Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Broncos acquire Harris from Prince George

Swift Current, SK - Swift Current Broncos General Manager and Head Coach, Mark Lamb, has announced that the club has acquired 1996-born defenceman Jordan Harris from the Prince George Cougars in exchange for 1996-born defenceman Zack Gonek.

Harris, the 6'1", 170-pound product of Prince Albert, SK split the 2012-13 season between the Prince George Cougars and Prince Albert Mintos of the SMHL.  In 17 games played with the Cougars, he recorded five assists and six penalty minutes.  Harris recorded 12 assists and 24 penalty minutes in 21
games played with the Mintos last season.

He was selected by the Cougars 10th overall in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

"He (Harris) is weighted more to the offensive side," says General Manager and Head Coach, Mark Lamb.  "He is more of a puck-moving defenceman and we feel his style of play will benefit our club for years to come."

Gonek recorded four points (3-1-4) and 30 penalty minutes in 24 games played with the St. Albert Raiders of the AMHL last season.  The 6'1", 194-pound St. Albert, AB native was selected 13th overall by the Broncos in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft.

Natasha van der Grinten, Director of Communications


VIGR Lifestyles Wednesday Thriller

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Regina Thunder training camp gets underway this weekend at the clubhouse. I am so looking forward to covering this team again this year. Talking with Head Coach Scott MacAulay this week there seems to be a lot of optimism around the upcoming season. Here's hoping they get it done and get over the hump against the Saskatoon Hilltops. However the Calgary Colts will be just as good this year. Some tough competition but Ive got faith this team can make a splash, especially with Asher Hastings throwing the football. Here is the full schedule for the upcoming season.

Its a bit of an oddball schedule with 3 of their 4 home games in the first month of the season. They are big ones at that with Saskatoon twice and Calgary once. If the Thunder can be successful early on that will be huge if they are going to host a playoff game this year. Former defensive lineman Drew Barss and I will be calling the games this season on Access 7.
We are coming up on my busiest time of the year. Between the Thunder, working Rider games and Pats training camp less than a month away, things start getting ramped up. The Pats open camp on August the 28th at the Cooperators Centre. Looking forward to seeing both Euro draft picks, Dmitry Sinitsyn and Maximillian Kammerer as well as Geordie MaGuire who was acquired in a trade from the Brandon Wheat Kings. According to an article by Mario Annicchiarico of the Victoria Times, defenseman Kade Pilton will be in Pats training camp next month. here is the link to that article:

Pilton left the team before the season ended last year but will look to crack the roster as a 19 year old for 2013/14. I will say this, Pilton has all the tools to be great, lets hope he can make it all come together for this season. I think its likely the Pats will be missing Morgan Klimchuk for at least the start of the regular season. The Pat forward will be taking part in his first pro training camp and its my guess that he will get a pretty good look and might see pre season action. Just a guess... Klimchuk conceivably could be playing in the Flames pre season game here in Regina against the New York Islanders. We will just have to wait and see.
Matt Miller with the Regina Pats is doing great work since taking over the community relations and store responsibilities. He is working hard ordering in new merchandise from hats to clothing. here is a sneak peak at one of the new items.

