Wednesday, June 18, 2014
F David Rutherford (Vancouver, Spokane, 2004-08) has signed a one-year contract with Visby/Roma (Sweden, Division 1). Last season, with the Orlando Solar Bears (ECHL), he had nine points, including six goals, in 21 games. In 27 games with the Arizona Sundogs (CHL), he had 34 points, 14 of them goals. . . .
F Oleg Saprykin (Seattle, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year year contract with Sochi (Russia, KHL). Last season, with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL), he had 18 points, including 10 goals, in 52 games. . . .
F Alexander Gogolev (Calgary, Victoria, 2011-13) was selected by Lada Togliatti (Russia, KHL) in Tuesday's KHL expansion draft. Last season, with Severstal Cherepovets (Russia, KHL), he had three points, one of them a goal in 24 games. . .
F Igor Bacek (Tri-City, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with Rostock Piranhas (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, with Lippe-Hockey-Hamm (Germany, Oberliga), he had 46 points, including 13 goals, in 38 games. . . .
F Tomas Netik (Medicine Hat, 2000-01) signed a one-yea contract with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, with Slovan, he had 14 points, including 11 goals, in 32 games. He was traded to Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) for cash in December, and had a goal and two assists in 16 games there. . . .
F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) signed a one-year contract with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had four points, including two goals, in 26 games with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, DEL). He also had three points, including a goal, in 11 games with Red Bull Munich. . . .
F Marek Viedensky (Prince George, Saskatoon, 2008-11) has signed a one-year deal with HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland, Liiga). Last season, he had 23 points, six of them goals, in 54 games with the Worcester Sharks (AHL). . . .
D Shawn Belle (Regina, Tri-City, 2000-05) signed a one-year contract with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL). Last season, with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL), he had six points, including three goals, in 39 games. . . .
F Andrew Bailey (Kootenay, 2005-09) has signed a one-year contract with Harzer Falken Braunlage (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, with the University of Saskatchewan (CIS), he had 26 points, 13 of them goals, in 28 games. . . .
F Tyler Metcalfe (Seattle, 1999-2005) has signed a one-year extension with Miskolci Jegesmedvék (Hungary, MOL Liga). Last season, Metcalf had 55 points, 27 of them goals, in 42 games. He led the league in goals and was third in points. He led his team in goals and points, and was named to the first all-star team. . . .
D Kalvin Sagert (Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, 2002-08) has signed a one-year contract with the Tønsberg Vikings (Norway, GET-Ligaen). Last season, Sagert had one assist in 11 games with the Wichita Thunder (CHL), 10 assists in 24 games with the San Francisco Bulls (ECHL), and a goal and three assists in 32 games with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL). . . .
F Chad Bassen (Regina, Vancouver, Medicine Hat, Everett, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). Last season, with Grizzly Adams Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL), he had four points, including two goals, in 42 games. He has dual Canadian-German citizenship. . . .
F Jakub Rumpel (Medicine Hat, 2006-07) has signed a one-year extension with Herne (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, Rumpel led his team in scoring and finished third in the league, putting up 86 points, including 39 goals, in 36 games. He also was pointless in one game with Trnava (Slovakia, 1, Liga). . . .
F Keegan Dansereau (Calgary, Swift Current, 2003-09) has signed a one-year contract with Miskolci Jegesmedvék (Hungary, MOL Liga). Last season, with Olofström (Sweden, Division 1), he had 31 points, 16 of them goals in 39 games. . . .
G Chet Pickard (Tri-City, 2005-09) has signed a one-year contract with Odense (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with the Oklahoma City Barons (AHL), he was 5.34 and .854 in six games. In 21 games with the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL), he was 3.20 and .875. . . .
D Dustin Friesen (Swift Current, 2000-04) has signed a one-year contract with Ingolstad (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL2), he had 33 points, five of them goals, in 54 games.
Darren Evjen won't be returning as the Swift Current Broncos' associate coach. He had been with the Broncos through four seasons. Mark Lamb, the Broncos' general manager and head coach, said in a news release that "we will be looking to fill the vacant associate coach position after the NHL entry draft." . . . According to the news release, "Evjen will remain with the Broncos in a smaller capacity" that will include working at their hockey school in August.
The Calgary Hitmen signed F Matt Dorsey, a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. From Wenatchee, Wash., Dorsey had 52 points, including 32 goals, in 30 games with the Tier 1 Bantam AAA Arizona Bobcats last season. He is expected to play for the midget AAA Everett Junior Silvertips in 2014-15.
