Thursday, June 4, 2015

Hurricanes get their man . . . Warriors promote pair . . . Molleken to Giants?

F Stefan Meyer (Medicine Hat, 2000-05) signed a one-year extension with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite). This season, he had 74 points, including 36 goals, in 59 games. He led the Clan in goals and points, and was fifth in the league’s scoring race.

And then there was one.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes introduced Brent Kisio as the 14th head coach in franchise history on Thursday, leaving the Vancouver Giants as the only one of the WHL’s 22 teams without a head coach.
Kisio, 32, joins the Hurricanes after eight seasons on the coaching staff of the Calgary Hitmen, most recently as associate coach. He signed a three-year contract with Lethbridge, where he takes over from Peter Anholt.
Anholt joined the Hurricanes in December, taking over as general manager and head coach. The Hurricanes had fired general manager Brad Robson and head coach Drake Berehowsky. Immediately after the season, Anholt said he wouldn’t be back as coach. On May 4, he signed a three-year deal as GM.
Kisio, from Calgary, is the son of longtime Hitmen executive Kelly Kisio.
“I shortlisted three or four guys and went through the process,” Anholt said in a news release. “We had some real quality people, I just felt Brent really fit here better than any. I like his hockey pedigree, born and raised in the hockey world and being involved in the hockey business.”
The Lethbridge Hurricanes also announced the signings of three prospects on Thursday. . . . F Jordy Bellerive, from North Vancouver, was the second overall selection in the 2014 bantam draft. GM Peter Anholt had announced Bellerive’s signing during a shareholders’ meeting on Monday night. He had 49 points, including 34 goals, in 27 games at the Okanagan Hockey Academy. In his previous two seasons, Bellerive totalled 242 points in 114 games at the North Shore Winter Club. . . . D Nick Watson was selected in the second round of the 2014 bantam draft. He played this season at the Delta Hockey Academy, earning nine points, three of them goals, in 24 games. . . . F Josh Tarzwell, from Red Deer, was a second-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. He played the past two seasons with the bantam AAA Red Deer Rebels White, totalling 60 points in 65 games.
The QMJHL draft is scheduled for Saturday in Sherbrooke, Que., and the Saint John Sea Dogs are expected QMJHLto select F Joey Veleno with the first overall selection.
Veleno, 15, was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada on Thursday. He is the first Quebec player to be given such status.
It is believed that Hockey Canada originally refused Veleno’s request because it was received after a Feb. 15 deadline, but later reconsidered and then informed QMJHL commissioner Gilles Courteau of its decision yesterday.
The OHL has had four players — F Connor McDavid, F John Tavares, D Aaron Ekblad and D Sean Day — request and receive exceptional status. The WHL hasn’t had any such players.
Veleno is from Kirkland, Que. He had 52 points in 41 games for the midget AAA Lac-St-Louis Lions this season.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have promoted Doug Gasper and Bob Bartlett. . . . Gasper, the assistant head scout, now is the head scout, while Bartlett now is director, player development. . . . Gasper has been with the Warriors since 2007 and has been assistant head scout since 2012. . . . Bartlett, a former GM with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, joined the Warriors in 2009. In 2012, he was named senior scout/manager USA scouting and player development.
It was just last fall when Gordie Howe, aka Mr. Hockey, seemed ready to depart this world. He was 86 years of age and had suffered a stroke. Shortly after, however, he underwent a controversial stem-cell treatment and, in short order, showed great improvement. Was it that treatment or was it angels? Reeves Wiedeman has that story right here in an enthralling piece from New York magazine.


The Belarusian Ice Hockey Association and former NHL player and coach Dave Lewis have agreed on a contract extension. It is expected to be a three-year deal that will take the team through the Olympic cycle. Belarus reached the quarter-finals at the 2015 IIHF World Championship and, in fact, improved to ninth in the world ranking. . . . The Belarusian association also announced that Pavel Perepekhin, 37, will be back as the head coach of its national junior team. He will be behind the bench at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki. He also will coach Dynamo Bobruisk, a Belarusian team that is affiliated with the KHL’s Dynamo Minsk. Bobruisk will play in the Belarusian Extraliga and its roster will include a number of national junior team players.
Meanwhile, as expected, USA Hockey announced Thursday that veteran NHL coach Ron Wilson will coach its national junior team at the 2016 World Junior Championship in Helsinki.
Could veteran WHL coach Lorne Molleken be the next head coach of the Vancouver Giants? Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reported Thursday that Molleken, who last coached the Saskatoon Blades in 2013-14, is among those who have been interviewed for the vacant position. . . . Ewen tweeted: “Vancouver Giants braintrust meeting in coming days to contemplate coaches they've interviewed. Add ex-Saskatoon boss Lorne Molleken to list.” . . . That list is believed to have included Michael Dyck, Dallas Eakins, Ryan McGill and Ted Nolan. However, a tweet from Vancouver radio station News 1130 indicated that Nolan “is no longer in the mix. . . . Hearing Ryan McGill is very high on finalist list.” . . . According to Ewen, “Molleken and Dyck had conversations last year with the Vancouver Giants before they brought in Claude Noel to replace Troy Ward.” . . .
Meanwhile, Ewen also tweeted yesterday that the Giants “have fired five scouts from last season. No word yet on replacements. Club has missed #WHL playoffs 2 of last 3 years.” . . . In the WHL’s 2014-15 Guide, the Giants list a total of 14 scouts.

Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports that the Colorado Avalanche “could be a frontrunner in the NHLDerek Ryan sweepstakes.” . . . Ryan, 28, played for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs (2004-07). This season, playing for Orebro HK, he led the Swedish Hockey League, with 60 points. . . . The knock on Ryan has been his size — 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. But with F Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is of a similar size, making such an impact this seasons, some teams may be wanting to take a look. . . . Johnson, who is from Spokane, spent four seasons with the Chiefs. . . . Yes, Johnson and Ryan are friends. . . . Chambers’ report is right here.

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