Sunday, July 16, 2017

A wild fire-fuelled night in B.C. ... Glass signs with Vegas ... MJHL players to pay development fee


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It’s been a wild and unpleasant night in the fire-ravaged areas of B.C. — north and west of Kamloops and in Lake Country, just a bit north of Kelowna.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those people who lost their homes and/or were forced to flee from the fires. 
As for Kamloops, the city is teeming with evacuees. There already were lots of evacuees here, including those from the Ashcroft, Cache Creek and 100 Mile House areas, when Williams Lake was hit with an evacuation order last night. Many of those people registered at the Sandman Centre upon arrival but, with Kamloops fairly bursting at the seams, others were to have been directed to Chilliwack.
Some of Saturday’s rogue fire activity was caused by winds from a cold front moving in off the Pacific Ocean. Who knows what awaits B.C. in the morning? The forecast is for cooler temperatures, perhaps in the low 20s, and higher humidity. It ain’t rain, but it will help.
In Kamloops, there were a couple of scares from grass fires last night, but quick action by fire crews got things under control.
We live 20 kilometres east of Kamloops, on the north side of the South Thompson River and haven’t been threatened. We also have had only two days of heavy smoke; in fact, the last three days have been sunny and warm with nothing but blue skies.
Yes, we are among the fortunate ones, at least to this point, and we know it.
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F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks has signed his first professional contract — a three-year entry-level deal with the Vegas Golden Knights, who selected him sixth overall in the 2017 NHL draft. . . . Glass, 18, is from Winnipeg and is expected to return for a third season with the Winterhawks. He is eligible to play with the Golden Knights, but because of his age can’t be assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. . . . Last season, Glass had 94 points, 32 of them goals, in 69 games with Portland. That followed a freshman season in which he totalled 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games. . . . The Winterhawks selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . The Golden Knights had three first-round selections in the 2017 NHL draft; they signed the other two selections on Saturday, too. F Nick Suzuki of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack and D Erik Brannstrom. Suzuki is expected to return to the Attack, while Brannstrom, who won’t turn 18 until September, will play for HV71 in Sweden’s Elite League.
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Players wanting to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will have to pay starting in 2017-18. Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun reports that the league will be implementing a player development fee. . . . “It’s a move sources say that will allow for the league to better advertise itself during its annual showcase, bringing in more scouts and more attention to the event. The move will also help provide better health and dental benefits for the league’s 250-plus players,” Billeck reports. “The league has yet to officially announced the development fees, which are said to be set at $500 per player, but sources say it is a move that has been in the works for a while. The league will take in just under $130,000.” . . . Billeck’s story is right here.
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The MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons have signed Paul Dyck, their general manager and head coach, to a contract extension that runs through 2020-21. Dyck, who is from Steinbach, has been with the pistons since 2010-11 when he was an assistant coach under Rich Gosselin. Dyck stepped in as head coach during 2011-12 and has been the GM/head coach since the summer of 2012. . . . Here’s Grant Lazaruk, the president/governor of the community-owned team’s board of directors, in a news release: “Paul’s coaching ability and what he has done for the club on and off he ice has been tremendous. I look at it as this ownership group has owned this club now for five seasons. In those five seasons, he has led the team to an MJHL championship, two appearances in the final, and two semi-final appearances, so in regards to his on-ice team performance, he has done a tremendous job.” . . . Dyck, 46, played two seasons (1989-91) with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
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The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks announced Saturday morning that James Poole, their general manager and head coach, is leaving the organization “to pursue other opportunities.” . . . Poole spent one season with the Canucks, going 37-19-4, the first time the team finished above .500 since 2009-10. . . . Anyone interested should send a resume to Pat Loyer at phloyer@shaw.ca.
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