Monday, May 1, 2017

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:

Wild Sign Arnold & Nagy:

The process of building the roster for the 2017-18 season took a solid step forward as the Wenatchee Wild, proud members of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announce the signings of Josh Arnold and Kade Nagy. The signings indicate the commitment to add the player to the teams BCHL Active Roster on June 1. Both players come from the highly-regarded Okanagan Hockey Academy Prep Red team and saw limited action as affiliate players with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks this past season. Josh Arnold is a 5’8”, 180 lb. ’99 birth year forward who hails from Cloverdale, BC, Canada and in 61 games over two seasons plus for OHA Prep Red, he recorded 89 points (36g, 53a). He scored his first Junior A goal and added an assist in his 6 regular season appearances with the Silverbacks. Kade Nagy was born in Calgary, AB, Canada but now calls Penticton, BC home. Also checking in at 5’8” and 180 lbs. as a ’99 birth year forward, Nagy collected 73 points (40g, 33a) in 64 games over the last two seasons with OHA Prep Red.  In his lone game as an affiliate with Salmon Arm, he scored a goal with the primary assist going to Josh Arnold. Associate Head Coach Tom Rudrud is excited about bringing the pair in together. “Arnold is a strong-skating, playmaking center and Nagy is a natural goal scorer who complements Arnold well”, he said. “Together, they create a lot of offense because of their ability to make plays.” The summer will be a busy one as the Wild prepare for their tenth season in the Wenatchee Valley, and third in the BCHL. The team has tryout camps scheduled this summer in California and Colorado in April, and one in Missouri in May. The team will also run a June camp in Wenatchee before the players report August 21 for the new season.

Proposed Nanaimo Event Centre Costs Top $850K

Nanaimo’s event centre referendum went more than 28 per cent over budget. A proposed event centre that residents voted against borrowing to build in March has cost the city an estimated $858,961 as of April 7, a city cost summary shows. The referendum had a $130,000 budget but rang in at $166,906. Nanaimo city council started to explore a potential sports and entertainment centre last year after naming it a strategic priority, hiring consultants to holding open houses with the public. It held a referendum in March on borrowing up to $80 million over 20 years to build the centre, which saw a 35.3 per cent voter turnout and 80.3 per cent of residents reject the borrowing. Victor Mema, city chief financial officer, told the News Bulletin in an e-mail that the difference between the budget and actual cost of the referendum is because of staffing and voting facilities. The city’s expense summary says costs will be finalized once all vendors have submitted their final invoices for payment. On Monday, city council rescinded the first three readings of a loan authorization bylaw, which triggered that referendum and if adopted, would have allowed the city to borrow the $80 million.

Grizzlies Ownership Gives GM/Coach Didmon Vote Of Confidence:

Victoria Grizzlies president Lance Black says he fully expects general manager and head coach Craig Didmon back for the 2017-18 B.C. Hockey League season, which is exactly what Didmon wants. “I’m not going anywhere and I’m certainly happy with what’s going on with the organization,” said Didmon. “We’re building a good foundation here and we have a good group coming back. The big thing is the ownership group realizes the importance of stability and consistency within the coaching position. “I’d like to be around for a number of more years and I know I have that support from the president and ownership group.” Black added his desire for Didmon to be back. “As far as Craig goes, I think he’s done a good job. I’m the president and as far as I’m concerned, he’s coming back,” he said. “This is how you become successful, you have the same group of guys together and you get pipelines established. “The boys love playing for him and as far as I’m concerned he’s back, and hopefully he’s here for a long time. I’m 100 per cent behind Craig. He does great things and motivates the kids. “This used to be a place where kids weren’t sure if they wanted to come and I think they want to now. They like the players, they like the coaches and the program.” There could, however, be a change in the ownership group as a few, including John Wilson and Jim Swanson (who are both involved in the Victoria HarbourCats), are hoping to sell their shares. “I think overall we’re heading in the right direction,” said Black. “One of the biggest things is making a difference in the community, and I think we have. The corporate world loves us, we just have to put more butts in the seats, that’s what it comes down to. “You see the exciting hockey that happened the last couple of months and you get perplexed as to why there aren’t more people there. We’re working on that, trying to do different things and we would like to get up to that 1,700 [average] for next year.” According to online numbers, the Grizzlies averaged 997 fans this season, down from 1,161 last year, but up from 875 two seasons ago. The team peaked in 2008-09 when it averaged 1,837 fans. In comparison, the Grizzles were 10th of the 17 teams in attendance in the BCHL this season.

