Showing posts with label Tim Bozon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tim Bozon. Show all posts

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Unifor continuing drive to unionize major juniors

F Tyler Mosienko (Kelowna, 2000-05) signed a one-year contract with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had 43 points, including 16 goals, in 31 games. He also played 25 games with the Alaska Aces (ECHL), putting up 20 points, 17 of them assists. . . .
F Jade Galbraith (Saskatoon, 2000-01) has signed a one-year contract with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, with the Heerenveen Flyers (Netherlands, Eredivisie), he had 38 points, including 17 goals, in 22 games.

Rick Westhead, who recently joined TSN as its senior correspondent, has filed his first piece and it deals with Unifor and its bid to unionize major junior hockey. The union, Westhead reports, is to meet today with Ontario’s minister of labour. . . . Westhead’s piece is right here.
It was Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y., as the world of baseball saluted a few of its greats. That included Roger Angell, perhaps the best of all the baseball essayists. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has more on Angell right here, and you won’t want to miss it.
Now here’s a real treat. In celebration of Angell, The New Yorker, the magazine for which he writes, has posted links to “eight Angell classics.” Those links are right here.
The Portland Mavericks were an independent baseball team that lasted just five seasons. But what a five seasons of fun they were! Larry Stone of the Seattle Times chronicles that team right here. The Mavericks, by the way, were owned by Bing Russell. You may have heard of his son, Kurt.
“After football, hockey is the sport that produces the highest reate of concussion,” notes Dr. Stefan M. Duma, the head of the biomedical engineering department at Virginia Tech. . . . Which is why, as Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times reports, hockey helmets “may be on the verge of a radical makeover.” . . . Klein’s piece is right here.
No doubt you are aware of the political unrest in the Russian area of the world. Perhaps you have been wondering how that will impact the approaching KHL season. Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star tackles that question right here.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oil Kings sign assistant coach . . . Clouston, Speltz to U-18 team

F Juraj Rožník (Swift Current, Regina, 2010-11) has signed a tryout contract with Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, with Martin (Slovakia, Extraliga), he had 10 points, including six goals, in 41 games. . . .
F David Hruška (Red Deer, 1995-96) has signed a one-year contract with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga) after Karlovy Vary negotiated his release from Orli Znjomo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 32 points, 18 of them goals, in 52 games. . . .
F Radek Duda (Regina, Lethbridge, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year contract with Karlovy Vary (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Duda played last season with Plzen (Czech Republic, Extraliga), leading the team in scoring with 41 points, including 17 goals, in 47 games. He was second in the league with 141 penalty minutes. . . .
F Grant Toulmin (Swift Current, 2005-07, 2008-09) has signed a one-year contract with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with Nipissing University (CIS) in North Bay, Ont., he had 38 points, including 16 goals, in 28 games. . . .
D Kalvin Sagert (Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, 2002-08) has signed a one-year contract with Miskolci Jegesmedvék (Hungary, MOL-Liga). Last season, he had one assist in 11 games with the Wichita Thunder (CHL), 10 assists in 24 games with the San Francisco Bulls (ECHL), and a goal and three assists in 32 games with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL).

