F Steven Goertzen (Seattle, 2001-04) has announced his retirement. Last season, with the league-champion Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite), he had 15 goals and 28 assists in 55 games.
The Everett Silvertips may be back in the running as they attempt to get F Auston Matthews on to their roster. Matthews, who is projected as a potential No. 1 selection in the NHL’s 2016 draft, has signed a contract with the Zurich-based ZSC Lions, who play in Switzerland’s top pro league. . . . That signed contract would seem to take care of his NCAA eligibility. . . . However, he has been unable to get a work permit. In order to get a work permit in Switzerland, hockey and soccer players need to have played professionally for one year. Matthews played last season in the U.S. National Team Development Program. . . . Edgar Salis of the Lions has told Klaus Zaugg of the Limmattaler Zeitung, a Swiss German-language newspaper, “I think it is difficult.” Salis added that if the work permit doesn’t come through, the Lions will move on. He said that there won’t be a lawsuit in an attempt to get the permit. . . . The Silvertips selected Matthews, who is from Scottsdale, Ariz., in the third round of the 2012 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had 116 points, 55 of them goals, in 60 games with the U.S. national U-18 team and 48 points, including 20 goals, with the national U-20 team.
The CHL’s import/goaltenders-not-welcome draft is scheduled for Tuesday. . . . In advance of that, the Red Deer Rebels have released Slovakian D F Mario Grman, 18. That will allow the Rebels to select one player on Tuesday. Their other import is Russian F Ivan Nikolishin, 19, who was acquired from the Everett Silvertips in May. . . . The Rebels hold the 48th pick in the first round on Tuesday and Brent Sutter, the team’s owner, general manager and head coach, hasn’t ruled out selecting Grman again. . . . Sutter spoke with Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate on the crapshoot that is this particular draft, which has long been dominated by player agents. “I’ve said this from the get-go,” Sutter told Meachem. “Unless you can get a player who can play in your top six forwards, why are you drafting him?” . . . A year ago, the Rebels selected Latvian D Hugo Jansons with their first pick, taking Grman later. Jansons was injured in the season and later released. “We were told by his (Jansons’) agent, Igor Larionov, that he (Jansons) could come in and play in our top four,” Sutter told Meachem. “As it turns out, he comes in and can’t even play on our hockey team. That kind of stuff goes on, so you have to be really careful. Once all the A-list players are gone, you’re down to the B list and you’re just counting on agents at that point.” . . . Meachem's story is right here.
——Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada looks at the Kevin Bieksa situation and lots of NHL draft odds and ends in his weekly 30 Thoughts. It’s right here.
More undrafted WHL players have accepted invitations to NHL team development camps. . . . F Ty Comrie of the Tri-City Americans will skate with the New York Rangers. He will turn 18 on Aug. 8. . . . The Florida Panthers’ camp will include D Evan Fiala, 18, of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . D Tristen Pfeifer, 19, of the Everett Silvertips will be in camp with the Arizona Coyotes. He is from Scottsdale, Ariz. . . . The New York Rangers’ camp will include D Arvin Atwal of the Vancouver Giants, who turns 20 on Nov. 26, and D Jerret Smith, 20, of the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . F Evan Polei, 18, of the Red Deer Rebels is going to the Detroit Red Wings’ camp.
If you’re looking for a good NHL draft notebook, give this right here a look. It’s by Ken McKenna of hockeyfutures.com and there is a lot of info in it.
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The Red Deer Rebels have added Erik Lodge, a 35-year-old native of Innisfail, Alta., to their coaching staff as the skills development coach. He replaces Clayton Beddoes, who has signed to coach in Italy with the Vipiteno Broncos. . . . Lodge played three games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (1996-97) and later played five seasons at Lakehead University. . . . Lodge is a teacher and runs a hockey academy. . . . Lodge announced his signing via Twitter on Sunday afternoon: “Very excited to join the Red Deer Rebels coaching staff for the upcoming Memorial Cup season.”
79 of 211 players taken in 2015 NHL draft are Canadian. That's more than next top 2 nations combined. Spare us angst over our hockey future.— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) June 29, 2015
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