Be sure to check out @patsneutralzone on twitter for more updates and pictures as they're released! The Neutral Zone will be open today and Thursday until 6PM.
The Wickenheiser Golf Classic is coming up next month at the Wascana Golf and Country Club. Get signed up now!
And after all that how about them Riders! 5 and oh into the bye week and even though it wasn't their most impressive showing on Saturday they still scored more than 30 points and beat the Ticats. The Green and White made big plays when they needed to, great to see Geroy Simon get his first TD with the club. Isn't it amazing how people have done a complete 180 with him. I think most people hated seeing him do the Superman in the endzone in previous years but now he seems to be a fan favorite. Even I have lost all animosity towards him!
Hosting the Sportscage last week with Luc Mullinder was fantastic. What a talent he is, brings great incite to the show and we had a good time. Our lone caller of the show was Jack in Regina who was unimpressed with the exuberant TD celebrations in the game. He went on to say he didn't like Rob Baggs celebration after his touchdown against the Ticats here in Regina. Luc, Kelly and I all took issue with that and he may have gotten raked over the coals by the texters as well. I will say however that I agree with Jack to a point. When the TD celebrations are stupid I don't like them but when they are creative and funny I say all the power to them.
The Toronto Blue Jays have hit more homeruns since the All Star break than any other team... yet they are 3 and 8 over that stretch. Goes to show solo homeruns don't win you ball games. What a terrible season this has turned out to be, yet I still watch for some reason. At least Edwin Encarnacion is fun to watch.
The Regina Red Sox open their playoffs tonight in Mellville against the Millionaires. The Sox are looking to three peat as WMBL Champions but will have to do it the hard way in 2013. The last two years the Sox were heavy favorites, not so much this year finishing with a record below .500 in the regular season.
Regina's Ryan McNall leads the Mid-Amateur Golf Championship at Deer valley through 2 rounds. McNall shot a one under 71 on Monday and then followed up with a 1 over 73 yesterday heading into todays final round. McNall holds an 8 shot lead heading into today.
Scruffy and I are having a disagreement over Alex Edler getting suspended 2 games in the Sochi Olympics for his knee on knee hit on Eric Staal at the World Championships. I think its perfectly reasonable because its the next IIHF event. However Mitch thinks its dumb because its a totally different tournament... Thoughts?
Keep it here for Regina Thunder training camp coverage this weekend and have fun at the Queen City Ex!
That's it for today


Monday, July 29, 2013

Team Canada Announces U18 Womens National Team Selection Camp Roster

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada announced Monday the 40 players that have been invited to Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp, taking place Aug. 10-18 at the Canadian International Hockey Academy in Rockland, Ont.

The invitation list includes four goaltenders, 12 defencemen and 24 forwards. Invitations are based on evaluations by Hockey Canada scouts during the 2012-13 season, including past performances with their provincial and club teams at events such as the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Dawson Creek, B.C., and 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, in Burnaby, B.C., as well as performances at Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team conditioning camp held in Toronto, Ont., in May.

The 40 players attending Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp will be split into Red and White teams, which will participate in several practices and intrasquad games, as well as off-ice dryland training, fitness testing and high performance classroom sessions.

From the selection camp, Hockey Canada will choose 22 players for a three-game series against the United States’ Women’s Under-18 Select Team, scheduled for Aug. 20-24 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Following the series, Hockey Canada scouts, along with the team’s coaching staff, will continue to evaluate players with their provincial and club teams during the 2013-14 season, in preparation for selecting the Canadian team that will compete at the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship next April.

Hockey Canada also announced Monday that Laura Schuler (Scarborough, Ont./University of Minnesota Duluth, WCHA) will serve as head coach of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team, while Jackie Friesen (Regina, Sask./University of Wisconsin, WCHA) and Cassandra Turner (Campbellford, Ont./Quinnipiac University, ECAC) will act as assistant coaches and Joe Johnston (Lower Sackville, N.S./Dalhousie University, CIS) will be goaltending coach during Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp and the subsequent series against the U.S.

Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp roster features:


·         seven players who won the gold medal with Ontario Blue at the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Dawson Creek, B.C. (Bach, Leslie, MacMillan, MacNeil, Miller, Noronha and Williams);

·         three players who participated in the 2013 IIHF Women’s High Performance Camp in Sheffield, England, earlier this month (Hart, Potomak and Welsh);

·         two players who won the gold medal with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18-Team at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship in Heinola, Finland, this January (K. Heffernan and Miller);

·         one player who won the gold medal with LHFDQ Nord at the 2013 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship, in Burnaby, B.C. (Picard)


Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp invitees, by province:

Ontario – 24 (Bach, Boughn, Clairmont, Edney, Hartwick, R. Heffernan, Leslie, MacMillan, MacNeil, Marchment, Miller, Murphy, Noronha, Pinkney, Pozzebon, Quinn, Sauvé, Sucharda, Tiley, Titus, Welsh, Wildfang, Williams and Wilson-Bennett)

