Giants set to name head coach . . . Brockman signs on as Broncos’ tamer . . . Oil Kings add Hill, Lauer to front office

MacBeth

Glen Hanlon (Brandon, 1974-77) signed a one-year plus option year contract as head coach of DVTK Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). This is the club’s first season playing in Slovakia’s Extraliga. Hanlon was GM of the Vancouver Giants the past two seasons.


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The Vancouver Giants are expected to introduce Michael Dyck as their newest head Vancouvercoach today. Dyck, 49, will take over from Jason McKee, who was fired by incoming general manager Barclay Parneta on June 15. At the time, Parent said he wanted a head coach “I’m more familiar with.” . . . In 2002-03, Parneta was scouting for the Giants, while Dyck was an assistant coach. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia has more on the story right here.


Dean Brockman was introduced Wednesday as the Swift Current Broncos’ director of SCBroncoshockey operations and head coach. Brockman takes over from Manny Viveiros, who guided the Broncos to the WHL championship in May, in his second season in Swift Current, then joined the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers as an assistant coach. . . . Brockman spent the past four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, the last two as head coach. He was fired when the 2017-18 season ended. Before joining the Blades, Brockman spent 17 seasons with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He is a four-time winner of the SJHL’s coach-of-the-year award.


After being away for 11 seasons, Brad Lauer is returning to the WHL, this time as the EdmontonOilKingshead coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. His signing was announced on Wednesday. Lauer replaces Steve Hamilton, who was fired on May 28. Hamilton had been on the Edmonton coaching staff for eight seasons, the last eight as head coach. . . . Lauer, 51, is a former WHL player and coach. He played three seasons (1983-86) for the Regina Pats, before going on to a pro career that ended after the 2001-02 season. His NHL career comprised 323 regular-season and 34 playoff games. . . . He spent five seasons (2002-07) as an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice and has NHL coaching experience with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning. For the past three seasons, he was an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. . . . Derek Van Diest of Postmedia has more on the Lauer hiring right here.

The Oil Kings also introduced Kirt Hill, 30, as their president of hockey operations and general manager. He takes over from Randy Hansch after he and the Oil Kings parted company. . . . Terry Jones of Postmedia has more on the Hill hiring and the state of the Oil Kings right here.


Importdraft

The CHL’s 2018 import draft is scheduled to be held today (Thursday), starting at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT). The QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first pick, followed, in order, by the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings and the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.

As of late Wednesdsay night, 52 of the 60 CHL teams were poised to pick in the first round, with 27 of them to take part in the second round.

The CHL finally made official on Wednesday what has been widely reported for weeks now. According to a news release: “For the first time since 2013, goaltenders will be eligible for selection in the CHL import draft, in addition to forwards and defencemen.”

Here’s a look at the 22 WHL teams and their import situation . . .

Brandon Wheat Kings — They have released Czech D Daniel Bukac, 19, freeing them to make two selections. The Wheat Kings also hold the CHL rights to Czech F Martin Kaut, who was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. Because he was a first-round pick, the Wheat Kings are allowed to make that second pick in the import draft.

Calgary Hitmen — D Vladislav Yeryomenko (Belarus) and D Egor Zamula (Russia) both will be back, so the Hitmen will sit out the import draft.

Edmonton Oil Kings — F Andrei Pavlenko (Belarus) is returning, while F Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) has completed his junior eligibility. The Oil Kings will make one selection.

Everett Silvertips — With F Martin Fasko-Rudas (Slovakia) returning, the Silvertips have room for one import. D Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic), who finished with Everett last season, is 20 and is expected to play in the Dallas Stars’ organization.

Kamloops Blazers — They traded Vala to Everett in January and have released F Justin Sigrist (Switzerland), so are expected to pick twice.

Kelowna Rockets — They are bringing back D Libor Zabransky, but have released F Marek Skvrne, so they will make one selection. Both players are from Czech Republic.

Kootenay Ice — With F Martin Bodak (Slovakia) unsure whether he will return, the Ice is expected to make one selection as it looks for an import to join F Gillian Kohler (Switzerland). Bodak, 20, would be a two-spotter should he return, so there’s that, too.