1. Ryan Marsh has signed on with the Memorial Cup-champion Edmonton Oil Kings as an assistant coach. Marsh (Tri-City, 1992-95) played four seasons at the U of Alberta in Edmonton before going on to a brief pro career. He has been with Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton for 15 years, the past 10 as campus director. He also was an assistant coach with the U of Alberta Golden Bears. . . . The 39-year-old native of Quesnel, B.C., moves into the spot created when Steve Hamilton was promoted from assistant coach to head coach. Hamilton took over from Derek Laxdal, now the head coach of the AHL’s Texas Stars. . . . Sean Brown also is on the Oil Kings’ staff as an assistant coach.
2. Shaun Clouston, the general manager and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, has been added to the coaching staff of the Canadian U-18 team that will play in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament next month. . . . Clouston replaces Eric Veilleux, who now is the head coach of the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals. . . . Clouston, 46, has been with the Tigers since 2003-04. He has been the head coach for four seasons and the GM for the past two. . . . At the same time, Tim Speltz, the general manager of the Spokane Chiefs, has been added to the Program of Excellence management group. Speltz, 56, replaces Mark Hunter, the GM of the OHL’s London Knights, who isn’t available for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Speltz has been the Chiefs’ GM since 1990. . . . Team Canada’s selection camp is scheduled for Calgary’s Markin MacPhail Centre, Aug. 2-5. There should be 44 players in attendance, with 22 of them going on to play for Canada. The tournament is to run Aug. 11-16 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
3. It’s hardly scientific and it’s a far cry from being official, but readers of this blog have spoken. Asked which of three teams should play host to the 2016 Memorial Cup, 47.9 per cent of respondents voted for the Red Deer Rebels. The Victoria Royals drew 34.1 per cent, with the Vancouver Giants at 17.9 per cent. . . . The 2016 Memorial Cup tournament is to be played in a WHL city; those three teams have said they will be involved in the bidding. . . . The Memorial Cup hasn’t been decided in Alberta since 1974 when the Regina Pats won it in the Calgary Corral.
4. F Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice, who spent March in a Saskatoon hospital battling Neisseria meningitis, is preparing to play in a competitive game for the first time since Feb. 28. Bozon, 20, will play for France’s U-23 team at a tournament in Ostrava, Czech Republic, next week. . . . Tal Pinchevsky of has more right here.
5. Earlier in the week, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada posted his final 30 Thoughts of the season, which means 2013-14 finally is over. Because it was his last post for the season, Friedman actually had at least 54 thoughts. . . . It’s all right here.
6. So there’s this beer league in Buffalo . . . it’s the Performax Hockey League. And when the guys got together the other night, they had a visitor. This guy lit it up for five goals. He also had five assists. Patrick Kane. You may have heard of him. . . . There’s more right here, including a great post-game tweet.
7. Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens has been suspended for, uhh, two games for precipitating an incident of domestic abuse. The disciplinary move has come in for considerable criticism, none of it any harsher than this column right here by Michael Powell of The New York Times.

Alan Caldwell, over at Small Thoughts at Large, tweeted this on Thursday: “The annual WHL prospects postings are coming to the blog soon, likely starting later today.” You will find them on his blog and there’s a link over there on the right. . . . Former Portand Winterhawks D Brad Symes has died in his hometown of Edmonton, where he was a firefighter. He was 38. There is more right here. . . . The Simon Fraser U men’s hockey team will play exhibition road games against the Bowling Green Falcons on Oct. 4 and the Miami U RedHawks on Oct. 5. Those games are scheduled for Bowling Green, Ohio, and Oxford, Ohio.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bozon back on skates; USA Hockey comes down on fighting

F Dylan Stanley (Tri-City, 2000-05) signed a one-year contract with Feldkirch (Austria, Inter-National-League). Last season, with Gherdëina (Italy, Inter-National-League), he had 77 points, 31 of them goals, in 36 games. He led the league in assists and points, and was third in goals.

1. The new owners of the Regina Pats, who officially took over the franchise on Monday, have a vision for the future, and that vision includes a code of conduct. All of this is to be put in writing and it is something that will guide the franchise and all of its people into the future. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has that story right here.

2. The Prince Albert Raiders have signed G Ian Scott, the ninth overall selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. Last season, Scott was 3.12 and .916 with the bantam AAA Calgary Northstar Sabres. He was the Alberta bantam league’s top goaltender for the South Division.

3. The Calgary Hitmen have signed F Mark Kastelic, the 41st overall selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. Kastelic, from Phoenix, had 38 points, including 22 goals, in 38 games with the Tier 1 Bantam AAA Phoenix Junior Coyotes last season. He has been invited to USA Hockey’s U-15 camp in Amherst, N.Y., July 14-20.

4. Two months after spending a month in a Saskatoon hospital, F Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice was back on the ice somewhere in France. Bozon was stricken with Neisseria Meningitis during an Ice road swing and, at one point, was in critical condition and in a medically induced coma. . . . There is more on his return to the ice right here. . . . While Bozon was in hospital, the WHL put out a plea for donations to help the Bozon family meet mounting expenses. Maybe one day the WHL will issue a news release and let everyone know just how much money the people donated.

5. From The Junior Hockey News: “Multiple sources attending the USA Hockey summer meetings in Colorado are reporting that we have seen the end of fighting as it has been known to exist in junior hockey. While it has not been made clear if the rule will take effect in the 2014-2015 season or 2015-2016, fighting is for all intents and purposes, done. The new rule will mandate that players who fight will now get a game ejection. Escalating penalties such as additional suspensions are also expected to be part of the new rule for those (who) continue to fight.”

