Saturday, June 28, 2014

BCHL Well Represented at 2014 NHL Entry Draft:

(Martin Gendron photo credit: Senators Twitter Account)

The BCHL once again had a red letter day in terms of representation at the NHL Entry Draft, with five players selected who played in the league last season, two who will play in the league this season, one who was a stalwart in the league before moving on to play college hockey, and one who used the league as a springboard to a three year WHL career.

Incoming Penticton Vees D Miles Gendron
Selected in the 3rd round, 70th overall by Ottawa  
Former Surrey Eagles D Devon Toews
Selected in the 4th round, 108th overall by New York Islanders  
Incoming Salmon Arm SilverBacks F Sam Lafferty
Selected in the 4th round, 112th overall by Pittsburgh  
Surrey Eagles F Danton Heinen
Selected in the 4th round, 116th overall by Boston 
Vernon Vipers F Liam Coughlin
Selected in the 5th round, 130th overall by Edmonton Victoria Grizzlies G Alec Dillon
Selected in the 5th round, 150th overall by Los Angeles  
Former Coquitlam Express F Austin Carroll
Selected in the 7th round, 184th overall by Calgary Langley Rivermen F Matt Ustaski
Selected in the 7th round, 192nd overall by Winnipeg Penticton Vees F Jack Ramsey
Selected in the 7th round, 208th overall by Chicago

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Roster Details Confirmed for 2014-15 BCHL Season:


In an interview with The Chilliwack Progress, Chiefs GM and Head Coach Jason Tatarnic confirmed the details behind the BCHL roster changes for the 2014-15 season, which were approved by league governors at last week's annual general meeting. 

This is what was released from the league earlier this week after the AGM:
Roster stability and reduction of player transactions are primary goals for the BCHL. Representatives of each club at the AGM strongly supported the league’s direction to keep players on the teams they are recruited to for the start of each season.
In detail, the first change is the reduction from 45 cards to 35. Every time a team adds a player to its roster, the team is required to "card" the player with Hockey Canada. Now with only 35 cards available between June 1st and January 10th, teams must be more efficient when it comes to signing players. A regular season roster is 22 players (or cards), which leaves just 13 additional cards to make changes with.

The second change is a cap on player transfers during the season. The league has put a limit of eight per team for the upcoming season. The key here is that the BCHL doesn't mean a cap of eight trades per team, it's a cap of eight player transfers per team.

Using a trade from last season as an example, when Penticton traded Clint Filbrandt and Mathew Berry-Lamontagna to Cowichan Valley for Steen Cooper, it would now count as three player transfers for both the Vees and Capitals, leaving each team with five remaining.

It might seem dramatic, but in reality, eight player transfers should be very manageable for each team. 16 teams times eight transfers each = 128 transfers overall for the league. 

According to the BCHL Transactions page, last season saw 69 transfers involving players being acquired by teams, led by Trail. The Smoke Eaters acquired nine new players via transfer between September 6th and January 10th. Alberni Valley, West Kelowna and Cowichan Valley were next with seven, followed by Vernon with six, Surrey, Penticton and Chilliwack with five, Merritt, Salmon Arm, Victoria, and Nanaimo at three, Coquitlam and Prince George with two, Langley with one, and Powell River at none.

Once again, according to the BCHL Transactions page, 2013-14 saw 78 player transfers to other teams between September 6th and January 10th. Trail led the way with 13 players moved out, followed by Penticton, Vernon, Cowichan Valley, and Surrey with seven, West Kelowna and Merritt with six, Alberni Valley and Coquitlam at five, Chilliwack and Salmon Arm with four, Langley, Victoria, and Prince George with two, and Nanaimo with one. The Powell River Kings made no transfers to other teams with their players.

Thirdly, the BCHL has now put a restriction on transfers involving future considerations. Basically any team transferring a player to another team as futures means the player can't return to the team which transferred him the following season. In simpler terms, this eliminates the potential of a player being a playoff "rental" for one team, only to see him return to the team that transferred him.

