Friday, August 1, 2014

Hockey loses another friend . . . Pats sign, uhh, an assistant trainer

F David Stieler (Swift Current, 2006-08) has signed a one-year contract with Regensburg (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, with Skalica (Slovakia, Extraliga), he had 28 points, including 13 goals, in 54 games. . . .
F Dan DaSilva (Portland, 2002-05) has signed a one-year contract with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Ontario Reign (ECHL), he had 26 points, seven of them goals in 14 games. In 61 games with the Worcester Sharks (AHL), he had 37 points, including 17 goals. . . .
F Matt Keith (Spokane, Red Deer, 1998-2003) has signed a two-year contract with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had seven goals and eight assists in 53 games. . . .
F Luke Walker (Portland, 2007-10) has signed a one-year contract with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL), he had a goal and two assists in 36 games. The general manager and head coach of Graz is Todd Bjorkstrand, the father of F Oliver Bjorkstrand of the Portland Winterhawks.
Adam and Dale Hughesman, enjoying a father-son day.
(Photo: Tri-City Americans)
 Hockey lost another friend when Dale Hughesman died Thursday night after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Hughesman, who was 51, was the father of former Tri-City Americans F Adam Hughesman. Among so many other things, Dale also was heavily involved with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers, and had served as the franchise’s governor in recent years.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
John Fisher is the corporate secretary with the Portland Winterhawks’ Booster Club. I would suggest he also is the de facto director of communications because no one does more to keep the club’s members informed than he does.
On Friday, after I had written here about mental health awareness as an issue, he responded with this:
This is a subject very near and dear to me for almost 30 years in helping those teenagers who "manifest" mental health issues usually around 15 years of age ... As I have specialized in teenagers with Bipolar and/or Schizophrenia as well as all the related issues of these illnesses ...
Thank you Gregg Drinnan for posting and bringing to the forefront this most important issue as well as other "health matters" for children and teens in our favorite sport, including "concussion injuries."
I, too, have always taken the stance that "the stronger person” is the one who seeks out medical intervention and counseling ... Even if someone else "intervenes" on your behalf."
The stigma of Mental Health should never be a sign of any sort of weakness! In fact, most of "my kids" have "tested academically in the 90th percentile in most all subjects." They just have issues and frustrations applying their "God Given Smarts" in meaningful ways ...
So, being extremely "smart" does not make you immune to illnesses, including Mental Health issues ...
I say to those afflicted, BE STRONG AND SEEK OUT help and do not let any preconception of weakness stop you ... You are stronger than the illness by having a "support team!"
... And YOU MATTER ... YES YOU MATTER to so many ... Tomorrow will be a better day!
Mental Health assistance and crisis lines are available 24 Hours a Day Seven Days a Week (24/7) all across North America. A call to ANY Emergency Room can help you with immediate assistance and crisis line telephone numbers.
... YOU ARE NOT ALONE ... People are there to Help and Not to there to judge ... Just "pick up the phone."
Back in the day, I quite enjoyed watching Mike Toth when he appeared on TSN and later on Sportsnet. It was the dry sense of humour and the fact that he didn’t make sports more than they are -- a game.
But . . . one day Toth was there, and the next day he wasn’t. That was four years ago.
What happened?
Toth answers that question, at least partially, right here. He also writes about having “struggled with depression my entire life.”

The Lethbridge Hurricanes and former assistant coach Brad Lukowich have settled a lawsuit that was launched by Lukowich after he had been fired by the organization on Feb. 8. . . . A source told Taking Note a few weeks ago that the claim had been settled, with Lukowich getting paid out and also getting all fees and costs and an apology.
Carmela Gentile of Global News reports that “Lukowich was seeking $108,000 plus damages at the time the court documents were filed.”
Here is the complete news release that was issued Friday morning by the Hurricanes:
The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club and Mr. Brad Lukowich have settled Mr. Lukowich’s claim arising from his departure from the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club in February, to their mutual satisfaction.
Lukowich stated: “I appreciate the Hurricanes willingness to resolve these matters constructively. My wife Cara, our daughters and I have grown very fond of the city of Lethbridge and all it has to offer. My goal is still to teach and coach at the highest level possible the game that gave me so much so that I can give back. I look forward to the next opportunity to pursue that goal.”
Brad Robson, General Manager, stated: “Although we initially announced Brad was terminated for cause, it has subsequently been determined by the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club that his departure was not for cause. The Club extends their sincere appreciation for his services and wish him success. Brad's strength is his focus on player development. I expect to see him involved in hockey operations next season."
Taking Note also has been told that Doug Soetaert and the Everett Silvertips have settled a breach of contract lawsuit that he filed March 14, 2012. . . . Soetaert, who was fired as Everett’s general manager on Feb. 2, 2012, and the Silvertips actually made it into the courtroom for a three-day trial last month. Apparently, the two parties got together and resolved things before Judge Bruce I. Weiss issued a decision.
The NHL’s Ottawa Senators have promoted former WHL player/coach Bob Lowes to chief amateur scout. . . . Lowes joined the Senators as a part-time amateur scout in 2006. He has been a full-time scout since 2008. . . . According to a news release, “As chief amateur scout, he will provide direction to the entire amateur scouting staff as the group prepares for each year’s NHL draft.” . . . Lowes spent nine seasons as a head coach with the Brandon Wheat Kings and three with the Regina Pats. . . . The Senators also announced that they have hired Don Boyd, another former WHL coach (Regina, 1982-83), as a full-time amateur scout. He had been working for the Senators as a scouting consultant.
The Regina Pats are rumoured to be close to signing a head coach; of course, they also are rumoured to be close to adding Lorne Molleken to their front office, too.
One thing they do have is an assistant trainer. The Vernon Morning News reported Friday morning that Gord Cochran, who has been with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers since 2009, has signed on with the Pats. A native of Williams Lake, B.C., he had been the Vipers’ trainer/equipment manager.
Jim Hiller, a former WHL head coach with the Chilliwack Bruins and Tri-City Americans, signed on earlier this week as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. On Thursday, Hiller appeared on The Locker Room Show (610 KONA). That clip is right here, starting at about the 9:30 mark. (Stick tap to Locker Room co-host Craig West for the link.)
Dave McLellan is the new GM/head coach of the junior B Nelson Leafs, who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He replaces Matt Hughes, who signed on in May but left last weekend to coach at the Pursuit of Excellence in Kelowna. The Nelson Daily has more right here.

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