Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New lease in Lethbridge; look back at Schenn deal

G Thomas Heemskerk (Kootenay, Everett, Moose Jaw, 2007-11) has signed a one-year contract with Miskolci Jegesmedvék (Hungary, MOL Liga). Last season, with the Quad City Mallards (CHL), he was 2.73 and .907 in 31 games. . . .
D Richie Regehr (Kelowna, Portland, 1998-2004) has signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Munich (Germany, DEL). Last season, with MoDo Örnsköldsvik (Sweden, SEL), he had 22 points, including six goals, in 52 games. He was an alternate captain. . . .
F Alexander Delnov (Seattle, 2012-14) signed a two-year, two-way contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). Last season, with Seattle, he had 63 points, including 29 goals, in 71 games.

1. With G Dustin Tokarski having gotten the call with the Montreal Canadiens, Elliotte Friedman got to wondering: Whatever happened to Devan Dubnyk? . . . Friedman, of HNIC fame, answers that question and more in his latest 30 Thoughts. It’s all right here.

2. The Lethbridge Hurricanes have a new 15-year lease from the City of Lethbridge for the Enmax Centre. The lease, which runs through 2028-29, actually is for 17 years as it covers two seasons retroactively. Yes, negotiations actually began in April 2011. According to a news release from the City: “The new agreement includes a limited risk-reward structure that will result in fluctuating annual lease payments to the City based on 12 per cent of net ticket revenues each season. Also included is a commitment by the Hurricanes to pay the remainder of the club’s $2.5-million capital contribution to the (facility) renovations in 13 annual installments of $166,667, beginning in 2016. Two initial installments have already been paid.”

3. The AJHL held its annual meeting on the weekend in Red Deer and came up with a couple of interesting rule changes. It has the adopted the rule that prohibits a team that ices the puck from making any player substitutions. It also has decided that it won’t allow player substitutions by an offending team when “any player, excluding the goaltender, shoots or bats the puck directly out of the playing surface while in the defensive zone.” . . . After striking a committee to study whether to hold a player draft, and after hearing from that committee, the AJHL’s board of governors voted not to move forward in that area. . . . Each of the AJHL’s 16 teams will play 60 games in a regular season that will open on Sept. 5.

4. The junior B Port Moody Panthers, who play in the Pacific Junior Hockey League, made it official on Monday. They have hired the ubiquitous Brian Wiebe as their director of media and communications. According to a news release, he “volunteered with the Panthers in the same role in 2013-14, but will expand his duties in the upcoming season.” . . . Here’s more from that news release: “In addition to working with Port Moody, Wiebe is the assistant instructor and admissions co-ordinator for the Radio Arts and Entertainment Program at BCIT. He is also the play-by-play voice for SFU men's hockey, media relations director for BC Superweek, media manager for the Odlum Brown VanOpen and podcast host for the BC Intercollegiate Hockey League.” . . . As a writer, Wiebe contributes to the BCHL’s Smart Hockey magazine and has a blog, Brian’s Banter, that covers a whole lot of hockey. There’s a link to it over there on the right.

5. The Swift Current Broncos have signed D Dominic Schmiemann, who was the 12th overall selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound Schmiemann, from James River Bridge, Alta., had 15 points, three of them goals, in 33 games with the bantam Notre Dame Hounds last season.

6. The Regina Pats have signed F Luc Smith, a 6-foot-5, 202-pounder who was taken in the third round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. Smith had 11 points, including eight goals, with the midget AAA St. Albert Sports Raiders last season. Smith took part in the Pats spring prospects camp on the weekend.

7. The BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs are hoping the city will give them a break in the cost of renting ice so that they can at least get into a breakeven situation over the next couple of seasons. Eric Plummer of the Alberni Valley Times has a piece right here that includes some numbers, if you are wondering what it costs to operate a junior A franchise.

8. It was a tough day for the New York Mets, who lost a game, their hitting coach, a veteran reliever and a top pitching prospect. First, the Mets were beaten, 5-3, by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then, New York fired its hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, and released reliever Jose Valverde, who gave up four runs over the final two innings in what was a horrible collapse. As well, Noah Syndergaard, a top prospect, was diagnosed with a strained elbow. Tim Rohan of The New York Times has more right here on what was not a good day for the Mets.

9. On Jan. 9, 2011, F Brayden Schenn was with the Brandon Wheat Kings and was one of the top skaters in the WHL. The next day, the Wheat Kings dealt him to the Saskatoon Blades. . . . How did that trade work out? More than three years later, Alan Caldwell of Small Thoughts At Large has an intriguing look at it right here.

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