The link to The Chilliwack Progress full article is here: http://www.theprogress.com/sports/262945581.html

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trio of BCHL Alumni Hoist the Kelly Cup as ECHL Champions:

The Alaska Aces are the champions of the ECHL for the third time in the last nine years after a 4-0 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones in Game Six of the Kelly Cup Final series.

The Aces, which are the affiliate of the AHL's Adirondack Flames and the NHL's Calgary Flames, feature three former BCHL players in defenseman Zach Davies and forwards Jordan Kremyr and Evan Trupp.

Davies played 174 games for the Prince George Spruce Kings from 2006-09 while Kremyr skated in 184 career BCHL games, 19 with Chilliwack and 165 with Alberni Valley, from 2003-07. Trupp played 94 games with the Penticton Vees from 2005-07.

Zach Davies (Prince George 2006-09) Jordan Kremyr (Chilliwack 2003-04, Alberni Valley 2004-07) Evan Trupp (Penticton 2005-07)

Here's the release from the ECHL on the Aces championship win:

The Alaska Aces defeated the Cincinnati Cyclones 4-0 on Monday at U.S. Bank Arena to claim the 2014 ECHL Kelly Cup championship 4 games to 2.

The title is Alaska's third Kelly Cup championship, following titles in 2006 and 2011. The Aces join South Carolina (1997, 2001 and 2009) as the only three-time Kelly Cup champions in League history. Hampton Roads also has three ECHL titles, winning Riley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992 and the Kelly Cup in 1998.

Nick Mazzolini scored the only goal Alaska needed, his 11th of the postseason, on the power play with just 23 seconds remaining in the first period. Drew MacKenzie added a power-play marker of his own at 17:09 of the second period to make it 2-0. Alex Belzile and Turner Elson added third-period goals to set the final.

Gerald Coleman stopped all 23 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the Finals series. The win was Coleman's eighth career win in the Kelly Cup Finals, tying Nick Vitucci's record for most career wins in the Riley/Kelly Cup Finals.

Cincinnati goaltender Rob Madore was named Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Kelly Cup Playoffs, becoming the first player from the losing team to win the award in the ECHL's 26-year history. Madore played every second for the Cyclones in the playoffs, posting a 14-10 record with a 2.29 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. Madore led all goaltenders in the postseason in games played (24), wins (14), minutes played (1,493) and saves (756).

BCHL Releases Details from 2014 Annual General Meeting.

The BC Hockey League made public today the results of its annual general meeting, which wrapped up Saturday in Richmond.

A few details from the AGM were pretty much already confirmed, namely the implementation of the one-fight rule and the fact that the Bauer BCHL Showcase is in Chilliwack once again next season.

We knew the Showcase would be in Chilliwack this season, but what we didn't know was the exact dates. It's interesting to note that the start of the season is two weeks later than last year, with the Showcase running September 19th, 20th and 21st at Prospera Centre.

The one-fight rule is polarizing among teams, fans and media as to whether it's a good idea, but basically it means if players drop the gloves in any game, they'll be ejected.

According to DropYourGloves.com, the BCHL saw 180 fights in the regular season and playoff combined, with Langley's Brendan Gulka, Surrey's Colton Mackie, Trail's Bryan Balsilico, West Kelowna's Mac Ferner, Salmon Arm's Jack Berezan and Nanaimo's Devin Brosseau leading the way with five each.

