Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tampa Bay bids for WJC . . . Blades lose equipment manager . . . Everett d-man signs with Habs








F Mário Bližňák (Vancouver, 2005-08) signed a one-year extension with Plzeň (Czech republic, Extraliga). Last season with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL), he had two assists in 28 games. He then had six goals and four assists in 22 games with Plzeň.
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David Conte had been with the New Jersey Devils for 31 years when the end of his run came on Thursday. The Devils, with Ray Shero as their new general manager, announced that Conte’s contract as director of scouting. . . . Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has more right here on what this move means to the Devils.
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The U.S. is to play host to the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, and Tampa Bay officially is involved in the bidding process. The home of the NHL’s Lightning has officially submitted its bid to USA Hockey, which will choose the host city. . . . Should Tampa Bay be the host city, Amalie Arena, the Lightning’s home arena, would be the primary site, with perhaps Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., the home of the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, as a secondary site. . . . Tampa Bay was the host city for the NCAA’s Frozen Four in 2012 and that even is scheduled to be held there again in 2016. . . . In mid-June, the Arizona Coyotes announced that they wouldn’t be bidding for the 2018 WJC, after earlier revealing that they were interested. . . . Also believed to be interested in bidding are Buffalo, Detroit and Pittsburgh. . . . The WJC has been held in the U.S. on six occasions: Minneapolis (1982), Anchorage (1989), Boston (1996), Grand Forks (2005) and Buffalo (2011). . . . The 2016 tournament is scheduled for Helsinki, Finland, with the 2017 event in Montreal and Toronto.
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The 2014-15 hockey season officially drew to a close on Thursday. That’s because Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman filed what he said would be his final 30 Thoughts of the season. Except that this one is 44 Thoughts. . . . It’s right here.
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NHLThe NHL’s Florida Panthers made some organizational changes on Thursday, including the promotion of Scott Luce from director of scouting to director of player personnel. . . . The Panthers also announced that Brian Skrudland’s contract as director of player development wouldn’t be renewed. Skrudland is a former WHL player (Saskatoon, 1980-83). . . . The Panthers’ news release is 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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Graham (Spike) Watt, who has been with the Saskatoon Blades since 2005, is leaving his post as head equipment manager to join the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. He will be the Moose’s head equipment manager. . . . A native of Brandon, Watt spent five seasons with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders as their trainer and equipment manager before joining the Blades.
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D Noah Juulsen of the Everett Silvertips has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Montreal Canadiens. They selected him in the first round, 26th overall, of last month’s NHL draft. . . . Juulsen had 52 points, including 43 assists, in 68 games with the Silvertips last season. In 128 regular-season games over two seasons, the Surrey, B.C., native has 62 points, 11 of them goals.
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D Josh Hanson, who played 317 regular-season games with the Portland Winterhawks, has decided to attend the U of Toronto and play for the Varsity Blues. . . . Hanson, who is from Eagle River, Alaska, used up his junior eligibility last season. He played in four WHL championship series with the Winterhawks, winning in 2012-13. . . . At the U of T, he will study economics.
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BCHLMark Ferner is going to coach his son, Mac, for the first time in 2015-16. The BCHL’s Vernon Vipers have acquired the younger Ferner from the West Kelowna Warriors in a deal that had D Mitch Meek go to the Prince George Spruce Kings and the rights to F Luke Harrison end up with West Kelowna. . . . Mac Ferner, who is heading into his 20-year-old season, had two goals and nine assists in 49 games last season; Meek, who will be 19, had 16 points in 50 games with Vernon. . . . Harrison, who is preparing for his 20-year-old season, is from West Kelowna. He is on the roster of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. He had 23 points, 12 of them goals, in 69 games last season. . . . Mark Ferner left the Blazers early last season — he was associate coach under Don Hay — to return to Vernon as the Vipers’ GM and head coach. Ferner has yet to coach his son at any level.
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Blaine Fomradas (New Westminster, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Lethbridge, 1986-92) has signed on as director of scouting with the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers.
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The 2015 Team Snap Hockey Coaches Conference is almost here. It is scheduled to be held in Vancouver, July 24-25. For more info, click right here.
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