Thursday, March 21, 2013

DELDusseldorf (Germany, DEL) announced the signings of F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) and F Ashton Rome (Moose Jaw, Red Deer, Kamloops, 2002-06) to one-year contract extensions. Long had eight goals and nine assists in 15 games and Rome had 13 goals and 12 assists in 33 games with Dusseldorf this season. Long, who missed the first part of the season with a concussion, also serves as an assistant coach. . . .
G Dusan Salficky (Tri-City, 1990-91) signed a one-year contract extension with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had a 3.02 GAA and a .909 save percentage in 34 games with Pardubice this season.

The Prince George Cougars have written an open letter that thanks “fans, volunteers, off-ice officials, billets, local media and corporate sponsors for their continued support in 2012-2013.”
More importantly, the letter, which is posted on the Cougars’ website, would seem to indicate that the franchise isn’t going anywhere.
“Our loyal season-ticket holders stuck with our team through thick and thin and we were so grateful to see your familiar faces at the CN Centre on a nightly basis,” the letter reads. “Your knowledge, and support of the Prince George Cougars has not gone un-noticed, and we can’t wait to welcome you back in September. You are a strong part of the fabric that holds our team together.”
There are numerous references to next season, including this as part of a thank you to sponsors: “We have some exciting plans for the 2013-2014 season, and we look forward to partnering up with the Prince George business community once again.”
The letter closes with: “ . . . we look forward to greater success both on and off the ice in 2013-2014 and beyond.”
Sorry, Chilliwack, but it looks like you will have to wait.
I kept reading and hearing that the Regina Pats won the WHL’s bantam draft lottery on Wednesday.
But, really, they didn’t.
2013 Bantam DraftI mean, do you phone your neighbours and tell them that you won the lottery when, really, you got the second prize?
So the truth is that the Vancouver Giants won the draft lottery, which means they will have the first selection on May 2 in Calgary. (What, you expected the draft to be held over two days on a weekend in, say, Moose Jaw or Portland?)
The Giants will select first — hello, there, Tyler Benson — followed in order by Regina, the Prince George Cougars, Brandon Wheat Kings, Moose Jaw Warriors and Lethbridge Hurricanes. Those are the WHL’s six non-playoff teams.
The first-round order of selection following those picks is:
7. Everett Silvertips; 8. Seattle Thunderbirds; 9. Kootenay Ice; 10. Medicine Hat Tigers; 11. Victoria Royals; 12. Swift Current Broncos; 13. Prince Albert Raiders; 14. Red Deer Rebels;
15. Tri-City Americans; 16. Spokane Chiefs; 17. Saskatoon Blades; 18. Calgary Hitmen; 19. Kamloops Blazers; 20. Edmonton Oil Kings; 21. Kelowna Rockets; 22. Portland Winterhawks.
Keep in mind that the draft lottery only impacts the first round. Here’s the draft order for all subsequent rounds:
1. Vancouver; 2. Prince George; 3. Brandon; 4. Everett; 5. Seattle; 6. Regina; 7. Moose Jaw;
8. Lethbridge; 9. Kootenay; 10. Medicine Hat; 11. Victoria; 12. Swift Current; 13. Prince Albert; 14. Red Deer;
15. Tri-City; 16. Spokane; 17. Saskatoon; 18. Calgary; 19. Kamloops; 20. Edmonton; 21. Kelowna; 22. Portland.
Also keep in mind that the afore-mentioned draft order doesn’t include any selections that already have been traded.
The WHL handed out some Eastern Conference awards. If you haven’t yet seen who got what, you are able to check it out at . . . It’s the Western Conference’s turn today. Yes, Travis Green of the Portland Winterhawks should be the conference’s coach of the year. But will he?

Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Regina Pats, reports via Twitter that F Chandler Stephenson “will join the AHL's Hershey Bears on Monday next week for the remainder of their season.” . . .
The Red Deer Rebels have added F Adam Musil and G Taz Burman to their roster. Musil, the brother of Edmonton Oil Kings D David Musil, was a first-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft, while Burman was taken in the second round. . . .
The Kamloops Blazers have added F Mitch Lipon, 16, to their roster for the remainder of the season. Lipon, a list player, is the brother of Kamloops F JC Lipon. Mitch played this season with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians, picking up 51 points in 44 games. . . .
F Colin Jacobs of the Prince George Cougars has joined the Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft, taken by the Sabres while he was with the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . .
Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that the Everett Silvertips are likely to be without veteran F Ryan Harrison for the start of the playoffs. Harrison hasn’t played or practised since March 8, thanks to an undisclosed injury. . . . Everett F Logan Aasman (undisclosed) also is likely to miss at least the first two games. . . .
Not that there really was any doubt, but the Portland Winterhawks are expecting to have Mac Carruth in goal when they open against visiting Everett on Friday night. Carruth left a March 12 game with an undisclosed injury but it was never believed to be serious. . . . However, as Nick Patterson points out, Brendan Burke, Portland’s other goaltender, is 7-0-0 against the Silvertips this season. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are likely to be without  F Erik Benoit (undisclosed) when they open tonight against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. He left a game on Friday and hasn’t practised. . . .

2013 Playoffs

The playoffs start tonight with the Medicine Hat Tigers in Saskatoon to play the Blades, and the Swift Current Broncos in Calgary to meet the Hitmen. . . . The other six series all open on Friday.

The WHL’s first-round playoff matchups:
Edmonton (1) vs. Kootenay (8)
Saskatoon (2) vs. Medicine Hat (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Red Deer (4) vs Prince Albert (5)

Portland (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kelowna (2) vs. Seattle (7)
Kamloops (3) vs. Victoria (6)
Spokane (4) vs. Tri-City (5)

From BCHL watcher Brian Wiebe (@Brian_Wiebe): “Head Coach/GM Jon Calvano no longer listed on @BCHLExpress website, only assistants listed. No idea what's up with Calvano.”

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