Month: July 2011

Former Centennials Forward Mike Ouellette Signs With EHC Linz:

The third Cents alumni to sign a new pro contract for the 2011-12 season is former rookie of the year Mike Ouellette.

Here’s the release from the Centennials website:


Merritt, BC – July 23, 2011

The Merritt Centennials would like to congratulate alumni Mike Ouellette after signing with the EHC LIWEST Black Wings Linz of the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga for the 2011-12 season.

Ouellette, who was BCHL Interior Conference Rookie of the Year in 2001, spent the 2010-11 season with the Graz 99ers of the Austrian League, leading the team in scoring with 55 points in 54 games. His totals also placed him 11th overall in league scoring. The 29-year-old has 103 points in 106 career games in the Austrian Erste Bank Eishockey Liga.

The Kamloops product is a veteran of 149 AHL games and 75 ECHL games over four pro seasons. Ouellette received a scholarship while playing for the Centennials and played four years at Dartmouth College after graduating from the BCHL in 2001.

Former Centennials Forward Wade MacLeod Signs With AHL’s Springfield Falcons:

I missed this earlier this month, but former Cents forward Wade MacLeod is one step closer to playing in the NHL after signing a one-year contract with the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.

Here’s a video of Wade’s first pro goal and assist during his first game with the Falcons last season.

Here’s an excerpt from the release from the Falcons website pertain to MacLeod’s signing:

Springfield, MA – The Springfield Falcons, proud members of the American Hockey League, announced today that forwards Aaron Bogosian, Wade MacLeod and Mike Thomas have all signed standard American Hockey League contracts for the 2011-12 season. All three players are currently at the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Development Camp from June 28 – July 2.

MacLeod also started his pro career with the Falcons last season after completing his collegiate career with Northeastern University. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Coquitlam, British Columbia scored his first pro goal in his pro debut on March 23, 2011 at Hartford.

MacLeod led the Huskies in scoring three straight years from 2008-2011. He set career highs last year in goals (22), assists (23), and points (45) in 38 games. In 149 career games at Northeastern, he registered 61 goals, 76 assists good for 137 points.

Former Centennials Forward Dustin Johnson Signs With CHL’s Evansville Icemen:

Three former Centennials forwards have signed new pro contracts for the 2011-12 season, one happened just this week and the other two were earlier in the off-season, but I missed posting them.

First, Dustin Johnson played out his junior hockey eligibility this past season with Merritt and Victoria (and the KIJHL’s Nelson Leafs) and has signed with the Evansville Icemen of the Central Hockey League.

Johnson had 134 points in 150 career BCHL games, including 111 points in 110 games with the Centennials prior to his trade to the Grizzlies last November, which saw Merritt acquire Lino Chimienti in a complicated three-way deal that also involved Grande Prairie of the AJHL.

Here’s an excerpt from the release from the Evansville Icemen’s website that pertains to Johnson (check out the interesting writing style):

Activity continues to abound around the summer off-season agenda for the Evansville IceMen of the Central Hockey League; especially with the eagerly anticipated move into the new state-of-the-art Downtown Evansville Arena. Team roster building continues to be listed quite prominently as a top priority as the 2011-12 CHL pro hockey season approaches.

With his own marching orders firmly in hand, the IceMen General Manager/Coach Rich Kromm has announced on this date the contract signings of two more player personnel to increase the club’s current roster to 13-players with more on the way. The latest to affix their respective signatures to the Evansville dotted line are defenseman NICK SCHNEIDER and rookie right wing DUSTIN JOHNSON. Both players have inked one-year pacts effective with the 2011-12 CHL season. Adhering to club policy, terms of the two contracts were not disclosed.

JOHNSON, 21, will be broaching his initial season in the professional ranks, armed with the reputation for goal-cannoneering prowess. The 6-2, 200lb right wing is a product of the Western Canadian junior ‘A’ circuit, the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League) where his goal scoring exploits became evident and prevalent. In 2010-11, starring for the Victoria Grizzlies of the BCHL, he cannonaded a prolific, team-best 9-goals in 10-playoff games, totaling 12-points in all. In the two preceding seasons, the native of Penticton, BC topped his Merritt Centennials BCHL squadron in goal scoring artistry. In 2009-10, both his 35-goals and 67-points in 52-games were team-foremost while in 2008-09, his 23-snipes were best and his 35-total points ranked team runner-up.

Coach Kromm expounded on the promise and potential of his new right wing. “Dustin is a young guy who has always carried with him the ability to score. He is a proven goal-scorer who has a big shot and good size. Throughout his junior ‘A’ career, and for that matter, wherever he has played he has possessed the knack of scoring goals. He will now be given a great chance to do this at the pro level.”

In addition to his experience in both Victoria and Merritt, Johnson also saw action in the same BCHL with the Nanaimo Clippers in 2007-08 when he authored 7-points in 22-games on 4-goals, 3-assists. In his last 110-games in the BCHL, he has connected on 67-goals and 114-total points.