The Portland Pirates, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, have signed Trent Whitfield (Spokane, 1994-98) as an assistant coach. Whitfield, 36, ended his playing career after spending 2013-14 with Bolzano HC, an Italian team that plays in an Austrian league. . . . During his career, he spent parts of seven seasons with the Pirates.
Jason Becker won't be returning to the Prince George Cougars' coaching staff. Becker (Saskatoon, Red Deer, Kamloops, Swift Current, 1990-95) has joined the coaching team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton and will coach one of the midget teams. Becker had been with the Cougars since December 2009.
The Everett Silvertips traded D Austin Adam, 19, to the Moose Jaw Warriors for a conditional selection in the 2015 WHL bantam draft. . . . Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reported that the pick starts as an eighth and could become a sixth. . . . Adam played three seasons in Everett. He has 11 points, including four goals, in 127 regular-season games. . . . From Surrey, B.C., he was a fourth-round pick by Everett in the 2010 bantam draft.
The NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets have added Brad Larsen (Swift Current, 1993-97) to their coaching staff as an assistant under head coach Todd Richards. Larsen, who had been the head coach of the Springfield Falcons, the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate, signed a multi-year contract. . . . The Blue Jackets also signed former Everett Silvertips head coach Craig Hartsburg to a multi-year contract extension. Hartsburg is preparing for his third season with Columbus.
The Blue Jackets then named Jared Bednar (Saskatoon, Spokane, Medicine Hat, Prince Albert, 1990-93) as the new head coach of the Falcons. Bednar spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Falcons. . . . Prior to that, he was the head coach of the AHL's Peoria Rivermen for two seasons. He also worked as an assistant coach with the AHL's Abbotsford Heat for a season.
The ECHL's Toledo Walleye have signed Dan Watson as associate coach, where he will work alongside head coach Derek Lalonde. Watson, who played in Toledo in 2006-07, was an assistant coach with the Walleye from 2009-14. He served as interim head coach after Nick Vitucci resigned in February.
Former NHLer Tony Hrkac has joined the USHL's Madison Capitols as an assistant coach. Hrkac, a star at the U of North Dakota as a player, went on to play 758 games in the NHL. In Madison, he will work with head coach Luke Strand and associate coach Keith Paulsen.
The Prince George Cougars have signed F Jordan Ross to a WHL contract. From Kronau, Sask., Ross, 18, was selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the ninth round of the 2011 bantam draft. Last season, with the SJHL's Yorkton Terriers, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Ross had 15 points, including eight goals, in 43 regular-season games. He added eight points, five of them goals, in 14 playoff games. He also played in four RBC Cup games as the Terriers won the national championship.
The Calgary Hitmen introduced Mark French as their new head coach, replacing Mike Williamson, who was fired following last season and has since surfaced with the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Hitmen are preparing for their 20th anniversary season; French is their eighth head coach. . . . French spent the past season as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb, an expansion team that had a 92-point regular-season and made the playoffs. . . . From Milton, Ont., French spent six seasons with the AHL's Hershey Bears, both as assistant and head coach. . . . He has major junior coaching experience with the OHL's North Bay Centennials (1999-2002). . . . The Hitmen also announced that associate coach Brent Kisio also will work as assistant general manager with GM Mike Moore, and that assistant coach Joel Otto and goaltending coach Darcy Wakaluk also are returning.
Dave Lowry, the head coach of the Victoria Royals, was named an assistant coach with Canada's national junior team. He will work alongside head coach Benoit Groulx (Gatineau Olympiques) and assistant coach Scott Walker (Guelph Storm). . . . This is Lowry's first coaching assignment under Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence. He had been named head coach of the summer U-18 team in 2009 but stepped down after signing on as an assistant coach with the NHL's Calgary Flames. . . . The 2015 World Junior Championship is scheduled for Montreal and Toronto, Dec. 26 through Jan. 5. . . . Team Canada will hold its summer development camp in Montreal, Aug. 3-9.
Derek Laxdal, the head coach of the Memorial Cup-champion Edmonton Oil Kings, has been named head coach of Canada's summer U-18 team that will play in the Ivan Hlinka tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia, Aug. 11-16. . . . Jody Hull (Peterborough Petes) and Eric Veilleux (Baie-Comeau Drakkar) will be the assistant coaches. . . . This is Laxdal's first assignment in Hockey Canada's Program of Excellence. . . . The U-18 team will hold its selection camp in Calgary, Aug. 2-5, and will then head for Europe and the tournament. . . . Canada, which has won 16 of the last 18 tournaments, goes into this one having won six in a row.