Here is last October's release from the CJHL regarding the rule:
The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Board of Directors has overwhelmingly voted to support an automatic game misconduct for fighting (the one-fight rule) and new national minimum discipline guidelines. 
"The co-operation among our leagues and partners for standardized fighting rules and consistent discipline guidelines across all Junior A leagues is a significant step in the continuing development and evolution of the CJHL and Junior A hockey in Canada," said CJHL President Kirk Lamb.  "We will work closely with our stakeholders and key partners, such as Hockey Canada and provincial branches, on bringing these endorsements forward for consideration."
One-Fight Rule Endorsed as National Standard
The CJHL supports the automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.   The automatic game misconduct penalty, commonly known as the 'one-fight rule', results in a 5-minute major as well as the immediate ejection of the player from the game.   Five CJHL leagues – SIJHL, NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL and LHJAAAQ – are currently using this rule.  In five other CJHL leagues – BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and MHL – a player's first fighting penalty results in the same 5-minute major penalty, but does not carry with it in an automatic ejection from the game.  In those leagues, the automatic game ejection occurs after a player's second fight in the same game.   A move to a national rule for fighting would see all 10 CJHL leagues operate under the same automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.
The note about roster stability is certainly open to interpretation, the wording is pretty vague. Last year saw a decrease in player transfers throughout the season and also at the January 10th carding deadline. Each of the 16 BCHL teams are striving to win the RBC Cup and will likely make any player transfer to improve their fortunes, regardless of the league's direction. It's definitely something to watch for as the 2014-15 season rolls on.

Here's the release from the BCHL regarding this year's AGM:

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) held its annual general meeting (AGM) June 5 to 7 in Richmond, B.C. and has confirmed solidarity from all clubs on issues regarding roster composition, player safety, scheduling and playoff structure.

Roster stability and reduction of player transactions are primary goals for the BCHL. Representatives of each club at the AGM strongly supported the league’s direction to keep players on the teams they are recruited to for the start of each season.

The league will continue following the Junior A Supplement document which determines discipline on dangerous hits and fighting. Players will be ejected from a game following a fight. The Supplement was created by the four western Junior A leagues and will be followed by all 128 Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) teams across the 10 Junior A leagues next season.

The BCHL will continue with the same playoff format as this past season. Again, this will see best-of-seven playoff action in Rounds 1 and 2, a three-team round robin in Round 3 designed to eliminate one team and a best-of-seven Fred Page Cup final between the two teams surviving Round 3. Dates of game nights and structure of the best-of-seven series will be determined by competing playoff clubs when matchups are determined.

A Scheduling Committee was established that will meet during the 2014-15 regular season.  The Committee’s mandate will be to review, establish guidelines and to make recommendations to the BCHL Board of Governors for consideration and possible implementation in preparation for the 2015 BCHL AGM scheduling sessions.  The Scheduling Committee is made up of Governors and Coaches from each of the three BCHL Divisions.

For the third-straight season, the Bauer BCHL Showcase will take place, running Sept. 19 to 21 at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack. All games played at the Showcase will count in the regular-season standings and a large contingent of NCAA coaches, professional scouts and Canadian university representatives are again expected to attend.

BCHL regular-season games will begin Friday, Sept. 26 and finish Sunday, March 1, 2015.

Congratulations are also in order for Chilliwack Chiefs governor Glen Ringdal who was named the 2014 BCHL Executive of the Year. Ringdal, whose career has seen him work for the B.C. Lions and Vancouver Canucks, is a tireless worker on the league’s Strategic Planning committee and has developed several valuable initiatives that will grow the BCHL brand into the future.

Talks on each team’s 2014-15 schedule are well underway and a final league grid should be in place before the end of June. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

First Week of 2014-15 Registration Sees a Flurry of Trades in the BCHL:

With June 1st marking the opening of Hockey Canada registration for the 2014-15 season, a number of trades have occurred in the past seven days in the BCHL.

A number are confirmed via the "Transactions" page on the BCHL website and others are posted on individual team websites.

June 2 - Trail trades F Dylan Mascarin (95) to Wellington (OJHL) for future considerations.

F Dylan Mascarin (95) From the Smoke Eaters website:

The Trail Smoke Eaters have announced that 19 year old Dylan Mascarin has been traded to the Wellington Dukes of the OJHL for future considerations.

Dylan was plagued with concussion problems for most of the 2013/14 season and played in only 17 games for the Smoke Eaters.  He ended the season with 2 goals and 3 assissts for a total of 5 points.

The Smoke Eaters organization wishes Dylan good luck for the 2014/15 season and thank him for his contribution to the Smoke Eaters.

