Saturday, May 23, 2015

Generals get past Oceanic . . . Rockets pay price for 'negative comments' . . . Tochkin turns to coaching

The OHL-champion Oshawa Generals eked out a 4-3 victory over the QMJHL-champion Rimouski Oceanic before 8,409 fans at the Memorial Cup in Quebec City on Saturday. . . . On Friday, the tournament opened with the host Quebec Remparts beating the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets, 4-3. . . . The Remparts and Generals will clash this afternoon, with the Rockets and Oceanic meeting Monday night. . . . Only the left shoulder of Ottawa G Ken Appleby prevented OT as he beat Rimouski F Alexis Loiseau with six seconds left in the third period. The Oceanic was shorthanded at the time and had G Philippe Desrosiers on the bench for the extra attacker when Loiseau came loose directly in front of Appleby. Loiseau tried to go high on Appleby, and the puck hit him on the shoulder and ricocheted just wide of the post. . . .  The Generals appeared to take control of the game in the first period, as they led 2-0 before the 10-minute mark. . . . However, the Oceanic scored two goals 44 seconds apart late in the period and the teams were even going into the second. . . . Oshawa went back in front at 18:33 of the second when D Stephen Desrocher scored directly off a face-off win by F Cole Cassels. . . . Rimouski tied it at 3:46 of the third, on a PP, with D Jan Kostalek getting the goal. . . . The game-winner came at 9:24 when F Hunter Smith fired a long shot at Desrosiers and was able to get to his own rebound and score. . . . Rimouski’s chances were damaged late when it was penalized for too many men as it tried to get Desrosiers off for the extra attacker. . . . Desrosiers finished with 33 saves, 14 more than Appleby. . . . Rimouski was 1-for-4 on the PP; Oshawa was 0-for-5. . . . Brett Iverson, the lone WHL referee in the tournament, worked this game. . . . There was hardly any post-whistle shenanigans in this one, certainly not in comparison to all that went on in Friday’s game.
——
On Saturday afternoon, the CHL tweeted: “Kelowna Rockets fined $500 for a member of organization approaching #CHL Hockey Ops Dept. and making negative comments regarding officiating.”
No one has coughed up the name of the person who made the “negative comments,” but speculation is that someone complained about the misconduct penalty assessed to F Leon Draisaitl following the buzzer to end the second period. (Feel free to take part in our poll over there on the right.)
Of all the calls made during Kelowna’s 4-3 loss to the host Quebec Remparts, none had a larger impact than the one that took Draisaitl off the ice for the first half of the third period.
——
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski 3 vs. Oshawa 4 (8,409)
Sunday: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: Championship game, 7 p.m.
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OHLAccording to court filings made Friday, the OHL’s Erie Otters are US$5.4 million in debt, that includes $296,688 owing to former player Brad Boyes, who now is with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. . . . The money owing Boyes is from a loan he made to the team almost six years ago. . . . Ed Palattella has more on this story right here from GoErie.com.
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Michael Beschloss provided a terrific read in Saturday’s New York Times. It’s right here and it deals with the M&M Boys — Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris — and the home run race of 1961. . . . You may want to check out the comments, too.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Former WHL F Kellan Tochkin is the new head coach of the Everett Jr. Silvertips 16U AAA team. Tochkin, 24, has decided to retire as a player to coach the Tier 1 elite midget team. . . . In the WHL, Tochkin, who is from Abbotsford, B.C., played for the Everett Silvertips, Medicine Hat Tigers and Prince Albert Raiders (2006-12). . . . He played three seasons of professional hockey, making stops in the Central league and ECHL, and in Sweden.
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NAHLAlmost every time a coach is fired, the team issues a news release, thanking the coach for the time he has given to the organization and wishing him the best of luck.
Not the NAHL’s Austin, Minn., Bruins, who fired general manager and head coach Chris Tok on Friday, after five years on the job. He is the only GM and head coach the franchise has known. The relationship doesn’t seem to have ended well.
