Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Giants introduce head coach . . . Ice fills out hockey staff . . . Pats bring back familiar face

EIHL-UKD Mike Wilson (Prince Albert, Swift Current, 2003-08) signed one-year contract with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). Last season, with the Wichita Thunder (ECHL), he had 13 goals and 37 assists in 72 games.

The Vancouver Giants introduced Lorne Molleken as their newest head coach on Tuesday morning. Molleken, the fourth-winningest coach in WHL regular-season history, replaces Claude Noel, who replaced Troy Ward 25 games into last season. . . . Molleken, 59, last coached in 2012-13 with the Saskatoon Blades. He was the Blades’ general manager the following season, then was bought out when Edmonton-based auto dealer Mike Priestner bought the franchise. . . . Cam Tucker of Metro Vancouver has more right here.
The Kootenay Ice have finished filling out the hockey operations side of their organization. Last month, general manager Jeff Chynoweth announced the hiring of Luke Pierce as head coach, replacing Ryan McGill, whose contract wasn’t renewed. . . . On Tuesday, Chynoweth announced the hiring of Gordon Burnett as assistant coach. As well, Garnet Kazuik, the director of scouting, has been re-signed, while Darcy Ewanchuk is returning to the Ice as trainer/equipment manager. . . . Burnett, Kazuik and Ewanchuk each signed a three-year contract. . . . Burnett, 34, is from Regina. Last season, he worked as an assistant coach at the U of Notre Dame. In 2013-14, he was with the Central league’s Arizona Sundogs. . . . Kazuik has been with the Ice since 2005. He has been the director of scouting since 2007. . . . Ewanchuk takes over from Cory Cameron, who stays with the team as an athletic consultant. Ewanchuk was with the Ice when the franchise was in Edmonton, working as assistant athletic trainer (1996-98) and was the Ice’s training in Cranbrook from 1999-2007. He also has worked with the Edmonton Oil Kings and Tri-City Americans.
Graham Tuer is back with the Regina Pats. He will scout for the team and also serve as a liaison with Hockey Regina, which oversees minor hockey in the city. . . . Tuer, who had been scouting with the Kelowna Rockets, has been associated with hockey in Regina for more than 50 years. . . . An annual bantam AA tournament in Regina was named after him in 2007. . . . Tuer worked as the Pats’ assistant GM and director of player personnel in the early 1990s. . . . He is a member of the Regina Sports Hall of Fame and has been on the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s board of directors since 1983.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.


Some notes . . .
The Victoria Royals used their first-round selection on Russian F Vladimir Bobylev, 18, who played last season with the Vancouver Giants. He had three goals and six assists in 52 games. . . . Vancouver had selected him in the first round of the 2014 draft, but dropped him before Tuesday’s draft. . . .
The Red Deer Rebels took Czech F Michael Spacek in the first round. The Rebels rolled the dice because Spacek, 18, has one year left on a contract with HC Dynamo Pardubice of the Czech Extraliga. Spacek was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the fourth round of the NHL draft on Saturday. . . . After the Rebels took Spacek, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun tweeted: “At the draft, Michael Spacek expressed interest in playing in North America next season. Rebels are hosting the 2016 Memorial Cup.” . . . 
The Kootenay Ice took Slovakian D Mario Grman, 18, in the second round. He played last season with the Red Deer Rebels, earning three assists in 35 games. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades were the first WHL team to pick and they took Czech D Libor Hajek with the second overall selection. . . . Scott Larson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here. . . .
With the last selection of the first round, the Brandon Wheat Kings took Swedish D Oliver Kylington. The Calgary Flames selected Kylington in the second round of the NHL draft on Saturday. . . . Kylington is signed for the next two seasons with AIK, which plays in Sweden’s Allsvenskan, the country’s No. 2 pro league. . . .
The Vancouver Giants held the eighth overall pick and took Slovakian F Radovan Bondra, 18. He is said to be 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. He was a fifth-round pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL draft on Saturday. . . .
The Regina Pats selected Russian D Nikolai Knyzhov, 17, with their first-round pick. He has played the last two seasons in Phoenix. Last season, he had a goal and three assists with the U-16 Phoenix Jr. Coyotes. . . .
With their first-round pick, the Seattle Thunderbirds took Swedish F Gustav Olhaver. On Saturday, he was taken by the Colorado Avalanche in the seventh round of the NHL draft. . . . He is said to be 6-foot-6 and 213 pounds. . . .
There is a complete list of WHL team selections right here.


SJHLDarcy Pindus is retiring after 18 seasons with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings. Pindus, a defence man in his playing days, first joined the Red Wings in 1980. He played parts of three seasons with Weyburn, while having stints in the WHL with the Regina Pats, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers. He also played five seasons with the U of Regina Cougars. In 1997, he began helping then-head coach Dwight MacMillan with the Red Wings. . . . From a Red Wings’ news release: “During his 18-year tenure, Pindus helped the Red Wings to two league titles, two Anavet Cups, and what he calls his most cherished memory with the Wings, winning the 2005 RBC Cup on home ice.”
SJHLThe SJHL’s Estevan Bruins have signed GM/head coach Chris Lewgood to a four-year extension that runs through 2019-20. Lewgood, who had one season left on his original three-year contract, is preparing for his third season with the Bruins. . . . Estevan is 49-47-1-15 under Lewgood.

Fabian Joseph has signed on as head coach and assistant GM of the Woodstock, N.B., Slammers of the junior A Maritime Hockey League. Joseph (Victoria Cougars, 11982-84) had been on the coaching staff of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats since 2007. . . . He is a native of Sydney, N.S.
ECHLAnthony Noreen is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He was the USHL’s coach of the year after his Youngstown Phantoms went 40-14-6 last season. . . . Noreen, who is from Chicago, was the Phantoms’ general manager and head coach for four seasons.

The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers invited eight free agents from the WHL to their development camp that opens today. Headed to Edmonton are G Jordan Papirny, 19, of the Brandon Wheat Kings, D Kevin Davis, 18, of the Everett Silvertips, F Connor Rankin of the Calgary Hitmen, F Jakob Stukel, 18, of the Vancouver Giants, F Cole Sanford, 20, of the Medicine Hat Tigers, F Braden Christoffer of the Regina Pats, F Tyler Soy, 18, of the Victoria Royals and F Tyler Robertson, 19, of the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Rankin and Christoffer played out their junior eligibility last season. . . . F Trevor Cox, 20, of the Medicine Hat Tigers will skate with the Washington Capitals.

There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.

  © Design byThirteen Letter

Back to TOP