Friday, August 5, 2016

Another departure from Brandon as Klippenstein joins Colorado

F Tomáš Vincour (Edmonton, Vancouver, 2007-10) has signed a one-year contract with Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Sibir Novosibirsk (Russia, KHL), he had 10 goals and 17 assists in 45 games.
Things got even more interesting with the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday with the news that Wade Klippenstein, the team’s director of scouting, is off to the NHL.
Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) of The Pipeline Show tweeted: “Brandon Wheat Kings will also lose Head Scout Wade Klippenstein as he's taken an NHL job with a western conference team. #Vegas???”
It turns out that the Colorado Avalanche has hired Klippenstein, a veteran WHL scout, as a western scout. Klippenstein had been with Brandon for three years.
Prior to that, he spent six years with the Prince George Cougars. He also has worked with the Prince Albert Raiders, Saskatoon Blades and Moose Jaw Warriors.
The Wheat Kings, of course, lost general manager and head coach Kelly McCrimmon to the NHL
when he signed on as the assistant general manager with the Las Vegas franchise that is to begin play in 2017-18. McCrimmon will continue to own the Wheat Kings, though.
Brandon also is in need of an athletic therapist after Josh Guenther, who had been there for three years, left to join the Red Deer Rebels.
As well, Bruce Luebke, the radio voice of the Wheat Kings for the past 23 seasons, and radio station CKLQ decided to go their separate ways last month.
McCrimmon has a number of veteran scouts on staff, including senior scout Gary Michalik and head scout Mark Johnston. Garth Mitchell has been on the scouting staff since 1998, while Mike Fraser has been there for four years, after spending seven seasons working for the Swift Current Broncos. Derrick Kemp has scouted for Brandon for eight seasons.
Obviously, McCrimmon has options, as he does in the front office where Rick Dillabough and Lyn Shannon are long-time employees who are most capable of running the business side of things.
But he needs a head coach — have to wonder if he has spoken with Dean Chynoweth? — and someone to oversee the hockey side of things.
And time is of the essence. McCrimmon is expected to scout the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup that opens Monday in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovkia. The Wheat Kings, who are the WHL’s reigning champions, are scheduled to open training camp in Brandon on Aug. 30.
For now, all eyes are on Brandon.
The BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks have acquired former WHL D Carter Cochrane from the Trail Smoke Eaters in exchange for F Josh Laframbroise. . . . Cochrane, who will turn 20 on Oct. 18, is from Kamloops, 
Last season, Cochrane played one game with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, five with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs and 14 with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. . . . He also has played in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips and Tri-City Americans. In 2013-14, he had 47 points, including 16 goals, in 55 games with Chilliwack and it is that form that the Silverbacks are wanting to see. . . . Laframboise, who also is heading into his 20-year-old season, is from Thunder Bay, Ont. The Silverbacks acquired him from the Penticton Vees in 2014-15. In 93 games with Salmon Arm over the past two seasons, he had 62 points, including 20 goals.
If you’re in the mood for a good read, Bryan Curtis of The Ringer takes a look right here at Dan Shaughnessy, the long-time sports columnist from the Boston Globe. . . . Shaughnessy always has done things his way and that hasn’t changed although the times have.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at
Mark Chase has joined the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires as an assistant coach. Chase, from Kamloops, has coached for more than 10 years in the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association, including at the bantam AAA and major midget levels. He also has been involved in the U-16 high performance program. . . . In Melville, he will work alongside head coach Devin Windle.

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