Friday, July 25, 2014

Tweet! Tweet! Virtanen breaks the news








D Ryan Button (Prince Albert, Seattle, 2007-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Texas Stars (AHL), he had three goals in 26 games. He also had 23 points, including seven goals in 26 games with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL).
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1. WHL teams will start training camps in about four weeks time, and the Regina Pats still don’t have a head coach. In fact, they are the only WHL team without a head coach. They are short two assistant coaches, as well. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has the latest right here.
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2. The Vancouver Canucks have signed F Jake Virtanen of the Calgary Hitmen to a three-year entry-level contract. Virtanen, from Abbotsford, B.C., was the sixth overall selection in the NHL’s 2014 draft. He had 71 points, including 45 goals, in 71 games with the Hitmen last season, his second in the WHL. The Hitmen selected him with the first overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft. . . . In what surely is a sign of the times, Virtanen broke the news of his signing via his Twitter account.
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3. The Saskatoon Blades have signed F Wyatt Sloboshan, 17, to a WHL contract. Sloboshan was a third-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the 2012 bantam draft. The Blades acquired him in January as part of a deal in which F Nathan Burns went to Swift Current. From Vanscoy, Sask., Sloboshan had 77 points, including 27 goals, in 45 games with a midget team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy.
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4. The Edmonton Oil Kings have added Ryan Marsh to their coaching staff as the lead assistant under head coach Steve Hamilton. Marsh 39, has been an assistant coach with the U of Alberta Golden Bears for the past two seasons and the hockey director for Vimy Ridge Academy for 12 years. . . . Hamilton and Marsh are friends, having coached together with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints and Fort Saskatchewan Traders. They also worked together at Vimy Ridge.
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5. Dustin Forbes is the new play-by-play voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He takes over from Pat Siedlecki, who lost his spot when CJOC chose not to get involved in bidding for a new contract. . . . The Hurricanes will be heard on Rock 106 when the new season begins. . . . Forbes spent last season with the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals. He also has done play-by-play for the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves and the junior B Richmond Sockeyes and Comox Valley Glacier Kings.
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6. The CFL hit the big time on Friday . . . the really, really big time. ESPN.com carried a story on the goings-on Thursday in Edmonton that culminated Friday morning when Connor Croken, 20, claimed the winnings from the 50-50 draw that was held during the game between the Eskimos and Calgary Stampeders. Croken showed up to let them know the $322,216 was his. He'll be back Tuesday to pick up his cheque. . . . The ESPN piece is right here.
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