The Central league's Missouri Mavericks have signed Richard Matvichuk (Saskatoon, 1989-92) as head coach. A defenceman, Matvichuk played 14 seasons in the NHL, retiring after the 2006-07 season. . . . He was an assistant coach with the Allen Americans each of the last two seasons, helping the team to consecutive CHL championships. . . . He replaces Scott Hillman, who resigned in May and signed on as head coach of the Indianapolis Fuel, the ECHL's newest team.
Following the conclusion of its AGM in Vancouver, the WHL announced that it has changed its playoff format. The new format will be in place for three seasons, starting in 2014-15.
Here's how it will work:
The top three teams in each of the WHL's four division will qualify for the playoffs, along with the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference. Under this system, one division could have five qualifiers with another having three.
In the first round, the team with the best regular-season record in each conference will meet the wild-card team with the poorest record. The second division winner gets the other wild-card team. . . . The second- and third-place finishers in each division will meet in the first round, thus allowing the WHL to take advantage of divisional rivalries.
The second round will feature first-round winners within each bracket, with four teams moving on to conference finals.
According to a WHL news release: "Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the team that placed higher in the regular-season standings. In the conference finals and WHL championship series, home-ice advantage goes to the team that had the better regular-season record -- regardless of the teams' final standings in their respective divisions."
The WHL also announced it will release its preseason scheduled on June 24 and its regular-season schedule on June 25.
The Prince Geoge Cougars signed F Justin Almeida and D Max Martin, two of their 2014 bantam draft picks, to contracts. . . . Almeida, from Kitimat, B.C., was the fifth overall pick. He is expected to play for the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who are based in Prince George, in 2014-15. Last season, he had 147 points, 80 of them goals, in 70 games with the bantam AAA North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks. . . . Martin, from Winnipeg, was selected in the second round. Last season, with the major bantam AAA Winnipeg Monarchs, he had 59 points, including 18 goals, in 32 regular-season games.
The Brandon Wheat Kings signed F Stelio Mattheos, the first overall selection in the WHL's 2014 bantam draft. . . . Mattheos, from Winnipeg, played last season with the bantam AAA Winnipeg Monarchs, putting up 103 points, including 53 goals, in 35 regular-season games. He captained the Monarchs. . . . This draft marked the first time in franchise history that the Wheat Kings held the first overall pick.
The Saskatoon Blades acquired the rights to G Collin Olson, 20, from the Prince George Cougars for D Joel Lakusta and a sixth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Lakusta, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was a seventh-round pick by the Blades in the 2013 bantam draft. He will turn 16 on June 24. . . . Last season, he had 14 points, four of them goals, in 35 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Kings. . . . Olson, from Apple Valley, Minn., was listed by the Cougars before the 2012-13 season. Last season, he played with the NCAA's Ohio State Buckeyes and the USHL's Sioux City Musketeers. He was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round of the NHL's 2012 draft. . . . Olson got into only two games with the Buckeyes, before joining the Musketeers and going 12-3 with one tie, 2.31, .923.
The trade was the first made by Bob Woods, the Blades' new GM/head coach. He spoke with Olson after making the deal. "Goaltending's an issue we wanted to look at and make sure we have all the options possible. It's a pretty important position," Woods told Kevin Mitchell, the sports editor at the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. "We felt it was worth the risk. He's a pretty good goaltender, and with all the research I did on him, there was a lot of good feedback. We want to see if we can maybe steer him in our direction."
The Prince Albert Raiders signed D Cody Thompson and F Josh Maser, both of whom were selected in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Thompson, from Killarney, Man., was taken in the third round. He had 19 points, eight of the goals, in 29 games with the midget AAA Southwest Cougars. . . . Maser, from Penticton, B.C., was a fourth-round selection. He had 127 points, 72 of them goals, in 61 games with the Tier 2 bantam Vees. . . . The Raiders have signed their top three picks from the 1014 draft.
Brian Pellerin, who had been coaching at the Okanagan Hockey Academy, signed on with the Tri-City Americans as associate coach. . . . Pellerin, 44, spent the past three seasons at OHA. . . . He was on the coaching staff of the Portland Winterhawks for four seasons (2004-08). He also spent a season as an associate coach with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage and two seasons as head coach of the Central league's Amarillo Gorillas. . . . A native of Hinton, Alta., his playing career included four seasons (1987-91) with the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Dan Price, an assistant coach for two seasons with the Americans, won't be returning.
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