6. Tim Kurkjian of ESPN is one of the most-respected of all the reporters who cover Major League Baseball. When he started out, he was covering the Texas Rangers, a team managed by Don Zimmer, the “Buddha of Baseball.” . . . Kurkjian remembers Zimmer, who died Wednesday at 83, in a good read that is right here.

7. When NHL commissioner Gary Bettman gave his state-of-the-league address prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final on Wednesday, Vancouver Sun columnist Cam Cole was in the room. Right here, Cole looks at the love-hate relationship between Bettman and Canadian hockey fans.
ECHLDwight Mullins (Lethbridge, Calgary, Saskatoon, 1982-88) has left the ECHL’s Elmira Jackals and joined the ECHL’s Evansville IceMen. . . . Mullins, 47, had been the Jackals’ head coach for two seasons. . . . He now is Evansville’s director of hockey operations and head coach. . . . Elmira has an affiliation with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres; Evansville has been affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the past two seasons. . . . In Evansville, Mullins will replace Jeff Pyle, who was fired after just one season with the IceMen.
OHLJohn Goodwin has signed on as an assistant coach with the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs, where he will work alongside Paul McFarland. . . . Goodwin spent last season as an assistant coach with the North Bay Battalion. . . . He has previous OHL coaching experience as an assistant coach and head coach with the Oshawa Generals. . . . As a player, Goodwin put up 389 points, including 133 goals, in 201 games over three seasons (1978-81) with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
USHLPat Mikesch has moved up to become head coach of the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers, taking over from Derek Lalonde, who on Monday was named head coach of the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye. . . . Mikesch, who has been with the Gamblers for three seasons, was the director of player personnel and associate coach under Lalonde.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Oil Kings one win from title; Americans looking for head coach

F Bernhard Keil (Kamloops, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, DEL). This season with Straubing and Red Bull Munich (both Germany, DEL), he had three goals in 35 games. While on loan to Kaufbeuren (Germany, DEL2), he had two assists in three games.
The news release from the Tri-City Americans announcing the dumping of head coach Jim Hiller hadn’t been out there too long when an email arrived.
It contained one line: “Bob Tory told me that this guy (Hiller) was the best in the WHL!”
Obviously, Tory’s opinion changed because he announced Friday that the Americans wouldn’t “be extending the contract of head coach Jim Hiller.”
Like a good politician, Tory dropped the bombshell on a Friday afternoon.
“Jim is a good person and coach and we are thankful for all of the contributions he's made to our club,” Tory said in the news release. “However, at this time, we feel we need a fresh face and voice moving forward to lead our team.”
Hiller spent five seasons as the Americans’ head coach, putting up 210 victories in 360 starts. As the news release points out, Hiller had four seasons with at least 40 victories, won two U.S. Division titles and had a .619 winning percentage.
Only Don Nachbaur (229) won more regular-season games as an Americans head coach. Nachbaur did that in 423 games, 63 more than Hiller.
“Hiller also departs as the Americans' all-time leader in playoff wins (29), playoff winning percentage (0.509) and playoff series wins (6),” the news release continues. “After his 2009-10 squad advanced to the WHL final for the first time in franchise history, Hiller also earned the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as WHL Coach of the Year . . .”
Hiller’s Americans won 47, 44, 50, 40 and, this season, 29 games. This season, in what was considered a rebuilding/reloading season, the Americans finished eighth in the Western Conference and lost a first-round series in five games to the Kelowna Rockets, who had finished 40 points in front of them.
“There still is a lot of work to be done,” Tory told Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald. “The last two years were not up to the standard we would have liked. Our young guys will be that much better. We are moving back in the right direction.”
If you read the Americans’ news release, it makes you wonder why Tri-City is tying a can to Hiller, instead of rewarding him with a multiyear deal. What more, you ask yourself, could a coach have done?
Asked by text if he is talking with Mike Williamson, Tory replied: “Have lots of interest. Difficult decision.”
Williamson, of course, was dumped by the Calgary Hitmen in mid-April.
With Williamson in his fifth season as head coach, the Hitmen put up 103 points in the regular season, but then lost a first-round series in six games to the Kootenay Ice, who were 20 points poorer over the regular season.
“We just didn’t feel our hockey club reached the level it should’ve,” Calgary GM Mike Moore told George Johnson of the Calgary Herald. “As evidenced in the Kootenay series and at other times during the year. Mike did a lot of good things but the level of (success) wasn’t where we felt the level of talent should get to.”
So what we have here are two excellent young coaches -- Hiller is 44; Williamson is 41 -- out of work, one because a new voice is needed, despite a .619 winning percentage over the last five seasons, the other because a 103-point regular season followed by a first-round six-game exit isn’t good enough.
The bars have been raised awfully high in Kennewick, Wash., and in Calgary.
Someone is going to have to remind me again (1) why anyone would want to get into the coaching game, and (2) how many teams win the last game of the playoffs?
To paraphrase Waylon and Willie, “Mammas, don’t let your babies grow up to be hockey coaches.”
On the other side of the coin, those teams who have coaching vacancies now have some awfully good resumes to look through.

