Monday, May 5, 2014

WHL final resumes tonight . . . 10 things you didn't know about Blazing Saddles!

Czech-ELHG Rastislav Staňa (Moose Jaw, Calgary, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year contract with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Staňa started this season with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL), going 2.31 and .912 in 24 games. He signed with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga) on Jan. 28 and was 1.25, .952 in eight games. . . .

KHLF Matt Ellison (Red Deer, 2002-03) has signed a two-year contract with Dinamo Minsk (Belarus, KHL). Ellison started this season with Biel (Switzerland, NL A), picking up one assist in seven games. He signed with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL) on Oct. 2 and finished with 15 points, eight of them goals, in 38 games. . . .

KHLF Konstantin Pushkarev (Calgary, 2004-05) signed a one-year extension with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). This season with Barys, he had four points, including one goal, in 21 games. In five games with Nomad Astana (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya), he had six points, including three goals. . . .

D Gennadi Razin (Kamloops, 1996-98) has signed a one-year extension with Donbass Donetsk (Ukraine, KHL). This season, he had three points, two of them goals, in 49 games.

1. All three major junior finals resume tonight. The Portland Winterhawks take a 2-0 lead on the Oil Kings into Edmonton for a game that is available on Shaw TV. . . . In the OHL, the Guelph Storm and North Bay Battalion are tied 1-1, with both games having been decided in OT. They are in North Bay tonight. . . . In the QMJHL, the Baie-Comeau Drakkar and Val-d’Or Foreurs also are 1-1. They are in Val-d‘Or tonight.

2. If you were wondering, Sportsnet will televise Game 5 of the OHL series on Friday night.

3. The Oil Kings, who trail 2-0 in the WHL’s best-of-seven final, spent far too much time chasing the game in Portland. So far, the Winterhawks have played with the lead for 114 minutes 58 seconds.

4. Columnist Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun was in attendance for the first two games of the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup in Portland on the weekend. He writes that the Edmonton Oil Kings, who lost both games to the Winterhawks, have gone from underdogs to longshots. . . . That column is right here.

5. Columnist John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal previews Game 3 of the WHL final right here, starting with the role Portland G Corbin Boes has played since taking over as the Winterhawks’ starter.

6. A couple of things from WHL Facts (@WHLFacts). . . . “2000 - The last time a team trailed 2-0 in a WHL Final series & came back to win was the @WHLKootenayICE in 2000, who defeated Spokane in 6.” . . . “75 - With 2 points (Sunday night), @pdxwinterhawks Brendan Leipsic now has 75 for his playoff career, moving him into a tie for 7th place all-time.” . . . Leipsic is tied with F Ray Allison (Brandon, 1976-79), and is two points behind F Brian Propp (Brandon, 1977-79).

AHL7. The AHL has approved the transfer of the Abbotsford Heat, the top affiliate of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, to Glens Falls, N.Y., where it will replace the Phantoms. The NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers are moving the Phantoms to Allentown, Pa. . . . New York State now is home to six of the AHL’s 30 franchises. . . . There continues to be speculation that some of the NHL’s western-most franchises are going to relocate their AHL affiliates to the western side of the U.S. A report at in April indicated that eight NHL teams once were involved in discussions but that the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks are the teams most serious about this project. . . . The report from is right here.

8. If you were wondering how much Floyd Mayweather will make from last weekend’s bout, you should start at about US$70 million. On Monday, he tweeted: “$32,000,000.00 for 36 minutes. I’m waiting for the PPV numbers to come in so I can make another $38,000,000.00 on the back-end . . . making it a grand total of $70,000,000.00.” . . . Now you should pick any 36 minutes out of your life and figure out how close you have come to duplicating that.

9. Chances are you have seen the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles. If not, you should. And if you click right here you will find 10 things you never knew about Blazing Saddles.

The Portland Winterhawks have added D Blake Heinrich, who turned 19 on Feb. 17, to their roster. A native of Cambridge, Minn., Heinrich had 16 points, including seven goals, and 117 penalty minutes in 42 games with the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. The 5-11, 195-pounder was the Musketeers’ captain. . . . Heinrich was a fifth-round selection by the Washington Capitals in the 2013 NHL draft. The Winterhawks selected him in the 12th round of the 2012 bantam draft, at which time he already was 17 years of age.
“We have had discussions with Blake since drafting him about becoming a Winterhawk and are excited to announce that he will join us at the end of the (season),” Portland GM/head coach Mike Johnston said in January when the club announced it had signed Heinrich. “He is a dynamic defenceman who is a perfect fit for our style of play. I expect he will be a big part of our future over the next two seasons as we rebuild our defence.”
The USHL held Phase 1 of its annual draft on Monday. There is a list right here of players who were selected and have ties to the WHL.
OHLThe OHL’s Oshawa Generals announced Monday that Jeff Twohey has resigned after two seasons as their general manager. . . . The Generals were swept by the North Bay Battalion in the Eastern Conference final. . . . The Generals were first in the Eastern Conference this season, after finishing third last season. . . . Roger Hunt, the Generals’ assistant GM, has taken over as acting GM.
USHLChris Hartsburg, a former assistant coach of the Everett Silvertips, has signed on as head coach of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. Hartsburg spent this season as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Erie Otters. . . . Hartsburg spent four seasons (2009-12) as an assistant coach with the Silvertips. He is the son of former NHL player and head coach Craig Hartsburg, who did a stint as the Silvertips’ head coach. . . . With the Stars, he replaces Jimmy McGroarty, who was fired on March 21. Mick Berge, an assistant coach, served as interim head coach. . .  . The Stars missed the playoffs this season for the third time in their 18 seasons of existence.
OHLThe OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs have fired head coach Todd Gill and assistant coach Jeff Reid. The moves come after an 84-point regular season and a first-round playoff loss to the Peterborough Petes. The Frontenacs won the first three games of that series, then lost four straight. . . . At the same time, the Frontenacs re-signed general manager Doug Gilmour and Darren Keily, the assistant GM and director of hockey operations. Gilmour has been with the team since 2008 and has been GM since 2011. Keily signed on as an assistant coach in 2008, was named AGM in 2011 and director of hockey ops in 2012.
Doug Graham of the Kingston Whig-Standard has more right here.

THE FOURTH ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup
(x - if necessary)
(All games televised live by Shaw)
(All games televised on delayed basis by Root Sports)
PORTLAND (2, West) vs. Edmonton (1, East)
(Portland leads, 2-0)
Season series: Portland, 0-0-1; Edmonton, 1-0-0.
Saturday: Edmonton 2 at Portland 5 (10,947)
Sunday: Edmonton 1 at Portland 3 (10,645)
Tuesday: Portland at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Wednesday: Portland at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Friday: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (Moda Center)
x-Sunday: Portland at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
x-Monday: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (Moda Center)
Portland: None.
Edmonton: None.
No game scheduled.

From David Larkins (@LarkinsWSun) of the Winnipeg Sun: “I'm taking out a restraining order on the Trivago guy. For all of us.”
From Julius Sharpe (@juliussharpe): “My Dad lived through WWII, rock and roll, the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam and 9/11. I've updated the Adobe Flash player 900 times.”

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