THE MacBETH REPORT:
G Kevin Nastiuk (Medicine Hat. 2001-05) signed a one-year contract with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). He had a 2.21 GAA in 26 games with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, 2.Bundesliga) last season. . . .
D Bohdan Visnak (Saskatoon, 2006-07) signed a one-year contract extension with Montpellier (France, Division 1). He had four goals and 13 assists in 26 games last season. Montpellier opens their training camp on Aug. 12.
It doesn’t seem to be getting much play in North America, but it could be that the biggest story in hockey this summer is playing out in Finland.
If you are a regular here, you will recall that The MacBeth Report filled us in a couple of weeks ago on the goings-on involving the Finnish hockey team Jokerit and its home arena.
Here’s more . . .
“The whole Jokerit Helsinki to the KHL thing is getting uglier. It has been reported that Harry Harkimo, Jokerit owner and former majority shareholder of Hartwall Areena, went to the minority owners in Hartwall Areena and bought their shares without telling them that he was buying up all the minority interests nor what he planned to do.
“At the same time, he created a shell company and transferred the rights to the Jokerit name to it and then transferred the ownership of Hartwall Areena to it, all without any resolutions from the respective boards of directors.
“If I understand this correctly, it was this shell company that Harkimo sold to Russians Gennady Timchenko and the Rotenberg family. Legal scholars in Finland speculate that these transfers may be illegal under Finnish law.
“As if that wasn’t enough, the other 13 members of SM-Liiga are alleging that Jokerit’s actions to unilaterally leave SM-Liiga and move to the KHL are ‘a breach of the (SM-Liiga’s) shareholder agreement and did harm to the image of the league.’
“All 14 clubs are bound by this SM-Liiga shareholders’ agreement. The 13 clubs are considering kicking Jokerit out of SM-Liiga immediately and some clubs are saying anonymously that such a vote would probably carry unanimously, with one club executive saying ‘Jokerit playing in SM-Liiga this season is far from certain. To consider allowing Jokerit to continue in SM-Liiga this coming season is likely to be even more damaging to our own credibility.’
“A press release from SM-Liiga dated July 16 says that Jokerit’s transfer to the KHL requires consent of the Board of Directors. Such authorization has not been asked of SM-Liiga, and no binding agreements allowing the transfer have been made. The Liiga Board of Directors and shareholders are considering the follow-up to the situation in the near future.’
"Jokerit is scheduled to play its first exhibition game on Aug. 8. The regular season is set to open on Sept. 14, but SM-Liiga has removed its 2013-2014 regular-season schedule from its website."
It is doubtful if anyone in Canada knows more about concussions than Dr. Charles Tator, who is a neuroscientist at Toronto Western Hospital. Laura Kane of the Toronto Star writes right here that Dr. Tator “has published a new guide to treating and preventing concussions in the Canadian Medical Journal.” . . . Kane’s complete story, which deals mostly with the long-term effects of these brain injuries, is right here. . . . At the end is a list of “10 things you should know about concussions — but probably don’t.”
If you’re an NFL fan, perhaps you are a regular reader of Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback. And now he has a football-themed website. Right here is a look at how King got here from there.
The concussion noose may well be starting to tighten around the NCAA. As Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times writes right here, “This is an organization, after all, founded in 1905 to protect the safety of college athletes. Email after eye-opening email, however, reveals a bureaucratic wasteland that’s strayed far from the original mission.” . . . The emails to which he refers are part of a lawsuit that has been filed against the NCAA in federal court.
So . . . how did they miss it? As Gordon Rayner of The Telegraph writes, “The world’s media had been camped outside St. Mary’s for weeks in the hope of being first with the news of her hospital admission,” but when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at the hospital not one photographer got the picture. . . . How did that happen? . . . Rayner’s story is right here.
That mother in Romania who said she had burned seven works of art that were worth millions of dollars? She now says she didn’t do it. But where are the paintings? It seems we may never find out. . . . That story is right here.
Outfielder Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, who vehemently denied any wrongdoing not that long ago, was hit with a 65-game suspension by MLB on Monday for multiple violations of baseball’s drug program and labour contract. . . . Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports has more right here.
Ryan Braun a cockroach? Well, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports thinks he is. That piece is right here.
THE COACHING GAME:
The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed Matt O’Dette to work as an assistant coach with head coach Steve Konowalchuk and assistant Jim McTaggart. . . . O’Dette spent the past two seasons as director of hockey operations and head coach of the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors. Before that, he worked as assistant GM/assistant coach with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbirds are looking for a new goaltending coach after Dusty Imoo, 43, signed on with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. He will serve as the Jets' developmental goaltending coach. Imoo, a former WHL goaltender (New Westminster, Lethbridge, Regina, 1987-91), spent two seasons with the Thunderbirds.
The Regina Pats have completed their coaching staff with the hiring of Bill McGuigan as an assistant. He will work alongside head coach Malcolm Cameron and assistant Josh Dixon. . . . McGuigan is a veteran of the Maritime junior leagues. Last season, he was the head coach of the Summerside, P.E.I., Western Capitals, who reached the RBC Cup final. . . . He also has worked with the Canadian men’s sledge hockey team. . . . Bo Ford of the Charlottetown Guardian has more right here.
Bryan Helmer has joined the OHL’s Peterborough Petes as an assistant coach under head coach Jody Hull. . . . Helmer will work alongside assistant Andrew Verner. . . . Helmer is the AHL’s alltime leader in games played, assists and points by a defenceman. He played 24 games last season with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.
Kurt Kleinendorst is the new head coach of the AHL’s Iowa Wild today. . . . The Wild is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, which relocated the team team from Houston after last season. . . . Kleinendorst was a finalist for the Aeros’ head-coaching job in 2010, but it went to Mike Yeo. He now is the head coach in Minnesota. . . . Kleinendorst, the head coach at the U of Alabama-Huntsville last season, replaces John Torchetti, who now is head coach the KHL’s CSKA Moscow.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
From Vancouver journalist Jim Mullin (@Jim_Mullin): “I called world class badminton on Shaw today and a fist fight broke out between two players & RCMP were called in. Go figure!”
If you haven’t seen the video, you are able to watch it right here.
The scrap featured former doubles partners Maneepong Jongjit and Bodin Issara, who played in the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. Jongit is alleged to have struck Issara with a racket. Issara then chases Jonglit, catches him, and punches and kicks him. Jongrit ends up shirtless and is led away.
Issara needed two stitches to repair some damage. The WHL would list him day-to-day with an upper body injury.
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.