edmonton, put up 198 points in 289 regular-season games. In four full seasons, he missed only four games. . . . The MJHL’s Dauphin Kings have traded F Neil Tarnasky, 20, to the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder for future considerations. He had seven points in 112 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (2009-11). . . . F Jesse Mychan, 20, in his first game since severing an Achilles tendon in the first round of last spring’s playoffs, scored twice but his Tri-City Americans lost 4-3 in a shootout to the Seattle Thunderbirds in a Friday game at the Americans’ annual Red Lions Hotels tournament. . . . Among Brandon’s scratches for Friday’s home game against the Regina Pats were F Dominick Favreau (back), F Jayce Hawryluk (concussion), F Jens Meilleur (back) and D Ryley Miller (ill). The Wheat Kings beat the Pat, 5-3. . . . Regina was without F Dryden Hunt, who suffered a concussion in Regina’s 3-1 victory over visiting Brandon on Thursday night.
The first paragraph of a Friday press release from the QMJHL:
“The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced that Michel Bergeron and Marc Lachapelle are the honorary co-presidents of the Ambassadors Club Golf Tournament. They will lead the honorary foursome at the Boucherville Golf Club this September 19th with Gilles Courteau, QMJHL Commissioner and Guy Darveau, President of the Ambassadors Club.”
That brought a real smile to my face. Bergeron, of course, is a veteran of hockey’s coaching wars, while Lachapelle, a legendary hockey writer, first covered the QMJHL in 1971.
The three of us came into the same orbit at the 1979 Memorial Cup that was held in Montreal and environs. Bergeron was the head coach of the QMJHL-champion Trois-Rivieres Draveurs. Lachapelle was covering the tournament for Le Journal de Montreal. I was there covering the WHL-champion Brandon Wheat Kings for the Brandon Sun.
And when I asked Bergeron a question in English, he chose to reply in French. In fact, I don’t recall him speaking English at all in post-game situations.
Thankfully, Lachapelle bailed me out by showing up at my hotel and offering his translation of the proceedings.
Which is just another reason why Lachapelle always will be remembered as one of the good ones.
Merci, mon ami!
The tweet of the day comes from F Chase Witala (@chasewitala) of the Prince George Cougars: “Picking up a locker with @alexforsberg27 hopefully we don't have any flies living in there this year”
The Vancouver Giants will have three — count ’em: one, two, three — radio play-by-play voices this season. They have signed on with Team 1040/1410 and will have their games called by Jeff Paterson, Blake Price and Alex Grebenyuk. . . . The Giants announced Friday that Paterson and Price will alternate in calling home games. It has been known for a while that Grebenyuk would do all the road games. Grebenyuk is the Giants’ new director of media relations and broadcasting. . . . Paterson called Kamloops Blazers came from 1994-99. He was the Blazers’ voice in 1994-95 when they won the Memorial Cup under head coach Don Hay, who now is the head coach of the Giants. . . . According to a Giants’ news release, “Bill Wilms will continue to serve as the primary colour commentator for both home and away broadcasts.” . . . Also according to that news release: “At this point, of the 72 regular-season Giants games, 33 will be broadcast on TEAM 1040, 37 will be broadcast on TEAM 1410, and two will be available online only (due to scheduling conflicts) at The Giants' final broadcast schedule is subject to change.” . . . Dan Elliott, who handled play-by-play and media relations for the last two seasons for the Giants, and the club parted company after last season. He now is UBC Athletics’ manager, media relations.
Congratulations to old friend Graham Tuer, who has a whole lot of friends in the hockey fraternity. He will be inducted into the Regina Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 4.
Here’s how the Regina Leader-Post summed up Tuer’s accomplishments:
“Involved in hockey for 50-plus years . . . coached and/or managed hockey teams at every level of minor and junior hockey in Saskatchewan . . . member of Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League board since 1982 . . . helped create provincial hockey's development model in 2007 . . . involved in Western Prospects development camp – served as assistant general manager/director of player personnel with WHL's Regina Pats . . . manager of Regina Pat Canadians for national championship in 1987-88 . . . scouted for numerous WHL teams and NHL Central Scouting . . . Regina Pats ‘builder recognition’ in 2008 . . . WHL Distinguished Service Award in 2009-10 - SaskSport volunteer of the year in 2008 . . . Hockey Regina bantam AA tournament named in his honour in 2007.”
At the same time, the Pat Canadians also will be inducted.
Here’s the Leader-Post on the Pat Canadians:
“Finished atop SMAAAHL regular-season standings with 26-2-0 record . . . Tim Iannone, Len Nielsen, Brett Burlock, Brent Fedyk, Troy Volhoffer and Selmar Odelein placed first to sixth in league scoring . . . coached by Bill Liskowich and Barry Trapp . . . support staff of Stew MacDonald (manager), Ron Blerot (trainer), Todd Liskowich and Trevor Dillabough (assistant trainers) – other team members: Kelly Murphy, Darren Hector, Brad Obrigewitsch, Mike Brannen, Curtis Fayant, Frank Joo, Kevin Herom, Dean Shaw, Jim Ruhland, Brian Wilkie and Kenton Rein . . . beat Notre Dame in league final . . . advanced to 12-team Air Canada Cup in Ste. Foye, Que., where 3-2 record put them into playoffs . . . defeated Toronto Don Mills 4-3 in quarterfinal, Thunder Bay 6-2 in semifinal and Ste. Foye 5-4 in final, with Nielsen scoring at 18: 21 and 19: 22 of third period in come-from-behind victory.”
F Juraj Bezuch, who played last season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, now is with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. He had been in camp with the Kitchener Rangers, but was swapped on Friday, along with a conditional 2013 sixth-round draft pick, for F Nick Czinder, 20, D Jeff Braithwaite, 20, and a 2014 seventh-round draft pick. . . . Braithwaite may not report as he has said he is going to focus on school. . . . Bezuch, from Slovakia, turns 19 on Dec. 20. He had 21 points in 67 games with Lethbridge last season but was released at season’s end. Kitchener selected him in the second round of the CHL‘s 2012 import draft. . . . Windsor immediately waived F Vlad Ionin, a Russian, who was the 15th pick in the 2012 import draft.

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