Thursday, May 31, 2012

Trail Makes Trades With Prince George (BCHL), Whitecourt (AJHL) & Battlefords (SJHL):

 
The Trail Smoke Eaters, who finished last in the BCHL's Interior Conference last season, shuffled the deck in a big way today, trading four players from the 2011-12 squad.

We continue to discover even more of the future considerations from trades made during the 2011-12 season and another involves the Smokies and the AJHL's newest team - the Whitecourt Wolverines.

Although it may be strange to see futures owed to a team (Trail) by a team (Whitecourt) that wasn't playing junior 'A' last season, when the trade was made, the Wolverines were still known as the St. Albert Steel. It's the trade from December 6, 2011 which saw the Smoke Eaters acquire F Brendan Santini (93) for future considerations.

Here's how the trade breaks down now, knowing what the future considerations are:

To Trail:
F Brendan Santini (93)

To Whitecourt:
F Taylor House (92)
Trail Head Coach & GM Bill Birks also swung three other new trades as follows:

To Prince George:
F Adam Fares (93)

To Trail:
Future Considerations

To Whitecourt:
D Kyle Horsman (94)

To Trail:
Future Considerations

To Battlefords:
F Brandon Long (93)

To Trail:
Future Considerations

Here`s the official release from the Smoke Eaters website:

Smokies Make Four Deals

TRAIL -- The Trail Smoke Eaters are announcing the completion of transactions involving clubs in the BCHL, AJHL and SJHL.
The Smokies have dealt forward Taylor House (92) to the Whitecourt Wolverines of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.


This completes an earlier transaction.
House was acquired midway through the 2011-12 season in a five-player deal with Alberni Valley, he scored 4 goals and 14 points in 48 games with Trail.

Forward Kyle Horsman (94) has also been traded to Whitecourt for future considerations.

The Sechelt product scored 7 points in 40 games in his rookie BCHL campaign.
Forward Adam Fares (93) has been acquired by the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Fares appeared in only 15 games with the Smoke Eaters after being traded from Victoria, but scored 4 goals and 9 points in a Trail uniform.
In a separate transaction, Trail has traded forward Brandon Long (93) to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Battlefords North Stars for future considerations.
Long scored 8 goals and 21 points in his rookie BCHL season, appearing in 52 games with the Smoke Eaters.
"All three players were great kids for our hockey club," stated head coach/general manager Bill Birks. "At the same time our team gets a little bit older as we re-tool for next season."
The Smoke Eaters would like to thank Adam, Taylor, Kyle and Brandon for their contributions to the organization and wish them the best with their new teams.

Prince George-Canmore Trade:


In addition to the Cody Bardock to Victoria deal, Prince George also announced today the completion of another future considerations trade as G Ty Swabb (92) is heading back to the AJHL.

He's been moved to the Canmore Eagles as the futures in the trade that saw F Zack Rassell (92) join the Spruce Kings.

So, here's how this deal breaks down:

To Prince George:
F Zack Rassell (92)

To Canmore:
G Ty Swabb (92)


The Spruce Kings announced the completion of this deal at the same time as the Bardock-to-Victoria trade, but here's the release again for reference:

May 31, 2012 

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) would like to announce the completed trades of Cody Bardock and Ty Swabb as part of future considerations with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL and the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. 

Cody Bardock has been traded to the Victoria Grizzlies to complete the future considerations portion of the trade that saw Jarryd Ten Vaanholt acquired on January 10, 2012. 

Ty Swabb has been traded to the Canmore Eagles to complete the future considerations portion of the trade that saw Zack Rassell acquired on January 10, 2012. 

The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to wish both Cody and Ty all the best in their future hockey careers and thank them for their contributions while in Prince George. 

For more information contact the Spruce Kings office at 250.564.1747.

Victoria-Prince George Trade:


The bounty of future considerations continues to roll in for the Grizzlies after they cleaned house on January 10th as they've now acquired D Cody Bardock (93) from Prince George as the future considerations in the trade that sent F Jarryd Ten Vaanholt (91) to Victoria.

With the earlier acquisition of Chad Bannor, Zach Urban and now Bardock, I'm thinking that the Grizzlies defense corps will be much stronger in 2012-13 than it was last season.