1. With the sudden fall from grace of head coach Jim Hiller with the Tri-City Americans, there are four WHL teams without head coaches. The Americans, Calgary Hitmen, Saskatoon Blades and Vancouver Giants all are searching.

2. This is the most bizarre offseason in terms of WHL coaching moves that I can recall, and the season isn’t even over yet. . . . Kamloops ended up with Don Hay as its head coach, even though the Blazers have yet to admit publicly that they have parted company with Dave Hunchak. . . . Hay, the winningest active coach in the league, left Vancouver after 10 years with the Giants. The Giants didn’t ask for compensation, despite Hay having one year left on his contract. It seems that Hay and general manager Scott Bonner were barely on speaking terms. One source told me: “There were very few conversations between the two, even though their offices were right next to one another.” According to another source, “For the last few years, Don entered through the back of the Coliseum, and Scott through the front office. I don't think business has worked like that at the Coliseum since the days of the WHA when the Blazers and the Canucks shared the barn!”

3. Yes, Dave Hunchak is looking for work, too, and it’s not that long ago (2010-11) when the Moose Jaw Warriors won 40 games with him at the controls.

4. Fans who aren’t too close to the game may not know the name of Michael Futa. But the co-director of amateur scouting with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings has been a person of interest to teams looking to fill front-office vacancies. That included the Vancouver Canucks, who need a general manager. But Futa is off the market after the Kings promoted him Friday to president of hockey operations and director of player personnel. . . . This is a great move for the Kings, and it’s nice to see someone rewarded for good work.

5. Hockey has a concussion problem and it’s not going anywhere. Read this piece right here by Sportsnet’s Mark Spector and don’t think for a minute that it doesn’t apply to various levels of hockey, not just the NHL.

6. F Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice, who battled meningitis through the month of March, continues to rehab in France. The Montreal Canadiens selected him in the third round of the NHL’s 2012 draft and his goal is to be at their training camp in September. He has told Le Matin that he has lost 16 pounds and still suffers from vertigo and memory loss.

7. The 2019 Memorial Cup? Forget about it Red Deer. Lethbridge, you’ve got no chance. . . . Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun reports that the 2019 Memorial Cup will be held in Edmonton. Seriously. . . . Of course, a host WHL city has yet to be decided upon for the 2016 Memorial Cup. . . . Jones’ column is right here. . . . The Memorial Cup hasn’t been decided in Alberta since 1974 when the Regina Pats won it at the Corral in Calgary.

Michael Scissons, who has worked in Saskatoon’s front office since 2003, has been moved by the Blades into the newly created position of vice-president of business operations. Scissons joined the Blades in 2003-04 as an account executive. Most recently, he has been director of sales. . . . According to a Blades news release, in his new role, “Scissons will continue to guide the Blades business operations, maintaining contact on a daily basis with both corporate partners and season-ticket holders.”
In Guelph, the Storm booked its berth in the Memorial Cup with a 4-3 victory over the North Bay Battalion. . . . The Storm won the best-of-seven final, 4-1, to earn its first OHL championship since 2004. . . . North Bay took a 3-2 lead into the last five minutes of the third period, only to lose it on two goals by F Kirby Rychel. . . . Rychel tied the score at 15:31 and then got the winner with 26.3 seconds left in the third period. . . . The 2014 Memorial Cup opens in London, Ont., on Friday with the host Knights meeting the QMJHL champion.
QMJHLIn Baie-Comeau, the Drakkar closed to within a victory of their first championship with a 6-5 victory over the Val-d’Or Foreurs. . . . The Drakkar leads the best-of-seven final, 3-2, with Game 6 in Val-d’Or on Sunday. . . . If needed, Game 7 would be played Tuesday in Baie-Comeau. . . . F Valentin Zykov had two goals and three assists for the winners. His second goal, at 7:05 of the third period, gave his guys a 6-4 lead. . . . Baie-Comeau captain Felix Girard was 21-for-34 on faceoffs. He took part in 34 of the game’s 72 draws. . . . The Drakkar lost last season’s final to the Halifax Mooseheads in five games.
Mike Haviland has stepped down after one season as head coach of the AHL’s Hershey Bears in order to become the head coach of the Colorado College Tigers. Haviland also has coached in the AHL with the Norfolk Admirals and Rockford IceHogs. He has a 176-104-36 record as an AHL head coach. . . . With the Tigers, Haviland replaces Scott Owens, who resigned in April after 15 seasons there.