British Columbia – six (Bellerive, Erickson, Hart, Miller, Potomak and Spring)

Quebec – four (Labelle, Lalancette, Picard and Stacey)

Alberta – three (Fieseler, Healey and K. Heffernan)

Manitoba – one (Krzyszczyk)

New Brunswick one (Boissonnault)

Nova Scotia one (MacAskill)

NOTE TO MEDIA: Kristen Lipscombe, Hockey Canada’s coordinator of communications, will be on site in Rockland for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp. Please contact her for any interview requests at (403) 826-4819 or

For more information on Canada’s National Women’s Program and Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along through social media at, and

André Brin                                                                                 Francis Dupont      

Director, Communications                                                            Manager, Media Relations   

Hockey Canada                                                                           Hockey Canada     

(403) 777-4557                                                                             (403) 777-4564                                                          

Team Canada Announces Roster for Ivan Hlinka Tournament

TORONTO, Ont. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Monday the 22 players who will play for Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, Aug. 5-10 in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Canada is based in Breclav for the round robin, at the Alcaplast Arena.

The roster was finalized Monday following Hockey Canada’s four-day selection camp at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto. The camp included daily practices and three Red-White intrasquad games.

Canada’s roster is made up of 13 forwards, seven defencemen and two goaltenders. Head coach Dale Hunter (Petrolia, Ont./London, OHL), assembled the roster with support from assistant coaches Dominique Ducharme (Joliette, Que./ Halifax, QMJHL) and D.J. Smith (Windsor, Ont./Oshawa, OHL), Ryan Jankowski, Hockey Canada’s head scout for the men’s Program of Excellence and three members of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence group: Brad Pascall, Hockey Canada’s vice-president of hockey operations/national teams, Scott Salmond, Hockey Canada’s senior manager of hockey operations/national teams and Mark Hunter (Petrolia, Ont./ London, OHL).

Canada has won the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament five consecutive years, and has won 18 of 23 summer under-18 tournaments since 1991. It will play in Group A in Breclav with Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. Group B, which consists of Finland, Russia, Slovakia and the United States, will play out of Piestany.

Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team breakdown

  • Two goaltenders, seven defencemen, 13 forwards
  • 22 players from the Canadian Hockey League
  • Eight players from the Ontario Hockey League
  • Seven players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League
  • Seven players from the Western Hockey League
  • 21 players with experience in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence
Canada will face Slovakia in a pre-tournament game in Piestany on Saturday, Aug. 3 before opening the tournament against Czech Republic on Monday, Aug. 5. The top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals on Friday, Aug. 9, with the gold medal game scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10.

There will be no TV or radio coverage of the event. Hockey Canada’s official website,, is the place to find complete coverage of Canada at the tournament.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Direct all Team Canada media inquiries during the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka to team manager Shawn Bullock ( 

For more information on Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team and Hockey Canada, please visit, or follow along through social media at, and

André Brin                                                Francis Dupont                           

Director, Communications                         Manager, Media Relations         

Hockey Canada                                         Hockey Canada           

2013 Regina Thunder Season Preview

The Regina Thunder 2013 season officially kicks off this weekend with the start of training camp on Friday. Its a year where the club is looking to build on a very successful campaign in 2012 that saw an appearance in the PFC Championship game in Saskatoon. The Thunder have a new boss at the helm with the promotion of Scott MacAulay as head coach who replaces long time leader Erwin Klempner.

MacAulay says that hes confident in the team he will field this season. "I'm really happy with the players we have on our squad, they are really committed to the team. More importantly we are going to be more athletic and a lot stronger than we were last year but the one thing is that we are still very young. We had our 5th year guys graduate last year, we still only have 5 guys who are going to be in their 5th year this year. We will still be relying on a lot of guys that are in their 1st 2nd or 3rd years to make plays on the field but I think their commitment in the weight room will help them make the transition."

The Thunder did lose some key players who either graduated or moved on to CIS after last season with linebacker Yianni Cabylis and defensive lineman Boyd Richardson finishing their fifth year and going to UBC and then offensive lineman Brett Wade moving over to the U of C Dinos.

