Blazers likely to move camp … Chiefs, ‘Tips add trainers … Ex-WHLers get ECHL deals

My camera doesn’t really do justice for a shot like this, but that’s the sun, which was blood red, setting over the hills east of Kamloops on Wednesday night.

As you can tell by the photo, it was another smoky day in Kamloops.

As mentioned previously, we live 20 km east of the city in an area known as Campbell Creek. There was a change in the smoke on Tuesday that carried over to Wednesday; oh, it’s still smoke, but it’s lower now than it had been; it lays in the trees and hovers just above water level in the South Thompson River.

There are rumblings that we may get a break from it as the weekend approaches, and I even heard something about scattered showers in the forecast for Saturday or Sunday. Yes, I will believe that when it happens.

In the meantime, you should know that if you go into the back country, start a campfire and get caught, the BC Conservation Officer Service will write you a ticket that will cost you $1,150. On the long weekend, the BCCOS wrote 19 such tickets. Seriously!


F Kruise Reddick (Tri-City, 2006-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). Last season, he had six goals and 13 assists in 52 games with Vita Hästen Norrköping (Sweden, Allsvenskan). . . .

D Linden Springer (Prince George, Portland, 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). Last season, with Lakehead University (OUA West), he had two goals and five assists in 23 games. . . .

D Petr Kuboš (Prince George, 1997-99) has signed a a tryout contract with Vsetín (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). Last season, he had three goals and 13 assists in 39 games with Tychy (Poland, PHL). Kuboš is from Vsetín.


The Kamloops Blazers may be forced out of the Sandman Centre for training camp and exhibition games. Radio NL, the longtime voice of the Blazers, reported Wednesday that the wildfire situation may necessitate a switch. The arena is being used as an evacuation centre and is housing evacuees. As Jon Keen, the play-by-play voice, tweeted, the “situation likely not improving the next month.” . . . Goalies are to report to camp on Aug. 22, with freshmen coming in Aug. 25 and veterans on Aug. 27. . . . According to Keen, the Blazers are preparing to hold training camp at the McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre or Memorial Arena. . . . Memorial Arena was the home of the Blazers before the opening of the Sandman Centre, which was then known as Riverside Coliseum. . . . The Blazers have two home exhibition games scheduled — against the Victoria Royals on Sept. 1 and the Kelowna Rockets on Sept. 9. According to the exhibition schedule on the WHL website, both games will be played at McArthur Island.


Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, wrote a piece over the weekend that carried this headline: When Shultz stirred the pot between Raiders and Blades. . . . The blog entry detailed goings-on leading up to and during a game between the Saskatoon Blades and hometown Prince Albert Raiders on Jan. 30, 2004. Chris Schlenker was a defenceman with the Raiders and found himself in the middle of some stuff in that game. . . . Steinke’s blog is right here.

Meanwhile, the Medicine Hat News carried a piece on Schlenker on Wednesday. If you aren’t aware, Schlenker, who was a WHL tough cookie, now is an NHL referee. The News’s story is right here.


Joseph Hurley is the Spokane Chiefs’ new head trainer and conditioning coach. He replaces Todd Daniels, who has left Spokane after nine years to join the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners. The Chiefs announced his departure on Monday. . . . Hurley, 28, spent last season with the NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls. He has an exercise and sports science degree from Coastal Carolina and graduated from Seton Hall with a master’s of science in athletic training in 2015. He was an assistant trainer with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers in 2015-16.


The Everett Silvertips have added Blake Draughon as their athletic trainer. He replaces Rob Tagle, who has joined the ECHL’s Worcester Railers, who are preparing for their first season. . . . Draughon, 28, has a bachelor of science from Texas Tech (2011) and graduated from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Centre with a master’s of science in athletic training in 2015. . . . He has training experience with Plainview, Texas, High School, and with Texas Tech, including with the Red Raiders football team. He also worked with the NHL’s Dallas Stars during their July 2014 development camp.


Marty Williamson, a veteran OHL coach, has been named interim head coach of the Brock U Badgers for 2017-18. The Badgers play out of St. Catharines, Ont. . . . Williamson, 54, replaces Murray Nystrom, who had coached the Badgers since 1998. . . . Williamson had been the general manager and head coach of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs, who also play out of St. Catharines for six seasons (2010-16). The IceDogs fired him in May 2016 despite the fact they made the playoffs in each of his six seasons and won two Eastern Conference championships.


The BCHL’s Vernon Vipers announced on Wednesday that they have signed F Alex Swetlikoff, 16, and F Josh Prokop, 17. . . . Swetlikoff, from Kelowna, was grabbed by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the third round of the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He has committed to Denver U for 2020-21. Last season, he had 19 goals and 26 assists in 28 games with the Yale Hockey Academy prep team in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. . . . Prokop, from Edmonton, was a fifth-round selection by the Swift Current Broncos in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. Last season, Prokop had 29 goals and 28 assists in 30 games with the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta X-Treme prep side. . . . “We feel like both of these players are major acquisitions for our hockey club,” Mark Vernon, the Vipers’ head coach, said, “and they will both be important pieces of the Vernon Vipers, not just for next season, but for the future as well. We are really excited.”

——

The Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, which is located in Wilcox, Sask., and is home to the Hounds, is looking for a hockey operations assistant who also would help out as an assistant coach with the junior A team that plays in the SJHL. A partial job description: “The hockey operations assistant is responsible for recruiting, co-ordinating and organizing the Spring Showcases and Summer Camps . . . while providing assistance with the fall camp operations. The individual in this position will work within the Hockey Office and related areas providing administrative support. The staff member in this position directly reports to the male hockey co-ordinator.” . . . There’s a lot more information right here.


The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars, who are the reigning champions, firmed up their coaching staff on Wednesday, naming Brandon Heck general manager and head coach, with Boyd Wakelin coming on board as assistant coach. . . . For the past four seasons, Heck, 32, has been the head coach of the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League’s Camrose Red Wings. From Forrestburg, Alta., he played junior A with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers and the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder, then spent four years playing for NCAA Division III Castleton, Vt., Spartans. . . . Heck replaces Nate Bedford, now the head coach of the Portage College Voyageurs in Lac La Biche, Alta. . . . Wakelin, 26, is from Battleford and is a former North Stars player.


F Patrick D’Amico, who played three seasons (2012-15) with the Regina Pats, has signed with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators. D’Amico, 22, is from Winnipeg. He played 50 games with Atlanta in 2015-16, putting up 13 goals and seven assists. Last season, he had six goals and 10 assists in 38 games with the ECHL’s Indy Fuel. . . . Meanwhile, the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads have re-signed D Corbin Baldwin for a third season. Baldwin, 26, spent four seasons (2008-12) with the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Sean Zimmerman, another former Spokane defenceman (2003-07), has signed with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears. He spent last season with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles. In fact, Zimmerman, 30, was the team captain as they won the Kelly Cup as ECHL champions.


If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).