June 2 - Trail trades F Sean Davies (95) to Calgary Mustangs (AJHL) for future considerations.

F Sean Davies (95) This deal isn't posted on either team's website, but it is confirmed on the BCHL's site. This Tweet from Whitecourt Wolverines play-by-play announcer Andrew Peard was also retweeted by the Mustangs.
June 2 - Chilliwack trades G Spencer Tremblay (94) to Battlefords (SJHL) for F Luke McColgan (94).

To Chilliwack:
F Luke McColgan (94) To Battlefords:
G Spencer Tremblay (94) This is from the Chiefs website:

The Chilliwack Chiefs have acquired forward Luke McColgan from the Battlefords North Stars in exchange for goaltender Spencer Tremblay.

The 6’1, 175lb McColgan tallied 39 points and 55 penalty minutes in 48 games last season in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The Manhattan Beach, California product is thrilled to be coming to Chilliwack,“ "I am blessed to have this opportunity to play in chilliwack, especially being my last year of junior.  I'm going to work my hardest first to have a winning team, and secondly to earn a scholarship “

Chiefs Head Coach and GM Jason Tatarnic says his latest acquisition brings a variety of attributes to the table, “Luke is a very versatile player and he can be used in many situations offensively and defensively.  Luke is a very honest player that plays the game hard. We are excited to add a player of Luke’s pedigree. We believe he will become a fan favorite very quickly”

The Chiefs entire organization would like to thank Spencer for his commitment to Chiefs Hockey on and off of the ice in Chilliwack and wish him the best of luck in his future hockey endeavors.

June 3 - Trail acquires F Harlan Orr (95) from Whitecourt (AJHL) for future considerations.

F Harlan Orr (95) The only confirmation of this trade is on the BCHL website.

June 3 - Nanaimo trades G Tanner Kovacs (94) to La Ronge (SJHL) for future considerations.

G Tanner Kovacs (94) This trade is posted on both the BCHL and SJHL websites.

June 4 - Chilliwack trades F Ben Butcher (95) to Vernon for future considerations.

Ben Butcher (95) Here's the release from the Chiefs website:

The Chilliwack Chiefs have transferred the playing rights of forward Ben Butcher to the Vernon Vipers in exchange for future considerations.

Chiefs Head Coach and GM Jason Tatarnic says this move came as a result of a few factors. “We had to make a few moves due to the CJHL import quota and moving Ben was one those moves. It's always tough to move a player of Ben's quality. You have hard decisions to make when selecting six import players and this was a tough decision."

The Chiefs entire organization would like to thank Ben for his commitment to Chiefs Hockey on and off of the ice in Chilliwack and wish him the best of luck in his future hockey endeavors.

June 4 -  Nanaimo trades F Mason Mitchell (94) to Surrey for future considerations.

F Mason Mitchell (94) The only confirmation of this trade is that Mitchell is no longer on the Clippers roster and is now on the Eagles roster. I received word that by Nanaimo sending Mitchell to Surrey, it completes the future considerations from the January 10th trade which saw the Clippers acquire Luke Sandler.

June 5 - Trail trades D Joel Webb (95) to Kindersley (SJHL) for G Tyrell King (94). Langley trades D Viktor Dombrovskiy (96) to Trail for King.

To Langley:
G Tyrell King (94) To Trail:
D Viktor Dombrovskiy (96) To Kindersley:
D Joel Webb (95) Details of this deal are posted on the Rivermen website:

The Langley Rivermen have acquired veteran goaltender Tyrell King from the SJHL's Kindersley Klippers as part of a three-way trade that sees defenceman Viktor Dombrovskiy sent to the Trail Smoke Eaters.  To round out the deal, Trail is transferring defenceman Joel Webb to Kindersley.

King is a 20 year-old native of Eston, Saskatchewan and brings plenty of veteran experience to the Rivermen.  The 6'0", 180 pound goaltender is coming off a stellar season with the Klippers posting a 23-13-3 record with a 2.16 goals against average and a .930 save percentage with four shutouts.