Here is an excerpt from the team-issued news release:
“No one doubts coach Tok's ability to have success on the ice. In fact we believe that Chris is one of the best coaches in the NAHL. Unfortunately being head coach/ general manager involves far more than coaching. The position requires the exercise of solid managerial decisions behind the scenes, and it requires those managerial decisions be focused primarily on the long-term interests of the team.
“Over the years as coach of the Austin Bruins, Chris Tok made a number of managerial decisions which were not consistent with the team's interests nor consistent with team policy. Those decisions have created tension and conflict between Chris Tok and management which has proven difficult to resolve. In light of those managerial issues and the conflict they have produced, the team has decided to seek a new head coach.”
Assistant coach Jamie Huffman, who resigned earlier in the week, told ABC 6 News, that the Bruins had been "planning (to fire Tok) since February.” Huffman also said the firing was an "absolute shame.”
Jason Feldman of the Rochester, Minn., Post-Bulletin has more right here.
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Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t yet decided whether to sign F Peter Quenneville, who played out his junior eligibility this season with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Quenneville was a seventh-round selection in the NHL’s 2013 draft. . . . Portzline’s piece is right here.
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To date, the 2015 Hockey Coaches Conference has two NHL head coaches on its roster of presenters — Willie Desjardins of the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Johnston of the Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . The conference is scheduled for July 24 and 25 in Vancouver. . . . There’s more right here.
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Gary Bettman, the NHL commissioner, spoke with reporters on Thursday, during an intermission in the playoff game between the host Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. At one point, Bettman had something to say about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Nicholas J. Cotsonika writes right here that Bettman should have kept quiet. . . . If you are interested in a balanced look at the NHL and concussions, this is it.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Rockets drop opener to Remparts . . . Lowry on Sharks' radar . . . Hiller on move








F Chet Pickard (Tri-City, 2005-09) signed  one-year-plus-option contract with RHW Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). This season, with Odense (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he was 2.65 and .909 in 36 games. . . .
F Martin Cibák (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) signed a one-year contract with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 11 goals and nine assists in 48 games. . . .
F Tyler Mosienko (Kelowna, 2000-05) signed a one-year extension with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite). This season, he had 26 goals and 37 assists in 60 games.
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As you no doubt are aware, the games began at the Memorial Cup in Quebec City last night. . . . The host Quebec Remparts dumped the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets, 4-3, before 9,497 fans. . . . In each of the last six tournaments, the host team had lost its opener. . . . The Remparts outchanced the Rockets and, at one point, held a 2-0 lead that could just as easily have been 5-0, but not for some solid play by Kelowna G Jackson Whistle. . . . A key part in this game occurred as the buzzer sounded to end the second period. The Remparts held a 2-1 lead at the time, with Kelowna F Nick Merkley having scored a shorthanded goal at 17:56 of the second period to get the Rockets to within a goal. . . . There was some milling around, some pushing and shoving, at the buzzer and the referees chose to slap misconducts on Kelowna F Leon Draisaitl and Quebec F Marc-Olivier Roy, both of whom are NHL draft picks of the Edmonton Oilers. That took Draisaitl, the WHL’s playoff MVP and Kelowna’s most-dangerous player, off the ice for the first half of the third period. . . . The Rockets didn’t do much offensively with Draisaitl off and, in fact, gave up a shorthanded goal to Quebec F Ryan Graves at 2:08 for a 3-1 Remparts lead. . . . Draisaitl came back and later scored the game’s last goal, on a PP, at 19:24. . . . The Rockets took 44 of the game’s 70 penalty minutes. If they are to win this tournament, they are going to have to stop giving the referees the option to make some of those calls. . . . The Rockets were 2-for-6 on the PP, but gave up that shorthanded goal. . . . Quebec was 0-for-5 on the PP. . . . Quebec G Zach Fucale stopped 26 shots, one fewer than Whistle. . . . Kelowna was 30-for-58 on faceoffs, and that was with Draisaitl struggling — he was 13-for-29. . . . Rockets D Madison Bowey had a game-high six shots, but he can play a lot better than he did. He fought the puck for a good part of this one. . . . The Rockets don’t play again until Monday, so will have some time to think about the loss.
