Friday, June 12, 2015

Time for WHL to honour Kennedy? . . . Monarchs close in on Calder Cup . . . Parrish in coaching game

SHELDON KENNEDY
To say the last few months of Sheldon Kennedy’s life have been amazing would be something of an understatement.
Consider that . . .
On Dec. 26, it was announced that he would receive the Order of Canada, which recognizes “outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.”
On May 12, the Manitoba government announced that Kennedy, who is from Elkhorn, Man., will be inducted into the Order of Manitoba on July 9. This is Manitoba’s way of recognizing, according to the Winnipeg Sun, “people who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour, benefiting the social, cultural or economic well-being of Manitoba and its residents.”
On May 25, the U of Guelph announced that Kennedy would receive the 2015 Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award. According to the university, the award “honours exemplary and dedicated Canadian leaders whose careers have included groundbreaking, socially significant pursuits.”
On June 8, the U of Calgary honoured Kennedy by presenting him with an honourary degree, Doctor of Laws. According to a news release from the university, the honourary degree “is the University of Calgary’s highest academic honour, bestowed on individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition.”
These awards follow such honours as being named Calgary’s Citizen of the Year for 2012, a Scotiabank Humanitarian Award and the 2014 David Foster Foundation Humanitarian Award.
In making its announcement the U of Calgary referred to Kennedy as “Canada’s finest role model.”
Here’s more from the U of Calgary’s news release:
“Kennedy’s decision to go public with charges against his former junior hockey coach brought the issue of child sexual abuse to the social forefront. He has become an unofficial, international spokesperson for abuse survivors and has made personal appearances on Oprah, ABC’s Nightline, W-5 and The Fifth Estate. Kennedy was named Canada’s newsmaker of the year in 1997 and his life story was made into an award-winning television movie, The Sheldon Kennedy Story, which aired in 1999.
“In 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the official naming of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, a first-of-its-kind facility that utilizes a collaborative model for investigating and treating child abuse. Kennedy serves on the centre’s board and continues to influence social change through Respect Group, the company he co-founded to provide empowering online education for the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment in youth.”
For more on what is happening with the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, click right here.
Kennedy, who will turn 46 on June 15, played three seasons with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos (1986-89), and it was during that time when he was sexually abused by Graham James, the team’s general manager and head coach.
Kennedy went on to a nine-season professional career that included 310 NHL games with the Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. But he was a broken man and wasn’t nearly the player he could have been under different circumstances.
To have known Kennedy then and to see what he has made of his life is to have witnessed a most remarkable transformation. In so doing, Kennedy has become one of the most influential and most respected people in our country.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe the WHL has an award for people in Kennedy’s situation. The WHL’s Governors and Distinguished Service awards are given to people who have contributed to the WHL and/or its teams in a distinguished fashion.
Perhaps it’s time the WHL inaugurated an award for former WHLers — players, coaches, front-office types, owners, whomever — who have gone on to bigger and better things outside the league.
Perhaps it could be called the Sheldon Kennedy Award.
Perhaps Sheldon Kennedy could be the first recipient.
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F Ben Maxwell (Kootenay, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract with Sochi (Russia, KHL). This season, Maxwell was an alternate captain with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL). In 46 games, he had 14 goals and 13 assists. . . . He also played 12 regular-season games with league-champion Kärpät Oulu (Finland, Liiga), scoring three times and adding three assists. In 19 playoff games, he had seven goals and five assists. . . .
F Colton Yellow Horn (Lethbridge, Tri-City, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). This season, with the Nippon Paper Cranes Kushiro (Japan, Asia HL), he had team highs in goals (21), assists (38) and points (59). He also led the team, at plus-23.
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In the AHL, the visiting Manchester Monarchs scored three second-period goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the Utica Comets in Game 4 of the Calder Cup final series. . . . The Monarchs, who are affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, hold a 3-1 lead in the series, with Game 5 in Utica tonight. . . . Manchester, which was founded in 2001, has never won the Calder Cup. The Monarchs will move to Ontario, Calif., after this season. . . . The Monarchs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Comets, who are affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, tied it before the period ended. . . . The Monarchs broke the tie with two PP goals and then F Nic Dowd got his second goal of the game at 19:49. . . . F Sven Baertschi scored his eighth playoff goal for the Comets. . . . Monarchs G Patrik Bartosak (Red Deer, 2011-14) stopped 22 shots as he made his first pro playoff start. . . . Attendance was 3,835.
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Oscar Johnson, who worked on the medical staff with the ECHL’s Utah Grizzlies, has pleaded guilty to one charge involving the prescription of painkillers that may have ended up in the hands of the late Derek Boogaard. . . . Benjamin Weiser and John Branch of The New York Times have more right here.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Mark Parrish is the new head coach of the boys’ hockey team at Orono High School in Orono, Minn. Parrish, who played one season with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1997-98), retired as a player following the 2011-12 season. He began helping with the Orono hockey team late this season. . . . There’s more right here.
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THE CONCUSSION REPORT:

“The lawsuit against a Thayer Academy high school field hockey coach, accused of putting a player on the field with a concussion, highlights the need for player safety protocols, doctors and coaches say,” writes Lindsay Kalter of the Boston Herald.
“A Superior Court judge ruled that Amy Dugan, a junior at Braintree’s Thayer Academy in 2011, can sue coach Erin Cash for negligence. According to the decision in which a judge denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss, the player was hit in the head with a field hockey ball, and the coach failed to get the player evaluated.
“The player was put in a game five days later, when she suffered a second head injury.”
Kalter’s story is right here.

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