"He's an excellent goaltender and super competitive who has proven himself as a starter in Saskatchewan the past two seasons.  We're excited to bring him to Langley as a guy who can carry a big load in goal for us," said Rivermen Head Coach and General Manager Bobby Henderson.

Spending the past two seasons in Langley, 18 year-old Dombrovskiy dressed in 90 games with the Rivermen putting up a combined four goals and 24 assists along with 32 penalty minutes.

Thank you Viktor for all your work with the Rivermen, and best of luck with the Smoke Eaters.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Four BCHL Players Chosen in 2014 NAHL Draft:

Just like last year, four current BCHL players were chosen in this year's NAHL Entry Draft. Two of the three were drafted by the Corpus Christi Ice Rays while one was chosen each by the Lone Star Brahmas and Amarillo Bulls.

Two of the four players were chosen from the Chilliwack Chiefs while one was chosen from the Merritt Centennials and one from the Prince George Spruce Kings. Of the four players selected last year in the NAHL Draft, none of them jumped to that league.

Just like the USHL draft last month, being chosen doesn't necessarily mean the players will leave their BCHL clubs and head south, it just means their rights now belong to an NAHL team if they decide to move to that league. Their BCHL team would continue to hold their Canadian junior 'A' rights.

D Wayland Williams (94) (selected by Amarillo in the 2nd round, 47th overall) D Caleb Thompson (94) (selected by Lone Star in the 3rd round, 53rd overall) F Blake Gober (95) (selected by Corpus Christi in the 4th round, 74th overall) F Jeremiah Luedtke (94) (selected by Corpus Christi in the 10th round, 180th overall)

Craig Didmon Steps Down as Victoria Grizzlies Head Coach, GM Brad Knight Takes Over:

Coaching changes continued in the BCHL today as the Victoria Times-Colonist reported on Twitter this morning that Victoria Grizzlies Head Coach Craig Didmon resigned for personal reasons and GM Brad Knight would add the job to his portfolio.

It also stated that Didmon would take a year off. He took over after Bill Bestwick was fired back in December. Didmon rejoined the Grizzlies in an assistant coaching role in 2012 after spending three seasons away from the club, which included one season as a part-time assistant coach with the WHL's Victoria Royals. He was a Grizzlies assistant under head coach Geoff Courtnall from 2007-09.

Knight was hired in April as Grizzlies GM, taking over from Pete Zubersky. For the last two seasons, Knight was GM and Head Coach, and then strictly Head Coach for the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Troy Mick Steps Back as Salmon Arm Head Coach, Associate Coach Brandon West Promoted:

The Salmon Arm SilverBacks have restructured their Hockey Operations Department ahead of the 2014-15 season.

The Backs ownership group have added the title of Governor to Troy Mick's job portfolio, which means the veteran bench boss had to step away from the bench as no coach in the BCHL is permitted to be a team's governor. Mick remains as Salmon Arm's President and General Manager.

It's the second time with the SilverBacks that Mick has stepped back from the Head Coach's position. Under the previous ownership, Mick started the 2012-13 season behind Salmon Arm's bench and after two games at the BCHL Showcase, stepped down to concentrate on the GM duties and the club hired veteran Scott Robinson in his place.

Taking the reigns behind the SilverBacks bench this time is Brandon West, who's been a Head Coach before at the Major Midget level with the Okanagan Rockets. He spent two seasons from 2009-11 in that role before joining West Kelowna as an assistant coach in 2011-12 and then signed on with Salmon Arm for the 2012-13 season.

Here's the official release from the SilverBacks website:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club Board of Directors are announcing today that effective immediately Troy Mick will be stepping into the role of President, Governor & General Manager and stepping back as Head coach.