——
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday: Kelowna 3 vs. Quebec 4 (9,497)
Saturday: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 31: Championship game, 7 p.m.
——
An interesting note from Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier, who is in Quebec City:
“The Colisée Pepsi is a wonderful, albeit aging, rink, one filled with
history. Located steps away is the city’s newest construction site, the home of Videotron Centre, an 18,482-seat arena that fans in this hockey-mad market hope will soon be home to an NHL team. And steps away from the Videotron Centre is Pavillon de la Jeunesse, a small but outstanding rink of which some WHL teams would be envious. The rink seats 5,000, has a low roof and an ice surface that, with the touch of a button, can be expanded from NHL to Olympic size in only eight minutes. If that sounds crazy, here’s something really crazy: The rink doesn’t have a main tenant, and, according to staff, is mostly used for cultural events.”
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NHLThose of us on the outside really have no idea how serious a contender Dave Lowry is for the head-coaching position with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. But if you believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire, the Victoria Royals head coach very well may be in the hunt. . . . It could be that someone like Randy Carlyle or Peter DeBoer will replace Todd McLellan. But, hey, it could be Lowry, who played 143 games with the Sharks back in the day. . . . David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News has more right here. . . . “I tried reaching Lowry through the Royals’ media relations director,” Pollak writes, “only to be told Lowry and Royals general manager Cam Hope — who indicated he thought the moment his coach would get a shot at an NHL job was getting closer — weren’t interested in talking any more about the subject. That, of course, only adds to Lowry’s viability as a serious candidate.”
——
The Spokane Chiefs have signed F Koby Morrisseau, who was the ninth overall selection in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Morrisseau, 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, is from Grandview, Man. He had 61 points, including 39 goals, with the Parkland Rangers, who play in the West Division of the Winnipeg bantam AAA league. . . . The Chiefs had two first-round selections in the 2015 draft. Earlier, they signed D Ty Smith, who was the draft’s first overall selection.
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THE COACHING GAME:

QMJHLThe QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have signed Danny Flynn to a three-year contract as head coach. Flynn, 57, spent this season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . Flynn, a veteran of the coaching wars, spent six seasons (2007-13) as head coach of the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, guiding them to the 2010 championship. Flynn replaces Ross Yates, the head coach for the past two seasons.
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NHLAnsar Khan, who covers the Detroit Red Wings for MLive.com, reported Friday afternoon that former WHL coach Jim Hiller will be joining the Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff. . . . Hiller, 46, coached in the WHL with the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?) and Tri-City Americans. This season, he was an assistant coach under Mike Babcock with the Red Wings. . . . In Detroit, Hiller was responsible for the PP, which was the second most-prolific in the NHL.
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Whatever happened to Kimbi Daniels? . . . McCrimmon in the NHL? Why not? . . . Oil Kings sign forward


The fun starts in Quebec City today as the Memorial Cup opens with the WHL-champion Kelowna Rockets meeting the host Quebec Remparts.
With that in mind, Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province revisits the 1989 tournament with a focus on Kimbi Daniels, who played in that event and had a seemingly bright hockey future. Daniels and the Swift Current Broncos won that tournament in Saskatoon.
Now the Rockets are hoping to win it. Lorne Frey, their assistant GM, was an assistant coach with the Broncos; Dan Lambert, the Rockets’ head coach, was an offensive force as a defenceman.
That piece is right here.
——
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday: Kelowna vs. Quebec, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 29: Semifinal, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 31: Championship game, TBA
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The Toronto Maple Leafs — yes, they introduced Mike Babcock as their latest head coach on Thursday — have added Jim Paliafito as their director of player evaluation. He had been the general manager of the NHLOHL’s Saginaw Spirit.