THE FOURTH ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup
(x - if necessary)
(All games televised live by Shaw)
(All games televised on delayed basis by Root Sports)
PORTLAND (2, West) vs. Edmonton (1, East)
(Edmonton leads, 3-2)
Season series: Portland, 0-0-1; Edmonton, 1-0-0.
Saturday: Edmonton 2 at Portland 5 (10,947)
Sunday: Edmonton 1 at Portland 3 (10,645)
Tuesday: Portland 2 at Edmonton 3 (6,799)
Wednesday: Portland 0 at Edmonton 2 (7,859)
Friday: Edmonton 3 at Portland 2 (10,947)
Sunday: Portland at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
x-Monday: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (Memorial Coliseum)
Portland: None.
Edmonton: None.

In Portland, the Edmonton Oil Kings won their third straight game to close to within one victory over the WHL title as they beat the defending-champion Winterhawks, 3-2. . . . Game 6 is scheduled for Edmonton on Sunday (Mother’s Day), at 4 p.m. . . . The Oil Kings are looking for their second championship in three seasons. . . . These two teams have met in each of the last three finals. . . . Portland F Paul Bittner opened the scoring at 15:28 of the first period. At that point, Portland had outscored Edmonton 8-0 in first periods. . . . It was Bittner’s fourth goal in the championship final. . . . That also was Portland’s first goal in 131:58, or since early in the first period of Game 3. . . . Edmonton F Edgars Kulda tied it on a PP at 18:27 of the first period. . . . The Oil Kings took the lead when D Griffin Reinhart scored at 2:11 of the second period and then stretched it to two on F Henrik Samuelsson’s goal at 7:39. . . . Samuelsson, who scored two goals through the first three rounds, has four scores in the final. . . . D Mathew Dumba got Portland to within one, at 3-2, with 1:45 left in the third period, but the Winterhawks weren’t able to equalize. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry was outstanding. He stopped 37 shots, including all 18 he faced in the second period. . . . Portland G Corbin Boes turned aside 27 shots. . . . Edmonton was 1-for-5 on the PP; Portland was 0-for-4 and now has one PP goal in its last 15 opportunities. . . . The Winterhawks had won their last 25 home games. They hadn’t tasted defeat on home ice since dropping a 3-2 decision to the Victoria Royals on Jan. 4. . . . Interestingly, if this series goes to a Game 7, each of the final three games will have been played in a different facility. Last night, they played in Portland’s Moda Center. On Sunday, Game 6 will be played in Edmonton’s Rexall Place. On Monday, if needed, it’s back to Portland but Game 7 would be played in Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Post-game tweets from Scott Sepich (@SSepich):
Edmonton D Griffin Reinhart: “"We weren't playing as structured (in first 2 games), now we're trying to frustrate them and wear them down.“
Portland GM/head coach Mike Johnston: "If we repeat that game, we'll be OK in Game 6. I thought our energy was good and our attack was good."
Johnston: "We had 7 or 8 chances where we shot it over the net. We had 17 chances in the 2nd period, you have to put a couple of them away."
Edmonton F Henrik Samuelsson: "We're playing a little safer, making the easy plays, not trying to force passes through the seam."

