Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wakabayashi's life quite a story . . . Pats sign two draft picks . . . Ranford a Hall of Famer








D Brad Cole (Seattle, Kootenay, Saskatoon, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with Ritten/Renon (Italy, Serie A). Last season, with the Alaska Aces (ECHL), Cole had eight goals and 21 assists in 69 games.
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“Herb Wakabayashi overcame a diminutive physique to skate in three Winter Olympics as a hockey player – not for his Canadian birthplace, but for his ancestral homeland of Japan,” writes Tom Hawthorn in The Globe and Mail. “His achievement was all the more poignant owing to the circumstances of his birth in an Ontario internment camp during the Second World War.” . . . Wakabayashi died in Japan on June 2. He was 70. . . . His is a remarkable story, and Hawthorn tells it right here.
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If you are a fan of the Brandon Wheat Kings, there is a piece that you should read that is all about D Oliver Kylington, the 18-year-old from Sweden who signed with the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. His WHL rights belong to the Wheat Kings and he still could end up in Brandon. Darren Haynes, who covers the Flames for The Canadian Press, chronicles Kylington’s story 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

Serge Lajoie has stepped down after five seasons as head coach of the NAIT Ooks to take over as head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears, who are two-time defending CIS champions. Lajoie, 46, replaces Ian Herbers, who left earlier in the week to become an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Lajoie is a former Alberta player and assistant coach. He won CIS titles in 2006 and 2008 as an assistant coach under head coach Eric Thurston, after winning it all in 1992 as a player. In 1993, he was the CIS player of the year. . . . Speculation has associate coach Mike Gabinet replacing Lajoie at NAIT.
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Jason Lammers has left UMass-Lowell, where he was associate coach, to take over as general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. . . . Lammers, 39, takes over from Matt Shaw, who now is an assistant coach at North Dakota. . . . Lammers had been at Lowell since 2011.
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The Montreal Canadiens signed D Ryan Johnston, 23, to a two-year, two-way contract earlier this week. Johnston, a free agent who is from Sudbury, played three seasons of NCAA hockey with the Colgate Red Raiders. He is the nephew of Mike Johnston, the former Portland Winterhawks general manager and head coach who now is head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . Ryan’s sister, Rebecca, has two Olympic gold medals from her career with Canada’s national women’s team.
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The Regina Pats have signed two players who were late selections in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . D Adam Sandstrom, a 10th-round selection, is from Red Deer. He had five points, including one goal, in 13 games in an injury-shortened last season with the midget AAA Red Deer Aero Equipment Chiefs. . . . F Robbie Holmes, an 11th-round pick, is from Sherwood Park, Alta. He had 32 points, 16 of them goals, in 31 games with the midget AAA Sherwood Park Squires. . . . Regina now has signed six of nine players selected in the 2014 bantam draft.
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Former WHL/NHL G Bill Ranford (New Westminster, 1983-86) will be one of the inductees into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame when the 38th annual induction ceremony is held Nov. 15 at Winnipeg’s Victoria Inn. Ranford, a native of Brandon, is a former NHL goaltender and a Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
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The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks now are looking for a general manager and head coach. . . . On Wednesday, they announced that head coach Ryan Barrett had been relieved of his duties. On Thursday, the Canucks revealed that general manager Chad Shiel had resigned and also gave up his seat on the board of directors “in order to pursue other business opportunities.” Shiel had been the GM for one season.

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