Here's how the deal ultimately breaks down:

To Victoria:
D Cody Bardock (93)
To Prince George:  
F Jarryd Ten Vaanholt (91)
Here's the official release from the Spruce Kings:

May 31, 2012
PRINCE GEORGE, BC – The Prince George Spruce Kings of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) would like to announce the completed trades of Cody Bardock and Ty Swabb as part of future considerations with the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL and the Canmore Eagles of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
Cody Bardock has been traded to the Victoria Grizzlies to complete the future considerations portion of the trade that saw Jarryd Ten Vaanholt acquired on January 10, 2012.
Ty Swabb has been traded to the Canmore Eagles to complete the future considerations portion of the trade that saw Zack Rassell acquired on January 10, 2012.
The Prince George Spruce Kings would like to wish both Cody and Ty all the best in their future hockey careers and thank them for their contributions while in Prince George.
For more information contact the Spruce Kings office at 250.564.1747.

Penticton-Victoria Trade:


After a bunch of speculation as to what the future considerations were heading back to Victoria in the F Wade Murphy (93) trade, we learned today the bounty that Penticton gives up in the January 10th deal. The players joining the Grizzlies -- D Chad Bannor (92), D Zach Urban (93), and F Curtis Loik (93) -- give them a lot more depth on the blue line and potentially, an explosive forward. 

In my mind, Loik is the real wild card in the trade as he seems poised to break out as a 19-year-old in 2012-13, but it won't be in the BCHL as he's committed to Penn. State for the upcoming season. I'm thinking the only way he goes to Victoria is at the recommendation of his college team, and that's got to be what the Grizzlies are banking on, otherwise he probably wouldn't have been included in the deal.

At the time, the trade was announced as Murphy to the Vees in exchange for F Mark McLellan and future considerations. Now we know that the deal breaks down like this:

To Penticton:
F Wade Murphy (93)
To Victoria:
F Mark McLellan (94)
F Curtis Loik (93)
D Chad Bannor (92)
D Zach Urban (93) Here's the release from Penticton's website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

Thursday, May 31st 

VEES COMPLETE TRADE WITH GRIZZLIES 

PENTICTON, BC– The Penticton Vees Hockey Club have sent the playing rights of defensemen Zach Urban (93), Chad Bannor (92) and forward Curtis Loik (93) to the Victoria Grizzlies. The move completes the January 10th transaction that saw the Vees acquire forward Wade Murphy (92). 

 Urban, 18 appeared in 58 games for the Vees, collecting four goals and 22 points. Bannor just completed his second season with Vees, playing in 81 career games and recording four points. Loik, who is scheduled to join Penn State next fall, notched 63 career points in 109 games in a Vees sweater. 

The Penticton Vees organization thanks Zach, Chad and Curtis for their contributions to the hockey team and wish the three the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Penticton-Westside Trade:


With only seven players eligible to return for 2012-13, the RBC Cup champion Penticton Vees started to reload for next season with their first trade of the summer.

It's a little surprising, but the Westside Warriors swung a pretty big deal with the Vees, sending forward Travis Blanleil to Penticton for future considerations. The reason why I say it's surprising is that often teams don't like to trade within their division, knowing that the player they've dealt away could come back and burn them upwards of eight times during the season.

I like the deal for Penticton (depending on what the futures are, of course) because Blanleil has put up decent points in the BCHL as a 16-and-17 year old and could definitely be poised for a breakout year with the Vees as an  18-year-old.

To Penticton:
F Travis Blanleil (94)
To Westside:
Future Considerations

Here's the release from the Vees website:

The Penticton Vees Junior Hockey Club is pleased to announce the acquisition of forward Travis Blanleil (94) from the Westside Warriors for Future Considerations.

Blanleil, 18, has just completed his second season in the BCHL with the Warriors, registering 15 goals and 32 points in 57 games. The Kelowna native is a veteran forward, playing in over 100 games despite only turning 18 this past March. Blanleil entered the BCHL with the Warriors as a 16 year-old in the fall of 2009 after graduating from the Okanangan Rockets Major Midget program.

Vees Head Coach & GM, Fred Harbinson likes what Blanleil brings to the Vees; “Travis adds another veteran presence to our line-up and that’s crucial considering how many players we’re graduating to college.  He’s a speedy forward who has a nose for the net and poses an underrated skill-set.”

