Month: May 2012

Penticton-Westside Trade:

With only seven players eligible to return for 2012-13, the RBC Cup champion Penticton Vees started to reload for next season with their first trade of the summer.

It’s a little surprising, but the Westside Warriors swung a pretty big deal with the Vees, sending forward Travis Blanleil to Penticton for future considerations. The reason why I say it’s surprising is that often teams don’t like to trade within their division, knowing that the player they’ve dealt away could come back and burn them upwards of eight times during the season.

I like the deal for Penticton (depending on what the futures are, of course) because Blanleil has put up decent points in the BCHL as a 16-and-17 year old and could definitely be poised for a breakout year with the Vees as an  18-year-old.

To Penticton:
F Travis Blanleil (94)
To Westside:
Future Considerations

Here’s the release from the Vees website:

The Penticton Vees Junior Hockey Club is pleased to announce the acquisition of forward Travis Blanleil (94) from the Westside Warriors for Future Considerations.

Blanleil, 18, has just completed his second season in the BCHL with the Warriors, registering 15 goals and 32 points in 57 games. The Kelowna native is a veteran forward, playing in over 100 games despite only turning 18 this past March. Blanleil entered the BCHL with the Warriors as a 16 year-old in the fall of 2009 after graduating from the Okanangan Rockets Major Midget program.

Vees Head Coach & GM, Fred Harbinson likes what Blanleil brings to the Vees; “Travis adds another veteran presence to our line-up and that’s crucial considering how many players we’re graduating to college.  He’s a speedy forward who has a nose for the net and poses an underrated skill-set.”

In 113 career games, Blanleil has fashioned together 24 goals and 57 points, accompanied by 92 penalty-minutes. Travis is the second Blanleil to play junior hockey, his older brother Chad split three seasons between the BCHL and AJHL.

Vees fans will get their first look at the newest Vee in August when the Vees hold their annual Junior Prep Camp, the precursor to training camp.


Here’s the release from the Warriors website:

The Westside Warriors have traded the rights of forward Travis Blanleil (94) to the Penticton Vees for future considerations.

Blanleil just completed his second season with the Warriors registering 15 goals and 32 points in 57 games. The Kelowna native is a veteran forward with two years experience in the BCHL.

“Travis was a good player on and off the ice for 2 years with us.  We wish him nothing but success in all his future endeavours,” says Warriors Head Coach/GM Rylan Ferster.

In 113 career games, Blanleil tallied 24 goals and 57 points, and 92 penalty-minutes.  

Junior A Supplement Extended Two More Seasons, Stronger Penalties Coming:

In addition to the news that Vernon was awarded the host of the 2014 RBC Cup, another impacting development is the extension of the Junior A Supplement. 
It appears that in addition to the Supplement being extended, even stronger regulations are coming down the pike. Here’s the portion of the release from Hockey Canada at the conclusion of its AGM this past weekend:
Developments at this year’s AGM included:
• the loyalty program/ Club Hockey Canada on schedule for a 2012-13 launch;
• continued progress and discussion on a renewed governance framework being developed for 2014;
• the Junior A pilot program for 2011-12 has been extended for two years for further research, with the immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence;