From WHL Facts (@WHLFacts): “50% - Through 18 WHL Final games between the @EdmOilKings and @pdxwinterhawks, each team has now won 9.”
From Sunaya Sapurji (@sunayas) of Yahoo! Sports: “France has 18,041 registered hockey players (total). Also 129 rinks (total) in the country.”
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lukowich files wrongful dismissal suit; City Council grills Lethbridge president, WHL commish

G Justin Pogge (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-06) has signed a two-year contract with Färjestad Karlstad (Sweden, SHL). This season with Karlskoga (Sweden, Allsvenskan), he was 2.16 and .921 in 51 games. . . .
D Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) has signed a two-year contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 13 points, including four goals, in 47 games.
Brad Lukowich, a former assistant coach with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, is suing the WHL team, claiming wrongful dismissal.
On Monday afternoon, Paul Kingsmith (@paulkingsmith) of Global-TV in Lethbridge tweeted: “Documents obtained by Global show Hurricanes sued by former assistant coach Brad Lukowich for wrongful dismissal.”
Neither the Hurricanes nor Lukowich would comment, according to Kingsmith.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the lawsuit is this, which came in another tweet from Kingsmith: “In the suit, Lukowich alleges he raised concerns ‘regarding non-compliance by certain Hurricanes coaches with policies mandated by the WHL.’ ”
Later in the day, Kingsmith and Bradley Jones posted a story that is right here.
Lukowich began this season as an assistant coach under Lethbridge head coach Drake Berehowsky. When Lukowich wasn’t at practices in early February, the team claimed that he was ill. On Feb. 8, general manager Brad Robson announced that Lukowich had been “terminated for cause."
Robson told the Lethbridge Herald at the time:
"It’s been going on for a couple of weeks, of course you know Brad left the team last week and I’ve been dealing with it, speaking with him and we’ve decided this is the course of action. For Brad’s future and for the Hurricanes’ future.
“Brad’s goal is still to be a coach, to eventually become a head coach and he’ll continue to work toward that, just not with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.”
Brian McNaughton, the president of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, and WHL commissioner Ron Robison appeared in front of Lethbridge city council on Monday night.
Here are some highlights, as tweeted by Pat Siedlecki, the radio voice of the Hurricanes on 94.1 CJOC (BTW, it’s worth noting that the Hurricanes no longer have a broadcast contract; it expired with the end of this season):
“Robison says WHL is fully committed to Lethbridge market and the league will NOT be leaving the Lethbridge area.”
“Robison says WHL has had straight forward talks with Pres. Brian McNaughton & Governor Herman Elfring.”
“Robison says the WHL has agreed to approve the Lethbridge Hurricanes current business plan going forward.”
“Robison states the status quo is not acceptable for the Hurricanes going forward and club must adhere to new guidelines.”
“McNaughton says moving forward the team must do two things: (1) Be competitive and (2) Be profitable.”
“McNaughton says: ‘We expect to make the playoffs, but not deviate from the plan to build from within.’ ”
“McNaughton says team will be filling Assistant Coach & Assistant GM positions.”
“Commissioner Ron Robison says Lethbridge is one of the best markets in the WHL. He states team needs stronger leadership.”
“McNaughton tells Councillor Coffman the Hurricanes currently have around 2200 shareholders.”
“McNaughton tells Councillor Mauro team will be better next season by making younger players better and bringing in older players to help.”
“Robison says people need to be patient, although patience is getting thin in Lethbridge. He says there is no quick fix.”
“McNaughton says the number one thing the Hurricanes need to focus on is selling tickets.”
“Robison says he believes no team has an economic advantage over another in the WHL. Says the difference is management.”
Siedlecki has posted some audio from the City Council meeting right here. The second link is a question-and-answer session and is worth a listen. (At one point, about 30 minutes in, Robison says that the Portland Winterhawks are "arguably a model franchise within our league."
Paul Kingsmith of Global-TV also was paying attention to the goings-on at the council meeting. Among his tweets was this one:
“ 'Canes President McNaughton says team is resetting its objectives with league guidance after previous 5 year plan failed.”
Later in the evening, Kingsmith posted a story and it is right here.

1. F Tim Bozon of the Kootenay Ice is making good progress as he recovers from his battle with Neisseria meningitis. On Monday, Bozon (@timbozon94) tweeted: “Two months today since I got really sick .. Made lots improvement #RoadtoRecovery #good.” . . . Bozon is going through the rehabilitation process in Capbreton, France.

2. The Portland Winterhawks will be without F Brendan Leipsic for Game 1 of the WHL’s championship final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. Leipsic has been suspended for one game for a spearing major and game misconduct that he incurred late in the fifth and final game of the Western Conference final on Friday in Kelowna. He was penalized after getting involved with Kelowna Rockets F Tyrell Goulbourne. . . . Leipsic is a repeat offender, having already served three- and seven-game suspensions this season. The fact the WHL chose to give him only one game for this latest incident would seem to indicate that it didn’t deem this one as being very serious.