In 113 career games, Blanleil has fashioned together 24 goals and 57 points, accompanied by 92 penalty-minutes. Travis is the second Blanleil to play junior hockey, his older brother Chad split three seasons between the BCHL and AJHL.

Vees fans will get their first look at the newest Vee in August when the Vees hold their annual Junior Prep Camp, the precursor to training camp.

Here's the release from the Warriors website:

The Westside Warriors have traded the rights of forward Travis Blanleil (94) to the Penticton Vees for future considerations.

Blanleil just completed his second season with the Warriors registering 15 goals and 32 points in 57 games. The Kelowna native is a veteran forward with two years experience in the BCHL.

“Travis was a good player on and off the ice for 2 years with us.  We wish him nothing but success in all his future endeavours,” says Warriors Head Coach/GM Rylan Ferster.

In 113 career games, Blanleil tallied 24 goals and 57 points, and 92 penalty-minutes.
 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Junior A Supplement Extended Two More Seasons, Stronger Penalties Coming:



In addition to the news that Vernon was awarded the host of the 2014 RBC Cup, another impacting development is the extension of the Junior A Supplement. 

It appears that in addition to the Supplement being extended, even stronger regulations are coming down the pike. Here's the portion of the release from Hockey Canada at the conclusion of its AGM this past weekend:

Developments at this year’s AGM included:
• the loyalty program/ Club Hockey Canada on schedule for a 2012-13 launch;
• continued progress and discussion on a renewed governance framework being developed for 2014;
• the Junior A pilot program for 2011-12 has been extended for two years for further research, with the immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence;

• branch updates, constructive discussion and positive feedback on the implementation of the zero tolerance contact to the head rules in minor and female hockey across Canada in 2011-12;
• updates on Hockey Canada’s priorities: recruitment and retention, technology and e-learning.

As a refresher, back in August of 2010, the Canadian Junior Hockey League released this announcement regarding the supplement:

A group of five Member Leagues within the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) are proud to announce an unprecedented joint effort to eliminate violence and bullying from Junior A hockey. 

This initiative has developed from a partnership between the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL), who have formed together to create the Junior A Supplement, which will be launched as a pilot project in the 2010-2011 CJHL Season.

The Junior A Supplement has been created to protect junior-aged hockey players by addressing actions such as Blows to the Head, Dangerous Hits, Accumulated Major Penalties, Accumulated Misconducts, Instigating and Unnecessary Fighting. The supplement increases team, coach and player accountability through the tracking of repeat offenders, increased suspensions and significant financial penalties. It builds on the progressive regulations undertaken over the past decade by the participating Leagues and Branches to reduce bullying and violence from Junior A Hockey in Canada. 

The pilot project was developed as a response to the implementation of Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which calls for an automatic game misconduct whenever a major penalty for fighting is assessed. The participating Member Leagues have gone one step further by targeting the types of dangerous plays that often result in fights and other types of violence. The Leagues within the pilot project will not be subject to Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which will be implemented across the remainder of the Leagues in CJHL.

"The five Member Leagues involved in the creation of the Junior A Supplement have taken a tremendous step in the effort to reduce and eliminate violence and bullying in Junior A hockey," said AJHL President Craig T. Cripps. "Our League and its teams, coaches and players are committed to providing a safe environment for every player while also maintaining an exciting, physical brand of hockey on the ice."
The Junior A Supplement has been developed in cooperation with the provincial branches of BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba, Hockey North, Hockey Nova Scotia, Hockey P.E.I. and Hockey New Brunswick. 

The two-year pilot project will compare data from the participating leagues using the Junior A Supplement and a control group using Hockey Canada Playing Rule 6.7. The data will determine whether fighting is reduced in the Junior A game by ejecting a player for his first fighting major and the effect on other aggressive and violent behaviour.

The CJHL called the supplement a success last year with this article, posted on its website in July 2011:

The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) has declared the Junior A Supplement Pilot Project a success after in-depth review of the new initiative. In August 2010, a group of five member Leagues within the Canadian Junior Hockey League showcased an exceptional commitment to player safety with the announcement of a joint effort to eliminate violence and bullying from Junior A hockey. The League Presidents and Commissioners recently met in Calgary, Alberta to discuss potential revisions to the Junior A Supplement for the 2011-2012 season and further review the successful results of year one.

