Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Winterhawks to introduce new man today . . . Three teams still looking

F Brandon Segal (Calgary, 1999-2004) has signed a two-year contract with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL). Last season, he had 44 points, 17 of them goals, in 63 games with the Hershey Bears (AHL).

1. The Portland Winterhawks are scheduled to introduce Jamie Kompon as their new general manager and head coach at a news conference today. Mike Johnston, who had been GM/head coach since October 2008, will be on hand to do the introduction. Johnston now is the head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . Kompon spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has two Stanley Cup rings, from the 2012 Los Angeles Kings and the 2013 Blackhawks. . . . Tommy Gorman, the head coach of the Blackhawks and Montreal Maroons (1934-36), was the last person to win back-to-back Stanley Cups with different teams. . . . Almost a year ago, Cory Smith of the Niagara Falls Review wrote a neat story about Kompon taking the Stanley Cup to visit family. That story is right here.

2. With Portland having its head coach in place, that leaves three other WHL teams still in the hunt. . . . The Moose Jaw Warriors are looking to replace Mike Stothers, who now is head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. . . . The Regina Pats need a head coach and two assistants after the franchise’s new owners fired Malcolm Cameron and lost two assistants to resignations. . . . The Vancouver Giants will replace Don Hay, who left after 10 seasons to return to Kamloops and coach the Blazers.

3. If you’ve lost track, here’s a look at WHL teams that have signed new head coaches for the upcoming season:
Calgary Hitmen (Mark French; replaces Mike Williamson, who was fired after last season).
Edmonton Oil Kings (Steve Hamilton; promoted to replace Derek Laxdal, now head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars).
Kamloops Blazers (Don Hay; replaces interim head coach Guy Charron).
Kelowna Rockets (Dan Lambert; promoted to replace Ryan Huska, now head coach of the AHL’s Adirondack Flames).
Portland Winterhawks (Jamie Kompon; replaces Mike Johnston, now head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins).
Saskatoon Blades (Bob Woods; replaces David Struch, who was fired after last season).
Tri-City Americans (Mike Williamson; replaces Jim Hiller, whose contract wasn’t renewed after last season).

4. Germany 7, Brazil 1. . . . If you are old enough to remember the 1972 Summit Series, that is about all to which I can compare Tuesday’s World Cup result. At the World Cup, like in that 1972 Canada-Russia series, it wasn’t one team against another; it was country versus country. If you can remember the feeling in Canada when a nation realized that the Great Russian Bear had quite a hockey team, well, multiply that by 10 and you will know what it’s like in Brazil today. . . . Brazilians waited a long time to play host to this World Cup and no one, absolutely no one, anticipated the dream ending the way it did. . . . Of course, if you’re ESPN, you equate Brazil’s loss to LeBron and the Miami Heat losing the NBA final to the San Antonio Spurs. Seriously!

5. The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed F Matthew Wedman, an Edmontonian who was a second-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. Last season, he had 72 points, including 32 goals, in 33 games with the Edmonton-South Side Athletic Club bantam AAA side. . . . His brother, Cole, 20, played three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs before being dealt to the Moose Jaw Warriors this offseason. Another brother, Dan, has played two seasons with the AJHL’s Bonnyville Pontiacs and has committed to Cornell.

6. NHL Central Scouting has released its “2014-15 Futures North American list.” Included on the list are 19 WHL players, including three members of the Seattle Thunderbirds. If you’re into such rankings, the complete list is right here.

7. The Russian Hockey Federation and the Russian Ministry of Sport are putting together a 10-team women’s hockey league. According to a report right here, each team will be allowed three foreign players “and the FHR is thinking about not allowing foreign goalkeepers starting from the 2015-16 season.” Gee, that sounds familiar. . . . Former NHLer Alexei Yashin, who is the general manager of the Russian national women’s team, will run this new league.

8. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News offers up his opinion right here on the latest move to unionize major junior hockey players. This, he writes, is good news for the players and bad news for the owner/operators.

9. With another move afoot to attempt to unionize major junior hockey players, Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News talked to a few players in an attempt to measure the level of interest. His column is right here, and it’s worth a read, if only for the line about players paying for Subway sandwiches with change.

10. Blaine Neufeld is the new head coach of the BCHL’s Surrey Eagles, replacing Peter Schaefer, who had been general manager and head coach. Neufeld, a goaltender who played in the WHL with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Saskatoon Blades and Vancouver Giants (2004-07), is from Winkler, Man. He  had joined the Eagles in April as director of hockey operations. . . . Schaefer, who had a year left on his contract, will continue to work with the Eagles in a consulting role. Schaefer told Nick Greenizan of the Peace Arch News that he and the Eagles had agreed to a “mutual” parting of the ways. . . . Greenizan’s complete story is right here.

F Mitch Barker, a 10th-round selection of the Spokane Chiefs in the 2011 bantam draft, says he will play next season with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. Barker, who is from Kamloops, turns 18 on Oct. 12. He had four points in 24 games with the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings last season. In 2012-13, he put up 39 points, 19 of them goals, in 48 games with the junior Kelowna Chiefs of the Kootenay International Junior League. . . . The AHL’s Manchester Monarchs have signed Chris Hajt as their new assistant coach. Hajt, 36, spent the last six seasons with the OHL’s Guelph Storm, most recently as assistant GM. He is the son of former NHL D Bill Hajt.

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