Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Some moves in Portland

G Chris Mason (Victoria/Prince George, 1993-97) signed a one-year contract with Ritten/Renon (Italy, Serie A). He had a 3.73 GAA and a .873 save percentage in 11 games with the Nashville Predators (NHL) last season. . . .

F Stefan Meyer (Medicine Hat, 2000-05) signed a one-year contract with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). He had 12 goals and 10 assists in 39 games with Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, 2. Bundesliga) last season.

The Portland Winterhawks have hired Karl Taylor as their new assistant coach and moved Matt Bardsley from director of hockey operations to assistant general manager. . . . The moves were necessitated when Travis Green, their assistant GM/assistant coach, took on the head coaching job with the AHL’s Utica Comets. . . . Taylor, a native of North Bay, Ont., spent six seasons (2005-11) as a head coach in the ECHL. In 2011-12, he was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. . . . As well, Kyle Gustafson, who has done a lot of the club’s video work, will get more responsibilities as an assistant coach and will be on the bench during games. He spent the last half of last season on the bench with Green after GM/head coach Mike Johnston was suspended by the WHL.
The 2013 Hockey Coaches Conference is 95 per cent sold out, which means there still is time for more coaches to register. . . . Included on the conference’s agenda will be on-ice presentations by Derek Popke and Yogi Svejkovsky of the Vancouver Hockey School. The title of their presentation will be The Foundations of Checking. . . . Popke is the founder of Vancouver Hockey School and is a highly respected skating coach who also has made regular appearances on Dan Russell’s SportsTalk where they have discussed minor hockey-related issues. . . . Svejkovsky, a former WHL and NHL player, is a skills coach with the Vancouver Giants and the founder and director of the B.C. Bears spring program.
“This presentation will be more relevant than ever in light of the recent Hockey Canada ban on body checking at the peewee level,” said Aaron Wilbur, managing director of The Coaches Site, in a news release. “Derek and Yogi will be able to provide invaluable information to coaches on how to prepare players for the contact side of hockey.”
The clinic runs this weekend, starting Friday and running through Sunday, at the Delta Hotel & Conference Centre in Burnaby. Register online at, or click on the banner ad at the top of this web page.
If you are so inclined, visit the junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s website right here and give a read to the regulations that will be in play this season as they pertain to fighting.
And now for something completely different. . . . If you click right here, you will go to and a list of the 10 greatest bookshops in our world. Seriously!
Olympic athletes and gay rights activists are making lots of noise about Russia’s stand against gay rights. But, as Jere Longman of The New York Times writes right here, IOC officials have had a tepid response, if that.
And right here is perhaps the most interesting story of the day. It involves ESPN analyst Jay Bilas and some NCAA hypocrisy.

From F Axel Blomqvist (@AxelBlomqvist) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes: “Pretty pumped about signing an ato contract with the winnipeg jets. Back to lethy in a couple of weeks then Winnipeg a week after that.”
From Vancouver broadcaster Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff): “Had fun doing some @WHLGiants broadcasts last season. Was told tonight, not part of their plans for coming season.”
Paterson is a former radio voice of the Kamloops Blazers.

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