However Head Coach MacAulay says they have some younger players who are ready to step in. " We lost three key guys I would say... Yannis a linebacker and the guys filling in there will be Brandon Whitehouse and also Brett Selinger and Jaren Wirth is going to be back as well so we are expecting big things out of those three guys and we will be fine there. On the D-line with Boyd Richardson (leaving). He was an end type of player and we have a guy like Ben Simaluk that's coming into camp and hes in great shape so he will be able to fill that spot there and then also a guy named Taylor Garrett and Camden Davidson from Swift Current and they will propably battle it out for the weak side spot."

Cabylis led the thunder with 37 tackles last season and he also had a fumble recovery and an interception. Richardson paced the club in sacks with 4.

When asked about his defense Coach MacAulay says his guys are going to take advantage of their speed. "The biggest thing for us is that we are going to be fast. We know that we aren't the biggest and strongest defense as a whole but again they are going to be fast and coached very well and we are going to try and take advantage of that."

Linebacker Brett Selinger will look to build on a good year where he picked up 13 tackles, a sack and an interception. As well

On the offense "Very excited about the offense, I mean these guys are going to be back together for their second year in a row. Last year we had one offensive lineman that played in the past that was starting for us but this year we will have four guys on the O line that have started in previous games so I think that's great there. The bottom line is that at receiver, running back and obviously at quarterback we have all our key guys returning and they have all worked together so I'm expecting us to have a very explosive offense."

On offense that stats last year showed this is a team capable of making plays. Nick Brown was 6th in rushing with 493 yards and 2 touchdowns but did not see the field in all 8 games. The Thunder boasted 4 of the top 8 receivers in the league with Will Heward 2nd with 627 yards and 6TD's, Mitch Thompson 4th with 569 yards and 2TD's, Camille Lagimodiere 6th with 494 yards and 2TD's and Clay Cooke 8th with 447 yards and 7 touchdowns. Quarterback Asher Hastings who missed time with a broken collar bone finished the regular season with 836 yards through the air to go along with 4 TD passes and just one interception. Backup Kyle Siemens also put up good numbers when he got the chance top start in Hastings absence throwing for 937 yards and 9 touchdowns. Its safe to say this offense will be among the best in 2013.

The Regina Thunder 2013 schedule is a little lopsided in terms of home and away games. The club will play 3 of their first 4 games at home and then 3 of their last 4 on the road. Here is the full schedule.

August 18th vs Calgary Colts
August 24th vs Saskatoon Hilltops
September 7th @ Saskatoon Hilltops
September 17th vs Edmonton Huskies
September 22nd @ Calgary Colts
September 28th vs Winnipeg Rifles
October 6th @ Winnipeg Rifles
October 12th @ Edmonton Wildcats

A hug first three games for the Thunder against Calgary and Saskatoon. Is they can get off to a good start at home it could set up for a great season.

Here is the full interview with Head Coach Scott MacAulay. - Upload Audio - Scott MacAulay

Winterhawks Aqcuire Haar

The Portland Winterhawks have acquired the rights to defenseman Garrett Haar from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2014 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.
Haar, 6’1”, 198 pounds, enters his 20-year-old campaign after playing the previous two seasons with Western Michigan University. Last season he played 22 games as a sophomore and posted three goals and six assists for nine points. As a freshman in 2011-12, Haar had one goal and seven assists for eight points in 36 games.
Haar was drafted in the seventh round, 207thoverall, by the Washington Capitals in the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
“Garrett is a promising defenseman who will bring size and experience to our defensive core,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “He plays a solid two-way game and we’re looking forward to having him join us this season.”
The acquisition of Haar gives the Hawks two of a possible three 20-year-olds for next season, along with forward Shane McColgan, whom the Hawks traded for earlier this month.
Premier membership season tickets and 20-game plans for the 2013-14 season are on sale now. They start at only $37 per month and include playoffs. Visit winterhawks.comor call 503-236-HAWK to reserve the best seat locations.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Blazers Represented in 2013 BC Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees


Kamloops, BC - The Kamloops Blazers franchise will be well represented at the 2013 B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame gala tonight in Penticton. Kamloops native and Blazers co-owner Mark Recchi will be inducted along with the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Memorial Cup winning teams.

