Monday, June 13, 2016

BCHL News & Trades:

I found these press releases off team websites, twitter accounts, blogs or online. All Vipers news-trades are posted on this blog as soon as released-announced.

BCHL News & Trades:

Antisin Leaves Silverbacks:

The group that owns the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks — Salmon Arm Sports Inc. Is proud to announce that we have secured a Tier 3 Jr A franchise in the RMJHL. The team is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and is home to former Backs alumni Andrew Farny. At a Press Conference held today in front of a capacity crowd at the Olympian Hall in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, it announced it would compete in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League (RMJHL) starting in the fall of 2016. “With a passionate fan base for high school hockey, community support, and high-quality facilities, it provides the perfect fit to become a top-quality organization in the RMJHL”, Stated Troy Mick. “They are a perfect fit inside our existing footprint and the early support from both the community and town council has been overwhelming” explained RMJHL Commissioner Mike Gempeler. “With natural ski-town rivalries already established with Breckenridge and Aspen, the game day atmosphere with be through the roof and there will be no better place to play junior hockey.” The new team will play out of beautiful Howelsen Arena, an Olympic sized rink with the capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 loud fans. With the news today Backs assistant Coach Misko Antisin resigned from the club and will be the 1st ever GM/Head Coach in Steamboat. “I have mixed emotions right now I am sad that I won't be back with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks team this coming season”, I am going to miss the players’ fans and most of all the staff who work so hard everyday to make this proud organization run so smoothly. The Silverbacks wish to Thank Misko for his time in Salmon Arm and we are a better organization because of him. We look forward to working with him in Steamboat. The Silverbacks will begin the search for a new assistant coach for this coming season immediately.

Clippers To Hold Press Conference:

The Nanaimo Clippers will be holding a Press Conference on Wednesday June 8, 2016 at 10 am in the Upper Mezzanine at the Frank Crane Arena.  The Major Announcement at this Press Conference will involve a former NHL Player, who resides in Nanaimo,  joining the Club’s current Ownership Group in the position of Team President and League Governor.  We will also have some other team business to update the Media on.  This Press Conference will be open to the Public.

Marshall, Cosgrove & Moore Commit To Bulldogs:

Coming off two very successful spring identification camps, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs announce the first round of committed players for the 2016/17 campaign. Henry Marshall, a 6’1, 175lbs, forward from New Canaan, CT, had a breakout season at Choate Rosemary Hall this season with 29 points in 28 games. Marshall is committed to the NCAA Division I program at Colgate for 2017/18. Trevor Cosgrove, a 6’1, 182lbs, defenseman, comes to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. Cosgrove spent the last four seasons at Exeter. The SB*Nation College Hockey blog describes Cosgrove as a steady defenseman with good mobility. The solid defenseman helped lead Exeter to a 26-4-1 record in 2015/16. After being recruited by several NCAA Division I programs, Cosgrove, too, committed to Colgate for the 2017/18 season. Last but not least, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs have also committed to 1998-born standout forward Augustine “Auggie” Moore from Edina, MN. Moore had a breakout season with Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in the United Stats High School (USHS) league, putting up 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) in 25 games. Moore followed that performance up with an additional 4 points in 2 playoff games. Moore was the captain of Benilde-St. Margaret this season. “I am extremely excited to become a part of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs organization,” said Auggie Moore. “I look forward to coming to Port Alberni and being a Bulldog next year.” “These three players are great additions to an already strong and exciting group of returning players from the 2015/16 season,” said Alberni Valley Bulldogs head coach and general manager Kevin Willison. “We are as excited about adding Henry, Trevor, and Auggie to our program as our fans will be watching them next season.” These are the first three commitments the Bulldogs have announced. The team will announce additional commitments within the next week. The Alberni Valley Bulldogs are very excited to welcome Henry, Trevor, and Auggie to the Bulldogs family. Fans had a chance to see Marshall and Cosgrove at the Bulldogs Port Alberni spring identification camp. All three players will be reporting to the team in mid-August.

Merritt-Nanaimo Trade:

The Merritt Centennials have acquired veteran forward, 1996 born Chris Dodero from the Naniamo Clippers. This trade finalizes the deal Joe Martin made on this past season’s trade deadline of January 10th. Dodero finished the regular season in Nanaimo with 14 goals and 21 assists, then added 4 goals and 2 assists in a 14 game playoff run. “Acquiring Chris is a big statement for us, he is a player we targeted when making the trade with Nanaimo. He will be provided with an opportunity to finish his junior hockey career in a pivotal place inside our lineup. He already has chemistry with Zach Court and we’re hoping the two of them has something to prove come September. We welcome Chris and the Dodero family to the Centennial organization.”  Joe Martin-Head Coach.