The Leafs’ front office also includes Mark Hunter, who had been the general manager of the London Knights, and Kyle Dubas, the former GM of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.
All of this prompted Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press to write:
“The Leafs have Mark Hunter and Kyle Dubas just below president Brendan Shanahan on the hockey management side. If they add a third in a vice-president or assistant GM role, Kelly McCrimmon and his unparalleled knowledge of the Western Hockey League is a first and last call kind of guy.
“McCrimmon is owner, GM and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings and is as sharp a hockey mind as one will come across. McCrimmon has an MBA and has successfully operated the Wheat Kings since 1992. He knows players, he knows business and he knows hockey. He’s a first-rate person. The Leafs, or any NHL club for that matter, would be lucky to have him.”
Lawless is correct, of course, and you might wonder why no NHL team has yet made such a call. Perhaps it’s because the GM making that call would have to have supreme confidence in his own abilities and be capable of continuing his life without feeling McCrimmon was after his job.
Sometimes that just doesn’t happen. Or have you never wondered how it is that the late Ed Chynoweth never was given the opportunity to run an NHL team?
The complete Lawless piece is right here. He also makes a good point about NHL coaches and salary disclosure.
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BCHLThe BCHL’s Penticton Vees have done a lot of winning under Fred Harbinson, their GM and head coach. Don’t think for a moment that no one has noticed. As Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province writes right here, Harbinson appears to be on the radar of the U of Wisconsin Badgers and the Vancouver Giants.
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THE COACHING GAME:

The QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes have extended the contract of head coach Martin Bernard through the 2016-17 season. His contract was to expire after next season.
——
Dan Muse is the new head coach of the USHL’s Chicago Steel. Muse had been an assistant coach at Yale U for six seasons. . . . The Steel also announced that Larry Robbins has purchased majority interest in the franchise. According to a news release, Robbins is“a Chicagoland native, professional investor and hockey enthusiast.”
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The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives have signed Jim Fuyarchuk as their new head coach. Most recently he worked as head coach of the U-18 Miskolci Jegesmedvek club in Hungary. . . . Prior to that, he worked four seasons with the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. He also has been head coach of the now-defunct Brandon U Bobcats and spent five seasons in the Super League in Great Britain. . . . Fuyarchuk replaces Dwight Kirkup, who had been head coach for the previous two seasons.
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The fourth annual Bauer BCHL Showcase is scheduled for Sept. 24-27 at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. According to a news release, “An extra day has been added to this year's Showcase in order to allow all games to be played on Prospera Centre's main ice surface.” . . . Matchups will be announced after the BCHL’s annual general meeting, June 4-6. . . .
The Edmonton Oil Kings have signed F Colton Kehler, who was a seventh-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft. Kehler, from Port Coquitlam, B.C., will turn 18 on June 27. . . . This season, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder had two goals in nine games with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals and nine goals and seven assists in 41 games with the Langley Rivermen. . . . He was a prolific scorer in major midget, scoring 41 times in 40 games for the Vancouver-North East Chiefs in 2012-13. . . . Kehler had committed to Clarkson before changing his mind and signing with the Oil Kings. . . .
If you have been wondering, the annual Young Guns preseason NHL tournament will be held in Penticton, Sept. 11-14. The Vancouver Canucks will again play host to the tournament that also will feature prospects from the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets. . . . The Oilers’ lineup is likely to include F Connor McDavid. . . . Tickets go on sale July 10. . . . There’s more right here, including a schedule.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Great news from Ewen . . . Babcock: Road hockey by candlelight? . . . Canucks going to P.G.










F Waltteri Hopponen (Everett, 2013-14) signed a two-year-plus-option contract with HPK Hämeenlinna (Finland, Liiga). This season, with the Sioux City Musketeers (USHL), he had two goals and eight assists in 28 games; in 31 games with the Lincoln Stars (USHL), he had four goals and 14 assists. . . .