The 1993-94 and 1994-95 teams were led by General Manager Bob Brown and Head Coach Don Hay who were instrumental in assembling the dynasty. Brown was the Blazers General Manager from 1986-1995 while Hay started with the Blazers in 1986 as an Assistant Coach and continued as the Head Coach from 1992-95. Other key staff members included Assistant Coaches Terry Bangen and Ed Dempsey.

The Blazers have a proud and storied history with six WHL Championships and three Memorial Cups. The Blazers dynasty included winning three Memorial Cups in a four year span (1992, 1994, 1995). Some memorable names that were a part of these teams include Darcy Tucker, Ryan Huska, Tyson Nash, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, Hnat Domenichelli, Aaron Keller, Nolan Baumgartner and Jason Strudwick.

Many former Blazers from these teams have gone on to great success in the hockey world. Doan and Iginla are still marquee players in the NHL. Huska is the Head Coach of the Kelowna Rockets. Following an NHL playing career, Nash is a TV Analyst on the Phoenix Coyotoes broadcasts. Following an NHL playing career, Tucker is now a Hockey Agent. Domenichelli and Keller continue to play professionally overseas. Baumgartner has recently retired from a long pro career in the NHL and AHL and is now the Associate Head Coach of the Chicago Wolves in the AHL. Strudwick also recently retired from a career in the NHL and AHL and has his own radio show in Edmonton.

"This is quite the honour for the franchise to see the 1994 and 1995 Memorial Cup teams get recognized by the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame," commented Vice President / General Manager and former player Craig Bonner. "The Blazers have such a rich history and we are very proud of the past successes of this franchise."

Mark Recchi is likely the best athlete ever born and raised in Kamloops. He had a tremendous NHL career that spanned 22 seasons and collected three Stanley Cups with three different teams over his career. Recchi also competed in the 1998 Olympics with Canada. The former NHL star was selected to seven NHL All-Star games and capped his NHL career off winning the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011.

Recchi's WHL career started with the New Westminster Bruins before being traded to his hometown Blazers. Recchi suited up with the Blazers for the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons having his #8 retired by the team shortly after his NHL career began.

Some notable NHL career records that Recchi has accomplished include 4th all-time in games played with 1652 behind Gordie Howe (1767), Mark Messier (1756) and Ron Francis (1731). He is 19th all-time in goals with 577, 14th all-time with 956 assists and 12th all-time in points with 1533.

To read more about Mark Recchi's career in the Vancouver Province, follow this link.<>

For more on the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame, follow this link.<>

To purchase your 2013-2014 season tickets contact Ticketing & Promotions Coordinator, Missy Cederholm by phone at 778-471-8068or by email<>. For pricing information, follow this link.<>

Tim O'Donovan, Communications & Media Co-ordinator 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Americans add Consultant

KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today that the club has added Andy O’Brien as their High Performance Consultant for the upcoming 2013-14 season.  Andy will work with the team to help design and implement fitness and nutritional programs, as well as consult with individual players as to specific areas of focus to attain maximum results.
“I feel fortunate that Andy is willing to be involved with our program,” explained Tory.  “His expertise in the field of athletic performance is unparalleled and will certainly be a tremendous asset for our hockey club.”
O’Brien, the Director of High Performance at the Edge School and Duckett Performance Center in Calgary, Alberta, is a world-class strength and fitness trainer and has extensive experience working with elite NHL athletes.  His clients include NHLers Sidney Crosby, Jason Spezza, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Sam Gagner.  O’Brien has also trained players with the Florida Panthers, Miami Dolphins and New York Yankees, as well as Olympic swimmer Dana Torres.
Tri-City Americans season ticket plans are now available for the 2013-14 season.  Season ticket plans can be purchased by using several, convenient monthly payment schedules.  Call (509) 736-0606, or drop by the Americans offices' at the bottom level of the Toyota Center for more information.
Dan Mulhausen
VP of Business Operations / Marketing Communications

McCrimmon back as Wheat Kings Head Coach

The Brandon Wheat Kings have announced that General Manager Kelly McCrimmon will be returning to the bench for the 2013-14 Western Hockey League season.

