Saturday, September 6, 2014

Raiders, Warriors deal . . . Which WHL coach "is as funny as funny can be"?








G Kristofer Westblom (Kelowna, 2004-08) has been released by Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). Last season, with the Brampton Beast (CHL), he was 3.22 and .903 in 41 games.
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THE DEAL: The Prince Albert Raiders get F Colton McCarthy, 18, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a sixth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft.
THE SKINNY: McCarthy was born in Moose Jaw, but calls Salmon Arm, B.C., home. He has played two seasons in Moose Jaw. He had six goals and five assists in 63 games last season, after earning six points, two of them goals, in 39 goals as a freshman.
THE ANALYSIS: McCarthy, at 6-foot-0 and 190 pounds, brings some grit and some size to the right side of the Raiders’ forward ranks. He scored 22 goals in 32 junior B games with the Nelson Leafs and the Raiders would like to see a bit more of that scoring touch.
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It’s not that long ago when the issue of concussions in sport seemed to be a North American problem. Now, though, it is getting international attention. . . . Professor Willie Stewart, an expert who advises the International Rugby Board, has told the Daily Mail: “In just 12 months sports concussion has moved from an almost exclusively American sports issue to one that is now a major issue for global sport.” . . . Sports fans in Britain began to take notice when Ben Robinson, 14, died after sustaining a concussion after being allowed to continue playing with a concussion. “The most noticeable change since the start of the Mail on Sunday Concussion Campaign, has been the fact ‘The Elephant in the Room’ has escaped,” Robinson’s father, Peter, told the Mail on Sunday. “Concussion is now in the public domain and no longer controlled by sporting bodies. Phrases such as ‘Concussion can be fatal’ and ‘If in doubt sit them out’ can be mentioned without feeling we have to produce a death certificate to justify it.” . . . Sam Peters of the Daily Mail has more right here.
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“Another NFL season begins,” writes Gary Mihoces of USA TODAY, “and the concussion carousel already is spinning.” . . . According to Mihoces, “The NFL reports it has averaged 247 concussions per season (preseason and regular season) over the past three years. Last year's total of 228 was down 13 percent from 2012.” . . . His complete story is right here.
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Today is the first Sunday of the NFL’s 2014 season, and perhaps you are wondering: Is it wrong to watch football? . . . That is a question posed to Chuck Klosterman, The Ethicist, at The New York Times. . . . A letter writer asked The Ethicist: “Is it unethical to support a league that seems to know it is detrimental to the health of its participants?” . . . Read The Ethicist’s response right here, then ask yourself this: Is it unethical to watch a game in which teenagers are allowed to punch each other in the face?
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The Medicine Hat Tigers were without G Jared Rathjen when they beat the Calgary Hitmen 4-2 in High River, Alta., on Saturday night. Apparently, Rathjen, 20, isn’t injured. . . . “He’s not injured. He’s just not healthy,” Shaun Clouston, the Tigers’ general manager and head coach, told Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News. “He’s got a further evaluation, he just hasn’t been cleared.” . . . Uhh, OK. Thanks for clearing that up. . . . G Marek Langhamer, the Czech 20-year-old, was to play last night. He will go to camp with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes and could play in their organization. The Tigers, then, are likely to open the season with Rathjen, who was acquired from the Victoria Royals over the summer, and Nick Schneider, 17, as their goaltenders. . . . Assuming that Rathjen regains his health, that is.
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Steve O’Rourke used to play for the Tri-City Americans. These days, the 40-year-old is an assistant coach with the Red Deer Rebels. This weekend, he was back in Kennewick, Wash., with the Rebels, who are playing in the Red Lion Hotel tournament. Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald reminisces with O’Rourke right here. . . . WARNING: This story includes this potentially myth-busting quote from O’Rourke, in reference to Rebels owner/GM/head coach Brent Sutter: “Brent is as funny as funny can be. It’s always a good time around the office, the dressing room and the bus.”
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The Kamloops Blazers have named Peter Soberlak as their mental performance coach. Soberlak, 45, is a Kamloops native who had been working with the Kelowna Rockets. He played with the Blazers as a 16-year-old (1985-86), before being dealt to the Swift Current Broncos early the next season. He was on the Broncos’ bus that crashed on Dec. 30, 1986, and later was on the Swift Current team that won the 1989 Memorial Cup. These days, Soberlak is the chair of the physical education department at Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UBC and a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology at Queen’s U in Kingston, Ont. . . . I wrote this piece right here on Soberlak three years ago.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed F Tanner Jeannot, a 17-year-old from Oxbow, Sask. Jeannot, a list player, had 36 points, including 15 goals, with the midget AAA Yorkton Harvest last season. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder was the Harvest’s rookie of the year, most dedicated player and scholastic player of the year. . . . Jeannot made his WHL debut on Saturday night, going pointless in Moose Jaw's 5-2 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos.
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The Seattle Thunderbirds and CBS Radio Seattle have signed a three-year agreement that covers all regular-season and playoff games, which will be heard on 1090 The Fan and streamed at 1090TheFan.com. The deal also includes a weekly 30-minute Coach’s Show that will feature Thunderbirds head coach Steve Konowalchuk. The plan is to run the show on Tuesdays, starting at 6 p.m. . . . F Stelio Mattheos of Winnipeg, who was the first pick in the 2014 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night. Mattheos recorded two assists as the Wheat Kings got past the visiting Regina Pats, 8-6. . . . Last night, Regina F Sam Steel scored twice as the host Pats beat the Wheaties, 4-1. Steel had two goals and an assist, giving him 10 points, including six goals, in three exhibition games. . . . F Jansen Harkins, who has nine points in three exhibition games, didn’t play last night as his Prince George Cougars beat the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-2. . . . F Ty Mappin was in Saskatoon’s lineup for the first time as the Blades beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 4-0, in Warman, Sask. Mappin, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 bantam draft by the Everett Silvertips, suffered a brain injury in the Blades’ intrasquad game on Aug. 24. The Blades acquired him from Everett over the off-season.
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