F Riley Holzapfel (Moose Jaw, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract with Karlskrona (Sweden, SHL). This season, with HV71 Jönköping (Sweden, SHL), he had seven goals and six assists in 49 games. Karlskrona won promotion to SHL from Allsvenskan this season.

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The really big news on Wednesday — yes, even bigger than Mike Babcock or David Letterman — came from long-time friend Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province.
It arrived via email:
“Today marks my four-year anniversary of being discharged from GF Strong. I also saw the cancer doctors this morning and I'm now officially four and a half years cancer free.
“I believe that the support Carol-Ann and I have received has been instrumental in what's been achieved to date. Thanks again.
“As a reminder, if you're free on Aug. 5, we're throwing a Ride To Conquer Cancer fundraiser at the Earls on Fir Street. There's a silent auction, plus we get a portion from some drinks and appetizers that night.”
It just doesn’t get any better than that.
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NHLF Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the hot story, to date, of these NHL playoffs. Johnson was a free-agent signing by the Lightning after a terrific career with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs. Johnson stands 5-foot-8 and has had to overcome that throughout his career. It’s why no NHL team signed him until after his 20-year-old season. Al Murray, the Lightning’s head scout, had a lot to do with that, and Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has more on that right here.
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Meanwhile, Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province talked with Spokane Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz and, yes, the subject was Tampa Bay Lightning F Tyler Johnson. . . . That piece is right here.
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We just witnessed two more days of social media at its best.
You might recall that on Tuesday, free-agent head coach Mike Babcock wasn’t going to Toronto, was NHLnegotiating with Buffalo, and perhaps was talking with San Jose, but almost certainly was going to stay in Detroit. Oh, and St. Louis might be interested.
So what happens?
Of course, he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. (The news conference is scheduled for today, which means another day of Twitter exploding.)
This is great news for hockey fans who have long wondered just how much impact a coach can have on a team.
The Leafs have been, well, the Leafs for a long time now. It is going to be interesting to see how much of an impact Babcock has on them. After all, instead of dealing with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, he now has Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Instead of Niklas Kronwall, he’s got Dion Phaneuf.
You have to think that the Leafs will hold the course with their rebuild, meaning there won’t be any huge free-agent signings in an attempt to speed up the process.
If they are going to contend for the Stanley Cup, they need to find a top-end goaltender and a minute-eating defenceman who will quarterback the PP. Perhaps Morgan Rielly will become capable of filling the latter role, but is there a big-time goaltender on the roster?
Anyway . . . Babcock, who once was fired by the Moose Jaw Warriors, now is by far the highest-paid coach in the NHL. His eight-year deal with Toronto averages out at $6.25 million per season. That is quite a bit more than the man who is No. 2 on the list. Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks is paid $2.75 million per season. . . . Babcock spent two seasons (1991-93) in Moose Jaw, going 33-36-3 and 27-42-3. He was dumped after that second season and replaced by Al Tuer, who now is a pro scout for the Florida Panthers. . . . Babcock had been in Detroit for 10 seasons. The only active NHL head coaches who have been in position for more than four seasons are Claude Julien (Boston), Quenneville, Dave Tippett (Arizona) and Jack Capuano (New York Islanders). . . . Julien just completed his eighth season with the Bruins, while Quenneville is in his eighth season with the Blackhawks. Tippett has been the Coyotes’ head coach through seven seasons. Capuano has been the Islanders’ head coach since Nov. 15, 2010. . . . BTW, Babcock spent some of his childhood in Leaf Rapids, Man., which is a couple of slapshots from my hometown of Lynn Lake. Babcock has told stories of Leaf Rapids not having street lights so he and his friends put candles in the snowbanks in order to play road hockey at night. I don’t know about that, but I do know that my first skate every fall was on Eden Lake, which is right by Leaf Rapids. That first ice of the year on Eden Lake was the best I ever skated on.
