Wednesday, May 22, 2013

F Ty Morris (Swift Current, Vancouver, Red Deer, 2003-05) signed a one-year contract with the Landshut Cannibals (Germany 2. Bundesliga). He had one goal in two games with the Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, 2. Bundesliga) and three goals and five assists in 40 games with Munich (Germany, DEL) this season. . . .

D Juraj Valach (Tri-City, Vancouver, Regina, Red Deer, 2006-08) signed a one-year plus option contract with Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals and five assists in 46 games with Kometa Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga) this season. . . .

F Mikhail Yakubov (Red Deer, 2001-02) signed a one-year contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). He had one goal and seven assists in 52 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (Russia, KHL) this season. . . .

D Ales Cerny (Swift Current, 2000-02) signed a one-year contract with Nice (France, Division 1). He had two goals and four assists in 20 games with Mulhouse (France, Ligue Magnus) this season. . . .

F Radim Valchar (Portland, Lethbridge, 2007-10) signed a one-year contract with Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). He had 13 goals and 25 assists in 43 games with Bardejov (Slovakia, 1. Liga) this season.
A little of this and some of that . . .
1. With one game left in the round-robin at the Memorial Cup, the Saskatoon Blades still can win this thing. And would you have said that after they had been swept from the first round of the WHL playoffs? . . . Of the four teams in the tournament, the Blades have put in the most consistent effort to this point.
2. On Saturday night, this was shaping up as a Memorial Cup to remember. Now . . . who knows? We’ve had a one-goal game, two games decided by three goals and one with a seven-goal differential.
3. We do know that the Halifax Mooseheads, who hammered the London Knights 9-2 last night, are through to the semifinal, at least. . . . We also know that there will be a tiebreaker on Thursday.
4. Dave Hunchak, the head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, tackled the subject of goaltending on 92.9 The Bull’s pre-game show at the Memorial Cup on Tuesday. If you haven’t noticed, there is a dearth of quality goaltending in Canada these days. . . . “A guy you can take to world juniors and he’s got your back . . . do we have those guys in our system right now?” Hunchak asked. . . . Hunchak then pointed out that Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov is from Russia, while Portland Winterhawks starter Mac Carruth is from Minnesota. . . . “Half (the starters) aren’t even from Canada,” he said of the Memorial Cup goaltenders. “It’s a concern not just in Western Canada but right across the board.”
5. Listening to Hunchak providing so much insight and raising so many valid points on The Bull’s pre- and post-game shows has me wondering why he isn’t a regular on Sportsnet’s intermission shows.
6. Here’s hoping Hunchak doesn’t lose his voice when he returns to Kamloops and gets down to work as the Blazers’ head coach.
7. If you’re a regular at Memorial Cups, who can plan on being in Vancouver in May 2016. That’s because Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, wants the 2016 Memorial Cup for his city. Jeff Paterson has that story right here.
8. Morris Dalla Costa of the London Free Press writes right here that organizers in Saskatoon, including Blades governor Jack Brodsky, aren’t disappointed with attendance figures. Nor should they be. . . . Attendance was announced as 9,237 for last night’s game between Halifax and London. . . . Keep in mind that Credit Union Centre can seat 15,195 fans, which means there is never a demand for tickets. This is something the Blades battle all the time — there always are tickets available, so there is never a rush to purchase. . . . It will be interesting to see how many fans show up for tonight’s game between the Blades and Portland. If you’re wondering, prices at Ticketmaster in the wee hours of today ranged from $37.50 to $113.75 per ticket. I would suggest that’s too much for junior hockey, even at the bottom end, and especially when the game is being televised live.
9. Should we believe London head coach Dale Hunter when he says he wasn’t the least bit upset that his Halifax counterpart, Dominique Ducharme, had his big guns out on the PP with an 8-2 lead and two minutes left in the third period? . . . From a journalist’s perspective, I wish more WHL coaches would do that in regular-season games. It would guarantee that there would be lots about which to write.
10. A Saskatoon victory tonight sends the Blades right to the final, leaving London and Portland to play in Thursday’s tiebreaker, with the winner moving on to play Halifax in the semifinal on Friday. . . . A Portland victory tonight, means Halifax is in the final, with London and Saskatoon to meet in the tiebreaker, with the winner going against Portland in the semifinal.
The Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, practised Monday in Moore, Okla., just three hours before a tornado laid waste to much of the community. Terry Jones of the Edmonton Journal writes about that right here.

The Kamloops Blazers have signed Matt Recchi, the director of player personnel, and head scout Ken Fox to what a news release says are “multi-year” contract extensions. . . . Recchi and Fox have been in their positions since July 2008. . . . Recchi works out of Kamloops, while Fox lives in Hodfast, Sask.

OHLJason Brooks won’t be returning as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. Brooks, who had been with the IceDogs through two seasons, said he is leaving because of back problems. He had surgery in March. According to an IceDogs news release, Brooks will return to Listowel, Ont., “where he will join the family business.” . . .

BCHLThe BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers announced Tuesday that Michael Olson won’t be back as an assistant coach. Olson, the captain of the Clippers when they won the BCHL title in 2003-04, cited personal reasons in leaving the club. He spent the last three seasons on the team’s coaching staff.

From Thomas Miller (@Thomas_Miller): “Just saw a city bus with ‘go blades go’ on it. This is offensive to other teams and fans... I am taking this to human rights.”
From Darryl Wolski (@darrylwolski): “The official Chilli of the OHL and all about sponsor dollars but.... an official Chilli??? #bizarre”
From Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood): “Prince George, BC was so great tonight! Thank you for making our next-to-last show so amazing! You rock!”
From Kamloops Blazers F/D Josh Connolly (@jconnolly02): “Hey @mikefisher1212... Would you mind it if we traded lives for a day? Good god you're a lucky man. #carrie”

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