Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Raiders show profit for 2015-16 . . . Wheaties get their GM . . . Ice adds coach . . . Veteran scouts on move








F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a one-year contract with Katowice (Poland, PHL). Last season, with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite), he had four goals and nine assists in 21 games. He also had nine goals and 12 assists in 25 games with the Edinburgh Capitals (Scotland, UK Elite). . . .
D Kirill Vorobyev (Portland, 2012-13) has been assigned by CSKA Moscow (KHL, Russia) to Zvezda Chekhov (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). Last season, with CSKA Moscow, he had three assists in 28 games. He also had two goals and six assists in 16 games with Zvezda Chekhov . He had one assist in two games with Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (Russia, MHL). MHL (Molodezhnaya Liga) is Russia's top junior league.
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It isn’t much, but it’s a profit, and that’s important to the community-owned teams in the WHL. The Prince Albert Raiders held their annual meeting on Monday and reported a profit of $3,892 for the 2015-16 season. . . . The Raiders showed a profit despite that fact that their attendance dropped 62 fans per game from 2014-15, when the franchise reported a loss of $61,365. In 2015-16, the Raiders averaged 2,369 fans per game. . . . The Raiders definitely would appear to be headed in the right direction; after all, they reported a loss of more than $262,000 for the 2013-14 season.
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The Brandon Wheat Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, announced Tuesday that they have signed Grant Armstrong as their general manager. He replaces Kelly McCrimmon, the franchise’s owner and governor, who is joining the NHL’s Las Vegas franchise as assistant general manager. McCrimmon had been the GM since 1989, when he took over from Bill Shinske. . . . Guy Flaming of The Pipeline Show was the first to suggest that Armstrong could be headed to the Wheat Kings. . . . “I think it’s time,” Armstrong told Taking Note. “Hopefully, we’ll provide Kelly with a team he’s going to be proud of.” . . . . Armstrong, 54, from North Vancouver, had been with the Victoria Royals for four seasons, the past two as assistant GM, player personnel. Before that, he was the director of player personnel for two seasons. . . . Prior to that, Armstrong spent four seasons as the Portland Winterhawks’ head scout. . . . He has been a familiar face in Lower Mainland hockey circles, having coached the junior B North Delta Devils, while serving as the North Vancouver Minor Hockey Association’s director of hockey operations. He also has been involved with the North Delta Minor Hockey Association as a coach and development co-ordinator. He was honoured with the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association’s Coaching Development Award in 2003. . . . The Wheat Kings also announced that Mick McCrimmon, 30, will be the team’s assistant GM. McCrimmon, Kelly’s son, has a law degree, and will assist in hockey and business operations.
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The Kootenay Ice has signed Roman Vopat as an assistant coach. He spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the Prince George Cougars. . . . Vopat played two seasons in the WHL, with the Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince Albert Raiders, before going on to a 16-year professional career that included 133 NHL games. A native of Litvinov, Czech Republic, Vopat and his family reside in Cranbrook. . . . With the Ice, he’ll join head coach Luke Pierce and fellow assistant Gordon Burnett behind the bench.
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With WHL training camps about to open, or in some cases having already started, Alan Caldwell has come through again. His annual numbers-filled look at WHL teams and their prospects is right here.
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Vaughn Karpan, a native of The Pas, Man., has joined the NHL’s Las Vegas franchise as its director of player personnel. He had been with the Montreal Canadiens since 2005, most recently as director of pro scouting. He also worked with the Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes for 13 years, five as director of amateur scouting. . . . Karpan played for Canada’s national men’s team (1983-88), playing in two Olympic Winter Games. He captained the U of Manitoba Bisons while playing there and also played one season (1979-80) with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Las Vegas also confirmed something that was reported here yesterday — former Prince Albert Raiders general manager Bruno Campese has been hired as an amateur scout.
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Bruce Franklin, a longtime scout with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, has moved to the Anaheim Ducks to fill the new position of director of player evaluation. Franklin spent 23 years with Chicago, the last six as chief amateur scout. . . . He cut his scouting teeth in the WHL, where he was part of two Memorial Cup champions. He was a scout with the 1984-85 Prince Albert Raiders and the director of player personnel with the 1988-89 Swift Current Broncos.
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Scott Galbraith, a fan of the OHL’s London Knights, has filed a civil statement of claim asking for $100,000, including $80,000 for aggravated and punitive damages, after he says he purchased a game-used sweater but wasn’t given the one that he had bought. The suit also names the Canadian Hockey League and the Hockey Hall of Fame. . . . Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star has more right here.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching

Billy Keane is the new head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues. He had been their assistant coach, so steps up to fill the spot created when Don MacGillivray joined the Brandon Wheat Kings as an assistant coach. . . . McGillivray had been the GM/head coach of the Blues for seven seasons. . . . Keane had been an assistant coach with the Blues for three seasons. He played for them for two seasons (1982-84). . . . Tim Schick will be the Blues’ director of hockey operations and head scout, with Wayne Bartley on board as assistant coach. . . . Keane is the brother of former NHL/WHL F Mike Keane.
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