Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Smoke over the hills ... Warriors ink goalie coach ... Ex-WHL coach's run ends in Tucson

The summer of fires moved closer to our home late Wednesday afternoon when one broke out near Monte Lake. We live about 20 km east of Kamloops above the north shore of the South Thompson River. When we go to Vernon or Kelowna, we head east on the Trans-Canada Highway to the Monte Creek interchange and then take Highway 97. Monte Lake is about 15 minutes up that highway. . . . The four photos above were taken off our deck on Wednesday evening. When I first heard about the fire, at about 5 p.m., I took a look and there was one fairly thin column of smoke. Inside of 30 minutes it had grown by leaps and bounds. . . . The top photo shows the light from the setting sun glancing off the smoke as the clock neared 9 p.m. . . . The photo second from top was taken just moments before the top one. . . . The third photo was taken around 6 p.m. . . . There were a number of airplanes working the fire; the one in the photo has a retardant bay on its bottom; it was headed back to the Kamloops airport for the night as darkness set in. . . . The Thompson Nicola Regional District put evacuation alerts and orders in place, and there are an untold number of buildings at risk. . . . Now we can only wait and see what morning will bring. 



F Charles Wells (Seattle, Prince Albert, Portland, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Mulhouse (France, Division 1), he had six goals and 15 assists in 22 games. . . .
F Tyler Redenbach (Prince George, Swift Current, Lethbridge, 2001-05) has signed a one-year contract with Tappara Tampere (Finland, Liiga). Last season, he had 11 goals and 22 assists in 34 games with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga), and two goals and three assists in nine games with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). . . .
F Justin Maylan (Moose Jaw, Prince George, Prince Albert, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with Heilbronn (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga), he had seven goals and 35 assists in 53 games. He led the team in assists.


Matt Weninger has joined the Moose Jaw Warriors as their new goaltender coach. . . . From a news release: “Weninger is currently the regional consultant and goaltending lead for Hockey Alberta and previously worked with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association in 2015-16 as a goaltending and coaching consultant.” . . . He also served as the goaltending coach for the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers for two seasons (2015-17) and has worked with Laurentian University (U Sports) and Hockey Canada. . . . As a player, he spent four seasons (2010-14) at St. Lawrence U, where he holds school records for career and single-season games played, minutes played, consecutive games played, and total saves. . . . He also played three SJHL seasons, splitting that time between the Kindersley Klippers and Flin Flon Bombers. . . . In Moose Jaw, Weninger takes over from Jamie Hodson, who had worked with the Warriors since 2011. Hodson now is the director of business and hockey operations for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals.
If you were wondering what was wrong with D Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds late in the WHL playoffs and through the Memorial Cup, well, now we know. . . . As was reported here originally, Bear did have a broken finger. What we didn’t know until now is that he underwent surgery to repair the index finger on his left hand. . . . Bear was injured while blocking a shot in Game 3 of the Western Conference final against the Kelowna Rockets. He sat out the next three games, then returned for the final against the Regina Pats, a series that Seattle won, 4-2. . . . “I was lucky enough to get a quick surgery, and then I recovered enough to play in the final and then the Memorial Cup," Bear told Derek Van Diest for a story that is posted right here at “I had to adjust the knob on my stick and the way I placed my hand. But Seattle, they really made it work for me and I was able to play at my best abilities. They put a plate in it and couple of screws. The doctors did a really good job. They made it strong enough so that I could play and I wouldn't feel as much pain.” . . . According to Van Diest, “Bear still is recovering from his injury, but is expected to be ready for Oilers training camp in the fall.” . . . Bear, 20, was a fifth-round pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2015 draft and has signed a three-year entry-level contract.
There are three WHL players on the roster for Team Finland as it prepares to play in the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., from July 29 through Aug. 5. . . . F Sami Moilanen (Seattle Thunderbirds), D Juuso Valimaki (Tri-City Americans) and D Henri Jokiharju (Portland Winterhawks) all are on Team Finland’s roster for the tournament that also features teams from Canada, Sweden and the U.S.
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Mark Lamb, who spent six seasons as the general manager and head coach of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, is out after one season as head coach of the Tucson Roadrunners, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. . . . John Chayka, the Coyotes’ president of hockey operations and general manager, announced Wednesday that Mike Van Ryn has taken over as head coach. . . . The assistant coaches will be John Slaney and Steve Potvin. . . . Mark Hardy, an assistant coach last season, also won’t be returning. . . . Van Ryn spent the past season working as the Coyotes’ development coach. . . . In 2015-16, he was the head coach of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers. . . . Slaney spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Coyotes, while Potvin has been with the organization for one season as the skills coach. . . . The Roadrunners finished 29-31-8 last season, their first in the AHL. Their winning percentage (.485) left them sixth in the eight-team Pacific Division. They didn’t qualify for the playoffs.


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