3. The Coaches Conference has announced three guest speakers for its 2014 weekend. Former Nashville Predators head coach Barry Trotz, Ryan Huska, the head coach of the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, and strength-and-conditioning guru Matt Nichol all will be involved in this year’s conference, which is scheduled for July 18 and 19 at the U of British Columbia. . . . For more info, visit the conference’s website at or click on the ad at the top of this page.

4. The QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs and Halifax Mooseheads are going to a Game 7. The Foreurs beat the visiting Mooseheads 7-5 on Monday night, meaning the third-round series is 3-3. It will be decided tonight in Halifax. . . . The other semifinal, between the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Baie-Comeau Drakkar, also has gone to a Game 7. It will be played tonight in Baie-Comeau.

5. Dear Sportsnet: My brain turns to hazelnut mush whenever that Hazel promo appears. Once an hour is enough. Thank you.

6. G Eetu Laurikainen, who played the last two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos, has signed with the Espoo Blues (Finland, SM-liiga). Laurikainen played out his junior eligibility this season with the Broncos, going 25-20-6, 2.90, .914. He is from Jyvaskyla, Finland.

7. The ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash., which is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds, didn’t lose as much money in the first quarter of 2014 as officials had projected. That was thanks, at least in part, to the Thunderbirds getting three home playoff games. . . . Steve Hunter of the Kent Reporter has more right here.

8. The Austrian Ice Hockey Association won’t be resigning Emanuel Viveiros, the head coach of its national men’s team. The announcement came two days after Austria wound up second in the IIHF Division 1 Group A world championship, earning promotion to the top division. . . . Viveiros is a former WHL defenceman (Prince Albert, 1983-88) who has a son, Layne, on the Portland Winterhawks’ roster. . . . There is more on that story right here.

THE FOURTH ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
WHL final, for the Ed Chynoweth Cup
(x - if necessary)
(all games televised by Shaw)
PORTLAND (2, West) vs. Edmonton (1, East)
Season series: Portland, 0-0-1; Edmonton, 1-0-0.
Saturday: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (Moda Center)
Sunday: Edmonton at Portland, 5 p.m. (Moda Center)
Tuesday, May 6: Portland at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 7: Portland at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Friday, May 9: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (TBA)
x-Sunday, May 11: Portland at Edmonton, 4 p.m.
x-Monday, May 12: Edmonton at Portland, 7 p.m. (TBA)
Portland: None.
Edmonton: None.
No game scheduled.

From Tyson Dallman (@dolly_lama83): “Why don't Portland and Edmonton just have a seven game series in September and save everyone a whole bunch of time? #WHL”

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bozon story gets some national play

G Harrison May (Seattle, 2007-08) has signed with the Newcastle North Stars (Australia, AIHL). This season with the U of Ottawa (CIS), May was 3.05 and .881 in nine games. . . .
F Scott King (Kelowna, 1996-97) has signed a one-year extension with Lausitzer Füchse (Germany, DEL2). This season, King led the team in scoring, putting up 60 points, including 15 goals, in 47 games. He is preparing for his 14th season in Germany.

