Monday, December 15, 2014

Hick Abbott's medals in HHOF . . . Hurricanes release veteran . . . Warriors add coach

Walter Gretzky (left), Dave Thomson, Scott Veber and Mark Abbott at the
Hockey Hall of Fame display that honours veterans of the First World War.

Mark Abbott (left), a representative of the Abbott family, presents Scott
Veber of the Hockey Hall of Fame with Lyman (Hick) Abbott's First World
War medals.

(Photos: Hockey Hall of Fame)
Last week was important for those of us who have worked to honour the memory of Lyman (Hick) Abbott.
Abbott, who was from Regina, was one of Western Canada’s best young athletes when he lost his life in the First World War.
Out of the Great War, he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar, along with the British War Medal. He is believed to be Regina’s highest-decorated veteran of that conflict.
Over time, those medals came to be in the possession of someone outside of the Abbott family. The good news is that recently, after a 2-1/2-year quest, those medals were secured by the Abbott family.
Last week, Mark Abbott, a representative of the family, presented the medals on loan to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. (Hick Abbott was a cousin of Mark Abbott’s grandfather, George Ira Abbott.)
The medals now are part of a display in the HHOF that honours First World War veterans.
Part of that display is the Abbott Memorial Cup, which is named in honour of Hick Abbott. Originally awarded to Western Canada’s top junior team, it was withdrawn from competition a few years ago.
Also included in the display is Abbott’s homemade identification bracelet that he was wearing when he was felled by a sniper on Aug. 14, 1918.
Mark Abbott presented the medals to Scott Veber, the HHOF’s creative director and curatorial associate, who organized the First World War display. Also on hand were Dave Thomson, who aided in the securing of the medals, and Walter Gretzky.
While the Abbott family worked to secure the medals, Hick Abbott was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in Regina last summer.
It is believed that, once the HHOF exhibit closes, the Abbott family would like those medals to go on display at the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.
(If you aren’t aware of Hick Abbott’s story, click right here.)

F Mário Bližňák (Vancouver, 2005-08) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he had two assists in 28 games with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). . . .
F Jordan Knackstedt (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) has been traded by Rubin Tyumen (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) to Saryarka Karaganda (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya Liga) for Sergei Shestakov. This season, with Tyumen, Knackstedt had two goals and three assists in 15 games.

The mumps continues its run through NHL dressing rooms. The latest player to be diagnosed is F Beau Bennett of the Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times takes a look at the situation right here.
The WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium is in effect through Dec. 26.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes have released D Griffin Foulk, 19. Foulk was an eighth-round selection by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the 2010 bantam draft. He never played for Edmonton, but was with the Everett Silvertips and Seattle Thunderbirds. Lethbridge acquired him from Seattle for D Adam Henry in October 2013. . . . Foulk, from Bloomfield, Colo., has 23 points, including six goals, in 153 career regular-season games. . . . The Hurricanes are carrying 25 players, including 15 forwards and eight defencemen.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have added Brennen Wray to their coaching staff as an assistant under head coach Tim Hunter and alongside Mark O’Leary and goaltender coach Jamie Hodson. . . . Wray, 26, played two-plus seasons with the Warriors (2004-07), putting up 50 points, including 17 goals, in 171 games. . . . A Moose Jaw native, he also played two-plus seasons with the Red Deer Rebels. In 346 regular-season WHL games, he had 122 points, 33 of them goals. . . . He is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier U, where he played for five seasons (2009-14) and earned a chemistry degree.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have added F Ryan Bowen to their roster for their final two games before the Christmas break. Bowen, 16, is from Chilliwack, B.C., where he plays for the BCHL’s Chiefs. He has 15 points, including six goals, in 31 games. . . . Bowen was a fifth-round pick by the Warriors in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . The Warriors are at home to Lethbridge tonight and in Prince Albert on Wednesday.
The Kelowna Rockets have added D Braydyn Chizen, 16, to their roster for their last two games before the Christmas break. Chizen, from St. Albert, Alta., was a ninth-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. The Rockets are in Edmonton tonight and in Red Deer on Wednesday.

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