Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kompon era starts in Portland . . . Silvertips promote La Forge

D Brett Carson (Moose Jaw, Calgary, 2001-06) has signed a one-year contract with the Vienna Capitals (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with AIK Stockholm (Sweden, SHL), he had 10 points, including three goals, in 49 games. . . .
G Jeff Glass (Kootenay, 2002-05) has signed a one-year contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, KHL). Last season, with Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL), he was 2.32 and .919 in 37 games. He was traded to CSKA Moscow in January and was 1.31, .944 in six games. . . .
F Mark Derlago (Brandon, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with Aalborg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had 49 points, including a team-high 25 goals, in 33 games. He was third in the league in goals. . . . Derlago broke an ankle on March 9, in the first game of the playoffs. “I just kind of fell back and a guy landed on me wrong and I knew something was wrong right away,” he told Brandon Sun sports editor James Shewaga. Derlago is playing baseball and summer hockey in Brandon in this off-season. “It’s not quite there yet, but it’s getting there,” he told Shewaga. “I have a screw in my ankle that I have to get taken out before I go (to training camp next month), but I have been skating and playing ball and everything, so it feels pretty good.”

1. As expected, the Portland Winterhawks introduced Jamie Kompon as their general manager and head coach on Wednesday afternoon. . . . Kompon, 47, brings two Stanley Cup rings to the Winterhawks, having been an assistant coach with the 2011-12 Los Angeles Kings and the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. . . . He takes over from Mike Johnston, who had been with the Winterhawks since October 2008 and guided the club into the last four WHL championship finals. 
Portland freelancer Scott Sepich covered the news conference for The Oregonian, and his story is right here.

2. On Wednesday, Mitch Peacock of CBC Winnipeg tweeted that Hockey Hall of Famer Dale Hawerchuk, who is in Winnipeg as a guest coach at the Jets’ developmental camp, “says some of today's prospects suffer from over-coaching and specializing in a single sport too young.” . . . Hawerchuk, whose background in the game gives him a whole lot of credibility, joins a chorus that includes Brent Sutter, the owner/GM/head coach of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . If you missed it, Sutter told Jason Gregor of the Edmonton Journal a while ago that there aren’t as many really good athletes playing hockey now and that he feels it’s because there isn’t enough variety in their athletic careers. Check that out right here.

3. The Everett Silvertips have signed Bil La Forge to a three-year contract extension that runs through 2016-17 and changed his title from head scout to director of player personnel. . . . La Forge, 40, has been with the Silvertips since 2008 and had been head scout since the summer of 2011. La Forge, from Edmonton, also has scouted for the Tri-City Americans and Lethbridge Hurricanes.

4. By now you’re likely aware that Unifor, a rather large player on the Canadian union front, is attempting to unionize major junior hockey players. In this story right here, Robert Cribb and Rick Westhead of the Toronto Star detail how Unifor is using former players to try and recruit today’s players to the organization. . . . There are a couple of interesting notes near the end of that story. At one point, they write: “The CHL this year has increased the monthly stipend for players to $450 from $200, and has agreed to give each player $1,000 to go towards off-season training.” That’s interesting because the OHL announced late last season that it was making those moves, but the WHL never did state that it would follow suit. In November 2012, when the WHL took disciplinary action against the Portland Winterhawks for what were deemed illegal player benefits, one of the claims was in the area of paying for off-season training. . . . Also in the Star story is this: “(CHL president David) Branch said . . . that (Tim) Bozon’s case was a fluke that won’t be repeated because of changes to the WHL’s medical coverage. Bozon’s expenses are being covered by his team and league, Branch said.” . . . Again, the WHL has never stated that it and the Kootenay Ice are covering the medical and rehabilitation costs incurred by Bozon, who spent March battling Neisseria meningitis in a Saskatoon hospital, and his family. . . . At the time, the WHL also promoted a fund drive, asking fans to donate money to help Bozon and his family. The WHL has yet to state publicly just how much money was donated by fans.

5. The Red Deer Rebels have signed F Jake Leschyshyn, the sixth overall selection in the 2014 WHL bantam draft, and G Dawson Weatherill, who was taken 37th overall. . . . Leschyshyn, the son of former Saskatoon Blades and NHL D Curtis Leschyshyn, had 59 points, including 31 goals, with the bantam AA Saskatoon Stallions last season. . . . Weatherill was 2.52 and .929 in 18 games with the bantam AAA Red Deer Rebels White. . . . The Rebels also added former WHL G Taylor Dakers as a full-time member of their coaching staff. Dakers, who is moving from Calgary to Red Deer, is the goaltending consultant after working with the club on a part-time basis last season.

6. Brent Sutter isn’t certain that he will make an official bid to play host to the 2016 Memorial Cup, but the Red Deer Rebels’ owner/GM/head coach informed the WHL on Tuesday that his organization remains interested. According to Greg Meachem, the sports editor of the Red Deer Advocate, “Sutter, who has twice come up short in bidding for the national major junior championship event, is still waiting for more input from league governors concerning whether they will go for the almighty dollar in determining the WHL host city for the 2016 tourney.” . . . “At the end of the day, we still need to know what they’re doing from a league standpoint,” Sutter told Meachem. “We don’t want to go through the exercise that we did last time, with the hard work and the commitment and dollars that were put in . . . when it’s almost automatic that someone else is getting it. There’s still some research that needs to be done from the league’s perspective, but we’ve thrown our name in the hat and we’ll see where it goes from there.” . . . Vancouver Giants majority owner Ron Toigo has said that his organization will be involved in the bidding.

7. The BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals announced Wednesday that G Lane Michasiw and D Mitch Stapley have committed to them for the 2014-15 season. . . . Michasiw, an 18-year-old from Saskatoon, was the tournament MVP as the Prince Albert won the 2014 TELUS Cup as national midget AAA champions. His WHL rights belong to the Victoria Royals. . . . Stapley played last season with the major midget Vancouver Northwest Giants. He was a ninth-round selection by the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. . . . Kevin Rothbauer of the Cowichan Valley Citizen has more right here.

8. At 3-0, one fan of Brazil’s soccer team said: “This was not normal for us. The players were dumb cockroaches in the field. I realize that only a miracle could save us.” . . . If you are wondering just how the people of Brazil felt as the dream died during Tuesday’s 7-1 World Cup loss to Germany, check out this piece right here by Sam Borden of The New York Times. “When the fourth goal went in,” added another Brazilian, who watched the game in a bar, “people started saying, I am ashamed to be Brazilian.”

The BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies have added Micah Aivazoff (Victoria Cougars, 1985-89) to their staff as associate coach. . . . Former NHLer Denny Lambert has been named head coach of the Batchewana Attack, one of eight teams committed to play in a new junior league in Ontario -- the Canadian International Hockey League. The league features a couple of other former NHLers as head coaches, Denis Maruk with the Milton Battle Arts Cobras and Tom McCarthy is with the Espanola Rivermen.


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