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Thursday, September 20, 2012

THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Radek Duda (Regina, Lethbridge, 1998-2000) signed a one-year plus option contract with Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after his release by Genève-Servette (Switzerland, NL A) on Sunday. Genève-Servette released Duda because they wanted to keep import space available for NHL players who might become available due to the lockout. The club filled Duda's roster spot with San Jose F Logan Couture on Tuesday. Duda finished second in scoring in the Czech Extraliga last season with 24 goals and 35 assists in 52 games with Plzen. . . .
D Andrew Ference (Portland, 1994-99) signed a lockout contract with Ceske Budejovice (Czech Repuiblic, Extraliga) and is scheduled to arrive in Ceske Budejovice the first week of October. He had six goals and 18 assists in 72 games with the Boston Bruins last season. Ference played 19 regular-season games and seven playoff games for Ceske Budejovice during the last lockout in 2004-05.
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As expected, the OHL on Wednesday announced a new approach to players who are involved in more than 10 fights during a season.
Here is the new rule:
    1. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 11th to 15th time during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two-game suspension for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
    2. If a player is assessed a fighting major for the 16th time or more during the regular season, such player is assessed an automatic two-game suspension and the hockey club is fined $1,000 for each additional fighting major in addition to any other penalties assessed.
    3. If a player is deemed to be the instigator in any of the fights above the 10-game threshold, such player would be assessed an automatic four-game suspension in addition to any other penalties assessed.
    Note: If a player is instigated upon, the fighting major is not included in the player’s total number of fights.
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Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports takes a look at the situation right here.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN and TSN has his take on it all right here, and it includes some interesting reaction from the NHL’s Colin Campbell.
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A tweet from Paul Romanuk (@paul_romanuk), a former TSN hockey play-by-play man who now works and lives in London, England: “Commish Dave Branch showing, yet again, why he is one of the most enlightened leaders in the game.”
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Somewhere in what I read on Wednesday, I saw some figures attributed to OHL commissioner David Branch.
Over the last five seasons, he said, 92 per cent of OHL players have been involved in fewer than 10 fights. Last season, the OHL had 25 players with at least 11 fights.
If you are wondering, according to hockeyfights.com, the WHL had 28 players with 11 or more fights last season, with 11 more right at 10.
In 2010-11, there were 34 WHLers involved in at least 11 fights, with seven others at 10.
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The London Free Press, in an on-line poll, asked: “Do you agree with new penalties for frequent fighters in OHL?” . . . Early this morning, the poll had drawn 1,327 responses, with 51.24 per cent (680) voting YES and 48.76 per cent (647) voting NO.
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The OHL also made a couple of other changes . . .
Video Replay Rule 38.4:
    The following situations have been added to those areas subject to review by the Video Goal Judge:
    The puck is hand-passed to a teammate in the offensive zone who subsequently scores.
    The puck is high-sticked to a teammate in the offensive zone who subsequently scores.
Refusing to Play the Puck - Rule 72:
    In order to accentuate the speed and skill of the players, if in the opinion of the referee it is deemed that the game has come to a standstill due to no advancement of the puck, the whistle shall be blown with the resulting faceoff at centre ice with it understood that the teams are not permitted to make a line change.
    Note: Not advancing the puck shall include, but is not limited to a player remaining behind his net with the puck for an extended period of time or regrouping behind his net without moving the puck on more than two (2) consecutive occasions.
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Meanwhile, the WHL has adopted what perhaps should be called the Facebook Rule as it deals with staged fighting that occurs right off a faceoff. There have been times in the recent past when such fights apparently were arranged somewhere in the social media world.
Whatever. The WHL wants them out of its game.
Here is the WHL rule:
    1. Should a fight occur following a face-off, it will be considered a staged fight. Should a staged fight occur during a pre-season, regular season or playoff game, the players involved shall each receive an automatic game misconduct in addition to the major penalty. Should one player clearly initiate or instigate the fight, only that player will receive the game misconduct in addition to a minor penalty for instigating the fight.  Should the linesmen intervene and prevent the fight from starting, the players involved will each receive misconduct penalties.
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The WHL also has reminded folks of a couple of rules that were announced earlier in the summer:
    1. A delay of game penalty will be assessed any time a player places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from an opponent or to prevent an opponent from playing the puck.
    2. A delay of game penalty will be assessed to any player taking a face-off who uses his hand to direct the puck in any direction.
