Monday, June 8, 2015

Hunt takes over in P.A. . . . Marlies get a head coach . . . Leafs' offer to McCrimmon has deadline

The Prince Albert Raiders introduced Curtis Hunt as the 10th general manager in franchise history on Monday. Hunt, 48, takes over from Bruno Campese, who had been with the Raiders for eight seasons.
Hunt signed a four-year contract, which puts him in the same time frame as head coach Marc Habscheid and associate coach Dave Manson.
Hunt, a defenceman, played three seasons with the Raiders, starting in 1984-85 when the team won the Memorial Cup. He also coached for seven seasons in the WHL, with the Moose Jaw Warriors (2002-04) and Regina Pats (2004-08, 2009-10).
A native of North Battleford, Sask., he also spent a season (2008-09) in the pro ranks, with the NHL’s Ottawa Senators and their AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators.
Hunt spent 2014-15 as the general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
Brett Smith of the Prince Albert Daily Herald has more right here.
A history of Raiders’ general managers:
Alf Poulin (1971-72)
Terry Simpson (1972-1986; 1989-90)
Rick Wilson (1986-88)
Brad Tippett (1988-89)
Dale Engel (1990-94)
Bob Robson (1994-95)
Rick Vallette (1995-2001)
Donn Clark (2001-08)
Bruno Campese (2008-15)
Curtis Hunt (2015- )
On most Mondays, the Vancouver Province includes a column from Ed Willes that deals with a handful of items.
This week, part of that column dealt with this (the complete column is right here):
In the run-up to the Women’s World Cup, TSN aired a polished hour-long feature on the Canadian team entitled Rise.
It was a revealing portrait of a group of athletes who’ve played their careers in virtual anonymity. It was also first-rate story-telling, establishing the characters who’ll take centre stage in our country for the next month.
So what’s wrong with that? Nothing, unless you’ve grown tired of the two cable giants in this country, TSN and Sportsnet, turning their air time into an ongoing promotion for their properties. TSN is the rights-holder for the Women’s World Cup and, suddenly, they’re all in for the women. Now, ask yourself how many hour-long features they aired on the women’s team before this year?
While we’re on the subject, when was the last time they offered any innovative, self-produced programming to their audience that didn’t involve one of their properties?
It’s the same story at Sportsnet. They force feed the Blue Jays on the country, not because of an insatiable demand to watch a terminally mediocre baseball team, but because Rogers owns the team.
TSN and Sportsnet were granted sports-broadcasting licences by the CRTC but, in reality, they were granted licences to print money. The game is rigged in their favour to an illogical extent. But there’s been little payback to this country in terms of original programming.
They’re also in the process of driving CBC Sports out of business, and that should be a concern.
The Corp. is/was a lot of things but, at its best, it promoted sound journalistic principles and attempted to offer its audience something beyond another panel discussion or top-10 list.
In the end, the audience gets the kind of programming it deserves, and if they’re happy with things as they stand, there’s not much more to say. You’d just like to believe the public expects more from companies that have been given so much.


Sheldon Keefe, the OHL and CHL coach of the year, has signed on as head coach of the AHL’s Toronto AHLMarlies. Keefe, 34, spent the past three seasons with the OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. . . . The announcement was made by Kyle Dubas, an assistant general manager with the Maple Leafs. Dubas joined the Leafs a year ago, after being the Greyhounds’ general manager. . . . This season, the Greyhounds had the OHL’s best record -- 54-12-2, for 110 points. . . . Before moving to the Soo, Keefe was the GM and head coach of the junior A Pembroke Lumber Kings, where he won five straight CCHL titles. The Lumber Kings won the RBC Cup in 2011. . . . Keefe was to have spent part of this summer as an assistant coach with Hockey Canada’s under-18 team. The head coach of that team is Kelly McCrimmon, the owner/GM/head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who is pondering an offer to join the Maple Leafs’ front office.
The BCHL’s Langley Rivermen have promoted assistant coach Kurt Astle to assistant general manager and associate head coach. Astle has spent the past three season’s as the team’s director of player personnel and assistant coach. . . . He works alongside GM/head coach Bobby Henderson.

Bruce Luebke, the radio voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings on CKLQ, reported Monday that the Toronto Maple Leafs offer to Wheat Kings owner/GM/head coach Kelly McCrimmon has a June 11 deadline with it. . . . Here’s a note from the Brandon Sun: “McCrimmon has not returned calls from the Sun over the last week.” . . . Check out our latest poll over their on the right and vote for who you think will coach the Wheat Kings in 2015-16. . . .
F Jeremy Leipsic, the 18-year-old brother of former Portland Winterhawks F Brendan Leipsic, will play for the BCHL’s Powell River Kings in 2015-16. Jeremy, 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds, had 84 points, including 20 goals, with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild this season. His goal is to go the NCAA route.

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