Monday, July 6, 2015

Rockets looking for head coach . . . Kelowna d-man off to Saskatoon . . . Ex-Raider in coaching game








D Vladimir Mihalik (Red Deer, Prince George, 2005-07) signed a one-year extension with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 33 games. . . .
F Brock Nixon (Kamloops, Calgary, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL), he had a team-high 30 goals, along with 36 assists, in 69 games. . . .  Esbjerg’s head coach is Mark Pederson (Medicine Hat, 1983-88). . . .
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It seems that Vladimir Bobylyov, Vladimir Bobylyev and Vladimir Bobylev are all the same player, a KHLforward who played last season for the Vancouver Giants. . . . F Vladimir Bobylyov was one of 37 players on the training camp roster for Spartak Moscow (Russia, KHL) as the team opened training camp Monday in Vierumäki, Finland. Last season, with the Giants, he had three goals and six assists in 52 games. . . . The Giants released him prior to last month’s 2015 import draft and he was selected by the Victoria Royals. . . . Cam Hope, the Royals’ general manager, tells Taking Note that the Royals, as did the Giants last season, are going with Bobylev because that is what the player prefers. That is the version of his name provided by using the English alphabet. . . . Hope also assures that Bobylev “is coming over and has already signed his IIHF Transfer Card . . . We expect him to be a Victoria Royal in September.”
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Dan Lambert is one and done as head coach of the Kelowna Rockets.
The team announced Monday that Lambert is leaving to work as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo NHLSabres. He will be the team’s third assistant, with Dave Barr and Terry Murray, working with head coach Dan Bylsma.
Lambert and Bylsma are friends, going back to when they played together with the IHL’s Long Beach Ice Dogs. Bylsma, who spent some time in Kelowna working with the Rockets in March, and Lambert were seen breaking bread together at the NHL draft in Sunrise, Fla., late last month.
Lambert, who played in the WHL with the Swift Current Broncos (1986-90), before going on to a professional career, spent five seasons in Kelowna as an assistant coach. He worked with head coach Ryan Huska, who left after 2013-14 to join the Calgary Flames organization as head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Heat. That franchise, along with Huska, has relocated to Stockton, Calif., where it also will be know as the Heat.
In his lone season as head coach, Lambert guided the Rockets to a 53-13-6 record, which was second-best in the WHL’s regular season. The Rockets then went on to sweep the Brandon Wheat Kings from the final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Kelowna got to the Memorial Cup final, too, only to lose to the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, in overtime.
Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has more right here on Lambert’s departure.
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Interestingly, Kelowna owner/general manager Bruce Hamilton has never had to replace a one-and-done head coach.
Peter Anholt was the Rockets’ head coach for two seasons (1996-98), with Garth Malarchuk the closest to one-and-done when he lasted one-plus. Malarchuk, now a long-time scout with the Toronto Maple Leafs, was with the Rockets for all of 1998-99 and part of 1999-2000.
Marc Habscheid replaced Malarchuk during the 1999-2000 season and was the head coach for the following four seasons. Jeff Truitt was an assistant under Habscheid. When Habscheid left, Truitt took over and was the head coach for three seasons.
Huska, an assistant under Habscheid and Truitt, was the head coach for seven seasons.
One thing is for certain — neither of the Rockets’ present assistant coaches will be the next head coach. Travis Crickard, 27, and Kris Mallette, 26, are preparing for their second seasons with Kelowna. Hamilton has stressed that the next head coach will have to work with Crickard and Mallette on his staff.
Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier has more right here on the search for a new head coach.
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The Sleepy Hollow Wildfire has done a huge amount of damage in the Wenatchee, Wash., area. So the Tri-City Americans are doing their bit to help provide some aid for victims. . . . Today, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the Americans are asking their fans to drop off donations of new and gently used items. Just head for the Toyota Center and make you donations on the Main 1 foyer. . . . They are looking for items like non-perishable food, Costco or Fred Meyer gift cards, pet food, cups and silverware, batteries, flashlights, bottled water, towels and toiletries. . . . If your donation is valued at more than $10, the Americans will give you one adult ticket to an Oct. 4 game against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.
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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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The Saskatoon Blades have acquired D Mitchell Wheaton, 20, from the Kelowna Rockets for a fourth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Wheaton, from Sherwood Park, Alta., missed almost all of his third WHL season with injuries. In the end, he played in only four regular-season and nine playoff games. . . . In 100 regular-season career games with the Rockets, he had 37 points, including eight goals. He was a fifth-round selection by the Detroit Red Wings in the NHL’s 2013 draft. . . . The Rockets had selected him in the 10th round of the 2010 bantam draft. . . . The Rockets still are left with a number of options as 20-year-olds, including G Jackson Whistle, F Cole Linaker, F Tyson Baillie and G Gage Quinney. D Madison Bowey, D Josh Morrissey and F Leon Draisaitl are likely to open the season in the pro ranks. . . . The Blades have F Nick Zajac, D Ryan Coghlan, D Isaac Schacher, D Kolton Dixon and F Connor Gay as 20-year-olds on their roster.
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Coaching