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The Tri-City Americans have signed D Brandon Carlo, 16, to a WHL contract. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Carlo is from Colorado Springs, Colo. He played last season for the U-16 Colorado Thunderbirds, putting up 17 points in 40 games, and will return to them for this season. Carlo was a 10th-round selection by the Americans in the 2011 bantam draft.
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The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Matt Revel, 16, who actually began this season with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs, picking up a goal in four games. The Blades listed Revel, who is from Abbotsford, B.C., in October as he was starting his season with the major midget Fraser Valley Bruins. He finished with 51 points in 40 games with the Bruins. . . . Revel is expected to play Friday against the host Prince Albert Raiders. . . . He chose not to attend the Blades’ training camp in order to maintain his NCAA eligibility, but changed his mind because of the opportunity to play in the Memorial Cup with the Blades. Saskatoon is the host team for the 2012 Memorial Cup.
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The Portland Winterhawks have settled on their goaltenders. Brendan Jensen’s name disappeared from their roster and he apparently is off to the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. That leaves Portland with sophomore Brendan Burke, 17, and veteran Cam Lanigan, 20. . . . Burke is the son of former NHL G Sean Burke, who now works with the Phoenix Coyotes. . . . Lanigan was acquired on waivers from the Kamloops Blazers. Interestingly, Lanigan was the backup in Kamloops last season and, after starter Cole Cheveldave was injured, started the last six games of a seven-game second-round playoff series with Portland. The Winterhawks won Game 7, 2-0, behind G Mac Carruth, who has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks and will report to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs. . . . Depending on how things unfold, though, Carruth, 20, could end up back in Portland.
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The Swift Current Broncos have trimmed two players from their roster. . . . The Broncos’ news release stated that F Adam Smith, 18, will be joining the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. Smith, however, tweeted that he will play for the Cowichan Valley Capitals. The Broncos got him from the Portland Winterhawks in October for F Dillon Wagner. Smith, who is from Nanaimo, had 34 penalty minutes in 20 games with the Broncos last season. . . . They also released F Adam Rossignol, 19, who came over from the Kootenay Ice for D Tanner Muth in January. A native of Surrey, B.C., he had 21 points in 71 games split between the Broncos and Ice last season.
With those moves, the Broncos appear prepared to open the season with four Saskatchewan freshmen on their roster — F Dakota Odgers, 16, of Spy Hill, F Tanner LeSann, 17, of Yorkton, F Zac Mackay, 17, of Swift Current, and F Justin Spagrud, 17, of Gull Lake.
I really liked something that Broncos GM/head coach Mark Lamb told Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos.
"They're on the team," Lamb told Mullin. "I really like the way our training camp went but that's just one stage of the season. The date when you really made the team is Jan. 10. That's when the final trade deadline is."
That is something that all WHL players need to keep in mind.
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The Regina Pats trimmed G Adam Beukeboom and D Nathan Zimbaluk from their roster on Wednesday. . . . Beukeboom, 18, played in 19 games with Regina last season, going 5-6-2, 3.08, .898. . . . The 6-foot-3 Zimbaluk played 16 games for the Pats last season before joining the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs. He will be rejoining the Mustangs. . . . Dropping Beukeboom means the Pats will open the season with Matt Hewitt, 20, and  freshman Teagan Sacher, 18, who finished the exhibition season with a 0.66 GAA and a .980 save percentage.
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Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal caught up with Jeff Chynoweth, the president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, this week.
“Regrets? Surely Jeff Chynoweth has a few, but the firing of Kris Knoblauch in the offseason isn’t one,” Daum writes right here.
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D Martin Gernat of the Edmonton Oil Kings has yet to play because of a shoulder injury. Head coach Derek Laxdal told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal that Gernat is day-to-day.
“Hopefully, that’s true,” Matheson writes, “but so far it’s been week to week.”
Gernat isn’t expected to play tonight as the WHL season opens with the Oil Kings, the defending champions, playing host to the Kootenay Ice, who won the WHL title in 2010-11.
The Oil Kings also are without F Dylan Wruck, who is recovering from shoulder surgery.
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A Wednesday afternoon tweet from James Shewaga, the sports editor of the Brandon Sun: “Brandon Wheat Kings have now sold 2,489 season-ticket packages and 3,196 total tickets for Friday night’s season opener versus Regina.”
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Head Games, a movie that details the struggles faced by some athletes who have suffered concussions, debuted Wednesday at the Boston Film Festival.  Jesse Spector of sportingnews.com writes about the documentary right here, and, yes, there is ample mention of hockey players.

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