Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Homecomings in Calgary ... T-Birds poised to name head coach ... Pats' Paddock adds players


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D Kalvin Sagert (Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, 2002-08) has signed a one-year contract with Gherdëina Selva Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had two goals and four assists in 27 games with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga). . . .
D Emerson Hyrnyk (Prince Albert, Chilliwack, 2009-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, he had four assists in 26 games with Mount Royal University (U Sports).
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If they didn’t, the Calgary Hitmen should have had Hagood Hardy’s The Homecoming playing in the background of their Tuesday morning news conference.
After all, Jeff Chynoweth, the Hitmen’s new general manager, is coming back to Calgary for the first time in 31 years, while Dallas Ferguson, the new head coach, is returning to Alberta after coaching in Alaska since 2002. Dallas Thompson, the new director of player personnel, is from Hayter, Alta.
Chynoweth joins the Hitmen after spending 16 seasons as the GM of the Kootenay Ice, a franchise that
The Calgary Hitmen braintrust: Dallas Ferguson (left),
Jeff Chynoweth, Mike Moore and Dallas Thompson.
(Photo: Candice Ward/Hitmenhockey.com)
was owned by his family. The Chynoweths sold the Ice earlier this summer to Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell.
With the Hitmen, Chynoweth takes over from Mike Moore, who now is vice-president and alternate governor. Moore had been the GM since 2013.
Chynoweth spent a good part of his youth in Calgary and, in fact, was the visiting teams’ stick boy at Flames games in the early 1980s. The Flames, of course, own the Hitmen.
Ferguson, meanwhile, takes over from Mark French, who left after three seasons as head coach in order to work in Switzerland.
Ferguson, who is from Wainwright, Alta., has been on the coaching staff of the U of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks since 2004. He has been the head coach since 2008. Before joining the Nanooks’ coaching staff, he was an assistant coach with the Fairbanks Ice Dogs for two seasons.
For Hitmen fans wanting to know Ferguson a bit better, right here is a College Hockey News story from when he was named the Nanooks’ head coach. . . . Click right here and you’ll find a Q&A that CHN managing editor Adam Wodon did with Ferguson early last season.
www.collegehockeynews.com/news/2008/05/21_ferguson.php
Assistant coaches Trent Cassan and Joel Otto are returning to work alongside Ferguson.
Thompson replaces Dan Bonar, who spent 14 seasons with the Hitmen, the last four as director of player personnel. Thompson worked for the Hitmen for the past two seasons as B.C. scouting director. He is a long-time WHLer, having spent 10 seasons as the general manager of the Prince George Cougars.
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With the Calgary Hitmen having hired Dallas Ferguson as their new head coach, it leaves the Seattle
Thunderbirds as the only one of the WHL’s 22 franchises without a head coach.
The Thunderbirds, the WHL’s reigning champions, are poised to name a a successor to Steve Konowalchuk who left after six seasons and now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. That announcement is scheduled for today (Wednesday) at noon PT.
Matt O’Dette, an assistant coach alongside Konowalchuk for the past four seasons, is believed to be the leading candidate as Seattle’s next head coach.
What it all means is that, barring any more changes, six teams will have new head coaches when the new season arrives.
Besides Calgary and Seattle, the Everett Silvertips, Kootenay Ice, Spokane Chiefs and Victoria Royals have made changes.
In Everett, the Silvertips chose not to renew Kevin Constantine’s contract after four seasons, and have replaced him with Dennis Williams.
In Kootenay, Luke Pierce, the Ice’s head coach for two seasons, got caught up in an ownership change and has been replaced by James Patrick.
In Spokane, veteran head coach Don Nachbaur and the Chiefs split up after the season and he has since signed on as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.
In Victoria, the Royals lost head coach Dave Lowry to Los Angeles, also for an assistant coaching position. The Royals promoted assistant coach Dan Price to head coach.
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The Regina Pats will be the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup tournament, and GM/head coach John Paddock is having a busy offseason. He picked up F Matt Bradley, a sniper, from the Medicine Hat Tigers in a move that garnered some notice. In a couple of other moves, Paddock has signed F George King, 19, who scored 36 goals with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard last season, and F Rayman Bassi, who had 49 points with the major midget Okanagan Rockets. . . . Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more right here.
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The Vancouver Giants have signed D Parker Hendren to a WHL contract. From Regina, Hendren was a seventh-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Hendren had 15 points, two of them goals, in 43 games with the midget AAA Regina Pat Canadians.
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If you would like to attend seventh annual TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference in Vancouver on Friday and Saturday, Taking Note has a deal for you. Click on The Coaches Site website right here and as you register enter the coupon code TakingNote and you’ll get 20 per cent off the registration fee. . . . Enjoy the weekend!
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If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).
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Coaching

Two men with ties to the WHL moved into the NHL coaching ranks on Tuesday. . . . Kelly Buchberger (Moose Jaw, 1984-86) has left the Edmonton Oilers organization and now is an assistant coach with the New York Islanders. . . . In Pittsburgh, the Penguins moved Mark Recchi (New Westminster, Kamloops, 1985-88) into an assistant coaching role, filling the vacancy created when Rick Tocchet signed on as head coach of the Arizona Coyotes. . . . Buchberger, 50, spent nine seasons with the Oilers, six as an assistant coach before moving into player personnel and player development. . . . Recchi, 49, has been in player development with the Penguins for the past three seasons. He also is a co-owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. Recchi will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame later this year.
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Ted Nolan has signed on as the head coach of Poland’s national men’s team. Nolan, a former NHL coach of the year, spent four years with the Latvian national team. Tom Coolen, an assistant coach with Nolan in Latvia, will fill the same role in Poland.
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