Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blazers won't replace departed coach ... Iverson inks pro deal ... Will Hossa have to retire?


F Rodrigo Ābols (Portland, 2015-17) has signed a two-year contract with Örebro (Sweden, SHL). Last season, with he had one assist in two games with the Portland WInterhawks (WHL), then moved east and had 18 goals and 32 assists in 52 games with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL). . . .
D Dalton Yorke (Kelowna, Prince Albert, Tri-City, 2012-17) has signed a one-year contract with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had 15 assists in 72 games with Tri-City. Yorke has dual German-Canadian citizenship. . . .
F Filip Ahl (Regina, 2016-17) has signed a one-year contract with Örebro (Sweden, SHL). Last season, he had 28 goals and 20 assists in 54 games with Regina.
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The Kamloops Blazers revealed on Tuesday that they won’t be replacing veteran assistant coach Terry Bangen. He left to join the Worcester Railers, an expansion team that will begin play in the ECHL in 2017-18.
Jamie Russell, who is a Kamloops native, is the general manager and head coach in Worcester and was able to get Bangen to head east.
The remainder of the Blazers’ coaching staff will remain intact, with Don Hay back for a fourth season. Hay will go into the 2017-18 season with 720 regular-season coaching victories, just 22 shy of the record held by Ken Hodge, who coached with the original Edmonton Oil Kings and the Portland Winterhawks.
Mike Needham is returning for a fourth season as Hay’s lead assistant, while Chris Murray is back for a fourth season in a part-time role. Dan De Palma will begin an eighth season as the club’s goaltending coach.
As well, Colin (Toledo) Robinson returns for a 13th season as the team’s athletic trainer. This will be his 22nd season in the WHL.
The Blazers also will have Matt Recchi back as the director of player personnel, with Ken Fox returning as head scout.
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F Keegan Iverson, the captain of last season’s Portland Winterhawks, has signed an AHL contract with the Ontario Reign, which is affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. . . . Iverson played 293 regular-season games over six seasons with the Winterhawks. He put up 190 points, including 80 goals. . . . Last season, as a 20-year-old, he had 26 goals and 44 assists in 55 games. . . . He also played for the Winterhawks as they won the WHL’s 2013 championship. . . . From St. Louis Park, Minn., Iverson was selected by the New York Rangers in the third round of the NHL’s 2014 draft but they never signed him.
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Stefan Burzan of Surrey, B.C., is the new general manager of the Valley West Hawks of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. He takes over from Rob Evers, who now is the team’s head coach. . . . Burzan, 22, was a sixth-round pick by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 2009 bantam draft and played two games with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 2011-12. . . . He presently is a business student at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
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Hockey Canada has invited about 200 players and all kinds of support staff to various summer camps. For more info, including rosters, check out Hockey Canada’s website. At the same time, let’s banish all thoughts about summer hockey being a nuisance and admit that when the governing body gets involved like this it officially is declaring hockey a year-round thing. So, kids, forget about playing more than one sport and forget about golfing and fishing and ice cream at the Snack Shack. Hey, get back into the gym, then get the blades sharpened and hit the ice. There no longer is an off-season when it comes to hockey.
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Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada has filed his weekly 30 Thoughts, and he leads with a piece on former Portland Winterhawks F Marian Hossa. Friedman reports that Hossa has developed a nasty allergy, one that involves the hockey gear that he wears, and may have to retire. . . . That, and so much more, is right here.
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Coaching

The QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads have named Jim Midgley as their new head coach. He takes over from Andre Tourigny, who left to become head coach of the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s. . . . Midgley spent the past six seasons with as an assistant coach in Halifax, one working alongside Tourigny and five with Dominique Ducharme. . . . Midgley also has been on the coaching staff of the QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs, as well as the Acadia U Axemen.
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Kyle Adams is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder. Adams has junior A coaching experience in B.C., Alberta and the Maritimes. . . . He spent last season with the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs as assistant GM/associate coach. . . . The Thunder recently underwent an ownership change. . . . Adams takes over from Jesse Dorrans, who resigned in May.


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