Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stoll buys lunch; Hunt back in coaching game

D Tomáš Kudělka (Lethbridge, 2005-2007) signed 1 option contract w/ Pelicans Lahti (Finland, Liiga). (1/2)2/2) Kudělka last season w/ Vitkovice Ostrava (Czech Republic, Extraliga) 47 GP, 1+10.

1. The long weekend arrived in Kamloops on Thursday at 12:52 p.m. . . . Dorothy and I were at the intersection where the Yellowhead Highway meets Halston. There is a Husky gas station there. As we sat at a red light waiting to turn on to Halston, Dorothy said: “Look. The Husky has two gas prices.” Sure enough. One sign read: $1.32.9. The other read: $1.38.9. . . . “Oh look,” Dorothy said. “The other one is changing.” . . . Hello, Victoria Day long weekend! And, hello, gas at $1.38.9 a litre! But, hey, you knew it was coming. Right? After all, big oil has become as predictable as Christmas in December.

2. Who is Anthony Marquart? Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post answers that question right here, as he writes about the man who heads up the group that has purchased the Regina Pats.

3. If you are wondering about the men who purchased the Prince George Cougars, Ted Clarke of the Prince George Citizen will introduce you to them right here.

4. The Saskatoon Blades are in search of a general manager and head coach, and Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that the process is about to go into the interview stage. That story is right here.

5. A reader of this blog noticed that D Nolan Kneen, who signed with the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday, played 69 games with the bantam AAA North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks this season. “As a bantam. No time to practise, I guess,” the reader writes. “Fourteen- and 15-year-olds playing 69 games. Holy Hannah! So the Dub has a 72-game sked to get players ‘ready for the NHL’ and bantams are now playing nearly the same amount, I presume, to get them ready for the Dub. Pretty soon, Initiation A players will have 70-game sked to get them ready for Initiation B, etc., etc.” . . . A check of the pre-draft numbers at Small Thoughts at Large shows that Kneen played at least 84 games, what with appearances at the St. Albert tournament, the Western Canadian championship and the U16 B.C. Cup. He turned 15 on March 22.

6. On May 13. 1989, the Swift Current Broncos beat the host Saskatoon Blades 4-3 in overtime to win the Memorial Cup. The championship team’s roster included seven players who had been involved in a bus accident on Dec. 30, 1986, in which four teammates were killed. . . . F Tim Tisdale scored the OT goal in that game. Also on the ice for the GWG were were G Trevor Kruger, D Darren Kruger, D Bob Wilkie, F Kyle Reeves and F Brian Sakic. . . . Brad Brown has chatted with all six players and his report, strictly through the eyes of those who were there, is right here. . . . If you want to read more about how high the mountain was that those Broncos climbed, you may want to take a look at the book Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos.

7. A tip of the hat to F Jarret Stoll of the Los Angeles Kings. Stoll was born in Melville, Sask., but played most of his minor hockey in Yorkton where he helped the bantam AAA Terriers win the 1997 Western Canadian championship. The SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers are in Vernon, B.C., this week, playing in the RBC Cup for the national junior A championship. . . . On Wednesday, Stoll paid for the Terriers’ pregame meal.
On Thursday morning, the Terriers (@Terriers_SJHL) tweeted: “Terriers thank @jarretstoll for his kind gesture yesterday for the boys. Congrats on the win last night Stolly, getter done in Anaheim tmw.”
To which Stoll, who spent four seasons (1998-2002) with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, responded: “@Terriers_SJHL you’re welcome guys!! Good day for both of us....keep it going! #RBCcup #BecauseitstheCup”

8. By now, you will be aware of what went on with Boston Bruins F Milan Lucic in the handshake line after he and his teammates were eliminated by the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette has a piece right here in which he points out Lucic wasn’t really being Boston Strong.

9. The championship game at the 2014 Memorial Cup tournament is to be played Sunday, May 25, in London, Ont. When the schedule was announced, a starting time had yet to be determined. That isn’t the case now. The game, according to the tournament’s website, will start at noon Eastern, which is 9 a.m. Pacific.

10. Ian Douglas has been named the fulltime radio voice of the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Douglas, whose career includes time as the play-by-play man with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters and the junior B Kamloops Storm and Chase Chiefs, stepped in last season when the Silverbacks found themselves without a radio voice.

Willie Desjardins, the head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars, has been added to the roster of speakers for the 2014 Hockey Coaches Conference. Desjardins, a former GM and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, will cover offensive zone play in his presentation. . . . Texas is involved in the AHL playoffs, his Stars and the defending-champion Griffins tied 2-2 in a second-round series that continues tonight in Grand Rapids. . . . The Coaches Conference is scheduled for July 18 and 19 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. For more info, click right here or click on the ad at the top of this page.
The RBC Cup semifinals in Vernon are scheduled for Saturday. In the first game, the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers will meet the host Vipers, with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings playing the CCHL’s Carleton Place Canadians in the second game. The first game starts at 2 p.m. Pacific, with the second game at 6 p.m. Unless there is OT in the opener, of course. . . . Dauphin was 3-1 in the round-robin portion of the tournament; the other three qualifiers each was 2-2. . . . The OJHL’s Toronto Lakeshore Patriots went 1-3 and were eliminated.
D Mathew Berry-Lamontagna, 20, has committed to attending Simon Fraser University and playing for the men’s hockey team there. Berry-Lamontagna (Prince Albert, 2010-12) played this season in the BCHL, splitting it with the Coquitlam Express and Cowichan Valley Capitals. From Vancouver, he had 19 points, six of them goals, in 52 BCHL games this season. . . . He is the first member of SFU’s 2014-15 recruiting class.
The Vancouver Giants have signed F Dawson Holt of Saskatoon. He was the eighth overall selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. He had 73 points, 35 of them goals, in 26 games with the bantam AA Saskatoon Generals.
Mario Pouliot is the new head coach of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Pouliot spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. He also has QMJHL head-coaching experience with the Baie-Comeau Drakker (2010-12). . . . He replaces Ron Choules with the Titan. Choules stepped in for Danny Smith when the latter was fired in January. . . . The Titan finished 22-40-6 this season then were swept in a first-round series with the Val-d’Or Foreurs.
Curtis Hunt is the new general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons. He replaces Gord Thibodeau, who was fired when this season ended and now is on the staff of the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. Thibodeau had been with the Oil Barons for 12 seasons. . . . Hunt spent two seasons (2002-04) as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors and six as head coach of the Regina Pats (2004-08, 2009-11). . . . Hunt was an assistant coach with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators (2008-09) and also worked as the head coach of their AHL affiliate the Binghamton Senators that same season. . . . He has won two gold medals as an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior team (2007, 2008) and has been on the coaching staff with Canada’s national sledge hockey team, helping it to, among other medals. bronze at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games.

(at London, Ont., all times Eastern)
(all games televised by Sportsnet)
Friday: Val-d’Or vs. London, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Guelph vs. Edmonton, 4 p.m.
Sunday: London vs. Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Monday: Guelph vs. Val-d’Or, 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Edmonton vs. Val-d’Or, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: London vs. Guelph, 7 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 23: Semifinal, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 24: No game scheduled.
Sunday, May 25: Final, noon.

 From Jim Parker (@winstarparker): “Expect Oshawa #Generals asst. & former #OHL Windsor #Spitfires captain Paul McFarland to be named Kingston #Frontenacs head coach (Tuesday).”
From John Duncan (@DuncanOHL): “@winstarparker @vishal_hussain Rumour in Kgn is that Kgn native and former NHLer Jay McKee will be announced on Tues as new FrontHead Coach.”

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