“Having just completed our first year as the new ownership group of the Silverbacks, we have realized that Troy was wearing too many hats and we wanted to make some changes as we quickly approach the 2014/2015 season. The rule in the BCHL states that no one in the position of Head Coach can be a team Governor. We believe that Troy is an integral part of our Silverbacks organization and will be even more effective in his newly defined role and will prove beneficial in this role for the long-term viability of the franchise,” said Dale Unruh the outgoing Governor.

This move allowed for the perfect opportunity to promote a very deserving candidate to be our next Head Coach of the Silverbacks. We are extremely happy to announce that current Associate Head Coach, Brandon West, will take over as the new Head Coach of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, effective immediately.

Troy Mick, President, Governor & General Manager stated, “Brandon is ready to take this next step in his career. I have personally worked with him for the last 2 years and I know he is going to do a stellar job as Head Coach. His work ethic and technical abilities are second to none and his passion is shown every day at the rink. With his 3 years of being Associate/Assistant coach in the BCHL, he is ready for this.”

Brandon West has been building on his coaching abilities for over a decade, working with several teams from Major Midget to BCHL teams. West has also coached internationally with Hockey Canada at the World Under 17 Challenge in 2013.

“First off I would like to thank Troy Mick and our ownership group for this humbling opportunity. I am honored to be the Head Coach of this program and look forward to leading this group of great young men. Troy and I have been here for a couple years now and we continue to strive for success on and off the ice.  The expectations of the players, and of myself will not change. I look forward to being the leader of this group and we will strive for a national championship and more scholarship opportunities for our players, while being a positive influence in our community.

For more information, contact Troy Mick at the Silverbacks Hockey Operations office at 250-832-3856, Ext 106.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Notes from 2014 CJHL Annual General Meeting:

The Canadian Junior Hockey League held its Annual General Meeting on Thursday and although there are a number of items of note from the meeting, I'd say not as eventful as last year. 

Last year saw the league introduce a number of regulations and initiatives related to everything from players refusing to report after a trade and payment of players to a "return-to-team" rule and a transfer freeze during the holiday season.

I'm a big fan of the introduction of a CJHL All-Academic Team and look forward to finding out the criteria to determine the players selected. More scholarship money is always a good thing.

I'm also curious to see what the role of the executive director is.

Here's the release from the CJHL:

The Canadian Junior Hockey League held its Annual General Meeting on May 29th in Calgary, AB. The CJHL Board discussed several new initiatives designed to strengthen the national organization for its member leagues, teams and athletes. 

Additionally, the CJHL would like to recognize the contributions and dedication of CJHL Vice President of Communications Charla Flett for all the work she had done on behalf of the organization.  She was greatly appreciated and will be sorely missed.

The CJHL will enter the 2014-2015 season with several new initiatives, including the following:
 
- The introduction of a Canadian Junior Hockey League All-Academic Team  
- The introduction of ten $500 scholarships to be awarded to the All-Academic Team nominees  
- 2016 RBC Cup awarded to Lloydminster, Alberta  
- The hiring of a new Executive Director to run the day to day operations of the CJHL  
- A new brand, communication & media strategy designed deliver the CJHL message and tag line, “Your FUTURE is here”

The CJHL serves on a number of Hockey Canada committees related to the development of hockey such as:
 
- Hockey Canada Canadian Development Model Committee
- USAH-HC Relations Committee
- Non-Sanctioned Leagues Committee
- Hockey Canada Hockey Violence and Sanctions Committee
- Release Fee Committee

The CJHL will continue to be led by CJHL President and Chairman Kirk Lamb and the following representatives:
 

- CJHL Management Committee: Ryan Bartoshyk (AJHL), John Grisdale (BCHL), Kevin Abrams (CCHL), Derryl Smith (MHL), Kirk Lamb (CJHL) 
- CJHL Treasurer: Rob Mazzuca (NOJHL) 
- CJHL Executive Director: Rick Morocco

The CJHL, in partnership with Hockey Canada, will host its premier events in Western Canada in 2014-2015. The 2014 World Junior A Challenge will be hosted by Kindersley, SK while Portage la Prairie, MB will be the host community for the 2015 RBC Cup National Junior A Championship.