• branch updates, constructive discussion and positive feedback on the implementation of the zero tolerance contact to the head rules in minor and female hockey across Canada in 2011-12;
• updates on Hockey Canada’s priorities: recruitment and retention, technology and e-learning.
As a refresher, back in August of 2010, the Canadian Junior Hockey League released this announcement regarding the supplement:
A group of five Member Leagues within the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) are proud to announce an unprecedented joint effort to eliminate violence and bullying from Junior A hockey. 
This initiative has developed from a partnership between the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL), who have formed together to create the Junior A Supplement, which will be launched as a pilot project in the 2010-2011 CJHL Season.
The Junior A Supplement has been created to protect junior-aged hockey players by addressing actions such as Blows to the Head, Dangerous Hits, Accumulated Major Penalties, Accumulated Misconducts, Instigating and Unnecessary Fighting. The supplement increases team, coach and player accountability through the tracking of repeat offenders, increased suspensions and significant financial penalties. It builds on the progressive regulations undertaken over the past decade by the participating Leagues and Branches to reduce bullying and violence from Junior A Hockey in Canada. 
The pilot project was developed as a response to the implementation of Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which calls for an automatic game misconduct whenever a major penalty for fighting is assessed. The participating Member Leagues have gone one step further by targeting the types of dangerous plays that often result in fights and other types of violence. The Leagues within the pilot project will not be subject to Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which will be implemented across the remainder of the Leagues in CJHL.
“The five Member Leagues involved in the creation of the Junior A Supplement have taken a tremendous step in the effort to reduce and eliminate violence and bullying in Junior A hockey,” said AJHL President Craig T. Cripps. “Our League and its teams, coaches and players are committed to providing a safe environment for every player while also maintaining an exciting, physical brand of hockey on the ice.”
The Junior A Supplement has been developed in cooperation with the provincial branches of BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba, Hockey North, Hockey Nova Scotia, Hockey P.E.I. and Hockey New Brunswick. 
The two-year pilot project will compare data from the participating leagues using the Junior A Supplement and a control group using Hockey Canada Playing Rule 6.7. The data will determine whether fighting is reduced in the Junior A game by ejecting a player for his first fighting major and the effect on other aggressive and violent behaviour.
The CJHL called the supplement a success last year with this article, posted on its website in July 2011:
The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) has declared the Junior A Supplement Pilot Project a success after in-depth review of the new initiative. In August 2010, a group of five member Leagues within the Canadian Junior Hockey League showcased an exceptional commitment to player safety with the announcement of a joint effort to eliminate violence and bullying from Junior A hockey. The League Presidents and Commissioners recently met in Calgary, Alberta to discuss potential revisions to the Junior A Supplement for the 2011-2012 season and further review the successful results of year one.
The Junior A Supplement is an unprecedented joint initiative between the CJHL and Hockey Canada. The Junior A Supplement was created to protect junior-aged hockey players by addressing actions such as blows to the head, dangerous hits, accumulated major penalties, instigators and unnecessary fighting.
“At the start of the 2010-2011 season we implemented an innovative, proactive and responsible approach to addressing player safety issues facing hockey today, including head shots and dangerous hits,” said CJHL Chairman Kirk Lamb. “The CJHL and its leagues were ahead of the curve and we have since seen other leagues, such as the NHL and the CHL, follow suit in implementing more focused and rigid regulations relating to these issues. Player safety is a concern at all levels of hockey, for a variety of different reasons, and the CJHL broke new ground with the Junior A Supplement and has set new standards – not only in Junior A hockey, but for sport at all levels.”
The fundamental themes surrounding the Junior A Supplement are safety, education and communication. The Junior A Supplement increases team, coach and player accountability through the tracking of repeat offenders, increased suspensions and significant financial penalties. The Junior A Supplement dramatically heightened the awareness of issues surrounding player safety and dangerous hits throughout the League, including the players, game officials, coaches, media and fans.
Publications regarding the new Junior A Supplement were strategically dispersed at the onset of the 2010-2011 season to ensure all participants were educated of the pilot project and to further increase the chances of success. Players and game officials received handbooks created specifically to address their participation in the project. All coaches were also required to sign a ‘Coaches Code of Conduct’ which outlines their responsibility to the initiative and a commitment to player safety.
The five leagues involved in the Junior A Supplement experienced several positive advancements throughout the first year of the pilot project. Leagues could now clearly identify trends and repeat offenders and can also confirm that only a small percentage of players are repeating what would be considered dangerous acts. The Junior A Supplement forced these players to alter their behavior in a positive way. Staged fights and multiple fight situations were all but eliminated, and players participating in six or more fights throughout the season declined substantially across all leagues.
Competitiveness within the League from top to bottom increased in 2010-2011, “The quality of play and skill exhibited within the MJHL this past season was the best the League has seen in the past ten years,” stated Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) Commissioner Kim Davis.
The participants within the Junior A Supplement include the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). The two-year pilot project will compare data from the participating leagues using the Junior A Supplement and a control group from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) using Hockey Canada Playing Rule 6.7. The data will determine whether fighting is reduced in the Junior A game by ejecting a player for his first fighting major and the effect on other violent behavior.

Vernon Awarded 2014 RBC Cup Tournament:

For the fourth time ever, the RBC Cup National Junior ‘A’ championship tournament will be hosted by a BCHL franchise after Hockey Canada announced that Vernon was awarded the 2014 tournament at its AGM in Halifax this past weekend.

