Friday, October 10, 2014

Rigby on the move . . . Bozon back with Ice . . . Big catch for Cougars



The Victoria Royals have claimed Russian D Marsel Ibragimov, 17, off waivers. The freshman had played one game with the Edmonton Oil Kings before they released him in order to get down to the limit of two import players. Edmonton kept veteran forwards Mads Eller, 19, and Edgars Kulda, who turns 20 on Nov. 13. . . . In order to make room for Ibragimov, the Royals released Slovakian F Kristian Ferletak, who also is a freshman.
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The Swift Current Broncos have acquired F Carter Rigby, 20, from the Kelowna Rockets for a third-round pick in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. Rigby, who is from Penticton, B.C., had five goals and four assists in seven games with the Rockets this season. In 150 games with the Rockets, he put up 84 points, 51 of them goals. . . . The trade means the Rockets are prepared, at least for now, to go with F Tyrell Goulbourne, who is injured, F Colton Heffley and D Cole Martin as their 20-year-olds. . . . The Broncos, meanwhile, now have five 20s on their roster, so more moves are to come. Still there are Rigby, F Colby Cave, who turns 20 on Dec. 26, F Andrew Johnson 20 on Oct. 15, F Coda Gordon and D Stephen Shmoorkoff, who will be 20 on Sunday. Last night, in a 5-0 victory over the visiting Kootenay Ice, the Broncos dressed just two 20s -- Cave and Gordon.
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The Montreal Canadiens have returned F Tim Bozon, 20, to the Kootenay Ice for a fourth WHL season. . . . “Tim Bozon has come a long way," Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said in a news release. "He fought a life-threatening disease with courage and determination and we are pleased with what he accomplished in the last few months. He was able to take part in the rookie camp, the Canadiens’ official camp and the Hamilton Bulldogs' training camp. However, with his progression having been diminished due to illness, we feel that one of the priorities for his long-term development is for him to fully regain his physical strength. We believe that joining the Kootenay Ice in the WHL is the right decision at this time as it will allow Tim to fully recover." . . . Bozon was struck down by Neisseria meningitis late last season and spent most of a month in Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. For part of the time, he was in a medically induced coma. . . . The Ice had acquired Bozon from the Kamloops Blazers on Oct. 22. He had 62 points, 30 of them goals, in 50 games with Kootenay. In 203 regular-season games, he has 231 points, 105 of them goals. . . . He was a third-round pick by the Habs in the 2012 NHL draft. . . . Bozon joins fellow forwards Levi Cable and Austin Vetterl as the Ice's 20-year-old players; D Rinat Valiev, who is injured, is the team's other import.
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 If you have tried to access the WHL's website or one belonging to a team over the past few weeks, you may have run into an issue or two . . . or three. Tbird Tidbits takes a look right here at what is going on with this situation, and it ain't pretty.
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Over at Yahoo! Canada Sports, Scott Sepich has an interesting piece right here on Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who is from Regina, making reference to having been cut by three different WHL teams. Near the end of the piece, Sepich mentions baseballer Justin Morneau also having been something of a hockey player.
He also could have mentioned Larry Walker, who went on to a pretty decent MLB career after he had been in camp with the Regina Pats. I stand to be corrected but I think it may have been Bob Strumm who suggested to Walker that as a goaltender he made a pretty good hitter. Walker's brother Carey, also a goaltender, had an excellent three seasons (1975-78) with the WHL's New Westminster Bruins.
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Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, wasn't in court Friday as lawyers made sentencing submissions. Gaglardi and Northland Properties have been convicted of two counts of harmful alteration of a fish habitat. Crown prosecutor Digby Kier is asking for the maximum penalty, a $300,000 fine; defence lawyer Rob Bruneau asked for a fine between $50,000 and $75,000. . . . Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week has more right here.
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Cathal Kelly, The Globe and Mail's sports columnist, was watching Sportsnet on Wednesday and Thursday nights, after which he filed this piece right here reflecting on what he saw. He pretty much hits the nail squarely on the head, and he does it without yelling or talking over anyone.
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There isn't much that is more entertaining than reading the thoughts of the always loquacious Brian Burke, no matter the subject. Cam Cole of the Vancouver Sun chatted with Burke about fighting in the NHL, and the result is right here. Hmm, do you think Burke is anti- or pro-fighting?
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I purchased Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, by John Branch of The New York Times, on Friday and will be digging into it in short order. In the meantime, Jeremy Keehn has reviewed the book for The Globe and Mail. That review is right here, and it includes this:
"More damning still is the cool and non-judgmental picture the author paints of hockey’s reckless disregard for its toughest, most vulnerable players. In recounting Boogaard’s fights, Branch includes not just the old one-two, but the announcers’ excitement, the video editors’ tale-of-the-tape graphics, the fans’ consistent approval. This cultural embrace is one thing when it’s of men who are over 18 and making their own choices as adults, quite another when it’s of boys at the sport’s junior echelons.
"The pathologist who diagnosed Boogaard’s CTE acknowledged in her report that it was impossible to know the extent to which the disease had influenced his addictions and struggles, but the facts paint a suggestive picture: from the time he was a teenager, Derek Boogaard participated in a sport that encouraged him to incur and deliver trauma to the head, and that rewarded him for doing so; at the time he died, his brain bore the evidence. Junior-hockey fans who accept the suggestion are left with a dilemma: can we, in good conscience, pay money for entertainment that encourages minors to stand toe-to-toe with the pure intent to concuss? I wonder why we’re even allowed to under the law."
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D Blake Heinrich, who has yet to play for Portland this regular season, is back skating with the Winterhawks. He suffered a concussion during an exhibition game. Heinrich, 19, is from Cambridge, Minn. He was a fifth-round pick by the Washington Capitals in the NHL's 2013 draft. The Winterhawks selected him in the 12th round of the 2012 bantam draft. . . .
In what is seen in the hockey world as a big catch, the Prince George Cougars have signed F Jared Bethune, 17, who had committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth for 2016-17. Last season, with Warroad, Minn., High School, he had 84 points, including 31 goals, in 25 games. He also had two goals and three assists in six games with the USHL's Lincoln Stars. Bethune is a dual citizen and took part in the summer camp held by Canada's U-18 team. He now is in Prince George and attempts are going forward to finalize his release from USA Hockey.
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FRIDAY'S HIGHLIGHTS:

