Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pre-Christmas roster shuffling begins

THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Ivan Usenko (Swift Current, 2001-02) has been recalled by Dinamo Minsk (Belarus, KHL) from Neman Grodno (Belarus, Ekstraliga). This season, he has one goal in three games with Dinamo and 12 points, including four goals, in 22 games with Neman. He also is plus-16 with Neman.
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The pre-Christmas lineup shuffling has begun as WHL teams prepare to lose players to various competitions over the holidays. . . . On Wednesday, the Tri-City Americans acquired D Jeff Hubic, 19, from the Kootenay Ice for a seventh-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Hubic, a fourth-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, is in his third WHL season. He has 14 points in 153 career games. . . . This season, the Reginan had six points, one of them a goal, in 27 games with the Ice. . . . In a news release, Americans GM Bob Tory explained the deal from his perspective: “With the injuries to (Mitch) Topping and (Wil) Tomchuk, and with Michal (Plutnar) and Parker (Wotherspoon) away for tournaments before and after the winter break, we needed to address a depth issue on our blueline. Jeff is an experienced defenseman, who will add size to our group.” . . . And from another news release, here’s Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth: “With Tanner Faith coming back this weekend from his injury we would have had eight defencemen on our active roster. As a three-year player . . . we did not feel comfortable with Jeff being in and out of our line-up on a regular basis. . . this trade will give Jeff an opportunity to continue his WHL career with the Americans.”
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Andrew Schopp of the Prince Albert Daily Herald reports that Bruno Campese, the GM of the Prince Albert Raiders, has started working on how he will fill his club’s roster with players away. The Raiders may end up being without half-a-dozen players. . . . That story is right here.
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Barring the unexpected, D Griffin Reinhart of the Edmonton Oil Kings will make the Canadian national junior team’s final roster. But will the team have him on that roster when it begins play at the World Junior Championship in Sweden? Reinhart has three games of a suspension to serve, left over from the previous tournament. . . . Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo! Sports looks at that situation right here.
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If you happened to be watching the Russian side beat Team WHL 3-2 in the Subway Super Series game in Red Deer last night, you saw the WHLers score an apparent tying goal late in the game only to have referee Chris Crich wave it off. . . . An explanation wasn’t provided to TV viewers. . . . Here’s Greg Meachem, the sports editor of the Red Deer Advocate: “The WHL squad appeared to net the tying goal with 1:30 remaining but it was waved off with the ruling being that the referee intended to blow the whistle before the puck entered the net.” . . . By the way, attendance was announced at 6,057. The Enmax Centrium has 6,000 seats, with room for 1,000 standees. If you were watching the game, you can do the match and then ask: “What was with all the empty seats?”
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Boston College made it official on Wednesday, announcing that F Tanner MacMaster of Calgary has committed to play there starting in 2014-15. . . . MacMaster, from Calgary, has 20 points in 20 games with the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. Last season, he put up 48 points in 54 games with Camrose. . . . The Spokane Chiefs selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . He had given BC a verbal commitment in February.
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“I’ve spent half a career arguing with Don Cherry,” writes Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette. “I’ve hated him longer than some of you have been alive. You know how it is: I’m one of those lefty kook tree huggers he’s always snarling about and he’s one of those pigheaded, narrow-minded, right-wing bullies I’ve been battling since fourth grade.” . . . So why is Todd now writing that Cherry and, in turn, CBC-TV need to be saved? . . . The answer is right here.
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Lawyers involved said Wednesday that more than 200 players are involved in the brain injury-related lawsuit that was filed against the NHL earlier this week. . . . Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press has more right here.
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Over at SI.com, Michael McCann takes an in-depth look right here at the class-action lawsuit filed against the NHL by 10 players earlier this week. McCann is a Massachusetts attorney and the founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. . . . He explains what the lawsuit means and the ways in which the NHL may choose to defend it.
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Meanwhile, Paul Anderson, who has done a terrific job of detailing the NFL’s problem with brain injuries, also has taken a look at the NHL situation. Right here, he explains how the Derek Boogaard wrongful death lawsuit could impact the lawsuit filed this week.
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In Quebec, a CBC story informs us, “a 14-year-old boy is suing Hockey Canada and other minor leagues after he was cross-checked by an opponent, resulting in a serious concussion. In 2010, Alexis Turcotte, then 11 years old, was on the ice with his peewee team in Trois-Pistoles, Que., when he was reportedly cross-checked from behind. When he got up, he was cross-checked again, this time hard in the face.”
There is more right here.

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