Cougars release veteran goalie . . . Seattle drops veteran forward . . . Ex-WHLer has court date in Red Deer


MacBeth

F Andrei Grishakov (Calgary, Victoria, 2016-18) signed a one-year, two-way contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). The two-way deal is between Lada and its junior club, Ladia. Last season, he had 11 goals and 15 assists in 37 games with the Calgary Hitmen (WHL), and eight goals and five assists in 32 games with the Victoria Royals (WHL).


ThisThat

The Prince George Cougars have released G Tavin Grant, 20, after he cleared WHL PrinceGeorgewaivers. Grant, from Burnaby, B.C., got into 37 games with the Cougars last season, going 13-17-5, 3.74, .892, with one shutout. . . . He played 18 games with the Cougars in 2014-15 and one in 2015-16. All told, he was 16-23-5, 4.02, .880. . . . Taylor Gauthier, a 17-year-old preparing for his second season, is No. 1 on the Cougar’s depth chart. Last season, the Calgarian got into 32 games, going 8-18-3, 3.96, .885. Gauthier, a first-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, will play for Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. . . . Gauthier will be pushed by Isaiah DiLaura, 18, from Lakeville, Minn. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, He was 3-3-2, 3.94, .888 in 14 appearances.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have released F Blake Bargar, 20. From Torrance, Calif., he had Seattle11 goals and 13 assists in 58 games with Seattle last season. Prior to that, he played two seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors and one with the Victoria Royals. In 238 career regular-season games, he has 19 goals and 23 assists. . . . The move leaves Seattle with four 20-year-olds on its roster — F Zack Andrusiak, F Mike MacLean, F Noah Philp and F Nolan Volcan.


Jordan Hale, a former WHL player, is facing two charges — possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 — after the RCMP drug unit recently exercised search warrants in Red Deer. . . . He was among six people arrested and charged. . . . According to rdnewsNOW, the drug unit “conducted a series of search warrants and drug arrests over the past month, which resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine, GHB and fentanyl.” . . . Hale, 28, is from Lacombe, Alta. He played three seasons (2007-10) with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who selected him in the second round of the WHL’s 2005 bantam draft. . . . Hale is scheduled to be in court in Red Deer on Aug. 23. . . . The complete rdnewsNOW story is right here.


Troy Hickman is the new director of scouting with the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines, who play out of Russell, Man. Hickman also scouts for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and will continue in that role as he also works with the Wolverines. . . . Hickman, 37, played with the Wolverines as a 20-year-old. He is from Russell.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. She will celebrate the fifth anniversary on Sept. 23 by taking part in the Kamloops Kidney Walk. This will be the fifth time she has done the Kidney Walk; she has been the leading fund-raiser in Kamloops in each of the previous four years. . . . If you would like to support her this year, you may do so right here.


TheCoachingGame

Daren Machesney is the new goaltending coach with the OHL’s London Knights. He has spent the past four seasons as a goaltending scout with the Knights. . . . He takes over from Dave Rook, who is the goalie development coach with the NHL’s Nashville Predators.


The QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have added Stefan Legein to their front office as an assistant coach. . . . He will work alongside head coach Josh Dixon. . . . Last season, Legein worked with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads an an assistant/video coach.


Tweetoftheday

RCMP investigating ‘fire incident’ that left three players hospitalized . . . Royals sign first-round pick

MacBeth

F Tomáš Vincour (Edmonton, Vancouver, 2007-10) wasn’t offered a contract for this season after his one-week ‘introductory’ contract with Lukko Rauma (Finland, Liiga) expired on Sunday. Last season, with Brno (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 10 goals and 10 assists in 39 games.


ThisThat

RCMP in Cochrane, Alta., are investigating a Saturday night incident that resulted in three hockey players being taken to a Calgary hospital.

Matt Alfaro of the U of Calgary Dinos, along with Jordy Bellerive and Ryan Vandervlis, both of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, remained in hospital Sunday night, being treated for Lethbridgeburns suffered in what the RCMP termed a “fire incident” that occurred “at approximately 11:43 p.m.”

