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Blazers' co-owner enters treatment centre

Rockets get new look for this season
By Gregg Drinnan
August 24, 2015 11:14 P.M.

 

 

 

 

F Taylor Vause (Swift Current, 2007-12) signed a one-year contract with Bolzano (Italy, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, he had six goals and eight assists in 41 games with the Adirondack Heat (AHL), and 20 goals and 21 assists in 30 games with the Colorado Eagles (ECHL). . . .
F Jakub Langhammer (Spokane, 2002-04) signed a one-year contract with Saale Bulls Halle (Germany, Oberliga). Last season, with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2), he had seven goals and five assists in 29 games. He also had two goals in two games with Regensburg (Germany, Oberliga) and one goal and one assist in five games with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). . . .
F Mitch Holmberg (Spokane, 2009-2014) signed a one-year contract with AV19 Székesfehérvár II (Hungary, MOL-Liga). Last season, he had one assist in eight games with the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) and six goals and eight assists in 32 games with the Elmira Jackals (ECHL). . . . The head coach of AV19 Székesfehérvár II is Tyler Dietrich (Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Everett, 2000-05). This is Dietrich's fifth season with the organization, the last three years as head coach of the club's U20 team. He started there in 2011-12 as the head coach of the U18 team.
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Darryl Sydor, a co-owner of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers and an assistant coach with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, has voluntarily entered the NHL/NHLPA substance abuse/behavioural health program. . . . Sydor had been arrested on Thursday in Fridley, Minn., while driving his 12-year-old son to a minor hockey game. Sydor’s blood alcohol content was .30, more than three times above the legal limit. He is facing two gross misdemeanour charges of second-degree driving while impaired, with two aggravating factors — having a reading of .16 or higher and child endangerment. . . . The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Monday that Sydor flew to Malibu, Calif., on Sunday and admitted himself to an inpatient treatment centre. “He’s hurt, he’s upset, he’s embarrassed by his actions, and his family is, too,” Ryan Pacyga, Sydor’s lawyer, told the newspaper, adding that his client will spend at least the next 30 days at the centre. “Right now, it’s about Darryl taking care of himself and really getting his arms around this.” . . . Sydor spent time in a Canadian rehab centre last summer. . . . The newspaper also reported that Sydor “remains employed by the Wild, but the team wouldn’t comment Monday on Sydor’s situation or whether he will return to the team after his time away. Training camp begins Sept. 17, so Sydor still would be in treatment.” . . . The Star Tribune story is right here.
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When the Spokane Chiefs open training camp on Thursday, they will have four veteran players — D Jason Fram, F Adam Helewka, G Garret Hughson and F Riley Whittingham — competing for their three 20-year-old positions. . . . The Chiefs revealed Monday that three other 1995-born players won’t be returning. . . . D Nick Charif, who was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels last season, will attend Western U in London, Ont. From Edmonton, Charif had 32 points, six of them goals, in 96 regular-season WHL games. . . . F Devon McAndrews, acquired last season from the Tri-City Americans, is expected to play with the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. McAndrews, from Edmonton, had 16 points, including eight goals, in 90 WHL games. . . . F Blair Oneschuk, from Okotoks, Alta., had an injury-plagued two seasons with the Chiefs and, according to the team, has retired and will pursue an electrician’s apprenticeship in Calgary. In 78 games over two seasons, he had 15 points, including nine goals. . . . The WHL’s 20-year-old deadline arrives on Oct. 15.
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F Zac Mackay won’t be there Wednesday when the Swift Current Broncos open their training camp. Mackay, 20, told BroncosShawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos, that he is moving on. "I wasn't really quitting hockey," Mackay told Mullin. "I don't really feel like that's my decision I feel like I'm just moving on. Ready to get on to bigger things and start my life just outside of hockey. I feel like I had a good run in what I did and I was very proud of myself in what I achieved. I think now that I'm just ready to get out in life and experience new things.” . . . Mackay, who is from Swift Current, had 37 points, including 19 goals, in 229 regular-season games with the Broncos. He was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft. . . . It would appear that the Broncos will go into camp with three 20-year-olds on their roster — G Landon Bow, F Scott Feser, who was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels over the summer, and D Griffin Foulk,
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The Kootenay Ice will play a lot of this season without D Tyler King, 20. He will be in training camp but is expected to miss as much as six months as he recovers from off-season knee surgery. King was injured during the last exhibition season but managed to play all of 2014-15. He underwent surgery on June 24. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman has more on the Ice right here.
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Mel Rothbenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and long-time editor of the now-defunct Kamloops Daily News. He now writes The Armchair Mayor for NEWSKamloops. . . . He took notice earlier this week when the Kamloops Blazers dropped the city’s name from their logo. No, he doesn’t think much of it. If you haven't seen the editorial, it's right here.
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Defencemen Riley Stadel (left) and Joe Gatenby model the Rockets' new look. (Kelowna Rockets photo)

The Kelowna Rockets held a news conference on Monday at which they unveiled the home-and-away sweaters they will wear this season. As the WHL celebrates its 50th anniversary season, the Rockets, who began life as the Tacoma Rockets, will be playing their 25th season. . . . The Rockets were an expansion franchise in 1991-92 and moved to Kelowna for the 1995-96 season. . . . The logo on the front of the new sweaters, according to a news release, “combines the original logos from Tacoma with Kelowna.” . . . The Rockets also will use an alternate red sweater, that features the Ogopogo logo, on select dates this season. . . . Warren Henderson of the Kelowna Capital News has more right here.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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Coaching Game
Kurtis Mucha is back in the WHL. Mucha, who played five seasons with the Portland Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers (2005-10), has been added to the Edmonton Oil Kings’ coaching staff as their goaltending development coach. . . . The Oil Kings also announced Monday that they have re-signed goaltending coach Dustin Schwartz and video coach Jory Stuparyk. . . . Schwartz (Medicine Hat, Red Deer, 1996-2000) is into his fifth season with the Oil Kings. He also works as a goaltender coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, who own the Oil Kings. . . . Stuparyk is preparing for his sixth season as video coach. . . . Mucha, 26, spent the last five seasons with the U of Alberta Golden Bears, backstopping them to national championships each of the past two seasons. Mucha recently was named goaltending instructor at Edmonton’s Vimy Ridge Academy.
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G Justin Klassen, 16, has moved from the Dauphin Kings to the Portage Terriers in a deal involving two MJHL teams. Klassen, who is from Portage la Prairie, was a 10th-round selection by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . The Portland Winterhawks will play 20 of their 36 home games in 2015-16 in the Moda Center, with the other 16 scheduled for Veterans Memorial Coliseum. They will play their first four home games, including the Oct. 3 opener against the Everett Silvertips, in the Moda Center, which is home to the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers.

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Brian Bates says:
August 28, 2015 03:08am

love your site(s), scrambled to find this one. Best infor on hockey in Western Canada. Moved back to my hometown after parting ways with Columbus Bluejackets in 2012. Staying involved with hockey as G.M. of Dryden G.M. Ice Dogs in Superior International Junior Hockey League. Teams are Thunder Bay, Fort Frances, Hoyt Lakes Minnesota,(Minnesota Iron Rangers), English River, (Red Lake Ontario). We are expanding next year should be at 8 teams. Keep up your great work and maintain that enthusiasm. B.Bates

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