Following a disappointing season that saw Brandon finish last in the WHL's Eastern Conference with a record of 24-40-4-4, McCrimmon has elected to relieve Dwayne Gylywoychuk and assume the head coaching duties of the WHL club.

The second winningest coach in franchise history with 330 victories, McCrimmon had compiled an impressive 294-177-35 record in seven seasonssince replacing Mike Kelly in March 2004. In addition to capturing the Eastern Conference Title in 2005, McCrimmon led Brandon to three Eastern Division pennants and to within a win of the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup Championship.

"After lengthy consideration I decided that this was a necessary change," says McCrimmon. "Sometimes in this business you have to make hard decisions on good people and this was one of those times."

McCrimmon stepped down as head coach in 2011, naming Cory Clouston as his replacement. Gylywoychuk, who has been a member of the Wheat Kings' coaching staff since 2003, was named the club's head coach last August.

A 5-year WHL player, Gylywoychuk was offered another role within the organization but after having time to consider, the 39-year old Winnipeg native has elected to leave the team in an effort to pursue other coaching opportunities.

Courtesy Wheat Kings PR Bruce Leubke

VIGR Lifestyles Wednesday Thriller

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Another week and a lot to talk about in the world of sports. Lets get to it!
The Regina Pats making a couple of big announcements. The first came on Monday with the hiring of Bill McGuigan as the new assistant coach with the club and the second came Tuesday when the team signed Moosomin native Rykr Cole to a standard WHL contract. In talking with Bill he seems like a great guy and his resume says he has a lot of experience and should be a good fit here in Regina. Not to mention that hes a good friend of head coach Malcolm Cameron so it should be a seamless transition with this coaching staff. As for Cole, hes a great kid and had a great season playing Midget AAA with the Moose Jaw Generals last year. He put up 17 goals and 25 assists in 43 games as a 15 year old. Cole will battle for a roster spot for this season with the Pats and will also attend Under-17 Team West Regional Summer Camp with eyes on attending the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Cape Breton.
The Riders are off to a fantastic start through 4 weeks of the season and the excitement is growing across the province. And why shouldn't it. With all the weapons on offense and the way the defense is playing this team looks like a contender. Kory Sheets is killing it and how about Rob Bagg?? I love seeing him succeed after everything hes been through. I don't think theres any question the Riders make it 5 and oh this weekend in Guelph in a rematch with the Ticats. My picks for week 5: Montreal to beat Edmonton, Calgary to win in Winnipeg, The Riders over the Ticats and then BC to win in Toronto. I am 13-3 so far this season and only a game back of Carm Carteri in the Sportscage pickem pool.
The Riders dominated the player of the week honors on Tuesday with Darian Durant named top offensive player, Rey Williams top defensive player and Rob Bagg named top Canadian. Well deserved. I don't think there was any competition from any other players this week because damn were they good.
Really good to see the province get behind Weyburn PGA golfer Graham DeLaet. DeLaet signed on as a Saskatchewan Ambassador and will be promoting on his clothing as he competes in this weekends RBC Canadian Open as well as his future tournaments. Was so good to see him play in the British Open on the weekend. It was his first major and he is ranked 37th on the money list and 25th in FedEx Cup standings and has 5 top 10's this year and leads the PGA in greens in regulation. He is 14th in scoring average. Just amazing stats and so awesome to see a Saskatchewan boy get it done in the pros. I now cheer for someone other than Tiger on the PGA.
Ryan Braun has been suspended for the remainder of the MLB season for his involvement in performance enhancing drugs. After all his denial its sad to see that he was involved. But it always seems to end up that way. I imagine some of the other players like Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera could get more than just the 60 plus games Braun got.
The Regina Thunder open their 2013 training camp on the long weekend in Regina. I will have a season preview up this week.
Thats it for this Wednesday, have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Roger Castle Appointed WHL Manager, Education Services

Calgary, AB – Ron Robison, Commissioner of the Western Hockey League announced today that Roger Castle has been appointed to the position of WHL Manager, Education Services at the WHL Office in Calgary.

