Thursday, June 11, 2015

Warriors tackling attendance situation . . . Jets ink Portland star . . . Ducks sack ex-WHL coach








F Chris St. Jacques (Medicine Hat, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract with Kaufbeuren (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Serie A), he had two goals and two assists; in 12 games with the Wedemark Scorpions (Germany, Oberliga), he had eight goals and 15 assists; and, in 10 games with the Bietigheim Steelers (Germany, DEL2), he had three goals and six assists.
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Let us get the important stuff out of the way first. . . . There is nothing new on the Kelly McCrimmon situation. . . . Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada tweeted Thursday afternoon: “Checking into Kelly McCrimmon: told there is no deadline today, so no announcement doesn't mean he's declined Toronto's offer.” . . . There is nothing new on the Austin Matthews front, either. . . . There. You are up to date, at least as of 11 p.m. Pacific time.
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It’s no secret that the attendance figures announced at most WHL games are a whole lot different from the number of bums in the seats. The Moose Jaw Warriors have recognized that situation and are preparing to deal with it.
The Warriors early-bird season-ticket deadline has passed, and they saw an increase of 212 over a year ago. They now have 2,154 season-ticket holders and are hopeful of surpassing last season’s total of 2,674.
Here’s Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald: “That strong season-ticket base is great for the bottom line, but the franchise is also hoping that they have more fans actually in Mosaic Place on game nights. Too often last season the paid attendance didn't come close to reflecting how many fans were in the building.”
The Warriors have played four seasons in 4,414-seat Mosaic Place. They averaged 3,898 fans in 2011-12; last season, that figure was 3,312. That is, as Gourlie points out, a decrease of 15 per cent.
As Gourlie writes right here, the Warriors are prepared to work on improving that situation.
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F Chase De Leo, who played the past four seasons with the Portland Winterhawks, has signed a three-year NHLentry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets. They selected him in the fourth round, 99th overall, of the NHL’s 2014 draft. . . . De Leo, 20, is eligible to return to the WHL for a fifth season, but is expected to start the season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. De Leo, from La Mirada, Calif., had 251 points, including 110 goals, in 279 games with Portland. In 81 playoff games, he had 56 points, 22 of them goals. . . . The contract is a two-way deal, with an average annual value in the NHL of US$875,000.

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THE COACHING GAME:
The Regina Pats have added Brad Herauf to their staff as an assistant coach. Herauf replaces Darren McKechnie, who left the club to focus on his responsibilities with the Regina Police Service. . . . The 32-year-old Herauf, who is from Regina, spent the last two seasons as the head coach of the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians. This season, the Pats finished third at the Telus Cup national championship tournament.
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NHLThe NHL’s Anaheim Ducks fired assistant coach Brad Lauer on Thursday, just a short time after they lost the Western Conference final to the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games. . . . Lauer, who played in the WHL with the Regina Pats (1983-86) and was an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice (2002-07), had worked alongside head coach Bruce Boudreau with the Ducks since November 2011. . . . Lauer, 48, was responsible for the Ducks’ power play that ranked 28th in the NHL. . . . According to the Ducks, the other assistant coaches, Trent Yawney and Scott Niedermayer, are expected back.
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QMJHLFormer NHL D Paul Boutilier has signed on as a full-time assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs. According to a Sea Dogs’ news release, “Boutilier, 52, joined the team last season as the director of its newly-created Player Development & Analytics program, where he worked primarily with defencemen.” . . . With the Sea Dogs, he will work alongside new head coach Danny Flynn. The other assistant coaches are Jeff Cowan and Jim Fleming.
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The Regina Pats have signed three players — F Riley Woods, F Gary Haden and G Kurtis Chapman. . . . Woods, a list player from Regina, put up 59 points, including 22 goals, in 42 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians this season. Woods, who turns 17 on June 25, added 17 playoff points and picked up 14 more at the Telus Cup. . . . Haden, a ninth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft, is from Airdrie, Alta. Haden, 16, had 31 points, 15 of them goals, in 33 games with the midget AAA UFA Bisons this season. He added 20 points in 13 playoff games and eight more in the Telus Cup. . . . Chapman, a seventh-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, played this season with the midget AAA UFA Bisons. The 17-year-old also is from Airdrie.
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F Carter Rigby, who played four seasons in the WHL, will attend the University of Prince Edward Island and play for the Panthers. Rigby totalled 132 points, including 70 goals, while playing for the Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Broncos. He played out his eligibility this season. After his WHL season ended, he had three assists in four games with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder.
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