Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Matthews tied up in immigration issue? . . . McCrimmon still pondering offer . . . Ex-Giants coach back in game

F T.J. Galiardi (Calgary, 2007-08) signed a one-year contract with Malmö (Sweden, SHL). This season, he had one goal in 38 games with the Winnipeg Jets. . . .
F Brett Sonne (Calgary, 2004-09) signed a one-year contract with Banská Bystrica (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, with Mora (Sweden, Allsvenskan), he had four goals and three assists in 35 games, and in 12 games with Frisk Asker (Norway, GET-Ligaen), he had five goals and eight assists. . . .
D Jeff May (Prince Albert, Lethbridge, 2002-08) signed a one-year contract with Angers (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, he was an alternate captain with the Ontario Reign (ECHL), and had four goals and 12 assists in 38 games. He played for Angers in 2012-13.

There hasn’t been confirmation yet, but it appears that F Auston Matthews and the ZSC Zurich Lions of the Swiss National League A have agreed to terms on a contract.
According to a story at watson.ch, as written by Klaus Zaugg, the situation has run up against some Swiss-NLAimmigration issues. (Thanks to the MacBeth Report for providing the information that follows.)
“The thing is tricky, we cannot say anything yet,” Lions manager Peter Zahner said.
ZSC Sports Chief Edgar Salis added: “I cannot say why there is a delay.”
Apparently, they are having problems getting him a visa because Matthews has not played professionally outside of Switzerland.
According to Swiss regulations regarding soccer and hockey, a non-European Union citizen must have played one year as a professional before being eligible for a Swiss work permit.
There is recent precedent with this situation, too. Swiss soccer club FC Basel ran into this issue last summer with a Serbian player it signed to a five-year contract. FC Basel wasn’t able to get a work permit for the player, so he was loaned to a Slovakian team for one year. That made him eligible for a Swiss work permit.
In light of that situation, Swiss soccer clubs have started an initiative to get this regulation overturned, and ZSC lawyers now have joined the movement. A decision is expected in the next two weeks.
Depending on what happens, ZSC could get a provisional work permit for Matthews but if the Federal Office for Migration rejects the application, Matthews would have to leave the country immediately.
After the 2012-13 season, D Ryan O’Connor went directly from the OHL’s Barrie Colts to the Swiss team Davos and he received a work permit without delay. However, O’Connor is Canadian and there is a special agreement between Canada and Switzerland that allows this for Canadian citizens. There is no such agreement between the United States and Switzerland.
The Everett Silvertips hold Matthews’ WHL rights.
Kelly McCrimmon, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings, has yet to speak publicly about the offer he is mulling over from the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Maple Leafs apparently interviewed McCrimmon sometime in the past two weeks and later made an offer NHLto him. Bruce Luebke, the long-time radio voice of the Wheat Kings, has reported that the offer carried with it a June 11 deadline.
On Tuesday’s Insider Trading, Darren Dreger, one of TSN’s Hockey Insiders, offered: “My sense is that Kelly McCrimmon is leaning towards taking the job in the front office of the Toronto Maple Leafs.”
That’s it. No source or sources. No indication that Dreger spoke with McCrimmon. No indication of from where he got his “sense.”
I have no idea which way McCrimmon might be leaning, but I can guess that the last few days have torn him apart.
McCrimmon, 54, is the best hockey/business mind in the WHL. He should have been in the NHL long before this. So, you’re wondering, why hasn’t an NHL team come calling before now? Likely for the same reason that the late Ed Chynoweth never ended up with an NHL team. It would have taken an NHL executive with uncommon job security to have hired Chynoweth, who was his own man.
The same is true of McCrimmon.
In past conversations, he has said that he would have loved to have been given the opportunity to work in the NHL. The position of assistant general manager would have suited him perfectly. He could have started there and then seen what happened.
Complicating the issue now is that he has built a Wheat Kings team that has the chance to dominate over the next couple of seasons. Does he walk away from what he has constructed, leaving it in the hands of someone else?


Bryant Perrier is the new general manager and head coach of the junior B North Okanagan Knights of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. The Knights play out of Armstrong, B.C. . . . Perrier, 50, is a native of Penticton. . . . Former owner Chuck Gallacher was the GM last season, while Jim Armstrong was the head coach. . . . The team now is owned by Dean Keller. . . . Perrier spent the past three seasons coaching in France. . . . He has head-coaching experience in the region, having coached with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials and Penticton Panthers. . . . Perrier last coached in North America in 2011-12. In his third season with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives, he left the team after a hazing incident. He later was suspended by the MJHL for the remainder of the season. Perrier has been adamant that he had no idea what had happened; the MJHL said that Perrier, as the GM and head coach, should have known.

Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal tweeted Tuesday that the USHL’s Madison Capitols have hired Troy Ward as general manager and head coach. Ward, who began last season as head coach of the Vancouver Giants, will replace Luke Strand, who left to join the U of Wisconsin Badgers as an associate coach. . . . The Capitols are expected to announce Ward’s signing next week during their spring camp.

ECHLIn the ECHL, F Greger Hanson scored at 5:25 of OT to give the Allen Americans a 3-2 victory over the host South Carolina Stingrays in Game 5 of the Kelly Cup final. . . . The Americans lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 scheduled for tonight in North Charleston. . . . F Chris Crane gave the Americans a 2-1 lead at 3:01 of the third period. . . . F Wayne Simpson pulled the Stingrays into a tie at 16:05. . . . Attendance was 4,184.
It is one of the most famous headlines in newspaper history — Headless Body in Topless Bar. It appeared on the front page of the New York Post in 1983. Vincent Musetto, the man who wrote that headline, has died. Jim Norman, who was there the night that headline was written, has more on that story right here.

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