Richard Seeley is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs. Seeley (Lethbridge, Prince Albert, 1996-99) played four seasons in Manchester (2001-04, 2005-06) when it was in the AHL and, in fact, was the second captain in team history. . . . The Monarchs are preparing for their first ECHL season after the AHL franchise moved to Ontario, Calif. . . . Seeley, 36, will be introduced in Manchester this afternoon.
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The NHL’s Carolina Hurricane have hired Mark Morris, 57, as the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. . . . Geordie Kinnear has been re-signed as assistant coach. . . . Morris was an assistant coach with the NHL’s Florida Panthers last season. Prior to that, he spent eight seasons as head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, who are affiliated with the Los Angeles Kings.
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Among those players in the Calgary Flames’ development camp are F Tyson Baillie (Kelowna), D Jason Fram (Spokane), F Tomas Soustal (Kelowna) and G Rylan Toth (Red Deer). . . . F Miles Koules and D Keoni Texeira, both of whom played with Portland last season, are in camp with the Washington Capitals. Koules played out his eligibility last season. . . . Included on the Minnesota Wild’s developmental camp roster are F Jared Bethune (Prince George), F Ryan Graham (Saskatoon), F Carter Rigby (Swift Current) and F Jack Walker (Victoria). Rigby played as a 20-year-old last season. . . . F Beau McCue (Tri-City) is with the New York Islanders as he prepares for his 20-year-old season.
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F Carson Focht, selected seventh overall by the Tri-City Americans in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft, is in Finland this week for a male hockey development camp and Youth Olympic Games skills challenge qualification event. . . . There’s more right here on Focht and what’s in store for him in the camp. . . . Focht signed with the Americans in May. . . . The camp, in Vierumki, Finland, runs July 4-11.
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D Landon Cross (Kamloops, Kootenay, 2011-14) will continue his hockey career at the U of Regina with the Cougars. Cross, who is from Brandon, played last season as a 20-year-old with the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons.
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Three members of the Victoria Royals hockey staff have been added to hockey operations staff with Hockey Canada teams. . . . Matt Auerbach, the Royals head equipment manager, will work with the U-20 team as its assistant equipment manager, while athletic therapist Khore Elliott will help the U-18 side as one of its athletic therapists, and medical director Dr. Michael Conrad is to work with the U-17 team.
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F Shane Harper (Everett, 2005-10) has signed a two-way deal with the NHL’s Florida Panthers, whose AHL affiliate now is the Portland Pirates. Harper played the past two seasons with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. Last season, he had 32 goals and 18 assists in 50 games. . . . D Sena Acolatse (Seattle, Saskatoon, Prince George, 2006-11) also signed a two-way deal with the Panthers. He had 19 points, including six goals, in 38 games with the AHL’s Adirondack Flames. Before that, he played three seasons with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks.
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F Pavel Padakin, who played out his eligibility with the Regina Pats last season, has signed a one-year AHL deal with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. . . . Padakin, from Kiev, Ukraine, had 54 points, including 26 goals, last season with Regina. He also had one goal in one game with the Calgary Hitmen before being dealt to the Pats. He played the previous two seasons in Calgary. . . . Regina general manager/head coach John Paddock is a former Phantoms’ head coach. . . . Padakin will be in the parent Philadelphia Flyers’ development camp this week.
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Dean Moisan is the new head scout for the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. He spent the past two seasons as the head scout for the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. . . . He spent seven seasons scouting for the Broncos. . . . Moisan grew up in Humboldt but has lived in Lloydminster for more than 14 years. With the Bobcats, he replaces Tom Keca, who now is GM and head coach of the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons.
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Steve Ewen, who covers the Vancouver Giants for the Vancouver Province, has been honoured as the National Lacrosse League’s Media Person of the Year. He will be presented with the Tom Borrelli Award for his work covering the NLL and the Vancouver Stealth. . . . There’s more right here.
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