THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Tyson Mulock (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Regina, 1999-2003) signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). He had eight goals and 11 assists in 51 games with Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL) this season. . . .
F Jakub Klepis (Portland, 2001-02) and F Jaroslav Svoboda (Kootenay, 1998-2000) were informed that they won’t be offered contracts for next season by Lev Prague (Czech Republic, KHL). Klepis had 20 goals and 18 assists in 45 games to lead Lev in scoring and goals, while Svoboda had two goals in 25 games with Lev and three goals in four games on loan to Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga) in an injury-plagued season. Lev’s website states that Klepis has an agreement with an unnamed NHL team for next season. . . .
F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) was informed by MoDo Örnsköldsvik (Sweden, Elitserien) that he won’t be offered a contract for next season. Svensson had three goals and three assists in 40 games with MoDo this season. . . .
Frederikshavn (Denmark, AL-Bank Liga) announced that it won’t offer a contract for next season to F Cam Paddock (Kelowna, 1999-2004). He had 17 goals and 16 assists in 40 games this season.
From Rachel Brady of The Globe and Mail:
“The GTHL, the largest amateur hockey league in the world with over 40,000 participants, will propose to its members that the age at which players start body checking be raised from 11 to 13 in all of its competitive divisions and gradually eliminated from its Single ‘A’ division over time. The proposed changes are in response to a survey of its parents, players and team and club officials on various topics, which showed that 58 percent of its participants would favour raising the age.”
Brady’s complete story is right here.
And now there are three . . . WHL teams without head coaches, that is.
The Prince Albert Raiders’ board of directors met Tuesday and decided not to renew head coach Steve Young’s contract. General manager Bruno Campese made the announcement later in the day.
At the same time, Campese, who left the bench and turned over the coaching duties to Young on Oct. 28, 2011, also is on an expiring contract. But it’s believed that the board wants to keep him and has, in fact, begun negotiations.
Young had been with the Raiders since 2008, first as an assistant coach and then as head coach.
Perry Bergson of the Prince Albert Daily Herald has more right here.
The Raiders join the Everett Silvertips and Lethbridge Hurricanes as WHL teams that are in the market for head coaches.
Rick Brodsky, the owner of the Prince George Cougars, says “We’re not going anywhere.” . . . Brodsky has told Sheri Lamb of the Prince George Citizen: “I love the Cougars. I want to succeed with the Cougars, they're my team and I want to make Prince George proud of us." . . . He also says that doesn’t have any plans to sell the team. "I've heard more times (than I can count) that I've sold the team," he said. "I've never gotten anybody asking about selling the team. Not ever. Every time I've heard that I've sold the team my first question is 'How much did I get?' . . . Nobody's coming to us with a great offer." . . . Brodsky also told Lamb that he is guilty of neglecting his franchise a bit in recent seasons, but that he now is taking a much more active role, starting with Thursday’s bantam draft. . . . Lamb’s story is right here.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have made a few moves aimed at firming up their player personnel department. Brad Robson, the club’s new GM, had been its director of player personnel. Those duties now belong to Todd Hassen, a veteran scout out of Saskatoon who has worked in the WHL for 26 years. He’s into his fifth year with Lethbridge. . . . Blake Robson now is the Hurricanes’ head scout. Robson – yes, he is Brad’s son – played five seasons in the WHL, with the Portland Winterhawks and Prince George Cougars. He has been on the Hurricanes’ scouting staff since 2008. . . . Gerry Klinkhammer, who works out of Lethbridge, is the club’s new travelling scout. He has been with the Hurricanes since 2002.
If you have any interest in the lawsuit filed by Brian Burke last week against anonymous Internet commenters, Jennifer Pagliaro of the Toronto Star has an interesting piece right here. She has spoken to one of the bloggers.
THE COACHING GAME:
Former NHLer Bob Corkum has been named head coach of the U.S. team that will play at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in August. . . . Corkum, from Salisbury, Mass., is the interim head coach at the U of Maine. He has been Maine‘s associate head coach. . . . Corkum has been an assistant coach with the 2012 U-18 team and was head coach of the 2011 U-17 team that won a Five Nations tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich. . . .
