Monday, August 15, 2016

Blades, Chiefs sign imports . . . Pats, Blue Jays to stage promotion

D Mitch Versteeg (Lethbridge, 2006-09) has signed a one-year contract with Nitra (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, with Kaufbeuren (Germany, DEL2), he had five goals and 10 assists with 33 games. . . .
F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has been assigned on loan by Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL) to the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2) for all of the 2016-17 season. Proft signed a two-year contract with Mannheim in May. Last season, with Kassel, he had 13 goals and 12 assists in 51 games.
Dorothy, my wife of more than 44 years, is preparing to take part for a third straight year in the Kidney Walk. In Kamloops, the big day is on Sept. 25.
On Saturday morning, Dorothy was informed that she and her friend Margaret Thompson are to be co-honourees for this edition of the Kidney Walk. Both women have had kidney transplants and have played important roles in the formation of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group (KKSG).
If you aren’t aware, Dorothy was born with one kidney. By the time we discovered that, in 1981, it already was malfunctioning. Eventually, she would do peritoneal dialysis for four years before she was able to get a kidney through the Living Donor Paired Exchange program.
These days, she lives a normal life, snapping at me the way she always has. LOL! She loves to bake — yes, Christmas is great in these parts. She was introduced to our first grandchild — Kara Sky Drinnan — in Burnaby on the August long weekend. Yes, she is doing just fine.
And she will be walking to benefit the Kidney Foundation on Sept. 25 at MacDonald Park in Kamloops.
If you would like to support her, please click right here.
CTV Winnipeg reported Saturday that Braden Pettinger is making progress as he works to recover from a terrible injury suffered in an MJHL game on Nov. 12, 2015. A defenceman with the Portage Terriers, Pettinger was injured when he crashed into the boards during a home game. . . . The CTV report is right here.
The hockey season is almost upon us, so the gang at started posting its WHL team-by-team previews on Sunday. They’re appearing in reverse order of last season’s standings, which means the Kootenay Ice are first up. That look at the Ice is right here.
The Regina Pats have unveiled a set of uniforms that they will wear on Blue Jays Night, when they play host to the Calgary Hitmen on Jan. 6. . . . “The jerseys went through an approval process with both Major League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays to ensure a faithful recreation of the Jays uniform in a hockey setting,” reads a news release from the Pats. . . . The sweaters will be auctioned off the night of the game, with proceeds supporting the Jays Care Foundation, which creates opportunities for at-risk children and youth in Canada.
The Saskatoon Blades have signed Russian D Mark Rubinchuk, 17, just two days after he helped his country to a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in Slovakia. He had three assists in five games at the tournament. . . . Rubinchuk was selected by the Blades in the 2016 CHL import draft. . . . Rubinchuk joins Czech d Libor Hajek, 18, as the Blades’ two import players. Hajek was a second-round selection by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL’s 2016 draft.
The Spokane Chiefs have signed Czech forwards Pavel Kousal and Ondrej Najman, both of whom were selected in the 2016 CHL import draft. They are expected to be in training camp when it opens in Spokane on Aug. 25. . . . Last season, they were teammates, and often linemates, with the Dukla Juhlava UJ-20 team. Kousal had 43 points, 20 of them goals, in 38 games, while Najman had 18 goals and 26 assists in 38 games. . . . Both played at the IIHF’s 2016 U-18 World Championship. Kousal had three assists in five games, while Najman had three goals and three assists. . . . The Chiefs now have three imports on their roster, the other being veteran F Dominic Zwerger of Austria. Spokane will have to get down to the maximum of two early in the regular season. The options would be to trade or release Zwerger, or release one of the other two. An import player can’t be traded during his freshman season.
Jim Swanson, the managing partner of baseball’s Victoria HarbourCats, has been named the West Coast League’s executive of the year. The HarbourCats set WCL regular-season records with 40 victories and a 19-game winning streak. They are the first team in WCL history to win 40 games in one regular season. Swanson, who completed his second season as managing partner, is part of a four-person ownership group. . . . The HarbourCats reached the playoffs for the first time, but were swept from a first-round best-of-three series by the Bellingham, Wash., Bells. . . . Swanson covered the WHL and the Prince George Cougars for a number of seasons while sports editor of the Prince George Citizen.
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