Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blades, Pats cut a deal . . . NHL facing another concussion-related lawsuit

THE DEAL: The Saskatoon Blades acquired D Isaac Schacher, 19, from the Regina Pats for an eighth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.
THE SKINNY: The Pats, who had nine defencemen on their roster, get a draft pick for an older player who was in tough to stick. . . . The Blades continue to shape a roster that didn’t make the playoffs last sesaon.
THE ANALYSIS: Saskatoon hopes that the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Schacher will bring some physical play to their back end. He played 35 games with the Victoria Royals and 25 with Regina last season, putting up nine points, eight of them assists. He also was plus-22. . . . In junior B, playing with his hometown Kimberley, B.C., Dynamiters, he had 63 points in 95 games over two seasons, so there might be more offence there than he has shown. . . . Schacher now is one of 10 defencemen on Saskatoon’s roster.


Last week, the WHL announced that Yves Lacasse, a retired RCMP superintendent, was being brought on board as its voluntary security officer.
On Wednesday, in a Kamloops courtroom, Lacasse was described as a “bully” who headed up an RCMP detachment that was “dysfunctional in the extreme.”
This was all part of testimony that was heard during a trial B.C. Supreme Court in which RCMP Cpl. Rick Brown is facing a charge of breach of trust by a public officer. It involves his role in an incident that involved two intoxicated women taking part in explicit sex acts while jailed.
Retired Staff Sgt. Gary Kerr testified that Lacasse was “was extremely, extremely difficult to work for. He was an extreme bully.”
Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week was in the courtroom and his story is right here.
When the WHL announced Lacasse’s appointment, Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week wrote a story in which Lacasse spoke about what he hoped and planned on doing in the new position. That story is right here.
The Prince George Cougars got down to two goaltenders by releasing G Matt Kustra, 17, who was an eighth-round pick in the 2012 bantam draft. He is expected to join the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . The Cougars, who open against the Winterhawks in Portland on Saturday, are carrying 27 players, including goaltenders Ty Edmonds, 18, and Tavin Grant, 16. . . . Prince George has 10 defencemen on its roster, including veteran Raymond Grewal, 19, who is injured, and 15 forwards, including the injured David Soltes.
Ma’ake Kemoeatu played for the Baltimore Ravens. His brother, Chris, played for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Today, neither one is playing football, nor will they. . . . Chris needed a kidney transplant. Ma’ake, the oldest of seven children, was quick to offer up a kidney. . . . The transplant took place on Aug. 27. . . . The complete story, and it’s an interesting one, is right here.


"A new lawsuit filed against the National Hockey League by two former players alleges that three in 10 retired players have, or will have, brain damage from head injuries or concussions," writes Rick Westhead, TSN's senior correspondent. "The startling allegation is being made in a statement of claim filed by Sasha Pokulok, who was selected by the Washington Capitals with the 14th overall pick in the 2005 NHL draft,  and Simon Danis-Pepin, a 2006 second-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks."
There now have been at least six concussion-related lawsuits filed against the NHL.
Westhead's complete story is right here.
A story at begins: “An experimental positron emission tomography (PET) tracer is effective in diagnosing concussion-related brain disease while a person is still alive, according to a case study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and at Molecular Neuroimaging (MNI) LLC in New Haven, and published September 16 in the journal Translational Psychiatry.”
What this means is that the medical community is that much closer to being able to diagnose chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living person.
The Science Daily story is right here.
David Ash, the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, has given up football due to multiple concussions. He suffered his third concussion in the last year in the Longhorns’ season-opener against North Texas. Ash was held out of Texas’s last two games, but now has retired. . . . Ash is the second NCAA starting QB, joining Uconn’s Casey Cochran, to quit in the last few days because of concussion problems.

The Prince Albert Raiders have released F Ryan Pruden, 18, getting their roster down to 27 players, including 10 defencemen and 15 forwards. Pruden, a 13th-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2011 bantam draft, was pointless in three games with the Blades last season. A Winnipegger, he also played last season with the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons and OCN Blizzard. He is expected to return to the MJHL. . . .
Scott Sepich, a Portland freelancer, tweeted Tuesday that F Adam de Champlain, 20, had left the Portland Winterhawks for the AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks. The Winterhawks confirmed it on Wednesday, saying in a news release that de Champlain “has elected” to play in the AJHL. . . .
The Edmonton Oilers’ rookies beat the U of Alberta Golden Bears 4-2 in their annual game last night at Clare Drake Arena. More than 3,000 fans paid $30 a pop to watch the game.

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