THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Frantisek Mrazek (Red Deer, 1997-99) was released from his tryout with Ceske Budejovice (Czech Republic, KHL). He had 18 goals and 10 assists in 44 games with Landshut (Germany, 2. Bundesliga) last season. . . .
F Kirill Starkov (Red Deer, 2006-07) was released by Yuzhny Ural Orsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) so he could sign a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, AL-Bank Liga), the club with which he played his minor hockey. He had six goals and nine assists in 52 games with Oskarshamn (Sweden, Allsvenskan) last season. Starkov was born in Russia but moved to Esbjerg when he was three when his father Oleg signed with the club. Oleg Starkov played nine seasons with Esbjerg after 10 years in the Soviet league. Oleg represented the Soviet Union at the 1983 World Junior Championship in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), where he finished fourth in scoring with six goals and six assists in seven games, eight points behind scoring champion Vladimir Ruzicka, one point ahead of Canada’s scoring leader Dave Andreychuk, and two points ahead of a 17-year-old Mario Lemieux. . . .
F Martin Tomasek (Red Deer, 1996-97) signed a one-year contract with Feldkirch (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). He had two goals and seven assists in three games with Karvina (Czech Republic, 2. Liga) and 19 goals and 26 assists in 22 games with Neuilly-sur-Marne (France, Division 1) last season. . . .
F Martin Ruzicka (Everett, Lethbridge, 2003-05) signed a one-year contract extension with Trinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had 40 goals and 43 assists in 52 games with Trinec last season. Ruzicka led Extraliga in scoring (by 25 points), goals (by 13 goals), and assists (by four over ex-NHL player Martin Straka) last season. . . .
F Lukas Vantuch (Calgary, Lethbridge, 2005-07) signed a one-year contract with Landshut (Germany, DEL2) after a successful tryout. He had one goal and four assists in 31 games with Liberec (Czech Republic, Extraliga), one assist in five games on loan to Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), and no points in two games with Benatky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga) last season. . . .
F Jakub Klepis (Portland, 2001-02) signed a one-year contract extension with Lev Prague (Czech Republic, KHL). He had 20 goals and 18 assists in 45 games with Lev last season to lead the team in goals, assists, and scoring.
Chris Peters of The United States of Hockey writes:
“More research on head trauma is coming out with increased regularity and hopefully those that are running college and junior hockey leagues are paying extremely close attention. This is one of the biggest and most important issues in modern sport. If rules and equipment can’t make a difference, it’s the individuals that have to find a way to.
“That could mean more, stricter rules, but more than anything teams and leagues should be examining how they are going about identifying high-risk incidents, while also examining the diagnosis and treatment of concussions and head trauma in a sports setting.
“The adults in charge of the leagues making money off of these players need to do right by their young people. How to do that in the most effective manner may take years to discover, but the search has to start now, if it hasn’t already. It could be the difference between a few days on the sidelines and the end of a career. Or worse, a life forever altered.”
That entire piece is right here.
Dan Russell’s Sportstalk will debut on Vancouver radio station CISL (AM 650) on Sept. 29 at 9 p.m.
From a news release:
“Some exciting changes are planned to refresh Sportstalk, starting with the show’s new Sunday to Thursday night time slot. In addition, veteran sports mind Lee Powell will be joining the proceedings. With 35 years of local experience, Powell’s knowledge and credibility run deep when it comes to sports in Vancouver.
“Longtime producer Heath Morgan will be continuing with the Sportstalk team.”
Russell did his final show as the host of Sportstalk on CKNW 980 on Friday night. CKNW had informed him earlier in the summer that his contract wouldn’t be renewed when it expired on Aug. 31.
It almost certainly will be the end of an era in the WHL today as the board of governors gathers in Calgary today where it is expected to vote unanimously in favour of allowing Saskatoon Blades owner Jack Brodsky to sell the franchise to Edmonton-based auto dealer Mike Priestner. . . . The sale needs two-thirds of the 22 governors to vote in favour in order to pass. But it is expected to be unanimous, simply because of Brodsky’s long-standing relationship with the WHL. The franchise has been in the Brodsky family since 1976. . . . With the sale price said to be north of $9 million, you can bet there will a lot of smiles around the governors’ table today. . . . The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports that Steve Hogle, the vice-president of hockey communications with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, is expected to take over as the Blades’ president.
Matheson’s complete story is right here.
The Saskatoon Blades have received clearance to use Russian F Nikita Sherbak, who won’t turn 18 until Dec. 30. . . . The Blades received clearance from the IIHF on Tuesday morning, according to Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. . . . Sherbak’s former team, Kapitan Stupino, a Russian junior club, had refused to issue him a release. . . . Sherbak, who had been spending a lot of time riding the bike, skated with the Blades on Tuesday.
The Prince George Cougars have released G Mac Engel, 20, meaning they will open the season with Brett Zarowny, 18, and Ty Edmonds, 17, as their goaltenders. Zarowny is heading into his second season with the Cougars; Edmonds, from Winnipeg, played last season for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. . . . The Cougars also released F Jarrett Fontaine, 18. In 133 games with the Cougars over two seasons, the 5-foot-5 Fontaine, who is from Humboldt, Sask., had 27 points, including 10 goals.
The Everett Silvertips have signed F Patrick Bajkov, D Jordan Wharrie and D Lucas Skrumeda. . . . Bajkov, who turns 16 on Nov. 27, was a sixth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. The Nanaimo, B.C., native had 31 points, including 20 goals, with the major midget North Island Silvertips last season. . . . Wharrie, 16, was taken in the fifth-round of the 2012 bantam draft. From Port Moody, B.C., he had two points in 39 games with the major midget Vancouver North East Chiefs. . . . Skrumeda, a list player, is to turn 17 on Oct. 7. From St. Andrews, Man., he had 28 points in 43 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers last season.
The Portland Winterhawks, the WHL’s defending champions, have nine players heading out to NHL training camps — F Oliver Bjorkstrand, Columbus Blue Jackets; G Brendan Burke, Phoenix Coyotes; F Anton Cederholm, Vancouver Canucks; F Adam de Champlain, Vancouver; D Garrett Haar, Washington Capitals; F Taylor Leier, Philadelphia Flyers; F Brendan Leipsic, Nashville Predators; F Nic Petan, Winnipeg Jets; and D Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh Penguins.
All are draft picks, with the exception of de Champlain, who is a free-agent invitee.
The Moose Jaw Warriors are preparing to have three players depart for NHL camps — D Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs; D Travis Brown, Chicago Blackhawks; and F Tanner Eberle, Montreal Canadiens. Rielly and Brown were draft picks; Eberle is on a free-agent tryout.
The 19-year-old Rielly was selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2012 NHL draft. He joined the AHL’s Toronto Marlies when the Warriors’ last season ended, getting into 14 regular-season and eight playoff games. Based on all of that, you have to think he will be given every opportunity to stick with the Maple Leafs.
The Seattle Thunderbirds will have four roster players attending NHL camps — D Shea Theodore, Anaheim Ducks; F Alexander Delnov, Florida Panthers; F Mitch Elliot, Vancouver Canucks; and D Jared Hauf, Philadelphia Flyers. Theodore and Delnov are draft picks; Elliot and Hauf are free-agent invitees. . . . Seattle F Branden Troock, who was selected by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, continues to recover from offseason shoulder surgery and won’t attend the NHL team’s camp.
From Portland Winterhawks F Nic Petan (@petan19): “Thankful to be living on a houseboat this year. #portland #view.”
He included this photo.
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