Jesse Dorrans is the new head coach of the junior B Castlegar Rebels, who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . Dorrans takes over from Steve Junker, who resigned Tuesday and is expected to pursue work away from the game. . . . Dorrans spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach with the Rebels. He also has worked as head coach of the KIJHL’s Grand Forks Border Bruins.
The WHL was the last of the three major junior leagues to have its finalists set. In the QMJHL, it’s the Baie-Comeau Drakkar against the Halifax Mooseheads, with the OHL final featuring the Barrie Colts and London Knights.
The QMJHL final opens Friday in Halifax, with Game 2 there on Saturday. The Mooseheads are 12-0 in the playoffs; the Drakkar has lost twice in 14 games. . . . These were the top two teams in the regular season, the Mooseheads going 58-6-4, while the Drakkar was 44-19-5. . . . Yes, the Mooseheads finished 27 points clear of everyone else. . . . The OHL final begins with games in London on Friday and Sunday nights. In the regular season, the Knights, coached by Dale Hunter, finished atop the Western Conference, at 50-13-5. The Colts, under Dale Hawerchuk, were second in the Eastern Conference, at 44-20-4. In these playoffs, the Knights are 12-2; the Colts are 12-3.
The WHL’s playoff situation:
Edmonton (1) vs. Calgary (3)
(Edmonton wins series, 4-3)
Portland (1) vs. Kamloops (3)
(Portland wins series, 4-1)
Portland vs. Edmonton
(All times local)
Game 1: Friday, 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
In Edmonton, F Michael St. Croix scored twice and G Laurent Brossoit stopped 26 shots as the Oil Kings beat the Calgary Hitmen, 2-0. . . . The Oil Kings will attempt to win their second straight WHL title against the same team they beat in seven games in the final a year ago. . . . It’s the first time since 1976 that the same teams have met in back-to-back finals. Back then, the New Westminster Bruins and Saskatoon Blades met in consecutive finals. The Bruins won both series in seven games — 4-3 in 1975 and 4-2 with a tie in 1976. . . . Brossoit has five shutouts in these playoffs. . . . Calgary G Chris Driedger, who had a terrific series, stopped 36 shots. . . . St. Croix was named the series MVP. . . . He opened the scoring, finishing off a 2-on-1 with F Stephane Legault, at 14:05 of the first period. St. Croix added his 10th goal of these playoffs at 4:33 of the second. . . . D Cody Corbett had two assists. . . . Edmonton F Curtis Lazar spent part of the day in a dentist’s chair after taking a puck to the mouth during the morning skate. That resulted in Edmonton head coach Derek Laxdal taking his frustrations out on a stick. “One of our kids took a puck off the chicklets and knocked ’em out,” Laxdal told Evan Daum of the Edmonton Journal, “but I had a little bit of intensity there. I wanted to get rid of that stick and get a new one anyways for the next series.” . . . Edmonton F Trevor Cheek, who was injured in Game 5 and played but one shift in Game 6, was scratched. He has 16 points in 15 playoff games. . . . That meant F Luke Bertolucci got back into the Edmonton lineup. . . . Last season, the Oil Kings won the WHL title with a 4-1 Game 7 victory over the visiting Portland Winterhawks.
CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT (21):
CHECKING-TO-THE-HEAD COUNT (7):
F Mitch Moroz, Edmonton
From Portland D Troy Rutkowski (@Trutter2): “Wouldn't want it any other way. #rematch #redemption”
From Edmonton Oil Kings G Laurent Brossoit (@LBrossoit): “Bring it on baby @TSPOON77 #rematch”
From Edmonton Oil Kings F Curtis Lazar (@CurtisLazar95): “Tough way to prepare for game 7, good ole puck to the face. I will not stop smiling though! #always fun #jibs”
From Les Lazaruk (@Bladesvoice), the radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades: “I feared ‘Snow Golf’ for the May 23rd Mem Cup tournament...but Moon Lake is opening Thursday!!”
The media has its priorities in order as the Memorial Cup approaches.
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