——
Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna vs. Quebec, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 25: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 27: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 28: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 29: Semifina, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 31: Championship game, TBA
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In the AHL, the host Utica Comets beat the Oklahoma City Barons 1-0 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of a AHLsecond-round series. . . . The Comets are affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks, the Barons with the Edmonton Oilers. . . . F Alexandre Grenier won it with his fourth goal at 7:11 of the third period. Here’s hoping he gets free Slurpees for life! . . . Utica G Jakob Markstrom stopped 35 shots. . . . Attendance was 3,835. . . . The Comets, under head coach Travis Green, will meet the Grand Rapids Griffins in the Western Conference final. Green, the former Portland Winterhawks assistant GM and assistant coach, is seen as one of the best young coaches in the game. . . . Griffins head coach Jeff Blashill may be the next head coach of the parent Detroit Red Wings. . . . That series, with a 2-3-2 format, opens with games in Utica on Sunday and Monday. . . . The Eastern Conference final features the Manchester Monarchs, under former Moose Jaw Warriors head coach Mike Stothers, against the Hartford Wolf Pack of head coach Ken Gernander. The Monarchs are hooked up with the Los Angeles Kings; the Wolf Pack with the New York Rangers. That series opens tonight in Manchester.
——
Admit it. There are nights when you lay awake and wonder: What are Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 10 best movies?
Well, Rolling Stone has the list and it’s right here.
Did you know that a studio originally had O.J. Simpson tabbed as the Terminator, and not Arnold? That’s what it says in this story. . . . Check it out, and sleep well.
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THE COACHING GAME:

Jamie Kompon, the general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks, will coach at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge later this year. Kompon has been named head coach of one of three Canadian teams that will play in the tournament, a host city and dates for which have yet to be announced. . . . Kompon will be head coach of Canada White. . . . Former Kootenay Ice coach Kris Knoblauch, now the head coach of the OHL’s Erie Otters, will be the head coach of Canada Red, with Marco Pietroniro, the head coach of the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar, running Canada Black. . . . Kompon’s assistant coaches will be Jamie Heward, who is an assistant with the Swift Current Broncos, and Serge Lajoie, the head coach of the Edmonton-based NAIT Ooks. . . . Wade Klippenstein, the Brandon Wheat Kings’ director of scouting, will be involved in team selection as he is Hockey Canada’s western regional scout.
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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed D Tyler Strath, who was a third-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Strath, who is from Carseland, Alta., had 23 points, four of them goals, in 31 games with the bantam AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders this season. . . .


NHLThe Vancouver Canucks and Prince George Cougars announced Wednesday that the NHL team will hold its training camp at the CN Centre in Prince George, Sept. 18-20. . . . Medicals will take place Sept. 17 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, with on-ice work starting in Prince George on Sept. 18. . . . Canucks president Trevor Linden said in a news release that the team is “committed to holding future training camps in communities throughout B.C.” . . . Canucks D Dan Hamhuis is a part-owner of the Cougars.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nolan to Giants? . . . Amateur athletes or employees? . . . Lowry to Sharks?








F Bernhard Keil (Kamloops, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2). This season, with the Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, DEL), he had one goal in 39 games. . . .
F Justin Maylan (Moose Jaw, Prince George, Prince Albert, 2007-12) signed a one-year contract with Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Serie A). This season, with Gherdëina (Italy, Serie A), he had 14 goals and a team-high 37 assists in 33 games.
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Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province reported Tuesday that the Vancouver Giants have talked with Ted Nolan about their vacant head-coaching position. Nolan, of course, is a veteran coach with plenty of major junior experience, having coached in the OHL and QMJHL. This season, he was the head coach of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, who let him go at season’s end. . . . Nolan and his wife, Sandra, have been in Vancouver and toured the Giants’ facility in Ladner. However, Nolan will exercise all of his professional options before he would return to junior and he has been upfront about that. . . . Still, if you were on Twitter yesterday, you would have been led to believe that Nolan and the Giants were in contract negotiations. . . . That might happen, but if it does it won’t be for a while.
