Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hitmen closing in on GM/head coach? ... Calgary signs draft pick ... Ex-WHLers in NHL coaching mix


F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has signed a one-year contract with Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with Corona Brașov (Romania, MOL Liga), he had 26 goals and 36 assists in 38 games. He led his team in assists and was fourth in the league’s scoring race. . . .
F Martin Erat (Saskatoon, Red Deer, 1999-2001) has signed a one-year extension with Kometa Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had 13 goals and 23 assists in 39 games. . . .
F Jared Aulin (Kamloops, 1997-2002) has signed a one-year extension with Rapperswil-Jona (Switzerland, NL B). Last season, he had 19 goals and 35 assists in 47 games. . . .
F Brett Sonne (Calgary, 2004-10) has signed a one-year contract with Angers (France, Ligue Magnus). Last season, he had 10 goals and 21 assists in 37 games with Herlev (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . . Angers’ head coach is Brett’s older brother, Brennan (Everett, Red Deer, Edmonton, 2005-08; assistant coach Everett, 2014-17).
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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
To all who took the time to offer congratulations after Taking Note was awarded a Paul Carson Award for a third straight year, thank you so much. It really means a lot.
There is no doubt in my mind that the best part of social media — like Facebook and Twitter — is the way it allows people to be in touch and to stay in touch. Once again, this all was proof of that.
Thanks again.
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The Calgary Hitmen have signed F Ryder Korczak to a WHL contract. He was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Last season, he had 27 goals and 56 assists in 30 games with the bantam AA Yorkton Terriers. He also played two games with the midget AAA Yorkton Maulers, recording two assists. . . . His older brother, Kaedan, was a first-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2016 bantam draft. Kaedan, a defenceman, played four regular-season and five playoff games with Kelowna last season.
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Meanwhile, the Hitmen continue their search for a general manager and a head coach.
They need a GM after the parent Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation moved Mike Moore, who also had been vice-president of business operations, to vice-president and alternate governor on May 15. Moore, a veteran of 20 seasons in the WHL, 10 of them with Calgary, had been the GM through four seasons.
The Hitmen need a head coach because Mark French, who signed a multi-year extension a year ago, left late last month to take over as head coach of the Fribourg-Gottéron Dragons of Swizerland’s NL A. French had spent three seasons as Calgary’s head coach.
There has been speculation that the Hitmen have shown interest in having Tim Hunter fill both positions. Hunter, 56, is preparing for his fourth season as the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors, who announced on June 2 that he had signed a contract extension, the length of which wasn’t revealed.
It’s doubtful that the Warriors would release Hunter from his contract were he to move to another coaching position, but they almost certainly would let him go were he to take a GM/head coach job.
Hunter has some history with Calgary, having played nine full seasons (1983-92) and parts of two others with the Flames, who, like the Hitmen, are controlled by CSEC.
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Former WHL/NHL tough guy Rudy Poeschek now is facing a charge of failing to appear in court after missing a June 2 court date at which he was to have been tried on a charge of breaching probation. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. . . . Tim Petruk of Kamloops This Week has more right here.
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As you were laying in bed last night, you were wondering: Whatever happened to Peter Pocklington? . . . Well, the man who traded Wayne Gretzky — or did he sell him? — from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings is living in Palm Desert, Calif., and continuing to ponder ways to make money. Marty Klinkenberg has a look at Pocklington right here.
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BTW, if you want to contact me with some information or just feel like commenting on something, you may email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).
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Coaching

The NHL’s Minnesota Wild are searching for an assistant coach to replace former NHL hitter Scott Stevens, who left the team after the season. According to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis StarTribune, Bob Woods, a former WHL player who did a turn as the Saskatoon Blades’ GM/head coach, “is the likely frontrunner.” . . . That’s because Woods has a long history with Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau, having coached alongside him with the AHL’s Hershey Bears and the NHL’s Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks. . . . Woods spent last season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, but they have a new general manager (Jason Botterill) and a new head coach (Phil Housley) so change is in the wind. . . . Russo also speculates that a couple of other former WHLers — Ryan McGill and Dean Chynoweth — may be in the mix in Minnesota. McGill is the head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack. Chynoweth didn’t coach last season after spending the previous season as the head coach of the San Antonio Rampage, the Colorado Avalanche’s AHL affiliate. . . . According to Russo, Boudreau wants “a former defenceman with NHL experience.” McGill and Chynoweth both played and coached in the NHL.
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