Rivermen Forced Out Of Langley Events Centre, As Vancouver Giants Move In:

The Vancouver Giants, long rumoured to be moving from the Pacific Coliseum to Langley Events Centre, have called a news conference at the LEC for Tuesday morning. They’re expected to announce that they’ll play the majority of the 2016-17 Western Hockey League season at the seven-year-old rink, which lists capacity at 5,276. Various sources say the club will also announce that it will play at least two of its 36 regular-season home games at the 17,150-seat Coliseum, including the traditional Teddy Bear Toss contest. They are expected to keep the Vancouver Giants name. The team is still hunting for a coach to replace Lorne Molleken, who was fired with two games left in the regular season, and for a general manager to replace Scott Bonner, who resigned in December but stayed on until the end of the season. Vancouver finished 2015-16 league play at 23-40-5-4, which left them last in the 10-team Western Conference, 20 points shy of a playoff spot. The Giants have the second pick in the WHL bantam draft, which goes Thursday in Calgary. Director of player personnel Jason Ripplinger, who recently had his contract extended, will run the proceedings for Vancouver there. The club has been based at the Pacific Coliseum, the former home of the Vancouver Canucks, every season since its inaugural 2001-02 campaign. They did play six games at the LEC during the 2010 Winter Olympics, when the Coliseum was being used for figure skating and short-track speedskating. They also played an exhibition game there before this season. According to various sources, the Giants will save $300,000 by moving to the suburban rink from the larger East Vancouver facility. Giants owner Ron Toigo was quoted as saying that he lost $400,000 in both 2012-13 and 2013-14. He hasn’t talked about finances for the past two seasons, but attendance has dropped in both campaigns. The Giants announced that crowds averaged 5,169 this past season. Business in Vancouver, thanks to figures obtained from Freedom of Information, reported in April that actual attendance worked out to 3,332 per game. Vancouver’s announced average attendance in the 2006-07 regular season was 8,760. They won the Memorial Cup national championship at the Coliseum that spring as the tournament host. Vancouver’s announced average in 2009-10 was 7,117. That was the last time the Giants won a playoff series. They have missed the playoffs three of the past four seasons and were swept in the first round in 2013-14. The Giants last won a playoff game in 2012, when they took a 2-0 lead on the Spokane Chiefs in the best-of-seven first round, then dropped four straight. That was Brendan Gallagher’s last season with the Giants. It will be interesting to see how long the deal with LEC is. Toigo hasn’t been shy about the possibility of eventually moving to Surrey. The Giants were one of the parties that approached Surrey about a public-private partnership to build a new rink near the Scott Road SkyTrain Station. Coun. Bruce Hayne said in January that none of the proposals met Surrey requirements, explaining that city refused to be “responsible for construction costs or operational losses.” Hayne did say that the city was willing to revisit the concept in the future. In moving to the LEC, the Giants will share arena space with the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Stealth. Oddly enough, Toigo balked heavily at the NLL moving into the Coliseum when Tom Mayenknecht was trying to restart the Vancouver Ravens in 2007. The Langley Rivermen, a B.C. Hockey League franchise that moved to Langley from Chilliwack in the 2006-07 season and began play at the LEC when it opened for the 2009-10 campaign, are expected to move to another rink.

Bast Returning To Vees-Named Assistant Captain:

The Penticton Vees confirmed Wednesday that veteran defenceman Gabe Bast (96) will return for the 2016-17 season. The University of North Dakota commitment registered six points in eight games this season, as he missed the majority of the year with a lower-body injury. The Red Deer, Alberta, product had 40 points in 49 regular season games in 2014-15, en route to being named the Vees’ Top Defenceman. Bast had another 13 points in 22 BCHL playoff games, helping the Vees capture the 2015 Fred Page Cup and 2015 Western Canada Cup. Bast will also wear a letter next season, as the team named him an Assistant Captain, joining Nic Jones (96) as part of the Vees’ leadership group. Jones was anointed the team’s Captain back in April. The Vees’ annual Spring Camp kicks-off tomorrow with fitness testing and runs right through Sunday at the SOEC. Six teams of prospects will play two games a day in front of the Vees’ brass. President, General Manager and Head Coach Fred Harbinson told the Penticton Western News it’s a chance for younger players to make an impression. “There are opportunities to get an invite to our main camp in August,” Harbinson said. “But we’re really looking to build our affiliate list for next year. Over the past few years, probably 85 per cent of the players who have played for the Vees attended our spring camp.”

Hayduk Wont Be Back With Bulldogs:

The Alberni Valley Bulldogs have opted not to renew assistant general manager/ coach Adam Hayduk's contract. Hayduk was with the team for five years. "In hockey and in business you are forced to make tough decisions in the long-term interests of the team," Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society president Ron Paulson said in a press release. "We wish Adam all the very best as he pursues new opportunities in the hockey world." Athletic trainer Damon Pugerude, whose contract was up this year, will also not return as the Bulldogs opted not to renew his contract. JT Ward will join the team in August and take on the athletic trainer and equipment manager role for the 2016-17 season. Head coach Kevin Willison and assistant coach Alex Evin will continue behind the bench this season.