Bulldogs Release Head Coach/GM Willison:

The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society and the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey club wish to announce that they have released Head Coach and GM Kevin Willison, effective immediately. The decision to release Willison was made after much deliberation and consideration of the best interests of the team going forward. ‘Kevin has served both this team and our community with all his heart and we did not come to this decision easily’ says PAJHS President Ron Paulson. ‘We will miss his character and gritty determination that was reflected in the teams he put on the ice.’ During Willison’s tenure as Head Coach/GM the Bulldogs made the playoff in 4 of the 5 years, including winning the Island Division playoffs in 2013. ‘Both Bobbi and I have truly enjoyed our time here in Alberni.’ says Willison. ‘We would like to thank all of the fans and people in the community for their hospitality and friendship over the past 5 years.’ The Alberni Valley Bulldogs will start recruiting for a new Head Coach immediately. Associate Coach Alex Evin will be supervising hockey operations until a new Head Coach is signed.

Ahac, Cooper, Min Lee & Stack Commit To Prince George:

The Prince George Spruce Kings are very happy to announce the commitment of three players to their roster for the 2017/2018 season. Layton Ahac is a 6’2” 185lb 2001 born defenseman who hails from North Vancouver. Last season Layton played for the West Van Warriors E15 team who play in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL). In 41 games he tallied 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points. “Layton is a very dynamic young player who is adept in every aspect of the game. He skates well, has great vision, is offensively gifted and is defensively responsible. I think it says a lot that I can’t remember the last time we had a sixteen year old defenseman on our roster. Layton’s ceiling on how good he can be is very high. I look forward to watching this tremendous young man develop his game as a Spruce King” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. Bradley Cooper is a 6’2” 165lb 1999 born goaltender from West Vancouver. Last season Bradley played for the Burnaby Winter Club Academy Midget Prep team where he posted 17 wins, 7 losses and 1 tie in 27 games played. His goals against average was 2.22 and his save percentage was .922. Bradley also posted 4 shutouts. “Bradley is a big goalie who is solid in every area. I was really impressed with his poise in the net, his compete level and the way he absorbed the puck each time I watched him play this past season, including at our recently completed spring prospects camp. You can tell that his coaching leading up to this point has been excellent and his time at BWC really helped him become a very good goaltender” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. Chong Min Lee is a 5’9” 180lb 1999 born forward who calls Port Coquitlam home and played last season for the Port Moody Panthers of the Pacific Junior Hockey League (PJHL). In 23 games with the Panthers Chong Min tallied 9 goals and 17 assists for 26 points. He also played in 8 regular season games as an affiliate player with Spruce Kings where he scored 1 goal and played in 6 playoff games where he recorded 2 assists. Chong Min Lee is the younger brother of Chong Hyun Lee who was a twenty year old forward for the Spruce Kings last season. “Chong Min is solid two way player who will fit in well with our current group of forwards. He skates well, shoots the puck a ton and is very aware in both ends. He has also already become a fan favorite in Prince George in his short stint with the team last season. He’s a great kid who will be an exciting player that fans will enjoy watching for the next couple of seasons” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes. Chong Min, Layton and Bradley join 2000 born forward Ryan Stack who had previously committed to the Spruce Kings earlier in the 2016/2017 season. Stack is a 5’9” 160lb forward who scored 28 goals and 24 assists for 52 points in 46 games as a teammate of Bradley Cooper with the Burnaby Winter Club Midget Prep team. The West Vancouver native also registered 3 assists in 9 games with the Spruce Kings as an affiliate player. “Ryan is a gifted offensive player who sees the ice very well. He distributes the puck well and can also put it in the net when he gets the opportunity. He’s a tremendous young man from a great hockey program who will fit in well with our group and our team’s core values” said Spruce Kings General Manager Mike Hawes.

Vees TV:

As the Penticton Vees entered the third period of a scoreless BCHL playoffs finals game seven, head coach Fred Harbinson says he was content. Given the previous two games, both of which saw the Vees drop 2-0 leads to lose to the Chilliwack Chiefs, a change in the gameplay came as a bit of relief. "It was easy; just went in between the periods, the second and third, and said, 'Hey, it's a one-period game, now, for game seven,'" Harbinson said on this week's Vees' View with Coach Harbinson. "After what happened the last night, I think our guys were excited about that, and then you go into overtime and it stays the same. "Now you're not having to play with a lead or playing from behind, it's just whoever's going to scores next is going to win the championship." And when the Vees took the Fred Page Cup in overtime against the Chiefs, with a goal from 20-year-old Duncan Campbell, that meant a fourth top title of the league for Harbinson, marking a BCHL record. Now, the team has just a few days to switch into Western Canada Cup mode, facing the top teams of each of the four western provinces of the countries. They head into a round-robin style after three-straight seven-game series, marks a change of pace for the Vees, but Harbinson says they have some relevant experience. "We played in all those game sevens, so you're basically in those same kind of situations, where you're playing one-game shots," Harbinson said, adding that not having the six prior games to "ease into a series" does make a difference. "If something doesn't go right in the first game, then you have to be ready to rebound in the second and so-forth, so I think our mindset is where it needs to be, and excited about being at home."

