Thursday, May 21, 2015

Whatever happened to Kimbi Daniels? . . . McCrimmon in the NHL? Why not? . . . Oil Kings sign forward

The fun starts in Quebec City today as the Memorial Cup opens with the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets meeting the host Quebec Remparts.
With that in mind, Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province revisits the 1989 tournament with a focus on Kimbi Daniels, who played in that event and had a seemingly bright hockey future. Daniels and the Swift Current Broncos won that tournament in Saskatoon.
Now the Rockets are hoping to win it. Lorne Frey, their assistant GM, was an assistant coach with the Broncos; Dan Lambert, the Rockets’ head coach, was an offensive force as a defenceman.
That piece is right here.
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday: Kelowna vs. Quebec, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 29: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 31: Championship game, TBA

The Toronto Maple Leafs — yes, they introduced Mike Babcock as their latest head coach on Thursday — have added Jim Paliafito as their director of player evaluation. He had been the general manager of the NHLOHL’s Saginaw Spirit.
The Leafs’ front office also includes Mark Hunter, who had been the general manager of the London Knights, and Kyle Dubas, the former GM of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
All of this prompted Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press to write:
“The Leafs have Mark Hunter and Kyle Dubas just below president Brendan Shanahan on the hockey management side. If they add a third in a vice-president or assistant GM role, Kelly McCrimmon and his unparalleled knowledge of the Western Hockey League is a first and last call kind of guy.
“McCrimmon is owner, GM and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings and is as sharp a hockey mind as one will come across. McCrimmon has an MBA and has successfully operated the Wheat Kings since 1992. He knows players, he knows business and he knows hockey. He’s a first-rate person. The Leafs, or any NHL club for that matter, would be lucky to have him.”
Lawless is correct, of course, and you might wonder why no NHL team has yet made such a call. Perhaps it’s because the GM making that call would have to have supreme confidence in his own abilities and be capable of continuing his life without feeling McCrimmon was after his job.
Sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Or have you never wondered how it is that the late Ed Chynoweth never was given the opportunity to run an NHL team?
The complete Lawless piece is right here. He also makes a good point about NHL coaches and salary disclosure.
BCHLThe BCHL’s Penticton Vees have done a lot of winning under Fred Harbinson, their GM and head coach. Don’t think for a moment that no one has noticed. As Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province writes right here, Harbinson appears to be on the radar of the U of Wisconsin Badgers and the Vancouver Giants.


The QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes have extended the contract of head coach Martin Bernard through the 2016-17 season. His contract was to expire after next season.
Dan Muse is the new head coach of the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Muse had been an assistant coach at Yale U for six seasons. . . . The Steel also announced that Larry Robbins has purchased majority interest in the franchise. According to a news release, Robbins is“a Chicagoland native, professional investor and hockey enthusiast.”
The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives have signed Jim Fuyarchuk as their new head coach. Most recently he worked as head coach of the U-18 Miskolci Jegesmedvek club in Hungary. . . . Prior to that, he worked four seasons with the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. He also has been head coach of the now-defunct Brandon U Bobcats and spent five seasons in the Super League in Great Britain. . . . Fuyarchuk replaces Dwight Kirkup, who had been head coach for the previous two seasons.

The fourth annual Bauer BCHL Showcase is scheduled for Sept. 24-27 at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. According to a news release, “An extra day has been added to this year's Showcase in order to allow all games to be played on Prospera Centre's main ice surface.” . . . Matchups will be announced after the BCHL’s annual general meeting, June 4-6. . . .
The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Colton Kehler, who was a seventh-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft. Kehler, from Port Coquitlam, B.C., will turn 18 on June 27. . . . This season, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder had two goals in nine games with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals and nine goals and seven assists in 41 games with the Langley Rivermen. . . . He was a prolific scorer in major midget, scoring 41 times in 40 games for the Vancouver-North East Chiefs in 2012-13. . . . Kehler had committed to Clarkson before changing his mind and signing with the Oil Kings. . . .
If you have been wondering, the annual Young Guns preseason NHL tournament will be held in Penticton, Sept. 11-14. The Vancouver Canucks will again play host to the tournament that also will feature prospects from the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. . . . The Oilers’ lineup is likely to include F Connor McDavid. . . . Tickets go on sale July 10. . . . There’s more right here, including a schedule.

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