Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Take time for Dickson Liong's story . . . Ice pick opts for Vees . . . BCHL franchise for sale


No Game Scheduled.


Dickson Liong is a sports writer who covers the Vancouver Canucks and Vancouver Giants. No one in the business works harder than he does. He’s special, he really is, but he doesn’t care about that, nor does he want special treatment. He just wants to be a writer. How bad does he want it? On quiet days, he writes, even if he’s writing about a days old hockey game. If there’s nothing to write about, he’ll write anyway. . . . I have known him for a few years now and am thrilled to call him my friend. Hey, I have sat across a restaurant table from him and watched him devour a burger and fries. No, he didn’t write about that, but he should have. . . . Anyway, if you don’t know of Liong, he’s got cerebral palsy, not that he lets that get in his way. . . . Take five minutes out of your day and click right here to see his story. You’ll be glad you did.
D Griffin Mendel, a first-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, has decided to play next season with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. . . . "It's tough, but every player has choices to make," Jeff Chynoweth, the Ice’s general manager, told Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman."Griffin, his family and his advisors have made that (decision) for his 16-year-old season. They haven't closed the door moving forward. From our end, we'll recruit accordingly. It's always tough to recover from (losing) any player like that. But you've still got to prove yourself in the Western Hockey League. Most coaches don't care what round you're drafted in. They want the best players.” . . . Rocca’s story is right here.

The 2015 Hockey Coaches Conference is scheduled for Vancouver, July 24 and 25. It will feature the likes of Mike Johnston, head coach of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Kyle Dubas, an assistant GM with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, and Roger Takahashi, strength and conditioning coach with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks as presenters. . . . To see more presenters, click right here. . . . For more on the conference, click right here.
There are reports that F Joseph Veleno, 15, has asked Hockey Canada for exceptional player status, which likely would lead to him being the first overall selection in the QMJHL draft. Stephane Leroux of RDS first reported the move. . . . The Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first pick in the draft, which is scheduled for June 6 in Sherbrooke. . . . This season, Veleno had 49 points, including 16 goals, in 38 games with the midget AAA Lac St-Louis Lions. . . . With Quebec at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, he had 10 points, four of them goals, in six games. . . . Should Veleno be granted exceptional status, he will become the first such player in QMJHL history. . . . Four players have played, or are playing, in the OHL after receiving such status — D Sean Day of the Mississauga Steelheads and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters, along with Aaron Ekblad and John Tavares, both of whom now are in the NHL. . . . No player has ever requested exceptional status to play in the WHL.
The BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers are for sale. The Alberta-based group that has owned the franchise for 10 years says it’s time for a change. That group includes former NHL/WHL G Kelly Hrudey and Bill Gallacher, the owner of the Portland Winterhawks. Spencer Anderson of the Nanaimo Daily News has more right here.

From Rick Westhead of TSN: “NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has been ordered by a U.S. federal court judge to offer testimony in the concussions lawsuit filed by 60 former players against the league. TSN has learned that late Tuesday, a judge ordered Bettman to testify in July on matters related to the high-stakes litigation.” . . . Westhead’s complete story is right here.

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