F Luke Walker (Portland, 2007-10) signed a one-year extension with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, in 51 games, he had 19 goals and 12 assists. He led the team in goals and was second in points. . . .
F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) signed a one-year contract with Pieš?any (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, with Plze? (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had six goals and six assists in 47 games.
The arena that is home to the Kamloops Blazers will have its name changed to The Sandman Centre, effective Sept. 1. The Blazers, the Sandman Hotel Group (SHG) and the City of Kamloops have announced a 10-year deal on the naming rights.
For the past 10 years, the arena has been known as Interior Savings Centre. The Interior Savings Credit Union paid $120,000 per year for the naming rights.
The arena is owned by the city, but financial terms of the deal with SHG weren’t revealed.
Tom Gaglardi, the Blazers’ majority owner and the owner of the NHL‘s Dallas Stars, is president of Northland Properties Corp., which owns SHG. Gaglardi also is chief executive officer of SHG.
Interior Savings Credit Union (ISCU) had hoped to keep the rights and, in fact, entered a bid with that in mind. However, Interior Savings was told a few days ago that the rights were going to SHG.
“We were keenly interested in continuing on,” Gene Creelman, ISCU’s senior vice-president, member of community engagement, told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “There is a process the city follows. We had submitted a good proposal.”
SHG has two properties in Kamloops, the newest having opened across from the Interior Savings Centre in 2014.
“If you look at it from a management or a business perspective, we understand what’s needed there, if one reads between the lines,” Creelman told Hastings.
The arena also has been known as Riverside Coliseum and Sport Mart Place since opening in 1992.
The chances of Swedish D Oliver Kylington playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings improved on Wednesday when AIK said it wouldn’t stand in the way of him playing in North America. . . . Kylington was selected by the Calgary Flames in the second round of last month’s NHL draft. The Wheat Kings later selected him in the CHL import draft. . . . Kylington, who is from Stockholm, had signed a two-year contract with AIK, a Swedish professional team. . . . On its website, AIK general manager Anders Gozzi said: “We do not stop Oliver from the opportunity he has been given.” . . . Kylington is quoted as saying: “I went into this season with a full focus on helping AIK (in the) coming season. I really believe in the venture to which the club is now doing and I wanted to be a part of it.” . . . Kylington, 18, will attend the Flames’ rookie camp and then, presumably, main camp. Because he was drafted out of Europe, he could play for the Flames, their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat, or the Wheat Kings in 2015-16.
The Everett Silvertips have signed to two players they selected in the CHL’s 2015 import draft -- D Alexander Scherbakov and F Yan Khomenko. . . . Both are 1998-born Russians, although Scherbakov is a late birthday. . . . The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Scherbakov, from Moscow, had five goals and eight assists in 30 games with the U-17 CSKA Moscow side last season. . . The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Khomenko, from St. Petersburg, had 30 points, 20 of them goals, in 33 games with the U-17 Dynamo Moscow side.
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THE TRADE WIRE:
The Saskatoon Blades have acquired D Bryton Sayers, 19, from the Victoria Royals for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Sayers, from Prince Albert, split last season between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Victoria. . . . In 2013-14, he had 11 points, including four goals, with Lethbridge. Last season, he had 10 points, two of them goals, in 38 games with the Hurricanes, and a goal and an assist in 20 games with Victoria. . . . The Royals had acquired Sayers from Lethbridge on Jan. 10, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . In 2012-13, he was the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s defenceman of the year while with the Prince Albert Mintos.
The Swift Current Broncos have signed Ryan Smith as their new associate coach. Smith, from Winnipeg, replaces Josh Dixon, who resigned on July 8 and now is director of player development for CAA Sports. . . . Before signing with Humboldt, Smith was the general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers for five seasons. . . . “He’s done a lot of coaching,” Mark Lamb, the Broncos‘ GM and head coach, said in a news release. “Ryan has been a coach and GM in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Ryan was short-listed last year when we were filling this position and is ready for this challenge.” . . . Smith spent last season as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, who now are looking for a GM/head coach. . . . Smith went to Humboldt after Dean Brockman left to join the Saskatoon Blades as an assistant coach.
Randy Cunneyworth has been named head coach of the Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . This is Cunneyworth’s second stint as head coach of the Americans. He put up a 306-273-61 record from 2000-08. . . . Cunneyworth had been working as Buffalo‘s development coach. . . . He also played 377 games over parts of seven seasons with the Americans.
Garth Mitchell is returning as head coach of the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs, who play out of Shoal Lake, Man. Mitchell, who earlier was the Chiefs’ head coach for eight seasons, was an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals for the past three seasons.
The NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls introduced Matt Nicholson as their new head coach on Wednesday. He takes over from Jon Rogger, who now is an assistant coach with the Bloomington Thunder. . . . Nicholson has been an assistant coach at Robert Morris U for the past six seasons.
The Tri-City Americans have signed F Brett Leason, who was a third-round pick in the WHL`s 2014 bantam draft. From Calgary, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder had 83 points, 43 of them goals, in 30 games with the Calgary Stampeders of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League last season.
Best courtroom exchange ever pic.twitter.com/GxnvjiX9fC— Andrew Bloch (@AndrewBloch) July 29, 2015