Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Time for celebration in Edmonton

F Greg Scott (Seattle, 2005-09) has signed a two-year extension with Brynäs Gävle (Sweden, SHL). He had 36 points, including 17 goals, with Brynäs last season. . . .

F Andrew Clark (Brandon, 2005-09) has signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, he had 35 points, 14 of them goals, in 31 games with the Stockton Thunder (ECHL). He also played 35 games on loan to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL), where he had 19 points, including seven goals, in 35 games. . . . Esbjerg’s head coach is Mark Pederson (Medicine Hat, 1983-88). . . .

D Michal Gulasi (Lethbridge, 2003-05) has signed a contract (one year plus option) with Sodertalje (Sweden, Allsvenskan). Last season, with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 15 points, two of them goals, in 52 games. An alternate captain, he led the league in hits and blocked shots. . . .

Glen Hanlon (Brandon, 1974-77; assistant coach, Vancouver, 2011-13) was named head coach of Switzerland’s national team. Hanlon, who signed a two-year contract, also will be the general manager of Switzerland’s national junior team. Hanlon had been working as head coach of the Belarusian national team program. . . .

F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) has signed a one-year extension with the Manchester Phoenix (England, Premier). Last season, he had 78 points, including 36 goals, in 52 games. He was sixth in the league’s scoring race and was named to the second all-star team, while the Phoenix won the league championship. . . .

Czech-ELHF Stanislav Balán (Portland, 2005-06) has signed a one-year extension with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had 31 points, including a team-high 19 assists, in 41 games.

1. If you are in the Edmonton area today (Wednesday), you will want to be at Sir Winston Churchill Square by 11:45 a.m., because folks will be celebrating the Oil Kings’ Memorial Cup championship. . . . According to a team news release: The fun begins “at 11:45 a.m. with a procession of our champions, southward on 99 Street from 103A Avenue to 102 Avenue. The celebration will then proceed to the stage, located on the south side of Churchill Square. Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Alberta Premier Dave Hancock will be on hand to celebrate the Oil Kings 2014 Memorial Cup championship. Following the formal celebration, Oil Kings players will be hosting an autograph session, thanking their dedicated fans who helped them reach junior hockey's ultimate prize.”

2. Right-hander Dustin Molleken, who was selected by the Regina Pats in the eighth round of the 1999 WHL bantam draft, is working out of the bullpen of the Nashville Sounds, the Pacific Coast League affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. . . . Going into today’s play, Molleken, the son of Saskatoon Blades head scout Doug Molleken, had thrown 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings over his last six outings. He had struck out 13 in that stretch. . . . This season, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Molleken, who turns 30 on Aug. 21, is 1-2 with one save and a 3.77 ERA.

3. The NHL has yet to commit to having its players perform in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games that are to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea. But what of even beyond then? . . . There is an interesting piece right here that points out how it seems to be getting more and more difficult to find cities interested in bidding for the Games.

KHL4. “The crisis in Ukraine has now entered the hockey world,” writes Travis Hughes at “Druzhba Arena, the home rink of HC Donbass of the KHL, was severely damaged Monday evening and early Tuesday by pro-Russian militants, who burned and robbed the hockey arena that's stood since 1976. The attack was perpetrated by members of a group that supports the creation of a sovereign ‘Donetsk People's Republic.’ The group is pro-Russian and anti-Ukrainian, and HC Donbass called them ‘terrorists’ in a statement after the burning of their arena.” . . . Former NHLer Andrey Nazarov is HC Donbass’ head coach. . . . The arena also is scheduled to play host to the IIHF’s Division 1A World Championship in April. . . . Hughes’s complete report is right here.
BCHLDavid Robinson has resigned from his position as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers. Robinson (Chilliwack, 2007-10) was on the Vipers’ staff for two seasons. According to a team news release, he “has decided to pursue other options at this time.”
ECHLScott Hillman has signed a multi-year contract as the head coach of the Indy Fuel, the newest team in the ECHL. Hillman, 40, is coming off five seasons as head coach of the Central league’s Missouri Mavericks. Missouri had the CHL’s best regular-season record in 2013-14, leaving Hillman with a .607 winning percentage during his stint there.
QMJHLThe QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres have signed Bruce Richardson as their new head coach. For the last two seasons, Richardson has been the head coach of the midget AAA Châteauguay Grenadiers. They reached the final of the TELUS Cup national championship tournament earlier this month. . . . With the Tigres, Richardson replaces Yanick Jean, who was fired after a first-round playoff loss to the Drummondville Voltigeurs. Jean had been the Tigres head coach since February 2008.

From Stephen Harper (@pmharper): “Congratulations to the @EdmOilKings for their #MemorialCup victory. What a great end to a very exciting season!”
From Dan Shulman (@DShulman_ESPN), who was watching the New York Rangers and host Montreal Canadiens last night: “I'm no hockey expert, but these hits to the head are terrifying.”
From Terry Koshan (@koshtorontosun): “Why players push opposing players on to their own goalie is one of hockey's great mysteries, never to be solved.”
From Butch Goring (@91Butch), who should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame: “Love the refs calling the embellishments. Hockey is a man's game, not a place for shady individuals looking for something free.” . . . Check him out on Twitter; yes, his avatar is that helmet.

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