Dozen WHLers on Canada's U-18 squad

Calgary mourns Bracko's death
By Gregg Drinnan
August 4, 2015 10:27 A.M.

 

 

 

 

F Gal Koren (Kelowna, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Erste Bank Liga), he had two goals and six assists in 34 games. . . .
F Jeff Lee (Edmonton, 2007-09) signed a one-year contract with the Fife Flyers (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, with the Quad City Mallards (ECHL), he had 12 goals and 31 assists in 72 games. He was an alternate captain. . . . Fife`s head coach is Todd Dutiaume (Brandon, Moose Jaw, 1991-94). . . .
D Denis Rehak (Prince George, 2003-04) signed a one-year extension with Ertis Pavlodar (Kazakhstan, Kazakh Vysshaya Liga). He had three goals and 14 assists in 30 games last season.
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The 22-player roster for the team that will represent Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament later this month includes 12 players from the WHL. . . . The roster was named Tuesday, following a selection camp in Calgary. . . . The Brandon Wheat Kings had three players — D Kale Clague, F Tanner Kaspick and F Nolan Patrick — named to the team, which is under the guidance of head coach Stan Butler of the OHL’s North Bay Battalion. . . . Other WHLers selected to the U-18 team were G Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips), D Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen), D Josh Mahura (Red Deer Rebels), D David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers), F Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants), F Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets), F Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors), F Beck Malenstyn (Calgary), and F Sam Steel (Regina Pats). . . . Shaun Clouston, the GM and head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers, is an assistant coach with the Canadian team. . . . Canada has won this tournament for seven straight summers. . . . The tournament runs from Aug. 10-15 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia. . . . Canada will meet Slovakia on Saturday in an exhibition game in Trnava, Slovakia, then will open the tournament against Czech Republic on Monday in Breclav.

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AJHLThe Calgary sporting community is mourning the death of Ken Bracko, who was named by the Calgary Booster Club as its Sportsman of the Year for 2014. The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks announced Tuesday that Bracko, 75, had died. Bracko spent more than 30 years involved with the Canucks, including 20 years as president. At the time of his death, he was vice-president of business operations and, in fact, was to have chaired a weekly meeting tonight (Wednesday). . . . Bracko was involved in minor hockey in that city for more than 40 years. Among numerous other things, he helped found the legendary Mac’s midget AAA tournament. . . . The Canucks announced that they will play the 2015-16 season in honour of Bracko’s memory.
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Mike Hessman of the Toledo Mud Hens hit his 433rd home run on Monday night, setting an all-time career record for Minor League Baseball. Yes, Hessman, 37, could be Crash Davis. . . . There's 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
With the Kelowna Rockets having announced the signing of Brad Ralph on Tuesday, all 22 WHL teams have head coaches in place. At 34 years of age, Ralph is the third-youngest coach in the WHL. Here’s a look at the ages of all 22 coaches (with a Happy Birthday to Swift Current’s Mark Lamb, who blew out some candles on Monday):
31 — Luke Pierce, Kootenay.
32 — Brent Kisio, Lethbridge.
34 — Brad Ralph, Kelowna.
41 — Steve Hamilton, Edmonton.
42 — Mike Williamson, Tri-City; Steve Konowalchuk, Seattle.
44 — Mark French, Calgary.
46 — Mark Holick, Prince George.
47 — Shaun Clouston, Medicine Hat; Bob Woods, Saskatoon.
48 — Jamie Kompon, Portland.
50 — Dave Lowry, Victoria.
51 — Mark Lamb, Swift Current.
52 — Marc Habscheid, Prince Albert.
53 — Brent Sutter, Red Deer.
54 — Kelly McCrimmon, Brandon; Tim Hunter, Moose Jaw.
56 — Don Nachbaur, Spokane; Kevin Constantine, Everett.
59 — Lorne Molleken, Vancouver.
61 — John Paddock, Regina; Don Hay, Kamloops.
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Mitch Love, who is preparing for his fifth season as an assistant coach with the Everett Silvertips, has been added by Hockey Canada to Team Canada White’s coaching staff for the U1-7 World Hockey Challenge. . . . Love, a 31-year-old from Quesnel, B.C., will work with Team White head coach Jamie Kompon, who is the GM and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks. . . . The tournament is scheduled to run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 7 in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. . . . “I’m a Canadian boy who grew up watching the national teams but was never good enough to represent Canada as a player,” Love said in a news release, “so it’s very special to be able to coach these high-level young players.”
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OHLThe OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads have added three assistant coaches to their staff — Ryan Daniels, Jan Egert and James Richmond. . . . They will work alongside GM/head coach James Boyd. . . . Daniels had been assistant GM and goaltending coach with the OJHL’s Toronto Patriots. . . . Egert was the Steelheads’ scouting co-ordinator in 2014-15. . . . Richmond was general manager and head coach of the OJHL’s Aurora Tigers and was that league’s coach of the year each of the past two seasons.
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The Regina Pats have added former WHLers Drew Callander and Ken Schneider to what now is a 17-man scouting staff. Callander played 191 games with the Pats (1973-76) and was on the Memorial Cup-winning team in 1974. He also was an assistant coach with the Pats (1998-2004). . . . Schneider is a former captain of the Brandon Wheat Kings. He played 120 games with Brandon. His son, Mark, played with the Pats in 2010-11.
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F Patrick D’Amico, who played out his eligibility with the Regina Pats last season, has signed with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. D’Amico had 50 points, including 20 goals, in 72 games with the Pats last season. D’Amico, from Winnipeg, finished his WHL career with 75 points, 27 of them goals, in 160 games. . . .
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Claude Noel, who stepped in as the head coach of the Vancouver Giants in November, has joined the NHL`s New Jersey Devils as a pro scout. With the Giants, Noel moved behind the bench on Nov. 30 and went 17-23-4. . . . Noel and New Jersey general manager Ray Shero worked together in the Nashville Predators organization. Noel was an assistant coach and then head coach with Nashville’s AHL affiliate in Milwaukee (1998-2002, 2003-07). Shero was an assistant GM in Nashville. . . . The Devils also have decided to move Jan Ludvig (Kamloops, 1981-82) out of pro scouting but he remains in the organization.
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The Vancouver Canucks shuffled some front-office chairs on Tuesday. A news release describing it all is right here.
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Concussion Report
If things go according to plan, third baseman Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs is going to have a Hall of Fame-worthy career. In order to do that, of course, he will have to stay healthy, which is why he says he no longer will slide head first. As he explains right here, he only has one head.
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