Grizzlies Sign Hadley, Hopps & Guiney:

The Victoria Grizzlies had a very successful prospects camp in Victoria on April 7, 8, 9. A total of three players were given a firm commitment and eleven more were invited to the Grizzlies Main Camp which is held in August. It was a very busy weekend as the team was also playing in the BCHL semi-final playoffs. The Grizzlies will be holding another prospects camp this summer on July 21-23 in Whistler, BC, and are still accepting registrations. The coaches and scouts are pleased like to announce a commitment for the 2017/2018 season to the following players:

Lach Hadley (00) LHF
Tanner Hopps (00) LHF
Jordan Guiney (99) LHF

In addition to these players the Grizzlies have also committed to the following players last month:

Jacson Alexander (01) LHD
Zach Rose (99) Goaltender

Clippers Hockey Society:


The Nanaimo Clippers have been a thread in the fabric of Nanaimo for 45 years.  For the past 11 years, a group of business owners and dedicated hockey enthusiasts from other cities have funded the Clippers which enabled the team to stay in Nanaimo.  The prospect of a WHL team and the uncertainty created by the recent events center debate forced the owners to look for a facility to play elsewhere.  They were successful and another Vancouver Island community offered to purchase the team.  The prospect of losing our Clippers galvanized our community and, thanks to efforts by our staff, some major contributors from our business community and the cooperation and assistance of the current ownership group, we have been successful in creating the Clippers Hockey Society with the intent of purchasing the team and raising funds towards the operations of the team. To create a community owned team, the citizens of Nanaimo and our broader community need to become members of the society with a donation to the Clippers Hockey Society.  You will receive a membership certificate and Clippers Hockey Society pin.  Your donation will fund the purchase of your team and the ongoing operations of your team.  You can donate online at, by phone at 250-751-0593 or at our office upstairs at the Frank Crane Arena from 1 pm to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. We have set-up donation levels that include extra items and will coordinate with a commemorative wall that will be displayed at the Clippers office:

$50,000 and up – Founding Member   Your name or your corporate name will appear on an individual name plate on the commemorative wall.  This level includes a lifetime voting membership in the society, 2 season tickets or equivalent game vouchers, 4 invitations to the Members VIP Suite game, a framed signed team jersey and a Founding Member’s Commemorative Jacket.  Debenture option available. Contact the Clippers office for details at

$25,000 to $49,999 – Executive Member    Your name or your corporate name will appear on an individual name plate on the commemorative wall. This level includes a lifetime voting membership in the society, 2 season tickets or equivalent game vouchers, 4 invitations to the Members VIP Suite game night and an Executive Member’s Commemorative Jacket .

$10,000 to $24,999 – VIP Member   Your name or your corporate name will appear on the commemorative wall. This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, 2 season tickets or equivalent game vouchers, 4 invitations to the Members VIP Suite game night and souvenir items of your choice.

$5,000 to $9,999 – Platinum Member   Your name or your corporate name will appear on the commemorative wall.  This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, 2 season tickets or equivalent game vouchers and 2 each of our souvenir items.

$2,500 to $4,999 – Diamond Member   Your name will appear on the commemorative wall.  This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, 1 season ticket or equivalent game vouchers and 2 each of our souvenir items.

$1,000 to $2,499 – Emerald Member   Your name on the commemorative wall.  This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, a Clippers Team Photo, 2 Pull-over Hoodies and 2 Clipper Car Flags.

$500 to $999 – Gold Member  This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, a Clippers Team Photo, a Clippers Pull-over Hoodie and Car Flag.

$250 to $499 – Silver Member  This level includes voting membership* privileges with the society, a Clippers Team Photo, a Clippers T-Shirt and Car Flag.

$100 to $249 – Bronze Member   All members at this level have voting membership* privileges with the society, a Clippers Team Photo and a Clippers Car Flag.

$5 to $99 – Donor Member  Any donation less than $100 will make the donor a member* of the society with a membership certificate and society pin.

We thank all of our contributors for keeping the Nanaimo Clippers here in the Harbour City.

* Memberships are for one year ending May 31st, 2018.  The initial donation benefits are for the first year only.  Membership renewal will be $10 per year.

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