Tuesday, September 6, 2016

More on Morrisseau . . . Blades to say thanks to Mr. Hockey . . . D-man, goalie move in trades . . . Hitmen sign assistant coach



F Kris Versteeg (Lethbridge, Kamloops, Red Deer, 2002-06) didn’t pass his medical examination and was released by Bern (Switzerland, NL A). Versteeg didn’t play any games with Bern. Last season, with the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) and Los Angeles Kings (NHL), he had 15 goals and 23 assists in 77 games.
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The Spokane Chiefs issued an update on the condition of F Koby Morrisseau on Tuesday:
“The Spokane Chiefs announced today that forward Koby Morrisseau returned to Spokane on Sunday, is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery from an injury sustained in Everett,
KOBY MORRISSEAU
Wash. on Saturday, Sept. 3 versus the Portland Winterhawks.
“Morrisseau, a 16-year-old from Grandview, Manitoba, spent Saturday night in an Everett hospital after being taken off the ice following a check from behind penalty in the third period. Extensive tests and X-rays revealed no fractures or soft tissue damage.
“Morrisseau will remain with the team while he completes a full recovery. No timeline has been set for his return.”
Morrisseau, the ninth overall selection in the 2015 bantam draft, was injured at 13:17 of the third period.
Portland F Brett Clayton was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct, and then was hit with a TBD suspension.
The WHL revealed later Tuesday that Clayton has been suspended for six games. Clayton didn’t play in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the host Everett Silvertips. He will miss Portland’s last three exhibition games and the first two regular-season games.
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The Saskatoon Blades have announced details of Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day, the special day that is planned in honour of the late Gordie Howe.
It all will take place on Sept. 25, with the Swift Current Broncos to provide the opposition.
For starters, Saskatoon city council has proclaimed the day ‘Thank You, Mr. Hockey Day.’
A private ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m., during which members of the Howe family will watch
The Saskatoon Blades will wear special sweaters that
will be auctioned off to benefit the Gordie Howe
Alzheimers Fund.
as Colleen and Gordie’s ashes are interred at the site of a Gordie Howe statue near the SaskTel Centre.
The Blades then will escort the Howe family to a local bridge that is to be christened Gordie Howe Bridge.
The Blades and the family then will return to the SaskTel Centre, where a tailgate party is to begin at noon in the parking lot.
The doors to the arena will open at 1 p.m. A number of trophies that Howe won during his playing days will be on display in the concourse.
A pregame ceremony, with Hockey Night in Canada’s Bob Cole as the emcee, is to begin at 2 p.m. The game between the Broncos and Blades will start at 2:25 p.m.
The Blades will wear special sweaters during the game. They will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Gordie Howe Alzheimers Fund.
The Blades also announced that they are teaming up with the Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association to form the Gordie Howe Player of the Year Award.” It will be awarded annually to a player graduating from midget hockey who displays excellence and leadership on and off the ice the way Howe did. The Blades will award a $1,000 scholarship to the winner.
Also on Sept. 25, the 50/50 draw will be operated by the Zone G Saskatoon Red Wings, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Quinn Stevenson Memorial Fund. He was a former Saskatoon Red Wings player who died in a car accident three years ago. His mother, Bonnie, has been instrumental in helping with this process. 
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The Prince Albert Raiders have acquired D Nick Heid, 19, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a seventh-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. Heid, from Fridley, Minn., was acquired by the Tigers from the Portland Winterhawks last season. In 2014-15, he was pointless in 17 games with Portland. Last season, he had one assist in two games with Portland and five helpers in 60 games with the Tigers. . . . The Winterhawks dealt Heid to Medicine Hat for a fourth-round selection in the 2017 bantam draft. In that deal, Portland actually reacquired a pick it had sent to Medicine Hat for F Miles Koules.
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The Kamloops Blazers sent a fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft to the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday, getting G Carter Phair in return. . . . Phair, 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds, will turn 18 on Dec.
CARTER PHAIR
15. He was a 10th-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Phair played most of last season with the SJHL’s Weyburn Red Wings, going 8-4 with three ties, along with a 2.47 GAA and .925 save percentage in 19 games. He recorded two shutouts. . . . The Blazers have added to their goaltending depth and now have four on their roster, the others being starter Connor Ingram, 19; last year’s backup, Dylan Ferguson, who will be 18 on Sept. 20; and Max Palaga, 16, who is from Kamloops and signed last week. . . . The Blazers will lose Ingram later this month, as he heads for camp with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. He also may end up playing for Canada’s national junior team in the 2017 World Junior Championship. . . . Phair’s acquisition gives Kamloops one more option. . . . The Oil Kings still have four goaltenders in camp — veteran Patrick Dea, 19, who played in 46 games last season; Boston Bilous, 15, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft who has signed a WHL contract; Alec Dillon, 20, who missed most of last season with injuries; and Liam Hughes, 17, who was a seventh-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. Bilous, of course, isn’t eligible to play full-time this season until his club team has its season end.
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The Calgary Hitmen have hired Trent Cassan as an assistant coach. He replaces Trent Whitfield, who left after one season to join the AHL’s Providence Bruins as an assistant coach. . . . In Calgary, Cassan joins head coach Mark French, assistant coach Joel Otto and goaltending coach Jason LaBarbera. . . . Cassan, 33, is from Medora, Man. He has been with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. He was the interim head coach for part of 2009-10, the assistant GM/head coach (2010-14) and the GM/head coach (2014-16). Cassan helped the Terriers to the SJHL final four times, and won the franchise’s first RBC Cup in 2014. . . . The Terriers, in turn, have named Casey O’Brien as their GM/head coach. O’Brien, who is from Gloucester, Ont., had been an assistant coach with the Terriers for five seasons. He also was the AGM for the past two seasons.
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The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Carter Souch to a WHL contract. Souch was a fourth-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. He won’t turn 15 until Oct. 28. Last season, with the bantam AAA Southside Athletic Club Lions, he had 64 points, including 34 goals, in 36 games.
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Ryan Smyth, who played three seasons (1992-95) with the Moose Jaw Warriors, has bought into the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints. . . . “The AJHL Saints ownership stake really interested Smyth,” writes Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. “Owner Darren Myshak, who’s had the club since 2004, also brought in the Leckelt brothers, Dan and Lindsey, who own Silent-Aire, an HVAC and data centre solutions design and manufacturing company, to be owners, and Lindsey knew Smyth from being owner of the senior Stony Plain Eagles, where Smyth played last season.”
Smyth, 40, told Matheson: “We were talking one day and they said, ‘Why don’t you come on board?’ It would be great to learn the business side of things in hockey and there’s no better opportunity than to get involved in junior. The Saints are an important part of the community. This is a stepping stone to learning more about a younger crew of player, after my working with Hockey Canada and their under-18 team.
“That was a great experience, learning the scouting side of things from Scott Salmond and Ryan Jankowski. It was awesome to piggy-back off them. I have a different appreciation for what scouts go through now, for sure. How fired up they are when a player succeeds, or the team.”
Matheson’s complete story is 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 USHL’s Lincoln Stars have signed head coach Chris Hartsburg to a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2017-18 season. The team also holds an option on 2018-19. . . . In Hartsburg’s two seasons, they went 18-37-5 in 2014-15 and 33-24-3 last season. . . . Hartsburg was an assistant coach for two seasons (2011-13) with the Everett Silvertips. He is the son of former NHL player and coach Craig Hartsburg, who spent two seasons (2009-11) as Everett’s head coach.
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