The Junior A Supplement is an unprecedented joint initiative between the CJHL and Hockey Canada. The Junior A Supplement was created to protect junior-aged hockey players by addressing actions such as blows to the head, dangerous hits, accumulated major penalties, instigators and unnecessary fighting.

"At the start of the 2010-2011 season we implemented an innovative, proactive and responsible approach to addressing player safety issues facing hockey today, including head shots and dangerous hits," said CJHL Chairman Kirk Lamb. "The CJHL and its leagues were ahead of the curve and we have since seen other leagues, such as the NHL and the CHL, follow suit in implementing more focused and rigid regulations relating to these issues. Player safety is a concern at all levels of hockey, for a variety of different reasons, and the CJHL broke new ground with the Junior A Supplement and has set new standards - not only in Junior A hockey, but for sport at all levels."

The fundamental themes surrounding the Junior A Supplement are safety, education and communication. The Junior A Supplement increases team, coach and player accountability through the tracking of repeat offenders, increased suspensions and significant financial penalties. The Junior A Supplement dramatically heightened the awareness of issues surrounding player safety and dangerous hits throughout the League, including the players, game officials, coaches, media and fans.

Publications regarding the new Junior A Supplement were strategically dispersed at the onset of the 2010-2011 season to ensure all participants were educated of the pilot project and to further increase the chances of success. Players and game officials received handbooks created specifically to address their participation in the project. All coaches were also required to sign a 'Coaches Code of Conduct' which outlines their responsibility to the initiative and a commitment to player safety.

The five leagues involved in the Junior A Supplement experienced several positive advancements throughout the first year of the pilot project. Leagues could now clearly identify trends and repeat offenders and can also confirm that only a small percentage of players are repeating what would be considered dangerous acts. The Junior A Supplement forced these players to alter their behavior in a positive way. Staged fights and multiple fight situations were all but eliminated, and players participating in six or more fights throughout the season declined substantially across all leagues.

Competitiveness within the League from top to bottom increased in 2010-2011, "The quality of play and skill exhibited within the MJHL this past season was the best the League has seen in the past ten years," stated Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Commissioner Kim Davis.

The participants within the Junior A Supplement include the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). The two-year pilot project will compare data from the participating leagues using the Junior A Supplement and a control group from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) using Hockey Canada Playing Rule 6.7. The data will determine whether fighting is reduced in the Junior A game by ejecting a player for his first fighting major and the effect on other violent behavior.

Vernon Awarded 2014 RBC Cup Tournament:


For the fourth time ever, the RBC Cup National Junior 'A' championship tournament will be hosted by a BCHL franchise after Hockey Canada announced that Vernon was awarded the 2014 tournament at its AGM in Halifax this past weekend.

Nanaimo hosted in 1998, Prince George in 2007 and Victoria in 2009 and host BCHL teams have never won the championship. Vernon (then known as the Lakers) has hosted and won the Junior 'A' championship tournament before, in 1990 when it was called the Centennial Cup. 

Obviously this is a huge recruiting tool for the Vipers as any players committing to them, especially for the 2013-14 season, knows that they may have the chance to compete for a national championship. 

Vernon is the most successful team at the RBC Cup since it began in 1996, winning four out of 17 titles. 

Here's the media release from Hockey Canada, with the portion regarding the RBC in bold: 

HOCKEY CANADA'S 93RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING CONCLUDES IN HALIFAX, N.S.
HALIFAX, N.S. – Hockey Canada’s 93rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), attended by more than 250 delegates from across the country, wrapped up Sunday at the Westin Nova Scotian after three days of discussion about what will benefit the growth and development of Canada’s game.

Hockey Canada’s 2012 AGM brought together the governing body’s board of directors, officers, life members, partner organizations and representation from all 13 branches, as well as from councils that oversee female hockey, junior hockey, minor hockey, senior hockey and hockey development.