Lethbridge Hurricanes — D Igor Merezhko (Ukraine) is 20, so would be a two-spotter were the Hurricanes to keep him. They have released F Yegor Zudilov (Russia), so will make two selections.

Medicine Hat Tigers — D Linus Nassen (Sweden) is preparing for his 20-year-old season, but would be a two-spotter. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) was a two-spotter last season so has aged out. The Tigers are expected to pick twice.

Moose Jaw Warriors — They had two Russians last season — D Oleg Sosunov and D Dmitri Zaitsev — both of whom now are 20. Neither is expected back and the Warriors are expected to make two selections.

Portland Winterhawks — F Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark) is 20 and should play in the San Jose Sharks organization. D Henri Jokiharju (Finland), 19, was a first-round selection by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL draft. The Winterhawks, then, will be making two selections.

Prince Albert Raiders — They will make one selection. D Sergei Sapego (Belarus) will be back, but D Vojtech Budik (Czech Republic) is 20 and won’t be returning.

Prince George Cougars — F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (Belarus) is expected back for his sophomore season, so the Cougars are preparing to make one selection. F Pavel Azhgirei (Belarus) won’t return.

Red Deer Rebels — F Kristian Reichel (Czech Republic) is 20 and his future is up in the air, while D Alex Alexeyev (Russia) will be back after being a first-round selection by the Washington Capitals in the NHL’s 2018 draft. Because of the situation, the Rebels are eligible to make two picks.

Regina Pats — D Libor Hajek (Czech Republic), 20, should play in the New York Rangers organization, while F Emil Oksanen (Finland), 20, has signed to play at home. The Pats are planning on making two selections.

Saskatoon Blades — D Mark Rubinchik (Russia) has signed to play with a KHL team, leaving the Blades to make a pair of picks.

Seattle Thunderbirds — They also will make two selections, having released F Nikita Malukhin (Russia) and with F Sami Moilanen having signed with a pro team in Finland.

Spokane Chiefs — They will select once, having chosen to release Slovakian F Milos Fafrak, who will turn 19 on July 8. Spokane’s other import is Czech D Filip Kral, who will turn 19 on Oct. 20.

Swift Current Broncos — D Artyom Minulin (Russia), 20, will be a two-spotter should they bring him back, while F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland) has signed to play at home. Thus, the Broncos are expected to make two picks.

Tri-City Americans — They’ll make one selection as they try to find an import to join D Roman Kalinichenko (Russia), who returns for a second season. D Juuso Valimaki (Finland) turns 20 on Oct. 6, but should be in the Calgary Flames organization.

Vancouver Giants — They’ll pass as they plan on going with F Milos Roman (Slovakia) and F Yannik Valenti (Germany), a 2017 import draft pick who signed with them on March 9.

Victoria Royals — The Royals have F Igor Martynov coming back, while they have released F Andrei Grishakov (Russia). Therefore, they will make one selection.


Work is underway at Mosaic Place, the home of the Moose Jaw Warriors, to upgrade the MooseJawWarriorsboards and glass. The Warriors announced Wednesday that they will share the $446,313 cost with the DFFH (Downtown Facility and Field House). . . . “This new CrystalPlex dasher board system is in the best interest of player safety and will benefit not only our WHL players, but all users of the facility,” Alan Millar, the Warriors’ general manager, said in a news release. . . . The upgrades are scheduled to be finished in time for the 2018-19 season.


The Portland Winterhawks are looking for a new broadcast team after announcing PortlandWednesday that Evan Richardson, their play-by-play voice, and analyst Andy Kemper have stepped aside, both of them citing a desire to spend more time with family. . . . Richardson spent one season calling Winterhawks’ games. He has decided to return to his hometown of Toronto. . . . Kemper began his broadcasting career in 2004, alongside the legendary Dean (Scooter) Vrooman. He will continue to be part of the Winterhawks organization as the team historian.


