Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1. One day after the Memorial Cup tournament ended, the Saskatoon Blades began pruning the tree of 20-year-olds by dealing D Dalton Thrower to the Vancouver Giants for a conditional second-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. The pick is conditional on Thrower, who is from Squamish, playing in the WHL next season. He doesn’t turn 20 until Dec. 20 but, under hockey’s system, 2013-14 will be his 20-year-old season. . . . Thrower was a second-round selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL’s 2012 draft, but he has yet to sign with the Habs. . . . Thrower found out that he had been traded while doing his exit interview on Friday. . . . The Blades now have 13 potential 20-year-olds on their roster. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here.

2. Alan Caldwell over at Small Thoughts At Large has some closing thoughts on the Memorial Cup and the immediate future of the Saskatoon Blades. Check it out right here.

3. It got lost a bit in the Memorial Cup hoopla, but Hockey Canada dumped its head scout, Kevin Prendergast, and its goaltender coach, Ron Tugnutt, on the weekend. . . . Isn’t it interesting how the coaches and the head scout get shown the door but upper management stays the same?

4. The Montreal Canadiens have hired Shane Churla (Medicine Hat, 1983-85) and named him their chief amateur NHLscout. Churla, 47, had been a scout with the Dallas Stars. After being a sixth-round pick of the Hartford Whalers in the NHL’s 1985 draft, Churla played 11 seasons in the NHL, splitting his career between the Whalers, Calgary Flames, Minnesota North Stars/Dallas, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. In 488 games, he had 71 points and 2,301 penalty minutes.

5. Meanwhile, St├ęphane Leroux of RDS has reported that Ryan Jankowski, an amateur scout with the Canadiens since the summer of 2010, has interviewed with Hockey Canada for the position of head scout. Jankowski is a former assistant GM and director of amateur scouting with the New York Islanders. He moved to the Habs after being dropped by the Islanders.

6. Paul Buker of The Oregonian visited with the Portland Winterhawks after they arrived back home on Monday. He’s got plenty of insight right here on the players’ mindset after losing the Memorial Cup final, along with some thoughts from GM/head coach Mike Johnston on the future of Travis Green, who has been acting GM and head coach since Nov. 28.

7. Earlier Monday, Buker tweeted this quote from Johnston: “We feel quite comfortable that we're going to be a contender for next couple years for sure.”

8. The Memorial Cup grist mill spit out some rumours, as it always seems to do. . . . Among the speculation: (a) Former Regina Pats head coach Pat Conacher may end up as the head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes; (b) Brian Pellerin is the name most-often mentioned in terms of the opening with the Prince Albert Raiders; (c) the Everett Silvertips want to chat with Travis Green, now that the Memorial Cup is over; (d) the job as lead assistant coach with the Kamloops Blazers if Curtis Hunt’s if he wants it.

 9. The KHL held its 2013 junior draft on Monday, with teams selecting only players born in 1996. Two WHLers KHLwere selected, with Calgary Hitmen F Jake Virtanen going to Medvescak with the last pick of the second round and Moose Jaw Warriors F Brayden Point being taken by Traktor Chelyabinsk late in the fifth and final round. . . . The complete draft list is right here.

From former WHL D Brandon Underwood (@BUND3RWOOD): “If ABC wants real entertainment they should try The Bachelorette with 25 junior hockey players competing for one girl #woof”

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