The board, as elected for the 2012-13 season, will be comprised of the 13 branch presidents, as well as:

Chairman: Michael J. Bruni, QC (Calgary, Alta.)
Executive vice-chair: Jim Hornell (Grand Falls, N.L.)
Officers:
Claude Allain (Gatineau, Que.)
Michael Brind’Amour (St-Charles-Borromée, Que.)
Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.)
Terry Ledingham (Bon Accord, Alta.)
Ed Pupich (Schumacher, Ont.).
Past chair: Ken Corbett (Winnipeg, Man.)
Directors:
Joanne Hughes, Female Council (Cole Harbour, N.S.)
Barry Reynard, Hockey Development Council (Dawson Creek, B.C.)
Karen Phibbs, Junior Council (London, Ont.)
John Clements, Minor Council (Burlington, Ont.)
Dean Filane-Figliomeni, Senior Council (Schreiber, Ont.)
Ron Robison, Canadian Hockey League (Calgary, Alta.)
Advisor: James Mays, referee-in-chief (Prince Albert, Sask.)
Appointees:
Caroline Ouellette, female athlete representative (Montreal, Que.)
Gord Sherven, male athlete representative (Weyburn, Sask.)
Jean Labonté, sledge hockey representative (Ottawa, Ont.)

The Hockey Canada AGM delegates also recognized and thanked departing branch presidents and board members Shannon Bell (BC Hockey), Tom Donovan (Hockey New Brunswick), Brian Franklin (Hockey Manitoba) and Gene Power (Hockey P.E.I.), as well as one member of the advisory council Murray Costello (international director/IIHF Council member),

Developments at this year’s AGM included:
• the loyalty program/ Club Hockey Canada on schedule for a 2012-13 launch;
• continued progress and discussion on a renewed governance framework being developed for 2014;
• the Junior A pilot program for 2011-12 has been extended for two years for further research, with the immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence;
• branch updates, constructive discussion and positive feedback on the implementation of the zero tolerance contact to the head rules in minor and female hockey across Canada in 2011-12;
• updates on Hockey Canada’s priorities: recruitment and retention, technology and e-learning.

Host communities approved by Hockey Canada’s board of directors at the 2012 Hockey Canada AGM, subject to final agreements with host communities, were:

• 2014 Esso Cup – Stoney Creek/Hamilton, Ont.
• 2014 RBC Cup – Vernon, B.C.

Hockey Canada’s Annual General Meeting kicked off Thursday, May 24 and included a banquet on the evening of Friday, May 25 that honoured nine deserving award recipients who have all had a significant impact on the hockey community.

The 2013 Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting will be hosted in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

For more information on Hockey Canada, its teams, events and programs, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Merritt-Langley Trade:


The Merritt Centennials and Langley Rivermen have hooked up on the biggest trade (thus far) of the BCHL off-season as Jakob Reichert (93) is off to the Fraser Valley while Austin Plevy (94) and Sebastien Pare (93) will play out of the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in 2012-13.

The deal is a straight 2-for-1 move that sees the Rivermen add size and a hometown player to their roster, as well as make some room at least one of the new players they've recruited while the Centennials acquire some much needed offence following the graduation of Evan Stack and Chad Brears.

Although the trade hasn't been officially approved by the BCHL, that's the only stumbling block preventing the deal from going through. Commissioner John Grisdale is at CJHL meetings in Halifax and he rubber stamps each deal, so it's expected that league approval is nothing more than a formality.

Here's how it breaks down:

To Merritt:
F Austin Plevy (94)

F Sebastien Pare (93)

To Langley:
F Jakob Reichert (93)
I had the chance to talk to Centennials Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce about the trade:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vernon Vipers Hire Two New Assistant Coaches:


Following the dismissal of Chris Shaw as assistant coach earlier this month, Vernon Vipers GM and Head Coach Jason Williamson has firmed up his coaching staff for the 2012-13 season.

Here's the release from the Vipers website:

The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club is pleased to announce the signing of two assistant coaches for the upcoming season. The Vipers have signed Jason Read and David Robinson.

Jason Read who currently resides in Calgary Alberta has an extensive coaching background.  He has been coaching for 18 years and primarily works with the defense. Read has most recently been working with the Calgary Royals Midget AAA program. Before that he worked in the BCHL with Victoria and has also worked with the midget AAA program in Kelowna.

