Thursday, June 18, 2015

Now that's a road trip! . . . WHLers get U.S. camp invitations. . . . Popcorn guy stays with 'Tips








D Alex Plante (Calgary, 2004-09) signed a one-year contract with Anyang Halla (South Korea, Asia HL). Last season, with Lørenskog (Norway, GET-Ligaen), he had six goals and nine assists in 43 games. He also led the league with 189 penalty minutes. . . .
F Brandon Kozun (Calgary, 2006-10) signed a one-year contract with Jokerit Helsinki (Finland, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and two assists with the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL), and five goals and six assists in 23 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
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Some note from The MacBeth Report on the KHL . . .
The KHL held its annual meeting on Wednesday and confirmed 28 teams for this season, the same number as last season. The only change is that Atlant Mytishchi, which is in the Moscow area, is out and Spartak Moscow returns. . . . Teams will play a 60-game regular-season schedule that will start on Monday, Aug. 24 and end on Thursday, Feb. 18. . . . The playoffs will end no later than April 19. . . . Each team will play every other team twice (home and away), and each team will play six additional games against geographically close teams. That means that Jokerit Helsinki will make one road trip to Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, 6,749 km away. Vancouver is closer to Vladivostok at 4,595 km. To put this into a North American perspective, Edmonton to London, England, is 6,811 km. The two NHL franchises separated by the most distance are probably the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, with Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale being a distance of 4,495 km. . . . Earlier reports stated that the Russian Ministry of Sport is responsible for drafting the schedule and it will be set up to accommodate all Russian National Team games and practices.  . . . Jokerit has said the schedule will be released by the end of June.
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Six players off WHL rosters have been invited by USA Hockey to attend its summer evaluation camp. . . . G Evan Sarthou and D Brandon Carlo of the Tri-City Americans, F Scott Eansor of the Seattle Thunderbirds, and F Dominic Turgeon, D Caleb Jones and F Paul Bittner of the Portland Winterhawks are expected to attend the evaluation camp in Lake Placid, N.Y., Aug. 1-8.
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James Stucky, the Everett Silvertips’ equipment manager since the birth of the franchise in 2003, has signed a contract extension. Stucky, 41, is preparing for his 13th season with the Silvertips. . . . The team didn’t announce the length of the extension. . . . He is scheduled to work his 1,500th regular-season game when the Brandon Wheat Kings visit Everett on Oct. 28. . . . It’s worth noting that he has been around the WHL for a long time, having worked as a stickboy with the Seattle Thunderbirds in the late 1980s. He also worked as a game-day assistant with the Tacoma Rockets. . . . Stucky also is one of the founders of the WHL Popcorn Poll, which tracks the quality of popcorn in arenas throughout the league.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Ron Rolston is the new head coach of the Springfield Falcons, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. Rolston, 48, was the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres for 51 games (2012-14). He also spent two seasons (2011-13) as the head coach of Buffalo’s AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. . . . Last season, he worked as pro scout with the Coyotes. . . . Also in the AHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that veteran coach Mike Sullivan has been signed as head coach of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, while Terry Murray has left the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to work as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . John Hynes, who had been the head coach of the AHL’s Penguins, now is head coach of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
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Brent Gough is leaving the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors to join the Arizona Bobcats AAA program. . . . Gough, who had been with the Warriors for five seasons, had been the assistant general manager and associate head coach. He will continue as the Warriors’ assistant GM and director of player personnel. . . . According to a Warriors’ news release, he is joint the Bobcats “to help align him with his career goals of coaching in NCAA hockey.” . . . GM/head coach Rylan Ferster announced that Shae Naka is the Warriors’ new assistant coach. Naka worked with the Warriors a couple of seasons ago, before spending last season at the Pursuit of Excellence.
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