Friday, August 19, 2016

Flooding misses Dumonts . . . OHL closer to banning fighting . . . Wheaties have new voice

G Tyler Weiman (Tri-City, 2000-04) has signed a one-year contract with the Daemyung Killer Whales Incheon (South Korea, Asia HL). Last season, with Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Serie A), he was 1.96 and .948 in three regular-season games. In 15 playoff games, he was 2.30 and .933. . . .
F Darian Dziurzynski (Saskatoon, Brandon, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). Last season, he had two goals and two assists in nine games with the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL), 12 goals and 11 assists in 35 games with the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL), 10 goals and three assists in 17 games with the Missouri Mavericks (ECHL), and one goal in three games with the Binghamton Senators (AHL).
The state of Louisiana has encountered some horrid weather-related difficulties of late. Louis Dumont, who played four seasons (1990-94) in the WHL with the Regina Pats and Kamloops Blazers, lives in Lafayette. When I asked how he and his family — wife Hayley, daughter Camille and son Jacques — are doing, he replied:
“My wife, daughter and son are well. Our home is in an older neighborhood that drains well, so we
Louis Dumont is the ECHL's all-time leader in assists
and points.
had no flooding. Everyone around us and in the surrounding towns are in rough shape.
“The water table is already extremely high down here. We received 22 inches of rain in a matter of 24 hours. The weather system rolled in an stayed. Multiple hurricanes have come through this area over the years, but none of them have produced this much flooding.
“The Cajun people are very resilient, and thankfully own a lot of boats.”
Dumont, who won a Memorial Cup with the 1993-94 Blazers, is the general manager of the Louisiana IceGators, a Southern Professional Hockey League franchise that has suspended operations at least for 2016-17 due to its home arena undergoing renovations. BTW, that arena may have the greatest name in all of hockey — the Cajundome.
If you aren’t aware Dumont, who was a real smoothie, is the ECHL’s career assists (566) and points (891) leader, having done it in 771 games during stints over 12 seasons with the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks, Wheeling Thunderbirds, Louisiana, Augusta Lynx, Pensacola Ice Pilots, Mississippi Sea Wolves and Utah Grizzlies.
Dumont, now 43, retired after 2010-11. He spent his last five seasons with the CHL’s Mississippi RiverKings. He put up 282 points over 318 games in those final five seasons.
In the WHL, he had 380 points, including 172 goals, in 279 games.
To its credit, the OHL is closer to eliminating fighting from its games after lowering the suspension threshold from 10 games to three. The league recently concluded its annual meeting and its board of governors has chosen to suspend players who get into a fourth fight. Last season, that number was 10 fights; this season, a fourth fight, and all subsequent scraps, will be subject to a two-game suspension. If an opponent is hit with an instigating penalty that fight won’t count in a player’s total.
From an OHL news release: “Since the adoption of the 10-fight threshold for 2012-13, the league has seen the number of fights decrease by 49.5% and for the last two seasons has not had a single player with more than 10 fights based on the threshold criteria established.” . . . According to a tweet from Adam Gretz (@AGretz): “82 players in the OHL had at least 3 fights last season. 56 went over that number.”
The OHL also has added a rule aimed at eliminating blindside hits. Again, from a news release: “There will be a penalty assessed for those players who check an opponent from the blindside. Based on the discretion of the referee, a minor, major and game misconduct or match penalty may be assessed. Such infraction would also be subject to review and possible supplementary discipline by the league.”
The OHL also has ditched no-touch icing in favour of hybrid icing, as is used by the NHL.
The OHL gets it. It really does. The OHL hands down stiff suspensions for headshots. Now it is doing something about blindside checks. And it continues to work towards the elimination of fighting.
It is all about player safety, something the OHL has been working to improve over the past few seasons. In a season or two, don’t be surprised if the OHL bans fighting altogether.
The QMJHL and WHL would be wise to get in step with the OHL on these matters.

D Dmitri Zaitsev has arrived in Moose Jaw and has signed a WHL contract with the Warriors.
Zaitsev, 18, is from Togliatti, Russia. The Warriors selected him during the CHL’s 2016 import draft. . . . Last season, with the NAHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, he had 22 points, including seven goals, in 53 games. He was named to the East Division’s all-rookie team. He was selected by the Washington Capitals in the seventh round of the NHL’s 2016 draft. . . . Zaitsev joins Russian F Nikita Popugaev, who will be 19 on Nov. 20, as the Warriors’ two import players. Popugaev is recovering from offseason surgery to repair a knee injury suffered during last season’s playoffs, but should be ready for the start of camp. He had 47 points, 16 of them goals, in 70 games as a freshman last season.
Branden Crowe is the new voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings on radio station 880 CKLQ. Crowe, who is from Boissevain, Man., replaces Bruce Luebke, who had called the play of Wheat Kings’ games for the past 23 seasons. . . . CKLQ and Luebke parted company last month; neither party has made any public comment explaining what happened. . . . Most recently, Crowe was marketing manager and radio voice for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. . . . The defending-champion Wheat Kings are heading into their 50th anniversary season; CKLQ is preparing for its 25th year as the team’s radio home. . . . Crowe will make his Wheat Kings play-by-play debut on Sept. 9 when Brandon meets the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors in an exhibition game.
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