David Robinson is well known to Vernon residents. He is a local product and has captained the Vipers to their most recent RBC appearance. Dave is looking to start a new chapter in his life and is very excited to be a part of his hometown team.

Coach Williamson says “The addition of both Jason and Dave solidifies the coaching staff for the future.  Both guys will greatly help our organization grow and be integral parts of our success going forward. I am very excited to be able to work with these two class guys in the future.”

For further information please contact the Vipers office at 250-542-6022.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three BCHL Players Selected in 2012 USHL Entry Draft:


The US Hockey League held its' annual Entry Draft today and when the dust settled after 23 rounds, three current BCHL players were chosen. 

It remains to be seen whether or not these players jump to the USHL for 2012-13, but if they did, their current BCHL team would continue to hold their Canadian Junior 'A' rights.

Last season, players like Max Vallis (Merritt), Casey Bailey (Alberni Valley), Anderson White (Quesnel/Chilliwack) and Kenney Morrison (Alberni Valley) were all selected in the USHL Entry Draft and subsequently made the move south of the border for the 2011-12 season.

Penticton F Wade Murphy (93) - 3rd Round, 40th overall to the Green Bay Gamblers Surrey F Brandon Morley (94) - 17th Round, 253rd overall to the Lincoln Stars
Langley F Austin Plevy (94) - 21st Round, 303rd overall to the Des Moines Buccaneers

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Former Merritt Centennials Defenceman Don Nachbaur Named Assistant Coach for Canada's 2013 World Junior Team:

 (Nachbaur is third from the left in this photo from Hockey Canada)

Another former BCHL player is making waves in the coaching world as Don Nachbaur, who played for the Merritt Centennials in 1976-77, has been named as an assistant coach for Canada's entry at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

Here's Nachbaur's stats as a player:

Here's the release from Hockey Canada's website:

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Steve Spott (Waterloo, Ont.), head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.

Spott will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches Mario Duhamel (St-Bruno, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL), Don Nachbaur (Kitimat, B.C./Spokane, WHL) and André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL).

Steve Spott, 44, will be making his fifth appearance on a Team Canada coaching staff and second with Canada’s National Junior Team; Spott was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal. He won gold as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, finishing fourth, and with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka in 2008, winning a gold medal. Spott was Ontario’s head coach at the 2000 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal, and at the 1999 Canada Winter Games, finishing fourth. The head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers since 2008, Spott has been with the organization since 2001, starting as an assistant coach. While with Kitchener, Spott won the Memorial Cup in 2003 as an assistant coach and finished as runner-up in 2008.

Mario Duhamel, 37, will make his first appearance with Canada’s National Junior Team. He won gold at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in his lone previous Team Canada experience. Duhamel has been head coach of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs for the past three seasons. Prior to joining the Voltigeurs, he was an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies from 2005-09, and served as an assistant coach with Quebec at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni, B.C., finishing fifth.

Don Nachbaur, 53, will make his first appearance with Canada’s National Junior Team. He has twice won gold as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, at the 1999 Four Nations Cup and 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. Nachbaur has been head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs since the start of the 2010-11 season, and has also been a head coach in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1994-2000) and Tri-City Americans (2003-09), winning the WHL Coach of the Year award in 1994-95 and 2007-08. He was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms from 2000-02 and head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2009-10.

André Tourigny, 37, will be an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for the third time after earning silver medals at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships. Tourigny was also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, winning a gold medal. He has been head coach of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies since 2001, winning the QMJHL Coach of the Year award.

This year, the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge will replace Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp. The four-game series will be played Aug. 9-10 in Yaroslavl, Russia, and Aug. 13-14 in Halifax, N.S. More information on the series, including rosters and practice schedules, will be announced at a later date.

Former Nanaimo Clippers Forward Paul Cyr Dead at 48

(Photo Credit: Bill Wippert)

Sad news today as the Victoria Times-Colonist reports that former Nanaimo Clippers forward Paul Cyr has passed away at the age of 48.

Here's the line on Paul Cyr's stats:


Here's the article from the Times-Colonist website:

Former Victoria Cougars WHL star Paul Cyr of Port Alberni, selected ninth overall in the 1982 NHL draft by the Buffalo Sabres, has died at the age of 48 of heart failure.

