Category Archives: WHL

Woods Leaving Prompts Blades Hockey Ops Shake-up

The Saskatoon Blades have named Dean Brockman as their 21st head coach, with news Bob Woods is returning to the NHL.

Woods, who joined the Blades two years ago, has signed on to be the right hand man to Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma.

“This was too great of an offer to pass up,” says Woods. “It’s a chance to work alongside a Stanley Cup winning coach who also coached in the AHL. It’s an example I’d love to follow. I have mixed emotions leaving the Blades since the team is turning the corner but I know the players are in great hands.”

Brockman, 48, who was alongside Woods for the past two seasons, is thrilled with the opportunity.

“We’ve come through three difficult but necessary years but the time for talk is over. It’s time for results and we are committed to take a major step forward this season. We have a room full of great players who have outstanding character. They’ve taken great strides during our time together and I can’t wait to work with them to seize the opportunity we have in front of us.”

Brockman is well-suited to take the top job. Previous to his two years with Woods, Brockman coached the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League to incredible success over 17 years. He led the team to victory in the Royal Bank Cup on two occasions, 2003 and 2008. In two other appearances at the national championship, Humboldt was the runner-up in 2009 and lost the semi-final in 2012.

The product of St. Benedict, Saskatchewan, also guided the Broncos to four Anavet Cup Championship titles in five appearances at the event, which matches up SJHL champion against the winner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League. Brockman was named SJHL Coach of the Year four times.

Brockman also has a history of success with Hockey Canada. He coached Canada West to a silver medal at the World Junior A Championship in 2012, taking home a gold medal at that same event as an assistant coach one year earlier in 2011.

While Brockman has some strategic thoughts on adjusting the team’s play on the ice for more wins, he also sees opportunity on the mental side of the game. “I have great passion for our players and I want to help guide them through the obstacles that stand in their way so we can together find – and enjoy – success.”

Who Are the Fools In Medicine Hat?

Well despite the day of pranking that is ahead the City of Medicine Hat has apparently dropped a bombshell on their junior franchise.

At risk of being “fooled” by this hoax I will press publish for your consideration while I continue to investigate the stories authenticity.

From the City of Medicine Hat:

City serves Tigers with notice to vacate Canalta Centre
Posted Date: 3/31/2016 12:30 PM
For Immediate Release
March 31, 2016

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat provided notice to Tigers ownership today that without a permanent license agreement in place, the team is required to immediately vacate the Canalta Centre and restore any occupied space to its previous condition by April 7 at noon.

Mooner Eclipsed In Vancouver

The Vancouver Giants announced on Friday that Lorne Molleken has been relieved of his duties as Head Coach, effective immediately.

“We would like to thank Lorne for his time with our club,” said Giants majority owner Ron Toigo. “We wish him all the best in the future.”

Molleken took over behind the bench for the G-Men at the start of the 2015/16 season. Under his watch, Vancouver went 23-38-5-4.

Assistant Coach Tyler Kuntz

Blades Are Buyers Heading Into WHL Deadline

With the WHL trade deadline less than a week away the Saskatoon Blades made a pair of moves on Monday to remake their blue line.

Head Coach and General Manager, Bob Woods, announced today that the Blades have acquired 1997-born defenceman Dustin Perillat from the Moose Jaw Warriors in exchange for a conditional 2nd round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft, a 5th round pick (Swift Current’s) in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, and the rights to defenceman Dean Stewart.

Perillat, a Saskatoon native, has missed the majority of the season due to a broken jaw but is currently skating and nearing a return to game action. In 58 games with the Warriors last season, Perillat recorded 8 goals and 20 assists.

“We are very excited to be bringing in Dustin who is a very solid, puck moving defenceman,” said Woods. “A 1997 born defenceman was a spot we were looking to fill, and being a local player is an added bonus for us.”

Perillat will join the team today and will practice with the team this week. We are happy to welcome Dustin and his family to the Blades.

Meanwhile, Head Coach and General Manager Bob Woods announced today that the Blades have acquired 1995-born defenceman Colton Waltz, and 1997-born forward Braylon Shmyr in exchange for Schael Higson, Mitch Wheaton, and a 2nd round pick in 2017.

WHL Announces Rule Changes

The Western Hockey League announced today, at a media conference in Regina, a series of rule changes that have been implemented for the League’s 50th Season this year at a media conference in Regina. The rule changes include the adoption of the three-on-three overtime format.

Most of the rule changes have also been adopted by the National Hockey League and have been tested throughout the pre-season schedule.

Overtime Format
Similar to the NHL, the WHL will adopt a three-on-three overtime format during the regular season. If two teams are tied following regulation time, a two minute break will be followed by five minutes of overtime where teams will be permitted to use only three skaters and a goaltender each when at even strength. As in previous years, if two teams remain tied after the five minute overtime period, a shootout will be used to determine the winner.

WHL Announces Anniversary Plans

The Western Hockey League concluded its Annual General Meeting today in Vancouver, highlighted by the announcement of a series of plans and special events associated with the WHL’s upcoming 50th anniversary season. The WHL was established in the 1966-67 season.