(I should note that Johnson confirmed to me that he didn’t play with the Canberra Knights of the AIHL this past season, it was a different player with the same name)

Former Vernon Vipers Captain Kevin Kraus Hired as Assistant Coach by KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies:

The KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies have hired former Vernon Vipers captain Kevin Kraus as their assistant coach.

Here’s the article from the KIJHL’s website:

The Revelstoke Grizzlies organization is proud to announce the addition of Kevin Kraus as an Assistant Coach. Kevin will be joining new Head Coach Randy Quackenbush and Associate Coach Darren Komonoski.

Drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2004.
2006-2007 Kamloops Blazers ,WHL
2007-2008 Tri City Americans, WHL
2007-2008 Vernon Vipers BCHL
2008-2009 Vernon Vipers BCHL
2009-2010 Vernon Vipers (Captain) BCHL
2010-2011 CHL & SPHL Pro Hockey

Kevin was a hard working player who has won 2 National Championships with the Vernon Vipers. Kevin was the Vipers Team Captain in the 2009-2010 Season.

We are extremely excited to have Kevin with our organization.

Former Langley Lords Forward Ryan Walter to be Named Abbotsford Heat President:

Photo courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Former Langley Lords forward Ryan Walter is reportedly the new president of the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat.

Here’s the article from Cam Tucker of the Abbotsford Times:

The wait is over. Just 14 days after former Abbotsford Heat president and CEO Tom Mauthe officially resigned his position, the team will announce his replacement at a press conference Tuesday morning.

There are reports that Ryan Walter will be named the team’s new president, however the Heat are not officially releasing any more information until the press conference.

Walter seems to be the obvious choice for president, especially given the family connection.

The Calgary Flames recently signed his son, Ben, to a two-way contract and it’s likely he will begin the season with the Heat.

The announcement comes at a critical time for the AHL franchise and farm club of the Calgary Flames, as it enters its third season of operation.

While the numbers aren’t official yet, the Heat and the City of Abbotsford are expected to announce a projected $1.2 million shortfall from last season, which the city and local taxpayers will have to subsidize.

The main reason why the team is expected to fall short of the $5.7 million in guaranteed revenue for the local ownership is overall fan attendance.

The Heat have finished each of their first two seasons in the bottom third in overall average attendance, although after combining with the city towards the end of last season to market the team more effectively, the number of fans began to increase.

As for Mauthe, who originally came to the Heat from Orca Bay, he has agreed to stay on to help the new president through the adjustment period.

Cents Seek Athletic Therapist/Equipment Manager:

I know this was posted back in May, but Cents coach and GM Luke Pierce asked me to repost it again due to the fact that he hasn’t found the right person for the position.

Here’s from the Cents website:

The Merritt Centennials have an immediate opening for an Athletic Therapist/Equipment Manager. The salary is minimum $2000 per month (negotiable) and the contract length is negotiable.

The Centennials appreciate all interest in the position, but only applicants considered for an interview will be contacted.

Applications are accepted by fax to (250) 378-3609, email to, or mail to Merritt Centennials, Human Resources, P.O. Box 1730, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8, (Attn: Luke Pierce)

Job Description

Role and Responsibilities

The Athletic Therapist/Equipment Manager is a key part of the success of the Merritt Centennials Hockey Club, contributing to the health and readiness of the players and working with the coaching staff to ensure optimal performance.

* Coordinate and implement all medical, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning activities
* Responsible for equipment inventory tracking, maintenance and distribution
* Responsible for injury prevention and assessment

Qualifications and Education Requirements

Preferred experience with hockey teams or other team related sports. Applicants must have the following qualifications:

* Certified Athletic Therapist
* Bachelor’s Degree or Diploma: Kinesiology or related program preferred

The following credentials are preferred but not essential:

* NSCA CSCS certification
* Hockey Canada ‘Speak Out’ and ‘Safety’ Programs

Preferred Skills

Working knowledge of modality unit preferred. Applicants must be committed to working in team environment and proven ability to handle multiple tasks and responsibilities.

Cents Booster Club Announces AGM:

One of the most important groups that ensures the survival of the Centennials year after year is the Booster Club. They’ve announced their annual general meeting for 2011, hope to see a big crowd there.

Here’s from the Cents website:


Merritt, BC – July 27, 2011

The Merritt Centennials Booster Club would like to invite all residents of the Nicola Valley to its Annual General Meeting on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 7 p.m. at the Ska-Lu-La Workshop at 1775 Coldwater Avenue.

The evening will consist of reports on booster club finances for the 2010-11 fiscal year and the election of the 2011-12 Board of Directors. Nominations for the Board of Directors will be permitted from the floor during the meeting.

“We’d like to hear from you even if you only have a few spare hours a month to donate, any amount of volunteer time is a huge help,” said Cents Booster Club President Betty Doberstein. “As part of our fundraising, we do catering and bar services for any event, and even have a full supply of dishes for rent at a reasonable rate.”

For further information, please contact Cents Booster Club President Betty Doberstein at 250-378-6940 or or Secretary Rusty Brewer at 250-378-4744 or