Nanaimo hosted in 1998, Prince George in 2007 and Victoria in 2009 and host BCHL teams have never won the championship. Vernon (then known as the Lakers) has hosted and won the Junior ‘A’ championship tournament before, in 1990 when it was called the Centennial Cup. 
Obviously this is a huge recruiting tool for the Vipers as any players committing to them, especially for the 2013-14 season, knows that they may have the chance to compete for a national championship. 
Vernon is the most successful team at the RBC Cup since it began in 1996, winning four out of 17 titles. 
Here’s the media release from Hockey Canada, with the portion regarding the RBC in bold: 
HOCKEY CANADA’S 93RD ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING CONCLUDES IN HALIFAX, N.S.
HALIFAX, N.S. – Hockey Canada’s 93rd Annual General Meeting (AGM), attended by more than 250 delegates from across the country, wrapped up Sunday at the Westin Nova Scotian after three days of discussion about what will benefit the growth and development of Canada’s game.
Hockey Canada’s 2012 AGM brought together the governing body’s board of directors, officers, life members, partner organizations and representation from all 13 branches, as well as from councils that oversee female hockey, junior hockey, minor hockey, senior hockey and hockey development.
The board, as elected for the 2012-13 season, will be comprised of the 13 branch presidents, as well as:
Chairman: Michael J. Bruni, QC (Calgary, Alta.)
Executive vice-chair: Jim Hornell (Grand Falls, N.L.)
Officers:
Claude Allain (Gatineau, Que.)
Michael Brind’Amour (St-Charles-Borromée, Que.)
Joe Drago (Sudbury, Ont.)
Terry Ledingham (Bon Accord, Alta.)
Ed Pupich (Schumacher, Ont.).
Past chair: Ken Corbett (Winnipeg, Man.)
Directors:
Joanne Hughes, Female Council (Cole Harbour, N.S.)
Barry Reynard, Hockey Development Council (Dawson Creek, B.C.)
Karen Phibbs, Junior Council (London, Ont.)
John Clements, Minor Council (Burlington, Ont.)
Dean Filane-Figliomeni, Senior Council (Schreiber, Ont.)
Ron Robison, Canadian Hockey League (Calgary, Alta.)
Advisor: James Mays, referee-in-chief (Prince Albert, Sask.)
Appointees:
Caroline Ouellette, female athlete representative (Montreal, Que.)
Gord Sherven, male athlete representative (Weyburn, Sask.)
Jean Labonté, sledge hockey representative (Ottawa, Ont.)
The Hockey Canada AGM delegates also recognized and thanked departing branch presidents and board members Shannon Bell (BC Hockey), Tom Donovan (Hockey New Brunswick), Brian Franklin (Hockey Manitoba) and Gene Power (Hockey P.E.I.), as well as one member of the advisory council Murray Costello (international director/IIHF Council member),
Developments at this year’s AGM included:
• the loyalty program/ Club Hockey Canada on schedule for a 2012-13 launch;
• continued progress and discussion on a renewed governance framework being developed for 2014;
• the Junior A pilot program for 2011-12 has been extended for two years for further research, with the immediate addition of stronger regulations to reduce fighting and on-ice violence;
• branch updates, constructive discussion and positive feedback on the implementation of the zero tolerance contact to the head rules in minor and female hockey across Canada in 2011-12;
• updates on Hockey Canada’s priorities: recruitment and retention, technology and e-learning.
Host communities approved by Hockey Canada’s board of directors at the 2012 Hockey Canada AGM, subject to final agreements with host communities, were:

• 2014 Esso Cup – Stoney Creek/Hamilton, Ont.
• 2014 RBC Cup – Vernon, B.C.

Hockey Canada’s Annual General Meeting kicked off Thursday, May 24 and included a banquet on the evening of Friday, May 25 that honoured nine deserving award recipients who have all had a significant impact on the hockey community.
The 2013 Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting will be hosted in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
For more information on Hockey Canada, its teams, events and programs, please visit www.HockeyCanada.ca

Merritt-Langley Trade:

The Merritt Centennials and Langley Rivermen have hooked up on the biggest trade (thus far) of the BCHL off-season as Jakob Reichert (93) is off to the Fraser Valley while Austin Plevy (94) and Sebastien Pare (93) will play out of the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in 2012-13.
The deal is a straight 2-for-1 move that sees the Rivermen add size and a hometown player to their roster, as well as make some room at least one of the new players they’ve recruited while the Centennials acquire some much needed offence following the graduation of Evan Stack and Chad Brears.
Although the trade hasn’t been officially approved by the BCHL, that’s the only stumbling block preventing the deal from going through. Commissioner John Grisdale is at CJHL meetings in Halifax and he rubber stamps each deal, so it’s expected that league approval is nothing more than a formality.

Here’s how it breaks down:

To Merritt:
F Austin Plevy (94)
http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=51845
F Sebastien Pare (93)
http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=51836
To Langley:
F Jakob Reichert (93)
http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=93547 I had the chance to talk to Centennials Head Coach & GM Luke Pierce about the trade:

Vernon Vipers Hire Two New Assistant Coaches:

Following the dismissal of Chris Shaw as assistant coach earlier this month, Vernon Vipers GM and Head Coach Jason Williamson has firmed up his coaching staff for the 2012-13 season.

