THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Micki DuPont (Kamloops, 1996-2000) signed a one-year contract
extension with Kloten (Switzerland, NL A). DuPont signed a three-year contract extension in January, so this extension keeps him under contract to Kloten through the 2015-2016 season. In 29 games this season, DuPont has five goals and 12 assists. DuPont led all NL A defencemen in assists (35) and points (41), was named to the league all-star team, and was named Defenceman of the Year last season.
Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune has a few questions for the WHL right here.
Yes, the questions have to do with WHL vs. Portland Winterhawks.
You have to read this if for no other reason than Eggers’ exchange, as brief as it was, with Cory Flett, the WHL’s director of communications.
There’s nothing wrong with ending your week with a good chuckle and this might do it for you. It also sums up the WHL’s approach to this entire mess.
An apology to the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club for something that was posted here yesterday.
I read something on an Oregon Live blog that was posted by community blogger Samantha Meese and obviously misinterpreted it.
Samantha wrote, in part:
“I encourage other fans to join me in donating to the Portland Winterhawks Booster Club for the express purpose of financially supporting air travel for the families of our players.”
I took that to mean that the booster club was collecting money for that purpose.
Meese later tweeted that “this was my idea. I’m simply donating to the Booster Club and designating my funds to help families.”
Stuart Kemp, the booster club’s president, later offered this clarification, and also touched on the Free Mike J t-shirts the group is selling:
“First off, the shirts are not to pay for air tickets or anything else. Any profits from these will be designated for the Education Fund. We had a long time fan front the cost of the shirts to be paid back as we sold them. They are only sold at the Booster Club table which is not under the jurisdiction of the Portland Winterhawks Hockey Club or The Western Hockey League. There is no connection whatsoever. . . .
“As the Booster Club is a 501 (c)3 Registered Charity, we are authorized and do accept donations to the Booster Club. Anyone can earmark what they feel the money should go toward and we make every effort to see that this is accomplished. That said, we are also very aware of legalities and as such are checking whether if someone designates the use of the funds for flights or camps or whatever, that we can do so.
“In any case, on any disbursement, we must receive an application to access these funds and release such only based on merit and full approval of the Booster Club board and membership with the exception of the Player's Education Fund as that is mandated by the Booster Club charter.”
Obviously, the price of playing poker in the WHL this trading season is going to be awfully steep.
On Thursday, the Kamloops Blazers gave up their 2012 first-round bantam draft pick, F Jayden Halbgewachs, a 2015 first-round selection and D Tyler Bell, 18, in order to land D Joel Edmundson, a 19-year-old stay-at-home type, and a fourth-round pick in 2015.
Edmundson, 6-foot-4, 210-pounder from Brandon, has eight points in 29 games this season. He was a second-round selection by the St. Louis Blues in the 2011 NHL draft. He had been a sixth-round selection by Moose Jaw in the 2008 bantam draft.
Dave Hunchak, the Blazers’ associate coach, was the head coach in Moose Jaw when the Warriors drafted Edmundson. Hunchak also was the head coach in 2010-11, Edmundson’s first season in Moose Jaw. With the Blazers, Hunchak handles the defencemen.
In his third WHL season, Edmundson has eight goals, 43 assists and 256 penalty minutes in 156 games.
Bell, a sophomore from Regina, has two goals, 14 assists and 97 penalty minutes in 83 games. This season, he has four points and 36 penalty minutes in 29 games.
Halbgewachs, 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, was the 19th overall selection in the 2012 bantam draft. He is with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians. He has 14 points, including eight goals, in 19 games after scoring twice and being named the away star in a 4-0 victory over the host Swift Current Legionnaires last night. (G Logan Flodell, who returned to Regina this week after a brief stint backing up with the Seattle Thunderbirds, stopped 28 shots for the shutout.)
While a lot of people around the WHL have been pointing a finger at Lorne Molleken, the general manager and head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, for driving up the price of poker, it’s likely that the bar for the Moose Jaw-Kamloops deal was set by a swap between the Vancouver Giants and Edmonton Oil Kings.
In that one, the Giants dealt D David Musil, 19, to Edmonton for D Mason Geertsen, 17, and the 2013 first-round draft pick. Musil was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft.
