THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Benn Olson (Kamloops, Seattle, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract extension with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). He had three goals and 12 assists in 53 games with the Blaze and led the league in PIM with 392, including 19 fighting majors. That total was 126 minutes more than the runner-up. Coventry director of hockey operations Paul Thompson: “Benn is the toughest guy in the league but he is also one hell of a defenceman. Benn ticks all the boxes, he is hugely popular with the fans and the league needs characters like him. He fills opposing rinks too, not just ours. We knew Benn was tough, he has that in abundance, but we also knew he could play. He got better as the season went on and had a lot of responsibility. I think he was under-rated by a lot of people in the league — but certainly not by us. He is still young but he is smart and he has been a rock-solid acquisition for us.” . . .
F Levi Nelson (Swift Current, 2004-08) was one of seven players who were told that they wouldn’t be offered contracts for next season by Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). Nelson started the season as captain of the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL), getting 10 goals and 14 assists in 32 games before being traded on Dec. 31 to the Greenville Road Warriors. Nelson had three goals and three assists in Greenville before joining Wolfsburg on Jan. 31, where he had one goal and one assist in 11 regular-season games and two goals and three assists in 12 playoff games.
The boys are back in town in Saskatoon. Yes, the Blades, the host team for the 2013 Memorial Cup, are back and were on the ice Monday for the first time since they were swept from a first-round series by the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . F Erik Benoit (knee), who missed all of that first-round series, will be ready by the time the Memorial Cup gets here. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that Benoit is skating by himself and should be practising inside of 10 days. . . . Nugent-Bowman also reports that D Shayne Gwinner “has been sent home and is no longer a member of the” Blades. Gwinner, who had been picked up from the Prince Albert Raiders for a fifth-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft, had eight points in 19 regular-season games. . . . Nugent-Bowman’s story is right here.
D Mathew Dumba of the Red Deer Rebels has joined the Houston Aeros, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . The Wild selected Dumba with the seventh overall pick of the NHL’s 2012 draft. He had 42 points in 62 regular-season games with the Rebels this season.
The Everett Silvertips, who just completed their 10th WHL season, have signed a five-year lease with Comcast Arena that will run through the 2017-18 season. According to a news release: “The new five-year renewal comes on the heels of the club’s initial lease agreement, which spanned 10 seasons since the inception of the Silvertips and the construction of Comcast Arena at Everett in 2003.” . . . The Silvertips have made the playoffs in each of their 10 seasons in the WHL.
Three former players with the Brandon Wheat Kings, a one-time head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors and a former head coach of the Winnipeg Warriors are among the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame’s 2013 inductees. . . . Mike Ford, Bill Mikkelson and Vaughn Karpan, all of whom played for the Wheat Kings, will be among the inductees at the annual dinner on Oct. 5, as will former Moose Jaw head coach Gerry James, who was a tremendous athlete and played for the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, and Bruce Southern, a longtime scout who once coached the Winnipeg Warriors before they relocated to Moose Jaw. . . . Also going into the hall will be former players Bill Watson and the late Ed Hoekstra, along with builders Wayne Fleming and Wayne Chernecki, both of whom will be inducted posthumously. . . . Others to be inducted are referee Ian Heather, builder Don MacKenzie, St. James Canucks founder Tom Miller, on-ice official Bob Thompson, veteran coach Al Tresoor and the 2003 Île-des-Chênes North Stars, the 2003 Allan Cup champions.
The Bentley Generals opened the Allan Cup tournament with a 2-0 victory over the Rosetown Red Wings on Monday at the Red Deer Arena. . . . The second goal came off the stick of G Dan Bakala, a 25-year-old Calgary native who played three seasons at Bemidji State. . . . Here’s Greg Meachem, the sports editor of the Red Deer Advocate: “With the Bentley Generals clinging to a late 1-0 lead, Bakala steadied a puck in front of the net and lifted the rubber over oncoming traffic, all the way down the ice and into the vacated Rosetown Redwings goal to seal a 2-0 win in the Allan Cup opener for both teams.” . . . Former Kelowna Rockets G Kelly Guard was in goal for Rosetown.
THE COACHING GAME:
Leland Mack has left the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians after four years. The Canadians play in the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. . . . Mack now is the head coach of the Burnaby Winter Club’s U-16 academy team. . . .
Mark Osiecki was fired Monday as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. According to athletic director Gene Smith, the decision was made because of “a difference of opinion over the management of the program that could not be resolved.” . . . Assistant coach Steve Rohlik now is running the program until a replacement is hired. . . . Osiecki was the Buckeyes’ head coach for three seasons, going 46-50-16. . . . There already is speculation that Ohio State will hire former U of Denver head coach George Gwozdecky. . . .
Jim Montgomery, the general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, is the new head coach of the U of Denver Pioneers. . . . Montgomery is completing his third season with Dubuque and will take over the Pioneers once the USHL season is over. . . . Montgomery has a 118-45-21 regular-season record with Dubuque, where the Fighting Saints won the Clark Cup as playoff champions in 2010-11, their inaugural season.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Calgary (3)
Series opens Thursday in Edmonton; all games on Shaw TV.
Portland (1) vs. Kamloops (3)
Series opens Friday in Portland.
No games scheduled.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (16):
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (5):
From Shawn Mullin (@shawnmullin), the radio voice of the Swift Current Broncos: “Congrats to Adam Lowry on getting his deal done with the Winnipeg Jets. He’s a safe bet to play in the NHL but what is his ceiling?”
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.
SIX PACKS ON ICE, ECHL EDITION: Save Second Base
8 hours ago