Thursday, July 13, 2017

Balcers, Clifford, True get contracts ... Battah heads overseas . . . About that $1 million


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F Bruno Mráz (Brandon, 2011-12) has signed a one-year contract with Metallurg Novokuznetsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). Last season, he had 17 goals and 19 assists in 44 games with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga). . . . 
D Roman Pšurný (Medicine Hat, 2004-06) haa signed a one-year extension with Přerov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). Last season, he had 12 goals and 19 assists in 29 games. Pšurný tied for the team lead in scoring despite missing 23 games.
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Jeff Battah, who has worked in the WHL, is off to Austria as the goaltending coach with the Graz 99ers (Erste Bank Liga). Battah, 36, has been coaching since 2001, both as an assistant coach and as a goaltending coach. He has worked in the WHL, with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Prince George Cougars, as well as in the AJHL and BCHL and in U Sports. With the 99ers, his first European assignment, he will work alongside head coach Doug Mason.
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The Everett Silvertips have signed goaltending coach Shane Clifford to a contract extension, the length of which wasn’t disclosed. Clifford, 46, is preparing for his 11th season with the Silvertips. In that position, he has tutored Carter Hart, the WHL’s goaltender of the year in each of the past two seasons. . . . According to a news release, Clifford, who is from Cincinnati, has coached professionally with the Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL), Johnstown Chiefs (ECHL) and Les Ducs d’Angers (French Elite League), with goalies in the college ranks at Ohio State University (NCAA), and goaltenders across two separate tiers of junior levels for the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL) and Wenatchee Wild (NAHL).” . . . The Silvertips are heading into their 15th WHL season and earlier in the week they unveiled sweaters “the team will wear for home and road games designed to commemorate the anniversary campaign.” You are able to get a look at those sweaters by clicking right here.
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Jay Varady, the new head coach
of the Kingston Frontenacs.

(Photo: kingstonfrontenacs.com)
The OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs introduced former WHL coach Jay Varady as their new head coach on Thursday. Varady, 39, spent the past four seasons as the head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. . . . Last season, the Musketeers finished with the USHL’s best regular-season record, and a franchise-record 87 points, and reached the championship final before bowing out to the Chicago Steel. Varady was named the USHL’s coach of the year. . . . In four seasons with Sioux City, Varady was 136-88-10. . . . Varady, a native of Cahokia, Ill., spent eight seasons (2003-11) with the Everett Silvertips, as assistant coach and then associate coach. . . . In Kingston, Varady replaces Paul McFarland, now an assistant coach with the NHL’s Florida Panthers.
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The Lethbridge Hurricanes have signed G Bryan Thomson and D Jonah Regier, both of whom played last season for the bantam AAA Notre Dame Hounds. . . . Thomson was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. From Moose Jaw, he was 3-13-1, 3.72, .895 in the regular season, then went 2-1-0, 2.33, .935 in the playoffs. . . . The Hurricanes selected Regier one pick after having taken Thomson. Regier, from Weyburn, Sask., had two goals and three assists in 30 regular-season games, then was pointless in four playoff games.
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F Rudolfs Balcers, who played last season with the Kamloops Blazers, has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Balcers, a 20-year-old Latvian, was a fifth-round selection in the NHL’s 2015 draft. He is expected to play in San Jose’s organization in 2017-18. . . . Last season, the 5-foot-11, 165-pounder had 77 points, 40 of them goals, in 66 games with Kamloops. . . . The Blazers are likely to open the 2017-18 season with veteran D Ondrej Vala, who will be playing his third season in Kamloops, and Swiss F Justin Sigrist, picked in the 2017 CHL import draft, as their two import players.
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F Alexander True, who scored the biggest goal in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ history, has signed a two-year contract with the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . True, who will turn 20 on Monday, is from Denmark. He finished last season with 25 goals and 15 assists in 66 games, then added 12 goals and 10 assists in 20 playoff games. That included the winner at 12:36 of OT as the Thunderbirds beat the host Regina Pats, 4-3, in Game 6 of the WHL’s championship series. Seattle won the series and the Ed Chynoweth Cup, 4-2. . . . In 169 career regular-season games, True had 45 goals and 39 assists. . . . True spent last week in the Sharks’ developmental camp. . . . True’s father, Soren, was a 12th-round pick by the New York Rangers in the NHL’s 1986 draft.
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F Austin Glover, who played out his junior eligibility last season, will attend UBC and play for the Thunderbirds in 2017-18. Glover totalled 22 goals and 36 assists in 69 games split between the Prince Albert Raiders and Red Deer Rebels. . . . Glover, who also played with the Kelowna Rockets, totalled 146 points, including 51 goals, during a 224-game WHL career. . . . He was second-round pick by Kelowna in the WHL’s 2011 bantam draft.
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Before shutting things down for the remainder of the summer, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet filed one last 30 Thoughts. As he points out, when he returns for another the season, the NHL will have 31 teams and that means he’ll be writing 31 Thoughts. . . . His final 30 Thoughts, then, is right here.
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Do you stop off here on a regular basis? If you do, why not show your appreciation for the work that goes into producing this blog by making a donation? All you have to do is click on the DONATE button and follow along from there.
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You are almost out of time, but you still have time to register and attend the seventh annual TeamSnap Hockey Coaches Conference that runs in Vancouver today (Friday) and Saturday. If you click on The Coaches Site website right here to register, you are able to get a 20-per-cent discount by entering the coupon code TakingNote.
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If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).
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Concussion Report

The CFL has a new commissioner in Randy Ambrosie but, writes Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press, the new guy “sounds a whole lot like the old commissioner of the CFL” when it comes to talking about CTE. . . . Wiecek’s column, which is headlined ‘CFL should do the right thing and pull its concussed head out of the sand,’ is right here.
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