Tuesday, September 10, 2013

My Head Hurts offers sanctuary

F Patrik Valcak (Lethbridge, Kelowna, 2003-04) signed a one-year contract with Vitkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after a successful tryout. Valcak led the Polish Ekstraliga in scoring and assists last season, with 15 goals and 41 assists in 38 games for Polish champions Cracovia Krakow.

The NHL has rewritten its rule on checking to the head. Elliotte Friedman explores that and a whole lot more in 30 Thoughts, which returned Monday for another season. It is right here.
BCHLThe Salmon Arm SilverBacks, who open the BCHL regular season at home to the Vernon Vipers on Friday, are looking for a broadcaster and marketing director following the sudden resignation of Chris Wahl. “This is a complete shock to the organization and we are extremely disappointed,” GM/head coach Troy Mick said in a news release. “However, we will move forward and look to fill these positions as soon as possible.” . . . Interested applicants should email Mick at gm@silverbacks.com or call him at 250-938-5459.
Judging by the tweets from Tri-City F Tyson Dallman, 20, the Americans released him Monday:
“I'll never forget any of the staff around the rink, any of the boys and especially my billets. You guys made the past two years of my life . . .
“Unforgettable and I wish all the best to the @TCAmericans for this upcoming season. Go get that Memorial Cup boys. I'll be cheering for you.”
Dallman, from Prince Albert, had 17 points in 90 regular-season games with the Americans. Injuries limited him to 38 games last season.
F Taylor Leier of the Portland Winterhawks has signed a three-year, entry-level deal with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. He was a fourth-round selection in the 2012 NHL draft. . . . Leier had 62 points, including 27 goals, in 64 games last season, his second in the WHL. He then added 16 points in 21 playoff games. Leier is from Saskatoon and is presently in Philadelphia at the Flyers’ camp.
The Saskatoon Blades have hired Ray Dudra to scout the U.S. Dudra, who has scouted for 30 years, has previous WHL experience with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Spokane Chiefs and Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Dudra lives in Edmonton but winters in Arizona. . . . According to a Blades’ news release, during the winters Dudra “will scout and track players throughout the United States.”
The Saskatoon Blades are down to two goaltenders after assigning Brandon Kegler, 16, to the midget AAA Leduc, Alta., Oil Kings. . . . Kegler was a fourth-round selection in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. . . . (His nickname has to be Bowler, doesn’t it?) . . . With Kegler gone, the Blades are left with Nathan Alalouf and Alex Moodie as their goaltenders. Alalouf, a list player from Delta, B.C., is 17. He played last season with the major midget Greater Vancouver Canadians. . . . Moodie, an 18-year-old from Winnipeg, has played 28 games with the Blades over the last two seasons, going 14-7-1, 4.10, .872.
Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail was canoeing when the Canadian Olympic hockey team coaching staff and more than 40 prospective players gathered in Calgary to, uhh, play ball hockey. . . . Today, MacGregor is wondering just what the heck was going on, and that piece is right here. Thankfully, MacGregor doesn’t try to pick the Olympic team roster or attempt to name a goaltender or decide who should be on the PP. Rather, he wonders just what was going on.
Bobby Brett, the owner of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, and former Chiefs player Pat Falloon will be among five inductees into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame at the Spokane Arena on Oct. 22. . . . The Spokane Spokesman-Review has more right here.
From the Kamloops Daily News:
The Crown has dropped one charge against former NHL enforcer Link Gaetz after his alleged victim died July 6 in a drowning accident.
Jean Guye-Vuilleme, 72, drowned in Seton Lake after walking into the water at Seton Beach.
Defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen said the Crown subsequently dropped the charge of assault against Gaetz for an incident involving Guye-Vuilleme at the Dairy Queen in Cache Creek on April 20, 2012.
But a second charge of causing a disturbance remains outstanding.
Gaetz, knicknamed Missing Link during his brief NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, reportedly screamed and yelled inside the restaurant and became involved in a consensual fight with several people following the tussle with Guye-Vuilleme.
A date has not been set for the trial. Jensen said Gaetz did not appear in Kamloops because he is in custody in Alberta facing charges on other criminal matters.
If you are a player or former playing battling post-concussion syndrome, you may want to check out My Head Hurts, a website that was unveiled on Monday.
Here is the news release that heralded its arrival:
Los Angeles, CA, September 09, 2013 --(PR.com)-- One year removed from his shocking announcement to retire from college football and forgo an NFL career, due to repeated concussions, former UCLA linebacker Patrick Larimore unveils today a new social enterprise, My Head Hurts, to empower brain trauma survivors.
This interactive community aims to promote greater innovation, advanced methods of care, and staunch support and empathy for the millions affected by brain injuries.
“The wall of silence has finally been broken,” said Larimore, who has become a vocal advocate of improving the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries, as well as preventive measures. “It’s time to discuss brain injuries more openly and recognize the thousands of untold stories out there.”
Larimore, a former UCLA team captain and starting middle linebacker, received national recognition for making one of the most historic and courageous decisions by a student-athlete. After suffering repeated concussions, including one that sidelined the former UCLA defensive MVP for over a month, Larimore retired from college football in August of 2012. He skipped his final season of eligibility as a senior, and potentially a promising career in the NFL.
“As much as I love football, I realized that my long-term health and my personal relationships were too important to risk if I continued to compete on the field,” Larimore said. “These injuries are simply not endurable if you ignore your body and mind.”
My Head Hurts was founded by Larimore in response to the outpouring of support, following his announcement.
“People were reaching out to me from all over the country,” Larimore said. “Many of them had stories of their own – brain injuries as a result of sports, military service, manual labor, or even household accidents. We want them to know that they’re not alone.”
MyHeadHurts.co, along with featuring top experts and educational resources, will focus heavily on social interaction among brain trauma survivors and their loved ones, making it easier to share stories and connect with peers and medical professionals.
“The stories are what make this issue come to life,” added Larimore. “These injuries have a profound impact on family and friends, not just the individual survivors.”
Larimore has committed to changing the culture of how brain injuries are perceived and treated – not just in sports, but throughout every professional environment.
“It’s a shared responsibility,” Larimore said. “We cannot afford to underestimate the severity of brain injuries.
“My Heads Hurts will be the first step in giving these injuries, and the individuals affected by them, the attention that they deserve.”

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