Cyr, a small but skilled forward who also played with a physical edge, skated on the Canadian team that won gold at the 1982 world junior championships in Minnesota. Also on that team was current Victoria Royals GM and coach Marc Habscheid and former Victoria Salmon Kings GM and coach Mark Morrison, the latter who also played on the Cougars with Cyr.

"We played on the 1982 world junior team together and Paul was a really good player," said Habscheid.
"He was always happy, upbeat, and loved life."

Cyr played six seasons for the Sabres from 1982-83 to 1987-88 and concluded his career with the New York Rangers and Hartford Whalers, scoring 101 goals and amassing 241 points in 470 NHL games.

Those numbers were perhaps lower than expected, considering Cyr's huge early promise.

"Paul was such a talented player and so strong he should have been a star in the NHL," said Jack Shupe, who coached Cyr in junior in Victoria.

Cyr came to the Cougars from the B.C. Hockey League's Nanaimo Clippers and made an immediate impact with 36 goals on the WHL-champion Victoria team that played in the 1981 Memorial Cup. The following season he scored 52 goals and had 108 points in 58 games for the Cougars. Cyr wasn't just a scorer, as his 167 penalty minutes that season attest.

He then had 21 goals and 43 points in 20 games for Victoria when the Sabres called him up permanently part-way through the 1982-83 WHL season.

"Paul Cyr was one of the best all-rounders the Cougars ever had. He could fight and stick handle. He could do it all," said John Bate, who managed the old Memorial Arena during that Cougars era.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Where Are They Now: Nanaimo Clippers

Continuing my "Where Are They Now" feature, we get to one of the most successful franchises in BCHL history. The Clippers are known for moving players on to college opportunities (as much as any other team) and are the BCHL franchise with the most players on NHL rosters as of the end of the 2011-12 regular season.

Jake Baker
Kurtis Bartliff Jason Beattie Mikael Bedard Mark Begert Byron Bitz Luc-Olivier Blain Michael Boivin Jeff Cameron Steve Charest Andrew Cherniwchan Cody Danberg Joe Devin Michael Devin Mike Domsodi Mike Dopko Colin Dueck Eric Dylla Brandon Fagerheim Justin Favreau Eric Filiou Paul Forster Anders Franzon Casey Fratkin A.J. Gale Jason Garrison Craig Gaudet Todd Gebert Adam Geric Tanner Glass Russell Goodman Max Grassi Colin Greening Matt Irwin Samuel Labrecque Michel Léveillé Trevor MacKenzie Tyler Mah Danick Malouin Zach Martin Brendan Mason Steve Mason Tyler Mazzei Brad McConnell Bryden McGhee Randy McNaught Cam McWilliam Tyson Mulock Ray Nicks Kevin Noble Ryan O'Byrne Michael Olson Kyle Ostrow Joe Perry Matthew Pinder Tyler Pistone Taylor Reid Blair Riley Raymond Sawada Carson Schell Stephen Simms Andy Smith Ronnie Smith Ryan Stanimir Chad Ziegler Brodie Zuk Loic Boivin Marc Cheverie Michael Garman Kevin Genoe Torrie Jung David LeNeveu Mark Segal Evan Smith   

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Salmon Arm-Coquitlam Trade:


Another future considerations deal from last season is complete as Salmon Arm sends D Braden Pears (93) to Coquitlam to complete the trade which sent D Taylor Love (92) to the Silverbacks back on December 29, 2011.

For the soon-to-be 19-year-old Pears, the Express are his fourth team in three seasons. So here's how the trade breaks down when it's all said and done.

To Coquitlam: D Braden Pears (93)
To Salmon Arm: D Taylor Love (92)

Salmon Arm-Winnipeg Trade:


The first transaction of the BCHL off-season has been officially announced (not including some future considerations deals from earlier in the 2011-12 season) as the Salmon Arm Silverbacks have traded F Graham McBain (93) to the Winnipeg Blues of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. The deal isn't on the BCHL transactions page, but has been announced on the MJHL site and the Salmon Arm site. So here's how the deal breaks down:  

To Winnipeg: 
F Graham McBain (93) To Salmon Arm: Future Considerations 

Here's the release from the Silverbacks website:  

'Backs Trade McBain to Blues 

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the BCHL announced the trade of 19 year old forward Graham McBain to the Winnipeg Blues of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations. McBain, the cousin of former SilverBack captain and Salmon Arm native Bobby Lipsett will return to his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba to suit up for the Blues next season. 

