Thursday, September 13, 2012

D Travis Ehrhardt (Moose Jaw, Portland, 2004-09) signed a one-year contract with TPS Turku (Finland, SM-Liiga) after a successful try-out. Ehrhardt had one goal and six assists in 41 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL) last season. The TPS press release (in Finnish) with picture is right here.
Another email from a fan of the Whitney Forum:
“Noticed your comment on the Whitney Forum. The place is incredible. Team photos lining the walls from as early as the 1920s, championship banners, hockey hall of fame. Spent 5 years with the Bombers, 4 with Norm Johnston who guided the team to their last championship in 1992-93 restoring the pride to the Bursting B. The Bombers are having a 20th anniversary of that championship September 28-29 with at least 15 of the 23 players returning. There is a story on the Bomber website.”
Indeed, there is news of that reunion right here.
The writer also notes that “an interesting view on youtube is highlights of that series, game 6 in Flin Flon with over 3,000 jammed in the Forum that has a capaciy of 1800 and a jammed Melville Stadium with 10 bus loads from Flin Flon for game 7.”
Having been in Melville for that Game 7, I can attest to the craziness in the building that night. I can only guess at what Game 6 in Whitney Forum must have been like.
The Vancouver Giants will open the season with Liam Liston, 19, and Tyler Fuhr, 17, as their goaltenders. . . . On Wednesday, the Giants assigned Payton Lee, 16, to the junior B Richmond Sockeyes of the Pacific International league. Lee, a second-round selection in the 2011 bantam draft, is seen as the club’s goaltender of the future. . . . Liston was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes over the summer, while Fuhr, who is from Sherwood Park, Alta., and not related to Grant Fuhr, was perhaps the biggest success story of Vancouver’s training camp. He was a fourth-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings the 2010 bantam draft but was a free agent when he arrived in Vancouver’s camp.
The Regina Pats spent part of Wednesday helping Habitat for Humanity on a project. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post was there and discovered something of a competition between the city and rural players.
An excerpt from Harder’s story . . .
“I got to go there and work and show the city slickers what to do,” offered forward Dyson Stevenson, who has some carpentry experience working on his family farm near Shaunavon. “I got to use the table saw. I was working with (goaltender Matt Hewitt), he was doing my measurements. I think every three measurements I had to re-cut a board because he had no idea what he was doing. Then he wanted to cut. I let him do the last board. I was pretty scared. I had my glasses on and was about 10 feet away from the tablesaw when he was trying to cut it. I’m surprised he didn’t get his fingers caught in there.”
Harder’s story is right here.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that Lorne Molleken, the Blades’ GM/head coach, “is taking part in the Food Basket Challenge, where he will attempt to live off items from a food bank basket for the next week. Molleken begins his challenge this morning.”
According to Nugent-Bowman, Molleken “receives a basket from the Saskatoon Food Bank, five basic pantry items and a food allowance of $5 for the next seven days.”
That story is right here.
Nugent-Bowman also reported that the Blades have ordered all of their defencemen to wear Shot Blockers, plastic guards that fit over their skates and are designed to absorb most of the blow caused by blocked shots.
“It’s a situation where we expect our players to pay a price and part of that is blocking shots,” Molleken told Nugent-Bowman. “It’s a huge part of the game today. We’re hoping that this will prevent any type of foot injury.”
That story is right here.
D Ryan Murray was back on the ice with the Everett Silvertips on Wednesday. Murray, who was taken by Columbus with the second overall pick of the 2012 NHL draft, would be going to camp with the Blue Jackets if not for the labour problems at that level.
The Silvertips captain didn’t get shown a whole lot of respect during his first practice.
As Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald wrote: “. . . in his first practice with the team he sacrificed some blood to the hockey gods.”
It turns out that F Ty Mappin caught Murray with an elbow.
"(Mappin) caught me with a little elbow there in the corner," a laughing Murray told Patterson. "It's the way she goes, though. I guess that's my welcome back."
If you aren’t aware, Richard Doerksen, who handles discipline for the WHL, already has been busy.
And he dropped the hammer on Wednesday when he suspended Victoria Royals D Tyler Stahl for six games for a checking-to-the-head major and game misconduct from a game against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday.
The exhibition season isn’t even over and Doerksen has suspended 10 players for a total of 21 games. Of that total, 14 games have been dished out for checking-to-the-head penalties.
You are free to wonder if this is the season when Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, starts handing out 10- and 20-game sentences.
The Moose Jaw Civic Centre (aka the Crushed Can) is gone. If you click right here, it will take you to a compilation of photos that mark the demolition of the arena.
The Tri-City Americans have added another defenceman to their stable, with the acquisition of Brodie Clowes from the Victoria Royals for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Clowes will turn 17 on Oct. 30. . . . Clowes, from Calgary, was selected by Victoria in the fifth round of the 2010 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder played 46 games with the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys, earning 13 points and 56 penalty minutes. . . . Clowes suffered an undisclosed injury in Victoria’s camp and is expected to miss the season’s first month. . . . Even without Clowes, the Americans are carrying nine defencemen, with six of those having been contributors to the Tri-City cause last season.
D Derrick Pouliot of the Portland Winterhawks has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . Pouliot, a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder from Weyburn, Sask., was the eighth-overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. . . . He had 59 points in 72 games last season, his second with the Winterhawks, and then added 17 points in the playoffs.
The Red Deer Rebels kept their roster at 26 after assigning two players and adding two others. . . . F Dexter Bricker, 17, is to join the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks, while F Vukie Mpofu, 16, will play for the midget AAA Saskatoon Contacts. Both players are from Saskatoon. . . . Red Deer added F Ryley Bennefield, 18, to their roster on a tryout basis. A native of Wetaskiwin, Alta., he had been in camp with the Calgary Hitmen and scored twice in three exhibition games. A second-round pick by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2009 bantam draft, he has played three games with Lethbridge and six with the Portland Winterhawks over the last three season. . . . The Rebels also are taking a look at F Wyatt Johnson, 17, who played last season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. He had 45 points in 42 games with the Blazers. He had been in the Vancouver Giants’ camp and will get checked out in Red Deer because he has been out with a concussion.
There was some ugliness in an SM-liiga exhibition game between HIFK and Jokerit in Finland recently and a whole whack of suspensions were handed out. That included eight-game suspensions to three coaches.
There’s more right here.

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