Monday, July 13, 2015

Oilers sign potential Rockets coach . . . Tory backs city council candidate . . . Patterson gets married








F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) signed a one-year contract with Asplöven Haparanda (Sweden, Allsvenskan). Last season, with the Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL), he had seven goals and six assists in 30 games. . . .
G Barry Brust (Spokane, Calgary, 2000-04) signed a one-year contract with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL), he was 2.15, .933 with two shutouts in 19 games; in 22 games with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, KHL), he was 2.70, .916 with two shutouts. . . .
F Dylan Sylvester (Kootenay, 2004-10) signed a one-year contract with Dornbirn (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with the Vienna Capitals, he had 10 goals and seven assists in 48 games.
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Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, thought that Ian Herbers might be his team’s next head coach.
That thought ended Sunday when the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers signed Herbers, until then the head coach of NHLthe U of Alberta Golden Bears, as an assistant coach.
On Monday afternoon, Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier, who covers the Rockets, tweeted that “Ian Herbers from University of Alberta has been hired by @EdmontonOilers as assistant coach to round out Todd McLellan's staff. “
Herbers, 47, has spent the past three seasons as head coach of the Golden Bears, who have won the last two CIS championships.
“We were very high on him,” Hamilton told Fisher. “He would’ve been a slam-dunk in my mind, but that’s the way it goes.
“Now we’ll go through and dig in a little deeper and try to get as much information as we can on each guy before we start to decide who I want to bring in (for interviews).”
Hamilton is working to find a replacement for Dan Lambert, who resigned last week after one season as the Rockets’ head coach. Lambert, who had been on staff as an assistant coach for five seasons before that, now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.
McLellan is preparing for his first season as the Oilers’ head coach. He spent the past seven seasons as head coach of the San Jose Sharks.
McLellan and Herbers’ paths have crossed on numerous occasions.
They were both WHL players and played at the same time for one season, Herbers with the Swift Current Broncos and McLellan with the Saskatoon Blades. Later, they spent one season together with the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks, McLellan as the head coach and Herbers one of the team’s defencemen.
As for the Rockets, Fisher reports that Hamilton has heard from more than 50 men who are interested in the job.
“We’ve got lots of real good possibilities,” Hamilton told Fisher. “I’m working my way through, trying to figure out who we’re interested in and researching them out.
“My first preference is to find somebody with some experience. If we don’t, then we’ll work our way down to the best young guy (who) is available.”
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The Vancouver Giants made it official on Monday morning -- they have hired Tyler Kuntz to work as an assistant coach under new head coach Lorne Molleken. . . . Kuntz, 36, is from Lumsden, Sask. He spent the last five seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds, serving as head coach last season. . . . The Giants also said that Matt Erhart, who came on board as an assistant coach two years ago, “will remain on staff.”
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All of this means that there are a couple of high-profile CIS jobs available, what with UBC and Alberta, both of which play in Canada West, in need of head coaches.
The Alberta job will garner a lot of interest because it is the No. 1 hockey school in Canada. There is speculation, however, that Herbers will take, or be given, a one- or two-year leave of absence from the Golden Bears, so perhaps that will cut down at least a bit on the amount of interest in that job.
The UBC job isn’t as attractive, if only because the athletic department there has been in a state of upheaval in recent times. (For more on that, check out this piece right here, from October 2013, by Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun.)
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It isn’t often that WHL team officials get involved in civic politics, at least not in a fashion that would be visible to the public.
However, Bob Tory, who owns a piece of the Tri-City Americans and is the team’s governor and general manager, has stepped outside that safe zone.
On Monday, Tory tweeted: “I support Matt Boehnke for Kennewick City Council.”
Tory has been stumping for a new arena to replace the Toyota Centre, the Americans’ home arena that is located in Kennewick. It’s likely safe to assume that Boehnke would like to see a new arena, too.
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They don’t make them like Ken Stabler these days. The former quarterback of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders died last week at the age of 69. . . . In 1980, Pete Axthelm, one of sports writing’s all-time greats, wrote a terrific piece on Stabler. It’s right here.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Scott Gordon as the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Gordon, 52, last coached with the Toronto Maple Leafs as an assistant coach for three seasons (2011-14). Before that, he spent parts of three seasons as head coach of the New York Islanders. He also spent parts of six seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. . . . The Flyers also announced that Riley Cote (Prince Albert, 1998-2002) will be back as an assistant coach with the Phantoms. Cote, 33, is preparing for his sixth season with the Phantoms. . . . Terry Murray had been the Phantoms’ head coach before he signed on as an assistant with the Buffalo Sabres.
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USHLBill Muckalt was introduced Monday as the new general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Tri-City Storm, which plays out of Kearney, Neb. Muckalt, who played two seasons with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials before going on to Michigan and then to a pro career, has spent the past four seasons as an assistant coach at Michigan Tech. . . . With the Storm, he replaces Jim Hulton, now the head coach of the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders.
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The NHL’s New Jersey Devils have signed F John Quenneville of the Brandon Wheat Kings to a three-year entry-level contract. Quenneville, 19, was the 30th overall selection in the NHL’s 2014 draft. Last season, the Edmonton native had 17 goals and 30 assists in 57 games.
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F Chase Lowry, a 15-year-old from Edmonton, has signed with the Red Deer Rebels. He was a third-round selection by the Rebels in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, Lowry played for the bantam AAA South Side Athletic Club Lions, putting up 36 points, 16 of them goals, in 21 games.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors, one of four publicly owned WHL franchises, will hold their annual general meeting on Thursday, 7 p.m., at the Heritage Inn. A year ago, the Warriors announced a net profit of $61,566, down from $343,890 the previous season and $394,656 the season before that.
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I meant to post this Sunday night, but it slipped through the cracks. Nick Patterson, a friend who covers the Everett Silvertips for the Everett Herald, tweeted this . . .

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