Friday, March 14, 2014

Cougars sold? Not yet

The sale of the Prince George Cougars hasn't yet been finalized. Which isn't to say that it couldn't happen today.
Rick Brodsky, the owner of the Cougars, is believed to be negotiating a sale with a group that includes Prince George businessman Greg Pocock, who owns Prince George Hydromechanical and a piece of Forest Power Sports, and NHLers Eric Brewer and Dan Hamhuis, both of whom are former Cougars defenceman.
A rumour circulating Thursday had a news conference in the process of being scheduled for Monday morning in Prince George to announce the sale. The Cougars will complete their season against the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night.
However, a source familiar with the situation told me last night that "a few things still need to fall into place," but that the parties are close to a deal.
How close?
Close enough that an announcement could be made as soon as today.
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Hockey fans everywhere should be big fans of Malcolm Cameron, the head coach of the Regina Pats.
Why?
Because he is one coach who understands that, while he is in the business of developing young hockey players, he also is in the entertainment business.
“We play a little bit different style than we have in the past two years,’’ Cameron told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post. Cameron was an assistant coach under Pat Conacher for two seasons, before taking over this season as head coach “There’s more puck possession. We’re a little bit more creative. It has led to more scoring. It has led to more altercations. It has led to a lot more excitement on the ice, for sure.
“We’re in the business of selling tickets and getting people to the hockey games. We’re entertainment, so hopefully we’ll continue to entertain.’’
Later, Cameron continued: “I’ve coached in Long Beach, California, Beaumont, Texas and Fort Myers, Florida. That’s a fact of life. You’re in the entertainment business.
“I think people have to be entertained. Nobody wants to come and watch a team just stand around and trap and have 18-16 in the shots (on goal). I think people want to see hits. People want to see exciting scoring opportunities. They want to see altercations on the ice. They want to see goals. I’m very mindful of that and I always have been. That’s the style that I coach.’’
Vanstone's complete story is right here.
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USHLTroy Loney, who played three seasons with the WHL's Lethbridge Broncos (1980-83), and his wife, Aafke, have bought into a hockey team.
No, not the WHL's Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Loney, who is from Bow Island, Alta., and his wife bought into the USHL's Youngstown, Ohio, Phantoms. Loney, who went on to record 197 points, including 87 goals, in 624 NHL games, will be actively involved with the team as he, according to a news release, is to "oversee the day-to-day business and hockey operations."
Loney was part of two Stanley Cup winners, in 1991 and 1992 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have had to postpone a home game scheduled for tonight due to a water-related state of emergency in the city.
The Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers were to have played in the Enmax Centre tonight. The game now will be played Sunday at 4 p.m.
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SPHLCanadian Olympic team G Shannon Szabados is expected to make her first professional start on Saturday as the Columbus Cottonmouths play host to the Knoxville Ice Bears in SPHL action. Szabados joined the Cottonmouths on Thursday. That night, they dropped a 5-0 decision to the visiting Pensacola Ice Flyers. . . . Szabados, a 27-year-old from Edmonton, became the first female to play in the WHL when she was in training camp with the Tri-City Americans in 2002.
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IF THE PLAYOFFS BEGAN TODAY:
Eastern Conference
Edmonton (1) vs. Brandon (8)
Regina (2) vs. Red Deer (7)
Calgary (3) vs. Swift Current (6)
Medicine Hat (4) vs. Kootenay (5)
(NOTE: A tie for a conference‘s final playoff spot will result in a tiebreaker game. Prince Albert is two points behind Red Deer and Brandon; each of the three teams has two games remaining.)
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Western Conference
Kelowna (1) vs. Tri-City (8)
Portland (2) vs. Vancouver (7)
Victoria (3) vs. Everett (6)
Seattle (4) vs. Spokane (5)
(NOTE: Kelowna-Tri-City and Portland-Vancouver are locked in as first-round series.)
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FRIDAY’S WHL GAMES (all times local):
Calgary at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, ppd., to be played Sunday, 4 p.m.
Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Regina, 7 p.m.
Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.
Everett at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Kelowna at Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.
Portland at Seattle, 7:35 p.m.
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THURSDAY’S GAMES:
No games scheduled.
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From former Edmonton Oil Kings/Kamloops Blazers D Marek Hrbas (@MHrbas13): “@timbozon94 keep fighting buddy! You will get through all this! We're all behind you!”
Hrbas now plays professionally in his native Czech Republic.

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