Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sutter: 'There were some issues' . . . High praise for Chiefs' prospect . . . Warriors to fund improvements



Brent Sutter, the owner, general manager and head coach of the Red Deer Rebels, is looking forward to a new season with some new faces on his roster. The Rebels were the host team for the 2016
Memorial Cup and it seems that the ship wasn’t always sailing on calm seas.
“Obviously it was a Memorial Cup year and we had some good players on our team, but they were older players,” Sutter told Rebels writer Greg Meachem. “There certainly were some issues with some of our older players . . . trying to get them to stay on page, to get them to play at the level we needed them to be at every night and trying to get them to be team players.
“The kids who are coming back, they certainly saw that. They saw what the guys who are moving on to pro hockey with signed contracts . . . what they were like. Hopefully, the returning guys learned from that. Hopefully, they can be better players for it and lead these younger guys and show them how things have to be done.
“I’m certainly hoping from a management and coaching perspective that some of the issues we had to deal with last year we won’t have to deal with this year.”
Meachem’s complete story is right here.
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“He's one of the best prospects I've ever seen. He's got a terrific stride, skates like (Sidney) Crosby. Hard to knock off his feet, just cutting around the defense and accelerating.” . . . According to Adrian Dater of bleacherreport.com, the speaker was Scotty Bowman, and he was referring to F Luke Toporowski after watching the U.S. National Development camp that was held recently in Buffalo. . . . Toporowski is the son of former Spokane enforcer Kerry Toporowski and was taken by the Chiefs with the eighth overall selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Dater has more on the Toporowskis right here.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors announced Wednesday that they will spent $520,000 to improve the lighting and sound in Mosaic Place. . . . According to a news release: “The Warriors investment includes the purchase of a new lighting system featuring 48 independent LED (light-emitting diode) lighting units including colour, as well as a JBL Powered Sound System that will bring a clearer, richer quality arena level sound to Mosaic Place and Warriors games.” . . . The upgrades are scheduled to be ready to go when the Warriors stage their home-opener, on Sept. 23, against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
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The U of Saskatchewan Huskies unveiled their 2016-17 recruiting class on Wednesday and it includes 10 former WHL players -- F Alex Forsberg, F Connor Gay, D Colby Harmsworth, F Wyatt Johnson, D Tanner Lishchynsky, F Elliott Peterson, F Carson Stadnyk, F Colton Stephenson, F Jordan Tkatch and G Daniel Wapple. . . . The complete news release is right here.
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Craig West, the veteran radio voice of the Tri-City Americans, wants you to know that, like Prince Albert Raiders play-by-play man Drew Wilson, he’s ready for another season.
While Wilson prepared by competing in triathlons and 140-km cycling events, West says he got ready
by joining his old pals on the Spokane Oldtimers and playing in the 41st annual Snoopy Seniors tournament last month in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The Spokane gang successfully defended the gold medal that it won a year ago in the 60 and over division. Spokane, with West in goal, opened with a 2-1 victory over San Jose; beat Long Island, N.Y., 11-3; and ended the tournament with a 6-2 victory over Anchorage in a game that began at 6 a.m.
One day later, West was back in the press box calling a baseball game — the Tri-City Dust Devils scored a 3-2 10th-inning victory over the Boise Hawks in a Northwest League game.
West encountered some familiar names at the Snoopy tournament, including former Portland Winterhawks G Peter Fry and former NHLers like Benoit Hogue, who was in goal for a Phoenix team, Rod Buskas and Terry Harper.
West says playing all the time is his “golf game” and keeps him “forever young.”
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While we’re on the subject of goaltenders . . . did you hear the one about the goaltender who walked into a beer store in Russell, Man., the hometown of Theo Fleury, and helped a partner walk off with “several cases of beer,” according to the RCMP. . . . David Larkin of the Winnipeg Sun 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

The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes announced Wednesday that they have hired Dawn Braid as their skating coach, making her the first full-time female coach in NHL history. . . . She worked part-time with the Coyotes last season, and also has worked with the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . While Braid may be the NHL’s first full-time female coach, as Sunaya Sapurji points out in the above tweet, women have long been coaching hockey players in skating technique. . . . Liane Davis of Regina, for example, has operated Liane Davis Power Skating for longer than she likely cares to remember. According to her website, “Players from each of the 30 NHL teams, all 22 WHL teams, various OHL, QMJHL, NCAA, European teams and every Junior A league in North America have participated in my program.” . . . There is more on Braid’s hiring right here.
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