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I was reaching for a dictionary on Tuesday morning, as I tried to come to grips with Washington state’s new law that says WHL players on that state’s four WHL teams are amateur athletes and not employees. . . . My reaching was interrupted when I spotted a piece written by Ken Campbell of The Hockey News. . . . He explains it all right here.
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Ken Campbell of The Hockey News also spoke with Jerry Dias, the president of Unifor, which is Canada’s largest public sector trade union. Unifor continues to work towards organizing major junior hockey players in Canada. . . . Dias said the Washington bill is “ridiculous” and added that the effort to unionize major junior hockey players is continuing. . . . “I don’t know how the person who cleans the toilets in the arena is an employee,” Dias told Campbell, “the coaches are employees, the person who sells the popcorn, the person who cleans the ice . . . everybody is an employee except for the person who makes the profits.” . . . That story is right here.
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Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet posted his weekly 30 Thoughts on Tuesday morning. As always, it is highly readable, and it is right here. As he points out, hockey fans shouldn’t discount Dave Lowry as the next head coach of the San Jose Sharks. At present, Lowry is the head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals.
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Here is the Memorial Cup schedule (all games on Sportsnet; all times Eastern):
Friday, May 22: Kelowna vs. Quebec, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 23: Rimouski vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 24: Quebec vs. Oshawa, 4:30 p.m.
Monday, May 25: Rimouski vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26: Oshawa vs. Kelowna, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 27: Quebec vs. Rimouski, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 28: Tiebreaker, if necessary, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 29: Semifina, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 31: Championship game, TBA
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THE COACHING GAME:

AHLThe NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs announced Tuesday that Gord Dineen, the head coach of their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, won’t be back. He apparently has been offered the position of associate coach. . . . As well, the Marlies dumped associate coach Derek King and have offered assistant coach Ben Simon a spot elsewhere in the organization. . . . Dineen was an assistant coach with the Marlies for five seasons before taking over as head coach on July 15. After a 39-28-9 regular season, they lost a best-of-five first-round series to the Grand Rapids Griffins, 3-2. . . . There is speculation that Sheldon Keefe, the OHL’s coach of the year with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, will sign on as the Marlies’ head coach.
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The OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs have rounded out their coaching staff with the hiring of Troy Smith (associate coach), Ron Wilson (assistant coach) and Mike Parson (goaltending coach). They will work with GM/head coach George Burnett. . . . As well, Barclay Branch was named assistant GM and director of player personnel. . . . Branch spent the previous 10 seasons in the same role with the Belleville Bulls. . . . Smith was the Kitchener Rangers’ head coach for the past two seasons, after spending seven seasons as an assistant coach. . . . Wilson, a former NHL player, is a veteran of the coaching game, with extensive AHL experience. . . . Barton has worked as a goaltending coach with the Guelph Storm. This season, he was a goaltending consultant with the U of Guelph, Canisius College and the GOJHL’s Elmira Sugar Kings.
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The Sioux Falls Stampede recently won the Clark Cup as USHL playoff champions. Still, ownership has decided not to renew the contract of head coach Cary Eades, who is a former U of North Dakota assistant. . . . Chris Murphy of the Fargo Forum reported Tuesday that Eades will be named head coach of the USHL’s Fargo Force this morning. . . . According to Murphy, “Sioux Falls television station KSFY reported Eades’ contract was not renewed with the Stampede due to differences with ownership.” . . . Eades spent three seasons in Sioux Falls.
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The BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks need an athletic therapist, with Tyrol Deeg having resigned citing family concerns. If you’re interested, send your resume to coach@sasilverbacks.com. . . .
The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Lindsay Hofford to work in their scouting department with his primary responsibility being the OHL. . . . He had been working as the scouting director for the OHL’s London Knights. Mark Hunter, a co-owner of the Knights, is Toronto’s director of player personnel. . . . Hofford did a stint as the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ head coach, running the bench for 112 games over three seasons (2003-06). . . .
Trevor Linden, the president of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, will be in Prince George for a news conference this morning. The Canucks are expected to announce that they will hold their 2015 training camp at the CN Centre in Prince George.
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