Monday, October 24, 2016

Barzal's return imminent? . . . Ex-WHL ref makes NHL debut . . . Abols off to QMJHL

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F Colton Yellow Horn (Lethbridge, Tri-City, 2003-08) has signed a one-year contract with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). He was released by Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga) on Saturday at his request. He had four goals in 11 games with Plzeň. . . .
F Roberts Lipsbergs (Seattle, 2012-15) has signed a one-year contract with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). Last season, he was pointless in two games with the Adirondack Thunder (ECHL), had nine goals and seven assists in 37 games with the Utah Grizzlies (ECHL), and put up two goals and four assists in nine games with the Tulsa Oilers (ECHL). . . .
F Brad Cole (Seattle, Kootenay, Saskatoon, 2003-07) has signed a contract through Nov. 20 with Ritten/Renon (Italy, Serie A). Last season, he had six goals and 22 assists in 39 games with Ritten/Renon. The new contract is just for the third round of the IIHF Continental Cup that is scheduled for Nov. 18-20 in Ritten.
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It is looking more and more as though F Mathew Barzal will be returning to the Seattle Thunderbirds from the NHL’s New York Islanders. The 16th overall selection in the NHL’s 2015 draft, Barzal, 19, has played in only one of the Islanders’ first five games. The Islanders seem convinced that Barzal is unable to play on either wing, while F Anthony Beauvillier, 19, who was the 28th pick in that 2015 draft, has moved from centre to left wing and has a goal and four assists in five games. . . . Beauvillier, from the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes, has played in the Islanders’ past four games, while Barzal has watched from on high. . . . On Monday, Arthur Staple of Newsday wrote: “Shane Prince is due to come off injured reserve soon, so that may prompt a decision on Barzal. But it seems that Beauvillier is here to stay and play, so long as he continues to do the work.”
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F Tyler Coulter of the Brandon Wheat Kings has been suspended for two games for a hit from behind on F Giorgio Estephan of the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday night. Coulter sat out Saturday’s game against the Spokane Chiefs and won’t play tonight (Tuesday) in Edmonton against the Oil Kings. . . . D Joe Gatenby of the Kamloops Blazers will miss tonight’s game against the visiting Victoria Royals as he serves a one-game suspension for a high hit on D Juuso Valimaki of the Tri-City Americans on Saturday night.
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JUST NOTES:

Chris Schlenker, a former WHL player and referee, made his NHL debut on Monday night as he worked the game in Montreal between the Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. . . . Schlenker, 32, was the WHL’s official of the year for last season. The Medicine Hat native played four seasons (2001-05) in the WHL, splitting time with the Regina Pats (187 games) and Prince Albert Raiders (97). . . .
F Rodrigo Abols, a 20-year-old Latvian who was waived through the WHL, will join the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He had 49 points, including 20 goals, in 62 games with the Winterhawks last season, but lost is roster spot this season when the team chose to go with two younger import players. . . .
F Cal Babych, who was released earlier this month by the Vancouver Giants, has joined the BCHL’s Coquitlam Express. Babych, 19, was pointless in three games with the Giants. He put up two goals and an assist in his first three games with Chilliwack.
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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
Shawn Martin has been fired as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves. He had been there since June 4, 2013. . . . The Ice Wolves are 2-12-1 and in last place in the four-team Sherwood Division, seven points behind the Melfort Mustangs. . . . Assistant coaches Eric Bell and Rob Wilson will handle the team while a search for a replacement is conducted. . . . Martin, 39, is from Wainwright, Alta. . . . Before joining the Ice Wolves, Martin had worked with three AJHL teams — the Grande Prairie Storm, St. Albert Steel and Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . After Martin was relieved of his duties, Mat Hehr, the assistant general manager and associate coach, announced his resignation. Hehr was in his second season with La Ronge.
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MONDAY’S GAMES:

No Games Scheduled.
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TUESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Victoria at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Spokane at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

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