THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Steve Regier (Medicine Hat, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with the Nuremburg Ice Tigers (Germany, DEL). He had 11 goals and 20 assists in 50 games with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) this season. . . .
Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga) announced it won’t offer a contract for next season to F Lukas Vantuch (Calgary, Lethbridge, 2005-07). Vantuch had one goal and four assists in 31 games with Liberec, one assist during a five-game loan to Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), and was pointless in two games on loan to Benatky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). . . .
F Jaroslav Svoboda (Kootenay, 1998-2000) signed a one-year plus option contract with Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals in 25 games with Lev Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) and three
goals in four games on loan to Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) this season.
As expected, D Tyler Hansen won’t return to the Kamloops Blazers for his 20-year-old season.
A native of Magrath, Alta., Hansen, who turned 20 on March 17, is forsaking the final season of his junior hockey career in order to go on a mission for his church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Hansen posted on his Facebook page yesterday that he has been “called to the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission! Speaking Spanish and report July 31st. So excited for this opportunity to serve the Lord.”
“My church is very important to me. My faith and my religion . . . it’s something that I have very close to my heart,” Hansen told me late in February.
At that time, he admitted that the decision was weighing on him.
“It’s hard,” Hansen said. “There’s been a lot of nights when I’ve been on the phone with my parents or Skype, or thinking myself.
“I’m just trying to make the best decision for myself. Obviously, I’m trying to take the team into consideration and what’s best for the team, but ultimately I have to look at myself and what’s best for me and my life.”
Hansen just completed his fourth season with the Blazers. In 254 regular-season games, he had 64 points, including seven goals.
This isn’t the first time the Blazers have lost a player to a mission. F Nathan Grochmal, who is from Yorba Linda, Calif., spent two seasons (2003-05) with the Blazers, then left on an LDS mission to South Africa after his 19-year-old season.
THE COACHING GAME:
Mike Mueller is the new general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. . . . Mueller, who signed a three-year contract, has been on the Thunder’s coaching staff since 2009. . . . He replaces Fran Gow, who resigned in order to move to Edmonton where his wife is pursuing a business opportunity. . . .
Chris Hartsburg has signed on as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Erie Otters. Hartsburg had been with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, until he and head coach Mark Ferner were fired on Jan. 8. . . . Hartsburg will work alongside Erie head coach Kris Knoblauch, the former Kootenay Ice head coach.
The WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup opens tonight in Portland.
The fun begins with WHL commissioner Ron Robison meeting with the Portland media at 6 p.m. It is Robison’s first chat with the Portland media since the Winterhawks were severely disciplined for what the WHL called “player benefit violations” on Nov. 28.
After that, there will be a game.
Paul Buker of The Oregonian takes an advance look at the series right here.
Buker also filed a notebook and it’s right here.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Portland vs. Edmonton
(All times local)
Game 1: Today, at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
Game 3: Tuesday, May 7, at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Wednesday, May 8, at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Game 5: Friday, May 10, at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
x-Game 6: Sunday, May 12, at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
x-Game 7: Monday, May 13, at Portland (Rose Garden), 7 p.m.
x – if necessary.
All games will televised by Shaw in Canada. They also will be televised in Portland, with Games 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on Comcast SportsNet, and Games 2 and 7 on Root Sports. Comcast and Roots will pick up the Shaw telecast that will feature play-by-play man Dan Russell, along with Bill Wilms, Peter Loubardias and Andy Neal.
No Game Scheduled.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (21):
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (7):
From Portland D Josh Hanson (@HansoloCup4): “Hey does anyone know who we got with our first round pick...? #OhWait”
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