Thursday, July 31, 2014

Warriors prospect dies at 16 . . . Former WHL assistant coach to Canucks

F Garrett Festerling (Portland, Regina, 2003-07) has signed a three-year contract extension with the Hamburg Freezers (Germany, DEL). Festerling now is under contract with Hamburg through the 2017-18 season. Last season, in 53 games, he had eight goals and team-leading 29 assists. . . .
F Owen Fussey (Calgary, Moose Jaw, 1999-2003) has signed a one-year contract with the Guildford Flames (England, Premier). Fussey didn’t play the last two seasons. In 2011-12, with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite), he had 68 points, including 37 goals, in 60 games. He led the Blazers in goals.
(Moose Jaw Warriors photos)
F Ethan Williams, a fifth-round selection by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, has died. Williams, who was from Winnipeg, would have turned 17 on Aug. 22.
“Our entire organization is very saddened with the news of Ethan Williams’ passing,” Warriors general manager Alan Millar said in a news release. “Ethan was a fine young man, and a very talented hockey player. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and Shannon and the entire Williams family during this difficult time.”
Williams, 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, signed with the Warriors after their 2012 training camp, and he played one game with them in 2012-13. During that 2012 camp, he scored a goal in his first WHL exhibition game, against the Swift Current Broncos.
In his draft season, Williams had 71 points, 25 of them goals, with a bantam AAA team at the Pursuit of Excellence in Kelowna.
Last season, he had eight points, four of them goals, in 23 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Thrashers.
Williams still was on the Warriors’ protected list and had been expected to attend training camp next month.
“Ethan has all the tools needed to play in the WHL and a great chance to hone those skills to advance to the highest level,” former NHL and WHL forward Darcy Tucker said of Williams shortly after the 2012 bantam draft. “Ethan can use his body, skating ability and hands to create scoring chances almost at will. We are very happy for Ethan’s success, and will be following him closely this season as he progresses.”
Tucker is a partner in Turning Point Sports Management, the firm that represented Williams at the time.

The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks will have a new video coach when the new season arrives. A source has told Taking Note that the Canucks have signed Ben Cooper as their video coach. He will work with Willie Desjardins, the Canucks’ new head coach. . . . Cooper has been coaching a varsity team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, B.C., and also was scouting for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Before that, he was an assistant coach with the WHL’s Victoria Royals. He also has extensive video experience with Hockey Canada.
Former WHL head coach Jim Hiller has signed on as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Hiller, 45, spent the past five seasons as head coach of the Tri-City Americans, but his contract wasn’t renewed after last season. He was the CHL and WHL coach of the year in 2011-12. Hiller also was head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins for three seasons. . . . As an NHL player, Hiller played 21 regular-season and two playoff games with the Red Wings in 1992-93. . . . Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press has more right here.
Levi Moon finished his second season of bantam hockey and walked away from the game. He decided he was going to be a baseball player. Moon, 18, attended the Badlands Baseball Academy in Oyen, Alta., and soon he’s off to Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, N.Y., on a baseball scholarship. His father, Cam, is the radio voice of the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Danny Rode of the Red Deer Advocate has more right here.
The Prince George Cougars have named Bob Simmonds as their director of scouting. Simmonds, who spent 37 years with the RCMP before retiring, works out of Edmonton. He has been part of the Cougars’ scouting staff for seven seasons. . . . Bill Horton of St. Paul, Minn., has been promoted to director of U.S. scouting. Horton, 27, is preparing for his second season with the Cougars. . . . Cougars GM Todd Harkins also announced the addition of Trevor Sprague of Prince George and Tom Hengen of Vancouver to the scouting staff. Sprague, the head coach of the major midget Cariboo Cougars, will work as a travelling scout, while Hengen will focus on B.C.’s Lower Mainland. Sprague had been scouting for the Portland Winterhawks. Hengen is the father of Michael Hengen, the Cougars’ new assistant coach. Tom spent the past six seasons as head scout for the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.
With the news that Vin Scully will return in 2015 for a 66th year calling baseball games, the Los Angeles Times took a look at his movie appearances. That piece is right here.

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