Sunday, June 9, 2013

F Justin Kelly (Prince Albert, Spokane, Saskatoon, 1997-2002) signed a one-year contract with Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, 2. Bundesliga). He had 21 goals and 19 assists in 46 games to lead Troja-Ljungby (Sweden, Allsvenskan) in scoring this season.

1. What happened to Cullen Finnerty? One of the most successful quarterbacks in the history of U.S. college football, Finnerty was married with two children when he went missing on the weekend of May 26. His body was found facedown in an open field in Michigan and many unanswered questions have followed. Greg Bishop of The New York Times has more, a whole lot more, right here. . . . You should read this one, so pour some coffee and settle in.
2. F Dylan Willick, who captained the Kamloops Blazers this season, flew to Fredericton on Wednesday for a visit to the U of New Brunswick. On Saturday, Willick — or, rather, his mother, Melissa — announced via Twitter that he will attend UNB and play for the Varsity Reds, the defending CIS champions, next season. . . . Willick, who has used up his junior eligibility, played four seasons in Kamloops, putting up 157 points, 80 of them goals, in 266 games.
3. The hockey gods really haven’t taken much of a shine to fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. How else to explain that their beloved Leafs were so close to eliminating the Boston Bruins – holding a three-goal lead in the third period of Game 7 in a first-round series – who now have swept aside the Pittsburgh Penguins to reach the NHL’s Stanley Cup final?
4. And just to make matters worse for Maple Leafs fans, Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, who is likely the leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy, was Toronto’s first-round round selection, taken 21st overall, in the NHL’s 2005 draft. . . . Rask was traded to Boston for G Andrew Raycroft on June 25, 2006. . . . The Leafs, under then-GM John Ferguson Jr., chose to keep G Justin Pogge over Rask. Pogge was the 90th overall selection in the 2004 NHL draft.
5. There seem to be a lot of folks calling for massive change to the Penguins before another season gets here. I’m just wondering how many of those prognosticators picked Pittsburgh to get swept by the Bruins and to score only two goals in the process?
6. And let’s not forget that the Chicago Blackhawks trailed the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 in games in that second-round series. I’m sure someone, somewhere had Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville and his staff walking the plank had the Blackhawks lost that series.
7. There has been speculation that Matt Erhart will be joining the Vancouver Giants’ coaching staff, filling the vacancy created when Glen Hanlon left for the head-coaching position with the Belarussian national team. Erhart has been the GM and head coach of the Surrey Eagles, who won the BCHL championship this season.
8. It’s the dog days in Vancouver, it seems, where the police are getting heat for handing out tickets for panhandling and jaywalking in the Downtown Eastside. Shelley Fralic, a columnist with the Vancouver Sun, must be about to go on sabbatical or vacation, because she wrote in Saturday’s paper all about the silly season. . . . She also wonders “how, why and when . . . did animals become more important than humans?” . . . Give this right here a read and then join me in hoping that she shares her mail with us over the next few days. There already were more than 100 comments on the end of the column as of 9:48 p.m. on Saturday. More good reading!
9. Unless my eyes and ears were deceiving me, there were 53,679 people having a great time at the MLS game in Seattle last night. . . . It was a rousing game, too, as the short-staffed Sounders erased a 2-1 Vancouver lead and beat the Whitecaps, 3-2. . . . With attendance like that, you’ve got to wonder if that could translate to an NHL franchise. If there was a facility in which to play, of course.
10. The Stanley Cup final opens with games in Chicago on Wednesday and Saturday. Then it’ll be Monday (June 17) and Wednesday (June 19) in Boston, Saturday (June 22) in Chicago, Monday (June 24) in Boston and Wednesday (June 26) in Chicago. . . . All games will begin at 5 p.m PT. . . . If you’re watching on CBC, you’ll get Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson in the booth, with a studio crew of Elliotte Friedman, Glenn Healy, Ron MacLean, Scott Oake, Andi Petrillo, P.J. Stock and Grapes. . . . With NBC-TV, it’s likely to be Doc Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre McGuire, along with Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
11. This will be the second time that teams from Boston and Chicago have met for a major sporting championship. . . . The Red Sox and Cubs played in the 1918 World Series, with Boston winning, 4-2. . . . If you count the New England Patriots as being from Boston — they play out of Foxborough — they lost 46-10 to the Chicago Bears in the 1986 Super Bowl.
12. The visiting Grand Rapids Griffins opened the AHL final — they play for the Calder Cup — with a 3-1 victory over the Syracuse Crunch last night. . . . Game 2 is tonight in War Memorial Arena in Syracuse. . . . F Mitch Callahan (Kelowna, 2008-10) scored the game’s first goal for the Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. . . . Yes, someone tossed an octopus onto the ice during the game. . . . Attendance was 6,333.

From Terry Massey (@TerryMassey): “NHL was founded in 1917 the "Original Six" came to be in 1942… Only original NHL team is Montreal Canadiens.”
From Iain MacIntyre (@imacVanSun): “Wait, Ralph Krueger got fired?! Works half his life for NHL HC job and gets 48 gms. Tough business. Eakins about to find out.”

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