Here’s the release from the Vipers website:

The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club is pleased to announce the signing of two assistant coaches for the upcoming season. The Vipers have signed Jason Read and David Robinson.

Jason Read who currently resides in Calgary Alberta has an extensive coaching background.  He has been coaching for 18 years and primarily works with the defense. Read has most recently been working with the Calgary Royals Midget AAA program. Before that he worked in the BCHL with Victoria and has also worked with the midget AAA program in Kelowna.

David Robinson is well known to Vernon residents. He is a local product and has captained the Vipers to their most recent RBC appearance. Dave is looking to start a new chapter in his life and is very excited to be a part of his hometown team.

Coach Williamson says “The addition of both Jason and Dave solidifies the coaching staff for the future.  Both guys will greatly help our organization grow and be integral parts of our success going forward. I am very excited to be able to work with these two class guys in the future.”

For further information please contact the Vipers office at 250-542-6022.

Three BCHL Players Selected in 2012 USHL Entry Draft:

The US Hockey League held its’ annual Entry Draft today and when the dust settled after 23 rounds, three current BCHL players were chosen. 
It remains to be seen whether or not these players jump to the USHL for 2012-13, but if they did, their current BCHL team would continue to hold their Canadian Junior ‘A’ rights.
Last season, players like Max Vallis (Merritt), Casey Bailey (Alberni Valley), Anderson White (Quesnel/Chilliwack) and Kenney Morrison (Alberni Valley) were all selected in the USHL Entry Draft and subsequently made the move south of the border for the 2011-12 season.

Penticton F Wade Murphy (93) – 3rd Round, 40th overall to the Green Bay Gamblershttp://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=48368Surrey F Brandon Morley (94) – 17th Round, 253rd overall to the Lincoln Starshttp://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=59971
Langley F Austin Plevy (94) – 21st Round, 303rd overall to the Des Moines Buccaneers http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=51845

Former Merritt Centennials Defenceman Don Nachbaur Named Assistant Coach for Canada’s 2013 World Junior Team:

 (Nachbaur is third from the left in this photo from Hockey Canada)

Another former BCHL player is making waves in the coaching world as Don Nachbaur, who played for the Merritt Centennials in 1976-77, has been named as an assistant coach for Canada’s entry at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship.

Here’s Nachbaur’s stats as a player:

http://www.eliteprospects.com/iframe_player_stats.php?player=31139 Here’s the release from Hockey Canada’s website:

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Steve Spott (Waterloo, Ont.), head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers, will be head coach of Canada’s National Junior Team for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013 in Ufa, Russia.
Spott will be joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches Mario Duhamel (St-Bruno, Que./Drummondville, QMJHL), Don Nachbaur (Kitimat, B.C./Spokane, WHL) and André Tourigny (Nicolet, Que./Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL).
Steve Spott, 44, will be making his fifth appearance on a Team Canada coaching staff and second with Canada’s National Junior Team; Spott was an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a silver medal. He won gold as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, served as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team at the 2009 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, finishing fourth, and with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka in 2008, winning a gold medal. Spott was Ontario’s head coach at the 2000 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, winning a silver medal, and at the 1999 Canada Winter Games, finishing fourth. The head coach and general manager of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers since 2008, Spott has been with the organization since 2001, starting as an assistant coach. While with Kitchener, Spott won the Memorial Cup in 2003 as an assistant coach and finished as runner-up in 2008.
Mario Duhamel, 37, will make his first appearance with Canada’s National Junior Team. He won gold at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team in his lone previous Team Canada experience. Duhamel has been head coach of the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs for the past three seasons. Prior to joining the Voltigeurs, he was an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies from 2005-09, and served as an assistant coach with Quebec at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Port Alberni, B.C., finishing fifth.
Don Nachbaur, 53, will make his first appearance with Canada’s National Junior Team. He has twice won gold as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team, at the 1999 Four Nations Cup and 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament. Nachbaur has been head coach of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs since the start of the 2010-11 season, and has also been a head coach in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1994-2000) and Tri-City Americans (2003-09), winning the WHL Coach of the Year award in 1994-95 and 2007-08. He was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms from 2000-02 and head coach of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators in 2009-10.
André Tourigny, 37, will be an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team for the third time after earning silver medals at the 2010 and 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships. Tourigny was also an assistant coach with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2008 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament, winning a gold medal. He has been head coach of the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies since 2001, winning the QMJHL Coach of the Year award.
This year, the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge will replace Canada’s National Junior Team summer development camp. The four-game series will be played Aug. 9-10 in Yaroslavl, Russia, and Aug. 13-14 in Halifax, N.S. More information on the series, including rosters and practice schedules, will be announced at a later date.