In the Vancouver-Saskatoon deal, Molleken gave up F Travis McEvoy, 18, a third-rounder in 2013 and a first-rounder in 2014 for F Nathan Burns, 19.
The Blazers now have three 19-year-old shutdown defencemen, with Edmundson joining Tyler Hansen and Sam Grist, the latter acquired earlier in the season from the Tri-City Americans.
Some observers had thought the Blazers might make a pitch for Moose Jaw’s top defenceman, 18-year-old Morgan Rielly. However, after moving Edmundson yesterday, Moose Jaw general manager Alan Millar told a media scrum that he won’t be moving Rielly.
Former NHLer Todd Harkins, who has won two B.C. Major Midget League titles as head coach of the Vancouver-Northwest Giants, will join the Prince George Cougars as an interim assistant coach next week.
Harkins, the BCMML coach of the year for last season, will take over from assistant coach Jason Becker later this month and stay until early January. Becker will be leaving the Cougars as he is head coach of Team Pacific, the B.C.-Alberta team that will play in the U17 World Hockey Challenge in Drummondville and Victoriaville, Que.
Harkins’ is to join head coach Dean Clark behind the bench for the first time on Dec. 28 when the Cougars play in Victoria against the Royals.
Harkins’ son, Jansen, was selected second overall by the Cougars in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. Jansen made his WHL debut with the Cougars on Nov. 11 in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Giants in Vancouver. Harkins has 30 points in 17 games with the Northwest Giants this season.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is moving into 100 Mile House, B.C. The Wranglers, who are finishing this season as the Penticton Lakers, will begin play in 100 Mile House in September. A group in 100 Mile House, which is about two hours north of Kamloops, is purchasing the franchise from the Okanagan Hockey Academy. If you’re wondering about the community’s name, it’s located 100 miles up the Cariboo Wagon Trail from Lillooet. The Wranglers will play out of the 700-seat South Cariboo Recreation Centre.
In a story published today, Brad Brown of the Prairie Post, a Swift Current-based newspaper, has provided a thorough look at the life of a concussed WHL player. That player is F Shea Howorko of the Swift Current Broncos, who hasn’t played a game in a year.
This is a frightening story.
Brian Toporek of Schooled in Sports has posted a story that should be ready by anyone who has anything to do with youth sports.
Here’s how he starts it:
“A sweeping new study has found evidence that long-term brain damage can occur after playing football for just a few years . . . in high school.
Released Monday by the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, the study found such injuries to six young men who played football in high school, but stopped before college, and did not play professionally.”
This is startling – really, really startling stuff – and his full report is right here.
Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post reports that the Regina Pats dropped two players from their roster on Thursday. . . . F Ty McLean, 17, who had one assist in 24 games, has joined the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings. . . . F Henry Hardarson, 18, who was pointless in 24 games, is off to the U18 Phoenix Firebirds of the North American Prospects Hockey League. Hardarson is from Phoenix.
In Kennewick, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s last six goals to erase a 4-2 deficit and double the Tri-City Americans, 8-4. . . . Seattle F Connor Sanvido had two goals and two assists, and was plus-4, while F Brendan Rouse drew three assists and was plus-6. . . . Seattle F Seth Swenson also scored twice, and F Robert Lipsbergs had a goal and an assist, running his point streak to 10 games. He has 12 goals and four assists over that stretch. He has scored in nine of his last 10 games. . . . The Americans had won 22 straight home games with the Thunderbirds, a streak that began in February 2008. . . . It was Teddy Bear Night and F Parker Bowles score the goal for the Americans.
From Regan Bartel (@Reganrant), the radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets: “So here's the deal WHL GM's. U want to pick up 19 year-old player, despite skill set, be prepared to cough over 1st rounder. #thanksMolleken”
More from Bartel: “If WHL team wanted to acquire Ryan Murray they would have had to give up first born, key to the city and this weeks winning lottery numbers.”
Bartel may be upset because just last week he all but had Moose Jaw D Morgan Rielly ticketed for Kamloops. LOL!
And then there was this one from Prince Albert Raiders G Luke Siemens (@siems31), as he and his mates headed for Cranbrook: “well what do ya know our bus may have broke down again with a broken belt #thestreakisalive #4times”
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