The WHL’s 50th anniversary season will officially open on Thursday, September 24th in Moose Jaw, SK when the Warriors host the Regina Pats. The East Division is considered the birthplace of the WHL and Moose Jaw is the home of the first ever WHL championship team. The Moose Jaw Canucks became the first League champions when they defeated the Regina Pats to close the WHL’s inaugural season of 1966-67.

“We are excited to celebrate the rich history of our League next season,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “We have been fortunate to have many talented players, excellent teams and exceptional people in the WHL since 1966, and we truly look forward to honouring these individuals and sharing the story of our League throughout our 50th anniversary season.”

The WHL also announced that a commemorative 50th anniversary season book will be published which will detail the history of the League as well as its Clubs, builders, players and key members. The book will be released in September.

Former SMHA Skater Wins CHL Award

Kelowna Rockets forward Rourke Chartier claimed the title of CCM Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year at the 2015 CHL Awards on Saturday.

Chartier finished tied for 14th in WHL scoring with 48 goals and 34 assists for 82 points while recording just 18 minutes in penalties in 58 games played this season. The 19-year-old from Saskatoon, SK, was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks.  Finalists for the award included Kyle Farrell of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and Dylan Strome of the Erie Otters.

Chartier is in his third season with Kelowna. In 188 career regular season games, the forward has amassed 170 points (85g-85a) and 34 minutes in penalties.

This is the second consecutive year that a WHL player has won the award after Sam Reinhart claimed the honour in 2014. The awards were presented as part of the 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup festivities at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.
2015 CHL Awards – WHL Finalists

Jack Link’s Top Prospect of the Year:

Former Blades Coach Promoted In Queen City

(PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock)

The Regina Pats have reorganized the team’s hockey operations division.  While his role has not changed, John Paddock has added General Manager (GM) to his title along with Senior VP of Hockey Operations and Head Coach.

Assistant Coach Dave Struch’s role is expanding to include being the team’s new Assistant General Manager.  Further, Gord Pritchard, currently the Director of Corporate Affairs will now be the Assistant to the GM.

“When Dave and I started working together it became pretty clear early on that we had similar ideas and philosophies about what makes an organization successful,” said Head Coach John Paddock.  “As the season went on, our communication and trust grew which made elevating Dave’s role with the team a no-brainer.”

Other moves include extending the contract of Goaltender Coach Rob Muntain.  In addition, the Pats are pleased to announce the contract extensions for the team’s Athletic Therapist Greg Mayer and Equipment Manager Gord Cochran.

WHL Wins U-S Court Decision

Representatives from all four Washington State-based Western Hockey League (WHL) Member Clubs (Everett Silvertips, Seattle Thunderbirds, Spokane Chiefs, and Tri-City Americans) and WHL Commissioner Ron Robison were in attendance today in Olympia to witness the signing of Senate Bill 5893 by Governor of Washington Jay Inslee.

Senate Bill 5893 further clarifies the status of WHL players as amateur athletes and non-employees. The signing of the Bill by Governor Inslee is the final approval required for the legislation to become law in the State of Washington. Previously approved by the bipartisan Senate and House of Representatives, the Bill concerned the status of amateur athletes and, now law, ensures WHL players will not be treated or defined as employees in the State of Washington.

“On behalf of our Washington-based Member Clubs and the amateur hockey players who play, or aspire to play, in the top development league in North America, we wish to express our sincere gratitude to the Governor as well as the Senate and House of Representatives,” commented WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “This legislation not only confirms the status of WHL players as amateur athletes but will allow our four Washington-based Clubs to continue offering world class development and education opportunities, as they have been doing in the State for close to 40 years.

Raiders Looking For GM

The Prince Albert Raiders and General Manager Bruno Campese have mutually agreed to part ways, deciding not to exercise the option on his contract, following eight seasons with the organization.

“Bruno has worked tirelessly to ensure our program is one that players and staff want to be part of. Considerable progress has been made in many areas and we are in a good place to move to another chapter,” said Raiders President Dale McFee. “We feel good about our bantam draft, the long term deals with our coaches, and the new approach to business.

“Bruno will be hard to replace, but we will start the process immediately, Bruno is still under contract to ensure all upcoming events are managed in the best interests of the club until a replacement can be found.”

Campese joined the Raiders as head coach for the 2007-08 season and added the general manager title to his responsibilities later that season. In 2011, Campese handed over the coaching reigns, choosing to focus on his role as general manager. In eight years with the organization, Campese’s Raiders won 244 games and reached the playoffs on three occasions. Under his watch, seven Raiders were selected in the NHL Entry Draft, including first round picks Mark McNeil, Josh Morrissey, and Leon Draisaitl.

“I would like to thank the Prince Albert Raiders organization, members of the board, staff, billets, players, and parents for their support and loyalty these past eight seasons.  I would also like to thank our fans, business community, and our volunteers for their incredible passion and support.  Living and working in Prince Albert has been a great experience and our family has made many lifelong friends,” explained Campese.