G Connor Ingram, who played with the Kamloops Blazers, spent last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

After the tragedy involving the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, Lukas Favale, the Crunch’s radio voice, pledged $1 to the fundraising attempts for every save made by Ingram from then through the end of the AHL playoffs. Ingram immediately said he would match that total.

Earlier this month, F Kaleb Dahlgren of the Broncos and Ingram took part in a cheque presentation with some folks from STARS Ambulance.


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Things heat up on CHL legal front . . . Thunderbirds add ex-player to staff . . . Hockey Canada calls on Millar

MacBeth

D Cody Carlson (Medicine Hat, Regina, Prince George, 2006-12) signed a one-year contract with Brașov (Romania, Erste Liga). This season, with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), he had one goal and three assists in 28 games, and he had six goals and 19 assists in 27 games with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite). . . .

D Giffen Nyren (Moose Jaw, Kamloops, Calgary, 2006-10) signed a one-year contract with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Alps HL), he had 11 goals and 30 assists in 37 games. . . .

F Gal Koren (Kelowna, 2010-11) signed a one-year contract extension with Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenia, Alps HL). This season, he had six goals and 14 assists in 26 games.


ThisThat

Rick Westhead, TSN’s senior correspondent, continues to follow the class-action lawsuit that involves major junior hockey and is making its way through the court system. He also is keeping track of all that surrounds it, and it seems there is a lot of that.

On Thursday, Westhead tweeted: “Allegations that scholarships were not honoured, a union drive, a supportive letter from former NHL players, and a notice of libel. Lots going on in Canadian major junior hockey.”

That, of course, was a tease to his latest story, which is right here.

In the latest instalment, the QMJHL finds itself in a tiff with a former player who, according to Westhead, “has testified that the Victoriaville Tigres didn’t provide him with time to attend high school when he played for the team and that the franchise later backed out of honouring his educational scholarship.”

That was in testimony before Quebec’s National Assembly on May 29.

The QMJHL responded by claiming that “(Brandon) Hynes provided misleading and false testimony and that he didn’t meet the league’s requirements to remain eligible for scholarship funds.”

Hynes, the third-overall selection in the QMJHL’s 2008 draft, played 318 regular-season games over five seasons in that league.

Westhead’s story also brings news of a new union-organizing drive involving major junior players. This one is being organized by the World Association of Ice Hockey Players Unions (WAIPU), which is based in Montreal.

So there’s that . . . and there’s lots of news in Westhead’s story involving WAIPU, including the fact that the CHL, OHL, QMJHL and WHL have filed a notice of libel against WAIPU.

Oh, and the CBC has reported that some former NHL, OHL and QMJHL players have written a letter supporting the lawsuit in which players and ex-players are looking for teams to have to pay at least minimum wage.

Quebec’s National Assembly is considering Bill 176, which would change labour laws and provide an exemption to the QMJHL’s Quebec-based teams from minimum wage legislation.

The letter from the former players says that Bill 176 “represents a serious injustice.”

You’re right. This is getting nasty, and it’s nowhere near an end.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have hired Steven Goertzen to fill the newly created position of Seattledirector of player development. . . . “He worked with our prospects at this year’s spring camp and has done a great job in our on-ice sessions at previous spring camps,” Russ Farwell, Seattle’s vice president of hockey operations, said in a news release. “He has been involved in both power skating and skills development the last 10 years and he is a great addition to our staff. Steven has been working for our new ownership group in the Edmonton area and that made this possible as a shared position to help us develop our prospects.” . . . From Stony Plain, Alta., Goertzen, 34, played three seasons (2001-04) with the Thunderbirds before going on to a pro career that included 68 NHL games and time in the AHL and in Europe. . . . Andy Side of 710 AM Seattle has more right here.


Alan Millar, the general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors, has been named by Hockey Canada to its Program of Excellence management group. According to a news release, “Millar will advise and support the under-18 program, which includes the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup . . . making its debut in Canada this year.” . . . Martin Mondou, the general manager of the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes, will work with the U-17 program, while Steve Staios, the president and GM of the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, will be involved with the national junior team program.


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