In his new capacity, Castle will be responsible to administer the WHL league wide Education Program policies and procedures, including monitoring the academic progress of all WHL players through the 22 WHL Member Club Education Advisors. Castle will also manage the WHL Scholarship Program which awards over 325 scholarships each year to WHL graduate players.

Castle, who has spent the past six years as the Education Advisor of the WHL Edmonton Oil Kings, succeeds Jim Donlevy, who has served as the head of the WHL Education Program for the past 22 years. Donlevy will remain with the WHL until December 31, 2013, assisting with the transition process.

Possessing an extensive academic background, Castle has over 28 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the Elk Island public school system. A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Castle’s academic portfolio includes a Bachelor of Arts from Wilfred Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario, and a Masters of Education from the University of Alberta.  

“Roger’s extensive background in the academic field makes him well suited to manage the WHL Education Program,” says  WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We are extremely fortunate to have an individual of Roger’s calibre working together with our highly committed WHL Club Education Advisors to ensure our players continue to achieve their academic goals while playing in the WHL.”

Castle’s hockey experience is highlighted by 26 seasons as an on–ice official, including participating as a linesman in several CIS National Championships and IIHF World Championships.

Jeff Hubert
Director Communications
Western Hockey League



Weyburn Golfer Graham DeLaet Signs on as Sask Ambassador

Photo courtesy

While Graham DeLaet focuses on his game at the 2013 RBC Canadian Open this week, he wants PGA fans to “think Saskatchewan” as they watch the biggest golf event in Canada at the Glen Abbey Golf Club outside of Toronto.

DeLaet has signed on as an ambassador for his home province in a project launched today by the Saskatchewan Ambassador Alliance – a group of private-sector companies that have come together to promote Saskatchewan outside its borders as a good place to live, work and do business. As the Alliance’s first ambassador, he will sport the logo on his golf shirt to promote the province on the greens and TV screens, helping to drive visitors to the provincial government’s promotional website of that name.

“Saskatchewan is experiencing unprecedented growth but we cannot be complacent,” Premier Brad Wall said at a news conference at Glen Abbey today. “We should be pursuing innovative new ways to promote our province. I want to thank the Saskatchewan companies for piloting the Ambassador initiative with Graham. He has been getting a lot of TV time lately as a one of the world's top ranked golfers and now he with his branding will have some wondering: What is”
The Alliance, formed as a non-profit, includes five Saskatchewan companies to cover the costs associated with the pilot project. Brandt Group of Companies, Cameco Corporation, Magna Electric Corporation (MEC), PotashCorp, and Viterra Inc. have come onboard as the first corporate donors. Through an agreement funded by these five corporate partners, DeLaet will wear the logo on his shirt for the next year.

“We are very pleased that these great Saskatchewan corporate citizens will be supporting our first Ambassador,” Alliance Corporate Secretary Foster Weisgerber said. “With his tremendous performance on the PGA tour this year, capped off by the invitation to play at the British Open last week, and Graham’s love for Saskatchewan, he is a natural choice to be our first Saskatchewan ambassador. We are piloting this project with Graham and anticipate expanding it to other ambassadors who are at the top of their games at national and international levels.”
The 31-year-old DeLaet, who was born and raised in Weyburn, a small city of about 10,500 in southern Saskatchewan, credits his Saskatchewan roots for helping to shape the golfer he is today.
“Saskatchewan people are tough, determined and resilient,” DeLaet said. “These are all qualities that I have tapped into to be successful in one of the world’s most competitive sports. I am proud to represent Saskatchewan on the PGA Tour and thrilled to be associated with a program that aims to raise awareness for the Province.”

Although DeLaet is now based in Boise, Idaho, where he went to college on a golf scholarship. He continues to maintain close ties to Saskatchewan. As of July 22, he was 25th in the PGA’s FedEx Cup standings and 67th in the World Golf rankings.