Dupont Commits To Surrey:

The Surrey Eagles are proud to announce that 19-year-old Jacob Dupont of Phillips Exeter Academy has committed to play for the team in 2016-2017. Dupont is a skilled defenceman, who is listed at 6 feet, 185 pounds. Although he attended an American school, Dupont is Canadian, hailing from Waterloo, Quebec – which is east of Montreal. He made a very big impression on the coaching staff at Eagles spring camp, which was held April 15th to 17th. Head coach and general manager Blaine Neufeld was extremely pleased with what he saw. “He is head and shoulders above a lot of other players his age that are looking to come to the BCHL. I absolutely love his skating. It’s near a professional standard. We will be able to utilize him in key situations because of the bigger ice surface that we play on.” Although Dupont drew interest from multiple BCHL teams, coming to Surrey was an easy choice for him to make. “Surrey has beautiful scenery and a lot of things to do,” praised Dupont, in an interview with “I didn’t want to be in a smaller city in the middle of nowhere. I like the city life and Surrey can provide that for me. I really enjoy the view of the water and the climate is a lot nicer than in Montreal in the winter!” On top of his skating ability, Dupont sees his offensive mindset as another plus to his game. He possesses a powerful shot, and is a confident puck-mover, who is able to exit the defensive zone quickly. “Our staff feel like he’s a player that has a lot of potential. Personally, he reminds me of [former Eagles defenceman] Devon Toews,” said Neufeld. Dupont believes that he can contribute to a winning cause in his first season in the BCHL, and the Eagles are very excited that he has decided to bring his talent to the west coast. “I want to be a leader on and off the ice for my team. I work hard and always try to lead by example with a positive attitude. My main goal is to win.”

Silverbacks Give Mick Contract Extension:

The Board of Directors of Salmon Arm Sports Inc. are pleased to announce a five-year contract extension for team President and General Manager Troy Mick. We are very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Troy for multiple seasons. Troy is an energetic, accomplished and experienced hockey professional who has instilled a culture of hard work throughout our organization. Troy and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team's success over the last few seasons is a reflection of his excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our franchise. Troy Mick has proven himself as a leader who achieves success whether as a player or coach and has now demonstrated the same ability to succeed as a President and General Manager. “It is an honor to represent Salmon Arm for another 5 years” stated Mick, This is a beautiful community for Junior hockey and the fans here are truly amazing.

Wild Name Ecker New Play By Play Man:

The Wenatchee Wild is pleased to welcome Arch Ecker, who joins the franchise as a Sales person. Mr. Ecker will also handle Director of Media & Communications as well play-by-play radio broadcaster. Ecker brings 20 years of experience on the mic, having called nearly 1,200 games in the NAHL, AWHL, and AFHL. Wild fans may have heard him calling games in recent years when the Wild would travel to Topeka KS, where he was the voice of the Roadrunners for 10 seasons. Prior to that, he spent four seasons with the Helena Bighorns (NAHL, AWHL) and six seasons with the Butte Irish (AWHL, AFHL).  Said Wild GM/Head coach “Arch brings a wealth of experience to the Wild. He has worked almost every position in the front office over his career. On the air as a broadcaster he has turned himself into one of the best in the business. His sales skills will help drive season ticket and group sales.” Ecker is thrilled to be returning to the northwest, and particularly the Wenatchee Valley. “I was fortunate enough to come here three times with the Roadrunners, and to see first-hand how impressive the Wild operation is run”, Ecker said. “It’s a great honor, and I’m excited to get started.” His main role will be working on group and season ticket sales. Ecker will also handle the team’s media relations along with being the Wilds play by play radio person. Ecker is expected to join the Wild the end of May. With the restructuring of the Wilds front office look for some big news early next week.   Season ticket information will be sent out next week. The Wild will be having one of their spring tryout camps this weekend in Colorado. Look for news from the camp next week also.

Prince George-Cowichan Trade:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are pleased to announce the acquisition of 20 year old defenseman Connor Russell from The Cowichan Valley Capitals. The 6’2” 195 pound Russell is from Guelph Ontario and was acquired by The Spruce Kings as the future considerations portion of the January 10th trade between Prince George and Cowichan Valley that sent 19 year old forward Corey Hoffman to the Capitals. Last season with Cowichan Valley Connor Russell scored 3 goals and had 17 assists for 20 points to go along with 52 penalty minutes in 58 games played. “We are excited to add Connor to our organization. He is a big solid defenseman who can excel in both ends of the ice. He’s also a veteran player and a tremendous young man who will be leaned on heavily to provide leadership to our team on and off the ice” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. “I am looking forward to getting started in Prince George. I want to be a leader and a big part of helping the Spruce Kings turn things around this year to become a playoff contender” said newly acquired Spruce Kings defenseman Connor Russell. Connor Russell will join the rest of his Spruce Kings team mates just prior to the start of the team’s main training camp on August 25th.

Heerspink Commits To Silverbacks:

18 year old defenceman Jake Heerspink has committed to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks for next season. This past season with the AAA Regina Pats Heerspinks had 22 pts in 44 games.

Collins Commits To Clippers:

The Nanaimo Clippers are very pleased to announce that Jamie Collins has committed to play for the Team for the 2016-2017 season.  The 1997 born forward joins the Clippers after playing the past three seasons at the Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana.   During the 2015-2016 season the 5’8”, 160 lb, Fergus, Ontario native tallied 22 goals and 41 assists for 63 points in 49 games played.  Jamie is also committed to the NCAA Division 1 Clarkson Golden Knights in the ECAC league.

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