According to the RCMP news release:

“Cochrane RCMP, along with Rockyview Fire and EMS were dispatched to a structure fire in the Bearspaw area of Rockyview County, located approximately 10 km east of Cochrane.

“Upon arrival, it was determined that a substance was placed into a fire-pit that caused an explosion. No structures were involved or affected by the incident.

“Three people who were in the area of the fire-pit sustained burn injuries. . . . The injured persons were transported via ground ambulance to a Calgary hospital, where they are being treated for their injuries. . . .

“The investigation into this matter is ongoing.”

While the RCMP has yet to release the identities of the three injured players, the Hurricanes revealed on Saturday night that they are Bellerive, Alfaro and Vandervlis.

The three players are in the Foothills Medical Centre. According to a report by Evan Radford of StarMetro Calgary, a spokesperson for Calgary EMS said that “one of the three is critical, one is in serious, potentially life-threatening condition, and one is in serious, non-life-threatening condition.”

Bellerive, 19, finished the 2017-18 season as the Hurricanes’ captain. Last summer, he went to training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins and earned a three-year entry-level NHL contract.

On Sunday, the Penguins issued a news release that indicated assistant general manager Bill Guerin “has spoken with Bellerive, who is in good spirits and expected to make a full recovery.”

Bellerive is from North Vancouver, B.C.

Vandervlis, 20, is from Red Deer. His 2017-18 season was short-circuited when he underwent shoulder surgery in December.

Alafaro, 21, has played one season with the Dinos. From Calgary, he played in the WHL with the Kootenay Ice, before being traded to the Hurricanes during the 2016-17 season.


The Victoria Royals have signed D Nolan Bentham to a WHL contract. Bentham, who is from Victoria, was a first-round selection, 13th overall, in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Bentham played at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C., putting up five goals and 17 assists in 30 games with the bantam prep team. . . . He is the son of John Bentham, a defenceman who had three assists in 35 games with the WHL’s Victoria Cougars in 1989-90.

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The WHL teams that have signed 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

1 Edmonton — F Dylan Guenther.

2. Kootenay — D Carson Lambos.

3. Prince Albert — D Nolan Allan.

4. Calgary — F Sean Tschigerl.

5. Kamloops — F Logan Stankoven.

6. Saskatoon — F Colton Dach.

7. Red Deer — F Jayden Grubbe.

8. Lethbridge — F Zack Stringer.

11. Medicine Hat — F Cole Sillinger.

12. Vancouver — F Zack Ostapchuk.

13. Victoria — D Nolan Bentham.

14. Tri-City — D Marc Lajoie.

15. Brandon — F Jake Chiasson.

16. Red Deer — D Kyle Masters.

17. Spokane — D Graham Sward.

19. Portland — F Gabe Klassen.

20. Edmonton — D Keegan Slaney.

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The WHL teams that have yet to sign their 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

9. Prince George — F Craig Armstrong.

10. Seattle — F Kai Uchacz.

18. Kelowna — F Trevor Wong (committed to U of Denver, 2021-22).

21. Prince George — G Tyler Brennan.

22. Moose Jaw — F Eric Alarie.


In a news release following its annual general meeting in Vancouver last week, the WHL issued a news release that included this:

“The WHL took further measures to address player safety by introducing new supplemental discipline regulations and raising its standard on illegal checks to the head.”

Unfortunately, the WHL has yet to provide specifics. But anything less than a complete ban on headshots, including fighting, is a fail . . . a large fail.

If you’re wondering why, well, if you haven’t already seen it already, the always literate Ken Dryden wrote a piece for The Athletic on the NHL, commissioner Gary Bettman and its stance on concussions, CTE, checks to the head, etc.

Dryden’s essay is right here and it explains it all.


Josh Lee has signed on with the MJHL’s WayWayseecappo Wolverines as associate general manager and associate coach. Lee, 28, is from Edmonton. He will work under GM/head coach Taylor Harnett with the Wolverines.