McBain joined the SilverBacks from the Winnipeg Wild Midget AAA program and played 39 games while recording 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points in his first year of Junior ‘A’ action. 

After the trade Head Coach and General Manger Troy Mick had this to say,”I would like to wish Graham the best of luck as he pursues his educational and hockey goals. As an organization we would like to thank Graham for his contributions on the ice and in the community this past season." 

After making Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper and honorary SilverBack just a few short weeks ago, the McBain trade marks Mick’s first official transaction as the new bench boss in Salmon Arm.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where Are They Now: Merritt Centennials


In going alphabetically through the BCHL for my "Where Are They Now" feature, up next would be the Langley Rivermen, but seeing as how they just finished their first season, there haven't been any players who have moved on to play college or pro hockey yet, so I move on to the team that is the league's longest continuously-run franchise - the Merritt Centennials.

Jake Baker Tyler Barr Ryne Bodger Blaine Bokenfohr Brad Bourke Cam Brodie D.J. Brough Aaron Buat Cody Butcher Brandon Campos Josh Caron Neil Clark Brandon Clark Lucas Daoust Todd Fletcher Scott Ford Paul Forster Jesse Fratkin Casey Fratkin Curtis Gedig Chad Gehon Alex Goodship David Gore Mike Hamilton Dylan Herold Mitch Jones Jeff Jones Brian Kang Kevin Koopman Kyle L'Arrivee Mike Lalonde Bryan Leitch H.T. Lenz Trevor Lindros Wade MacLeod Alexander MacMillan Alan Mazur Matt Mazzarolo Sean Menton Blake O'Connor Shane Oatway Mike Ouellette Ben Payne Andrew Pickering Casey Pierro-Zabotel Benoit Quessandier Blair Riley Patrick Rogan Jassi Sangha Aaron Schepers Brett Short Matt Shuya Dave Simoes Jordan Soquila Ryan Stanimir Justin Thomas Steve Tresierra Jared Tuton Alex Valenti Jacob Verheyden Matt Waddell J.P. Witkop Brandon Wong Jordan Zalba Jared Andersen Graeme Gordon Jon Groenheyde Shane Mainprize Harrison May Brad Thiessen Riley Wall

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Where Are They Now: Cowichan Valley Capitals


My next installment of the "Where Are They Now" feature is on one of the BCHL's longest serving franchises - the Cowichan Valley Capitals.  

Cody Adams Nick Anderson Daniel Bell Ashton Bernard Ryne Bodger Greg Brown Matt Cassidy David Chabot-Maltais Andrew Christ Neil Clark Brandon Clark Willie Coetzee Brett Corcoran Zack Currie Brent Currie Winston Day Chief Spencer Edwards Matt Ellison Ryan Finnerty Chris Frank Alexandre Gagné Curtis Gedig Jimmy Geerin Chad Gehon Alex Gellert Dan Gendur Ryan Green Alex Halloran Mike Hammond Daniel Hillman Chad Hohmann Taylor Holst Kyle Hood Joseph Hughes Geoff Irwin Brayden Irwin Scott Jacklin Matthew Johnston Marcel Juhasz Brian Kang Sanfred King Geoff Kinrade Cam MacIntyre Mitch MacMillan Phillip Magistrale Joey Massingham Tyler Matheson Brian Matte Taylor McClay Aaron McGill Corbin McPherson Daman Milsom Garry Nunn Pierre-Luc O'Brien Ryan Pajimola Taylor Paziuk Anthony Perdicaro Clinton Pettapiece Yann Poirier Dustin Popowich Josh Primeau Bryce Reddick Matt Ridley Brooks Robinson Robin Sochan Justin Sotkowy Mickey Spencer Ryan Stanimir Evan Stibbard Shayne Taker Kevin Walrod Chris Zaires Tim Boron Nick Boucher Colin Fernandes Torrie Jung Alexandre Peck Chris Rawlings Kiefer Smiley Riley Whitlock