THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Alex Leavitt (Swift Current, Everett, 2003-05) signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, 2. Bundesliga). He had one goal and four assists in 13 games with Medvescak Zagreb (Croatia, Austria Erste Bank Liga) prior to his release on Tuesday. Wild Wings GM Stefan Wagner: "When he came on the market, we did not think twice. He has proven himself in this league and with this, we have another option in our attack." Leavitt led 2. Bundesliga in scoring and assists in 2010-2011, getting 32 goals and 55 assists for 87 points in 48 games for Ravensburg to win the scoring championship by 21 points. . . .
D Shaun Heshka (Everett, 2003-06) signed a two-year contract extension with Ässät Pori (Finland, SM-Liiga). Currently in his first season with Ässät, Heshka has four goals and seven assists in 21 games, which ranks him seventh amongst defencemen in league scoring. Ässät GM Mika Toivola: "We have been very pleased with Heshka's performance. He has brought versatility and puck skill to our defense corps, and experience and leadership to the dressing room."
Jesse Wallin, removed as head coach of the Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday, met with the media in the Alberta city on Thursday.
“I had a lot to digest yesterday, but breaking the news to my kids was probably the toughest part of the day,” Wallin said in a story by Greg Meacham of the Red Deer Advocate. “I had a coach myself who once told me that you have a day to feel sorry for yourself, then you have to pick it up the next day and get back right after it, and that’s where I am today.”
Wallin, a hugely popular figure in the hockey world, admitted to being stunned by all the messages he received.
“I’ve been overwhelmed to the point of almost shock,” he said. “Friends and family, people from the community, fans, people from the hockey world, from within our league, former players and parents . . I’ve just been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received. I’m just really touched and really thankful for all of the support. I’m appreciative of every text, every phone call, every e-mail, ever message that came in.
“It makes you reflect. It’s really about the relationships. At the end of the day, that’s really what’s important — those relationships that you build along the way. That’s what you cherish when it’s all said and done and I’m just very thankful for that and very appreciative.”
What kind of a guy is Wallin? He picked up the tab.
At some point today, Meachem’s entire story should be available right here.
Read it and then ask yourself if you would be capable of handling the same situation with such grace.
The Red Deer Rebels have added F Rhyse Dieno, 19, to their roster. Dieno, from Davidson, Sask., had been with the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves, for whom he had 21 points, including 12 goals, in 15 games. He also played for Team West, winning a silver medal at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, N.S., earlier this month. . . . Dieno has 12 points in 66 games with the Medicine Hat Tigers over the last two seasons.
If there was any doubt that the Vancouver Giants are having one of those seasons, it ended Thursday with the announcement that F Marek Tvrdon, 19, is done for this season because of a blood clot in a shoulder.
“Marek had a small blockage isolated to a single vein in his left shoulder,” Scott Bonner, the Giants’ executive vice-president and general manager, said in a news release. “It was completely and rapidly dissolved and he is doing very well. Marek is under the excellent care of numerous specialists and he is recovering quickly. He will not be returning this season but he is expected to have a full recovery and future career as a hockey player.”
Tvrdon, a fourth-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2011 NHL draft, has 18 points, eight of them goals, in 18 games. Last season, he had 74 points, 31 of them goals, in 60 games.
This is the second time in three seasons that a shoulder problem has cost Tvrdon a big chunk of a season. His freshman season, 2010-11, was limited to 12 games as he underwent shoulder surgery.
LW Tim Bozon of the Kamloops Blazers has chosen not to play for France in the IIHF U20 Division 1 Group A championship next month. That tournament, featuring Austria, Belarus, Denmark, France, Norway and Slovakia, is to be played in Amiens, France, Dec. 9-15.
“This was a difficult decision but I think I made the right choice for my future,” Bozon tweeted (in French) on Thursday afternoon. “I wish good luck to Team France U20.”
Former WHLer Kris Versteeg, now of the Florida Panthers, has time on his hands, what with the NHL in lockout mode. So the Lethbridge native, who played in the WHL with Lethbridge, Kamloops and Red Deer (2002-06) has chosen to help his hometown U of Lethbridge Pronghorns. He’ll make his coaching debut tonight as the Pronghorns play host to the Mount Royal Cougars. Lethbridge head coach Greg Gatto (Portland, Regina, Spokane, Brandon, 1990-92) lost an assistant coach this week when Jeff Truitt signed on as associate coach with the Red Deer Rebels.
F Travis Ewanyk of the Edmonton Oil Kings suffered a knee injury early in the second period of the WHL’s 1-0 shootout victory over the Russians in the Super Series game in Vancouver on Wednesday. Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal reports that Ewanyk will undergo an MRI upon his return to Edmonton today. Despite the fact he couldn’t play, he accompanied Team WHL to Victoria and watched last night’s 5-2 series-ending loss. . . . Ewanyk played only 11 games in the 2011-12 regular season because of shoulder surgery. But he came back in time to get into 20 playoff games as the Oil Kings won the WHL title.
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that Silvertips F Ryan Harrison has “a slight tear” in the meniscus of one knee. Head coach Mark Ferner told Patterson that Harrison could be out anywhere from one to eight weeks.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Sportstalk (@DanRussellCKNW): “Need 3 unanswered WHL goals in the third, and then need Russia to win first shootout to get my Happy Hour ‘double’ shootout! #slimodds”
Sportstalk host Dan Russell, with Russia leading 4-1 in last night’s Super Series game in Victoria.
TWEET OF THE DAY II:
From Edmonton Oil Kings D Griffin Reinhart (@GriffinReinhart): “Some guy asked me to sign his bag of almonds and I did it. He then proceeded to say ‘hey man you just signed my nuts’ well done sir”
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