“I can’t think of a better ambassador to represent Saskatchewan on the world stage,” Wall added. “Yes, Graham is a top PGA professional but he is also a great guy. He always makes time to come home to support local charities. Anyone who meets Graham meets Saskatchewan: successful but humble, hard working and generous.”

The provincial government launched in November 2010 as part of the Real Growth. Real Opportunity campaign encouraging people across Canada to live, work or do business in Saskatchewan.

Kathy Young
Government of Saskatchewan Director of Communications

Pats Sign Forward Rykr Cole

Regina, Saskatchewan – Regina Pats Senior VP and General Manager Chad Lang announced today the hockey club has signed prospect forward Rykr Cole (’97) to a Standard WHL Players Agreement.

The Pats selected Cole in the 3rd Round (63rd overall) of the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

This season, the Moosomin, SK product played his first year of Midget AAA with the Moose Jaw Generals of the SMAAAHL.  In 43 games with the Generals, Cole totaled 17 goals and 25 assists to finish third on the team in regular season scoring.

“We are very excited as an organization to have Rykr Cole signed to a standard WHL Player Contract and committed to being a Regina Pat,” said Pats Director of Scouting Dale McMullin.  “He was a top scorer in the SMAAHL in Moose Jaw last year.  Rykr has continued to do his part as far as getting stronger and quicker.  He’s a committed young individual who is getting closer to playing in the WHL.”

In early August, Cole will participate in the Under-17 Team West Regional Summer Camp with eyes on attending the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Cape Breton.

Rykr Cole along with his fellow prospects and returning Pats players will compete for spots on the 2013-14 roster when Training Camp opens August 28th.
Daniel Fink
Director of Media and Communications
Regina Pats Hockey Club

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thunderbirds Add Assistant Coach

KENT, July 22, 2013 - Seattle Thunderbirds general manger Russ Farwell today announced Matt O'Dette has joined the team as an assistant coach.
"We are excited to add Matt to our coaching staff," said Farwell. "He has a good mix of experience as a defenseman and a coach and he will provide a nice compliment to our coaching staff."
"It's an honor to be a part of the Seattle Thunderbirds organization. I would like to thank Steve and Russ for the opportunity to work alongside them and the rest of the great T-Bird staff. I'm excited to be a part of and add to the great team culture in place," said O'Dette.
"I have extensive experience in teaching and developing young players, and in particular defensemen. My experience as a player at the Major Junior and professional level will help me relate to these young players and to act as a mentor to these young athletes not only at the rink, but away from it as well."
"The T-Birds are a team on the rise and I look forward to contributing to the developmental process already in place. I'm excited and can't wait to get started on helping the team take the next step and build on the playoff experience from last season."
O'Dette was the head coach and director of hockey operations for the Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL for the last two seasons. Prior to joining the Condors he was an assistant coach and the assistant general manager of the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL.
He played 663 professional games over 14 professional seasons in the AHL and ECHL with the Roanoke Express (ECHL 1996-97), Saint John Flames (AHL 1997-2000), Quebec Citadelles (AHL 2000-02), Hamilton Bulldogs (2002-03), Fresno Falcons (ECHL 2004-09) and Falcons/Thunder (ECHL 2009-10). He also appeared in 69 playoffs games and was a member of two Calder Cup Final teams.
O'Dette played 183 career games as a defenseman in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He was selected by the Calgary Flames in the seventh round, 157th overall, in the 1994 NHL Draft.
O'Dette will be the head instructor at the T-Birds Hockey School taking place at ShoWare Center from August 5 to August 17. Fans can sign up for the 2013 Hockey School through the T-Birds online store.
The T-Birds kick off the 2013-14 Western Hockey League regular season with the Home Opener against the 2013 League Champion Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, September 21, at 7:05 p.m. at the ShoWare Center.

T-Birds single game tickets for the 2013-14 regular season will go on sale on August 21 online on the T-Birds website and at the ShoWare Center box office.
T-Birds season tickets are currently on sale. Season tickets can be purchased by calling the T-Birds office at 253-239-7825.

Ian Henry
Director, Public & Media Relations