G Eric Comrie stopped 29 shots to help the Tri-City Americans to a 3-1 victory over the Pats in Regina. These teams meet only once each season and the Americans are on a five-game winning streak in the series. . . . The Pats honoured the 1974 Memorial Cup-winning team in a pregame ceremony. That team is holding a 40th anniversary reunion this weekend in Regina. . . . In Calgary, the Victoria Royals scored the game's last three goals, all in the third period, and beat the Hitmen, 3-2. F Austin Carroll, whose NHL rights belong to the Calgary Flames, scored the winner on a PP at 16:24 of the third period. . . .
G Landon Bow stopped 26 shots and F Jake DeBrusk scored the game's first two goals as the host Swift Current Broncos beat the Kootenay Ice, 5-0. . . . In Red Deer, D Kyle Becker scored the game's first two goals and added an assist as the Medicine Hat Tigers dumped the Rebels, 5-1. .  . The host Kamloops Blazers scored the game's last three goals, two coming from F Matt Needham, and beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 3-1. . . .
D Jared Hauf scored at 1:20 of OT to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 2-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . The Thunderbirds forced extra time when F Mathew Barzal sacored a PP goal at 17:58 of the third period. . . . The Prince George Cougars scored the game's first two goals and hung on to beat the visiting Vancouver Giants, 2-1. F Jari Erricson scored his seventh goal of the season for the Cougars. . . . In Everett, F Carson Stadnyk scored twice and added an assist to help the Silvertips to a 6-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. Everett scored the game's last three goals.

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