|Peter Young, an old friend and a former CTV sportscaster, sent me this|
photo from Winnipeg on Friday. That's Chicago Blackhawks captain
Jonathan Toews leading some boys to a Winnipeg park for a game
of ball hockey. Yes, they played for the Stanley Cup.
F Edgars Kulda (Edmonton, 2012-15) signed a tryout contract with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). Last season, with Edmonton, he had 13 goals and 17 assists in 47 games. . . .
F Johnny Lazo (Tri-City, 2006-10) signed a one-year contract with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Serie A). Last season, with the University of Alberta (CIS), he had 19 points, 10 of them goals, in 24 games. He was an alternate captain. . . .
D Cam Barker (Medicine Hat, 2001-06) signed a one-year extension with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, he had nine assists in 18 games.
The Medicine Hat Tigers haven’t increased their portion of season-ticket prices, but fees associated with a new building have resulted in an increase. That includes a $77.40 city-imposed facility fee. As well, a new Ticketmaster service charge has been implemented. . . . Peggy Revell of the Medicine Hat News has more right here.
The five teams in the AHL’s Pacific Division will play 68 games in 2015-16, while all other teams will play 76. On Friday, the league announced how it will determine its playoff teams:
“Teams will receive two points for a win and one point for an overtime or shootout loss. The top four teams in each division ranked by points percentage (points earned divided by points available) will qualify for the 2016 Calder Cup playoffs, with one exception in each conference: if the fifth-place team in the Atlantic or Central Division finishes with a better points percentage than the fourth-place team in the North or Pacific Division, it would cross over and compete in the other division’s bracket.”
This will be interesting to watch unfold because of the three-point games that feature the loser point.
The AHL also will use the five-minute 3-on-3 overtime periods, followed by the three-skater shootouts, if necessary.
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A source familiar with the situation told Taking Note on Friday afternoon that the Vancouver Giants have hired Tyler Kuntz as an assistant coach. He spent last season as the head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds. . . . Prior to taking over as head coach, Kuntz was a UBC assistant coach for four seasons. . . . He also played five seasons with the Thunderbirds. . . . In the Vancouver area, he also worked as an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Burnaby Express and the major midget North West Giants.
The OHL’s Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds named Drew Bannister their newest head coach on Friday evening. He replaces Sheldon Keefe, who now is head coach of the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. . . . Bannister, 41, spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Owen Sound Attack. . . . A defenceman in his playing days, Bannister played four seasons with the Greyhounds, winning two OHL titles and appearing in three straight Memorial Cups. He was on the Soo team that won it all in 1993. He went on to play 18 years as a pro.
The BCHL’s Merritt Centennials have added Matt Samson as an assistant coach. He had been the general manager and head coach of the junior B North Van Wolf Pack of the Pacific Junior Hockey League.
The Seattle Thunderbirds are in the market for an equipment manager after announcing Friday that Ben Calkins is joining the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Calkins will be a co-equipment manager, with Matt Brayfield, with the Gulls. Calkins spent four seasons with the Thunderbirds. . . . If you are interested in the Thunderbirds’ position, send cover letter and resume to Hunter Cherni, the team’s hockey operations assistant, at email@example.com.
F Daniel Nachbaur, 20, has been traded by the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings to the Wenatchee Wild. He is the first player with previous BCHL experience to be added to the Wild’s roster as it prepares for its first season in the league. . . . Nachbaur, the son of Spokane Chiefs head coach Don Nachbaur, was traded for future considerations. He had four points in an injury-plagued 2014-15 season split between the Merritt Centennials and Prince George. . . . He is no stranger to Wenatchee, having played for a U-18 team there in 2011-12.
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