Sunday, June 25, 2017

Doing some scattershooting ... Hunchak a Hall of Famer ... Gulutzan keys up Coaches Conference

Scattershoot

Prior to the first round of the NHL draft in Chicago on Friday, the NHL sequestered eight potential early selections and their families in a ‘green’ room, rather than have them in the stands with the commoners. It was a disaster. Russian F Klim Kostin and his family were left all alone for a long while before the St. Louis Blues took him with the last pick of the first round, 31st overall. . . . Here’s hoping the ‘green’ room was simply a one-and-done experiment.
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After LaVar Ball, the king of hype, said his son, Lonzo, would get the Los Angeles Lakers into the NBA playoffs in his first season with them, Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, wondered: “So is he buying them tickets?” . . . Upon hearing reports than Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors won’t exercise a US$28-million option and take $24 million instead, all aimed at allowing the team to keep Andre Iguodola, Hough asked: “How will he feed his family?”
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It always amazes me how anyone thinks they can pick the winners and losers from the NHL draft less than 24 hours after it concludes. Let’s check back in four or five years. OK?
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Headline at TheKicker.com: Umps go to video replay to see if they’re slowing game down too much.
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Judging by the empty seats at home-openers in Vancouver and Toronto this weekend, at least a couple of CFL teams have some work ahead of them to get bums back in the pews.
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About 24 hours before F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings was taken second overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL draft, Bauer Hockey announced that it had signed him as an “official partner.” That means that Patrick will use Bauer gear in 2017-18. It’s worth noting that Bauer also suppled WHL skaters with equipment, so there won’t be a conflict should Philly return Patrick for another season of major junior.
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BTW, F Nico Hischier of the QMJHL’s Halifax Mooseheads, who was taken first overall by the New Jersey Devils, has signed with CCM.
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After the U.S. Open golf tournament earlier this month, Mike Bianchi of the Orlando, Fla., Sentinel noted: “Erin Hills isn’t just playing easy, it’s more forgiving than the Tallahassee Police Department.”
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A tip of the cap to head coach Ryan McGill and his Owen Sound Attack for leading the CHL’s 60 teams by having six players selected in the weekend’s NHL draft. Yes, that’s a franchise record. . . . McGill, of course, is a former WHL player and coach. He also is the OHL’s reigning coach of the year.
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Donald Trump, the U.S. president, “has made travel more difficult to Americans,” notes Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong. “It will remain that way until a new Havana Trump Hotel and Golf Course opens.”
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The best response from a player to a question during the NHL draft came from Swedish D Erik Brannstrom, who was selected 15th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights. He admitted to never having been to Las Vegas, but added: “I’ve seen The Hangover. I’ve seen all three.”
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Charles P. Thacker, a pioneer in early personal computing, died last week at age 74,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Out of habit, doctors tried rebooting him.”
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Dave Hunchak, a former WHL coach, was among the inductees when the SJHL held its 2017 Hall of Fame induction dinner in Kindersley on Saturday evening.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Hunchak, 43, who was an assistant coach with the Klippers (1997-
DAVE HUNCHAK
2000) and the general manager and head coach for four seasons (2000-04). Under Hunchak, who is from Warman, Sask., the Klippers won SJHL championships in 2002 and 2004. In his playing days, he spent time with the Saskatoon Titans, who later morphed into the Klippers.
In the WHL, Hunchak spent three seasons (2004-07) as an assistant coach with the Swift Current Broncos, four seasons (2007-11) as the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, and two-plus seasons on the Kamloops Blazers’ staff. He leaves next month for his first season as an assistant coach with HC Banska Bystrica of the Slovak Extraliga.
Hunchak was inducted in the coach category, joining builder Terry Shea, a long-time Klippers executive; players Troy Schwab, Derek Dorsett and Chris Winkler, all from the Klippers; Kindersley native Devin Edgerton (Humboldt Broncos) and Greg Paslawski, a Kindersley native who played for the SJHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.
The 2003-04 Klippers, who reached the RBC Cup final with Hunchak as head coach, also were inducted.
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The CHL import draft is scheduled for Wednesday, starting at 8 a.m. PT. It is held via telephone. . . . The Kootenay Ice is scheduled to be the first WHL team to make a selection. That will be the third-overall pick, behind the OHL’s Barrie Colts and the QMJHL’s Moncton Screaming Eagles. . . . The order of selection is right here.
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Glen Gulutzan, the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, is just one of the keynote speakers line up for The Coaches Conference that is scheduled to be held in Vancouver, July 14 and 15. . . . Gulutzan is preparing for his second season as the Flames’ head coach. . . . Also on tap as presenters are Mike Snee, the executive director at College Hockey Inc.; Jim Paek, the head coach of the South Korean national team; Craig Cunningham, who is heading into his first season as a pro scout with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes; and Ray Ferraro, the highly popular analyst with TSN. . . . Snee has been CHI’s executive director since Aug. 28, 2012; he also is on USA Hockey’s board of directors and USA Hockey’s junior council. . . . Paek also is the director of hockey for the Korea Ice Hockey Association. South Korea will play host to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. . . . Cunningham had his playing career cut short last season when he suffered an on-ice cardiac event prior to an AHL game. He was the captain of the Tucson Roadrunners. . . . For more info on the conference, click right here.
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Some NHL teams have developing camps starting today (Monday). I’m not tracking invitees but stumbled on three undrafted WHLers with invitations — G Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks) will skate with the Winnipeg Jets; F Tanner Jeannot (Moose Jaw Warriors) will join the Washington Capitals; and F Jayden Halbgewachs, a 50-goal scorer with the Warriors last season, will be with the Vegas Golden Knights. . . . If you know of more invitees, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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F Brian King of the Everett Silvertips was the valedictorian recently as Everett High School held its graduation ceremony. Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald has a good piece right here on King, what he said and his off-ice accomplishments, including a 4.0 GPA, to this point.
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