The Tim Bozon situation got some play on Monday on the CBC Radio nightly national news program World at Six.
J.P. Barry, an agent with Creative Artist Agency (CAA), told CBC's Bonnie Allen: “For all of our players, whether it's in the NHL or junior, the club shall provide the player with out-of-country medical coverage . . .”
Neither Barry nor anyone else in CAA represents Bozon. He is represented by Roland Thompson of Maloney and Thompson Sports Management.
According to the WHL's Standard Player Agreement, Barry has a point.
In Article 5, under Obligations of the Club, there is this:
“5.1 The Club covenants and agrees . . .
“(f) to provide the Player with regular medical attention, as required, for the assessment and rehabilitation of injuries which the Player may sustain during the Hockey season;
“(g) to provide the Player with out of country medical coverage;
“(h) to provide the Player with medical and dental insurance coverage through the Hockey Canada national insurance program, for hockey related injuries.”
In the case of Bozon, a forward with the Kootenay Ice who spent a month in a Saskatoon hospital being treated for Neiserria meningitis, it would seem to be (g) that applies.
Allen ended her report with this: "In the background, the team, the league, the insurance companies, even the Montreal Canadiens, seem to be passing the buck, so to speak, on who pays the bill."
Bozon was selected by Montreal in the third round of the NHL's 2012 draft. He has since signed a three-year contract with the Canadiens.
Ken Campbell of The Hockey News has an opinion on who should pay Tim Bozon’s medical and rehabilitation expenses. That piece is right here.
The best story in hockey today may be occurring in the KHL where Dave King has Lokomotiv Yaroslav into one of the semifinal series. In fact, that series opens tonight. . . . George Johnson of the Calgary Herald has more right here on King’s second coaching stint in the KHL. It’s quite a story.
F Mitch Holmberg of the Spokane Chiefs, the WHL’s scoring champion this season, has signed an ATO with the Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers. . . . Holmberg, who is from Sherwood Park, Alta., played out his junior eligibility this season. He led the WHL in goals (62) and points (118). . . . Guy Flaming of TSN 1260’s The Pipeline Show, which originates in Edmonton, points out that Bob Green, the Edmonton Oil Kings’ former GM who now is the Oilers’ director of amateur free agent scouting, is Holmberg’s stepfather. . . . Holmberg is the fourth free-agent from the WHL to have signed with the Barons. The others are F Jujhar Khaira and F Josh Winquist of the Everett Silvertips and D Graeme Craig of the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Oklahoma City also has added F Greg Chase of the Calgary Hitmen. Chase was a seventh-round pick by the Oilers in the 2013 NHL draft. Chase was born on Jan. 1, 1995, which means he will be back for another WHL season.
You likely are aware that the CHL has outlawed the selection of goaltenders in its annual import draft. Well, one Russian goaltender has found his way around that rule. That story is right here.
G Chris Driedger of the Calgary Hitmen has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him in the third round of the NHL's 2012 draft. Driedger, who turns 20 on May 18, played the last three seasons with the Hitmen, after being acquired from the Tri-City Americans. A Winnipegger, he was 28-14-7, 2.65, .918 in 50 appearances this season.
Derek Bachynski, an assistant coach with the BCHL's Powell River Kings for two seasons, is the new head coach of the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island junior league. . . . Bachynski, 31, is from Belle River, Ont. . . . The Buccaneers are preparing for their third season in the VIJHL. Brad Knight, the head coach who got them into the playoffs each of the first two seasons, has chosen to step down. . . . Glen Smith remains Nanaimo's general manager.

THE SECOND ROUND (best-of-seven; all times local):
(x - if necessary)
Season series: Edmonton, 3-1-0; Brandon, 1-2-1.
Thursday: Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Brandon at Edmonton, noon
Tuesday: Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9: Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.
x-Friday, April 11: Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
x-Monday, April 14: Edmonton at Brandon, 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 16: Brandon at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Edmonton: F Brandon Baddock, 3-5 weeks; D Blake Orban, indefinite; F Reid Petryk, day-to-day.
Brandon: None.
Season series: Medicine Hat, 3-3-0; Kootenay, 3-3-0.
Saturday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 10: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Saturday, April 12: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.
x-Monday, April 14: Medicine Hat at Kootenay, 7 p.m.
x-Wednesday, April 16: Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.
(NOTE: Kootenay plays home games in Cranbrook, B.C.)
Medicine Hat: F Anthony Ast, indefinite; F Gavin Broadhead, day-to-day; F Hunter Shinkaruk, indefinite.
Kootenay: F Tim Bozon, indefinite; F Ryan Chynoweth, indefinite; D Tyler King, day-to-day; D Tanner Faith, 3-5 months.
Season series: Kelowna, 2-1-1; Seattle, 2-1-1.
Thursday: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Kelowna at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9: Kelowna at Seattle, 7:05 p.m.
x-Friday, April 11: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
x-Sunday, April 13: Kelowna at Seattle, 5:05 p.m.
x-Tuesday, April 15: Seattle at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
(NOTE: Seattle plays home games in Kent, Wash.)
Kelowna: F Myles Bell, day-to-day; D Jesse Lees, indefinite.
Seattle: F Connor Honey, indefinite.
(Series televised by Shaw-TV)
Season series: Portland, 1-1-2; Victoria, 3-1-0.
Friday: Victoria at Portland (Veterans Memorial Coliseum), 7 p.m.
Saturday: Victoria at Portland (Moda Center), 7 p.m.
Monday: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Thursday, April 10: Victoria at Portland (Moda Center), 7, p.m.
x-Saturday, April 12: Portland at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.
x-Monday, April 14: Victoria at Portland (Veterans Memorial Coliseum), 7 p.m.
Portland: None.
Victoria: None.

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