F Peter Mueller (Everett, 2005-07) signed a one-year contract with Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, with Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had 14 goals and 28 assists in 38 games. . . .
F Shane Harper (Everett, 2005-10) signed a two-year contract with Örebro (Sweden, SHL). Last season, with Lada Togliatti (Russia, KHL), he had four goals and seven assists in 36 games.
The WHL’s head-coaching picture is starting to sort itself out.
Taking Note has been told that Dean Brockman will be joining the Swift Current Broncos, the WHL’s reigning champions, as general manager and head coach. He will take over from Manny Viveiros, who left after two seasons to sign on as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
Viveiros had been the director of hockey operations and head coach. Jamie Porter remains with the Broncos, at least for now, as the director of player personnel.
Brockman, 51, spent the previous four seasons on the staff of the Saskatoon Blades, the past two as head coach. He was fired following the 2017-18 season.
Before joining the Blades, Brockman spent 17 seasons with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. Many observers thought he would end up back in Humboldt, where he would have taken over from the late Darcy Haugan, the team’s general manager and head coach who was killed in the crash involving the Broncos’ bus on April 6.
The Broncos also are believed to have had Serge Lajoie, the former U of Alberta Golden Bears head coach, and Ryan Smith in their final three. Smith has been the Broncos’ associate coach for three seasons.
Lajoie is expected to sign on as head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, if he hasn’t already.
Lajoie, 49, moved from NAIT to the U of Alberta when Golden Bears head coach Ian Herbers left to spend three years as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers.
In Kamloops, Lajoie would take over from Don Hay, who now is in an advisory role with the Blazers. Hay has more regular-season and playoff coaching victories than any coach in WHL history. He has said that he is interested in continuing his coaching career.
Taking Note also has been told that the Edmonton Oil Kings were in on Lajoie, but things may have been slowed their because they don’t yet have a general manager in place.
The Oil Kings and general manager Randy Hansch went their separate ways on May 28, the same day the team fired head coach Steve Hamilton. He had been there through eight seasons, the last four as head coach.
The Oil Kings are expected to name Kirt Hill as their director of hockey operations, but have yet to make that official.
Meanwhile, the Medicine Hat Tigers and Vancouver Giants have parted company with veterans of the WHL scouting scene.
The Tigers have parted company with Carter Sears, who was hired as their director of player personnel on Oct. 5. Before joining the Tigers, he spent five seasons as a pro scout with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. He also worked as the Red Deer Rebels’ head scout for 13 seasons, and also has been a scouting consultant with the Kootenay Ice.
The Giants have split with Dan Bonar, their director of scouting since Aug. 21. Bonar had been with the Calgary Hitmen for the previous 14 seasons, the last four as head scout.
Bonar and former Vancouver general manager Glen Hanlon were teammates for three seasons (1974-77) with the Brandon Wheat Kings. Hanlon left the Giants after the season and has since been replaced by Barclay Parneta, who fired head coach Jason McKee on Friday.
The Saskatoon Blades have reacquired G Dorrin Luding, 19, from the Seattle Thunderbirds, giving up a conditional seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft in exchange.
The Blades selected Luding, who is from Prince George, in the third round of the 2014 bantam draft. They dealt him to the Everett Silvertips on Dec. 5, 2016, getting back a sixth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft.
Seattle acquired him from Everett on Nov. 24, sending a ninth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft the other way.
In 30 games split among the Blades, Everett Silvertips and Thunderbirds, Luding is 9-15-1, 3.75, .886, with one shutout.
In Saskatoon, Luding likely slides into the depth chart behind sophomore Nolan Maier, 17.
The Thunderbirds, meanwhile, had two 19-year-old goaltenders on their roster, in Luding and Liam Hughes, who played in 36 regular-season games in 2017-18.
“We had two 19-year old goalies heading into this season and this trade will give Dorrin the chance to play more,” Bil La Forge, Seattle’s general manager, said in a news release.
It remains to be seen whether G Carl Stankowski is able to play for Seattle in 2018-19. You may recall that he missed all of 2017-18 with hip and health issues after starring in Seattle’s run to the WHL championship in the spring of 2017.
The Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds have cut ties with import players from last season, moves that will allow each team to pick twice in next week’s CHL import draft.
Jon Keen, the radio voice of the Blazers, tweeted on Thursday that the Blazers won’t be bringing back F Justin Sigrist, 19, who had three goals and seven assists in 50 games last season.
The Blazers’ other import last season was Czech D Ondrej Vala, who was traded to the Everett Silvertips in January.
Meanwhile, Andy Eide, who covers the Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN, reports that Russian F Nikita Malukhin won’t be back in Seattle. Malukhin, who will turn 18 on July 15, had five goals and four assists in 52 games last season.
F Sami Moilanen, who is from Finland, won’t be back in Seattle, either. Moilanen, 19, had 22 goals and 23 assists in 50 games last season, but has signed to play with Tappara in Finland’s top pro league, Liiga.
The CHL import draft is scheduled to be held on Thursday (June 28).
Although there hasn’t yet been an ‘official’ announcement, Willy Palov of the Halifax Chronicle Herald tweeted Thursday that “I’m hearing goalies are eligible again for the CHL import draft, effective immediately.” That is a move that had been rumoured since earlier this year.
The CHL chose to ban European goaltenders following the 2013 import draft.
Paul Danzer of the Portland Tribune has provided us with a Winterhawks-related notebook in which he touches on a number of things, including the organization’s work towards building a two-sheet practice facility in Beaverton, the purchase of NHL-related domain names and where D Henrik Jokiharju might play in 2018-19. That’s all right here.
The Brandon Wheat Kings announced Wednesday that they have sold 1,850 season-tickets for 2018-19, including 500 that were purchased in the past week as the club held its annual ‘Seat Moving Day’ at the Keystone Centre. According to a news release from the team: “This year’s sales numbers are well ahead of last year and represent the second-highest number of early-bird season-tickets in the past seven years.” The news release didn’t include any figures to back up those statements. . . . Last season, the Wheat Kings sold around 2,500 season-tickets and had an announced average attendance of 3,858.
The Winnipeg Jets have signed assistant coach Jamie Kompon to a two-year contract extension, according to a report Wednesday from Jeff Hamilton of the Winnipeg Free Press. . . . Kompon, 51, has spent two seasons on the Jets’ coaching staff after working as the general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks for two seasons (2014-16).