Wednesday, August 31, 2011

McGillis Made Captain:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

McGillis made captain

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: August 31, 2011

Patrick McGillis likely won’t frame the scorecard from his most recent golf round at The Rise, but he’ll remember the day fondly all the same.

It was up there, while the Calgary native was tackling the challenging course with Vernon Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson, that he learned he will be the team’s captain for the 2011-12 B.C. Hockey League season.

“It wasn’t my best round, but I had a good time,” grinned McGillis, taking a few minutes from firing pucks at visiting Montreal Canadiens’ netminder Carey Price Monday at Wesbild Centre.

“I was looking forward to coming back either way, with or without a letter, and I think I could be a leader either way.”

In addition to two straight national junior A championship finals appearances (2010 and 2011), McGillis captained the Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask. to a Telus Cup Midget crown.

During his tenure with the Vipers, he has had the benefit of some quality tutelage from former captains Kevin Kraus and David Robinson. With both being strong characters that guided their teams to the RBC Cup, he admitted it is a little daunting to be next in line.

“Big shoes to fill, but it’s a challenge I’m definitely willing to embrace. I’ve been captain before, so I know a little bit what it’s like,” said McGillis, who recorded 46 points and 31 penalty minutes in 84 regular-season games.

“I can lead by example with my work ethic, on and off the ice. I can be quiet at times in the dressing room, I can be serious and I can be funny, trying to keep the guys relaxed. They’ll know when I’m serious and know when they need to keep their focus up.”

Out of the eight returning forwards and three returning blueliners, choosing the third-year winger for captaincy was a logical decision for Williamson.

“Patty’s a pretty good kid. He goes about his business to make sure that he does the right thing. He works hard, he’s bided his time and he’s an easy pick for a captain.

“It’ll be a huge year for him, but that’s what we want. We want some guys to run with it and show these guys what it means to be a Viper.”

One aspect of McGillis’ game that Williamson values most is his ability to rise to the occassion. In 16 post-season games last year, the 5-foot-10, 185 pounder was nearly a point-a-game, posting five goals and nine assists.

“He’s been in the finals every year, and Patty plays his best hockey when it’s on the line.”

With training camp starting Thursday, McGillis already likes the blend of prospect and returnees making their way into Vernon for some pre-camp skates.

“We’ll have a deep team – four solid lines and six solid d-men and good goaltending,” he said.

“There’s a lot of new guys, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be a problem because they’ve got good work ethics and good backgrounds.

“There’s a lot of respect for one another on the team, and that’ll be a big thing this year.”

Vipers open main camp Thursday morning, with intra-squad scrimmages going Thursday and Friday night (6 p.m.).

The annual Blue and White game goes Saturday, 6 p.m. Entry will be by donation with proceeds going to the Somalia Relief Fund.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

K-Wings Re-Sign Former Viper Dean Strong:

The ECHL Kalamazoo Wings have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward, Dean Strong. Strong played one year in Vernon (2004-05) collecting (35-56-91) with the Vipers during the regular season before playing the next four years at the University of Vermont. Strong will be entering his third season with the Wings.

Dean Strong's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Wings website:


K-Wings Sign Forwards Brandon Svendsen, Dean Strong and Darryl Bootland

August 4, 2011

Mike Modugno-Director of Public Relations and Broadcaster

Kalamazoo, MI- The Kalamazoo Wings, proud member of the ECHL, two-time defending North Division Champions and reigning Eastern Conference Champions and affiliate of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders and American Hockey League’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, announce the signings of forwards Brandon Svendsen (sa-FVEND-son), Dean Strong and Darryl Bootland; per team policy, the terms of the contracts will be undisclosed.

Entering his third full season of professional hockey, Svendsen is returning to Kalamazoo for his second season with the K-Wings.

Last season, Svendsen started the season in the training camp of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL) and ended up playing 59 games, notching 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) with the Sound Tigers.

“Svendsen is a dynamic skater that can play in every situation” said Nick Bootland, director of hockey operations/head coach. “He’s a good puck handler and for his stature, he plays bigger than he is.”

In just 10 regular season games with Kalamazoo, Svendsen was electric, averaging over a point-a-night registering 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists). Svendsen kept his scoring touch in the playoffs earning 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 19 games for Kalamazoo.

The native of Mercer, California recorded his first professional hat trick last season on November 3rd against the Cincinnati Cyclones.

Svendsen started his tenure as a K-Wing by going on a nine-game point streak from 10/23/10-04/02/11 and capped off a stellar campaign by tying a playoff-high for plus/minus (+4) on April 15th against the Reading Royals in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

After graduating from Bowling Green University four years ago, Svendsen took his talents to pro ranks by joining the Idaho Steelheads in 2008 and then the Elmira Jackals a year later. After a rookie camp with the Ottawa Senators, Ottawa signed him to an AHL contract in 2009-2010. Svendsen played over 70 games for the Binghamton Senators.

During the 2004-05 season, while in juniors, Svendsen helped guide the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in capturing the USHL championship.

Also returning to Kalamazoo is forward Dean Strong. Strong finished last season with the K-Wings after starting the season overseas with Crimmitschau ETC (2.GBUN), where he recorded 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 25 games. A third-year pro, Strong has played a portion of both his previous seasons in Kalamazoo.

“He (Strong) is a player that takes great care of himself and comes totally prepared to play,” said Bootland. “Dean is coming off two major injuries, but last season he proved when healthy he can be a point-a-night guy.”

The K-Wings’ AT&T Rookie of the Year award winner two years ago, Strong kept up his memorable play in his sophomore year as a K-Wing, earning seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in six regular season games and 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 15 games in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

During the postseason, Strong tied a K-Wings’ playoff high for points in a single-game with three (2 goals, 1 assist) on April 22nd versus Reading and went on a five-game point streak from 04/22/11-05/07/11.

Before turning pro, Strong spent the past four seasons playing collegiate hockey for the University of Vermont.

Strong did not miss a game in four seasons with the Catamounts and served as Vermont’s (Hockey East) captain in his senior season. A leader on and off the ice, Strong was awarded the Semans Trophy, presented to the senior male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated a high level of athletic achievement and who earned the respect and regard from his/her fellow students for leadership, loyalty, and service to Vermont.

A well decorated player, Strong won Hockey East’s Len Ceglarski Sportsmanship Award, as well as several team honors in his years with the Catamounts.

Playing in Kalamazoo during the 2009-10 season, right-winger Darryl Bootland is set to return to the K-Wings fold.

Last season, Bootland was a member of the Odessa Jackalopes of the Central Hockey League, where he posted 23 points and logged 161 minutes in penalties in 56 games.

A former 8th round selection (252nd overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft of the Colorado Avalanche, Bootland has played 32 games in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders.

“Darryl has made a commitment to be with us the whole season and was very good for us the last time he was a K-Wing,” said Bootland. “He is a gritty player that makes the players around him play bigger.”

After starting his career in the ECHL with the Toledo Storm, Bootland has played a majority of his career in the NHL, AHL and Europe.

During his last stint with the K-Wings, Bootland earned 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) and rung up 90 PIMS in 25 games.

Before turning pro, Bootland spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Barrie Colts and Toronto’s St. Michael’s Majors.

Bootland is the younger sibling of K-Wings’ head coach. During the 2009-10 season, the uniting of the Bootland’s marked the first-time in K-Wings’ history, brother coached a sibling.

The addition of Bootland, Strong and Svendson gives the K-Wings seven players signed for the upcoming 2011-12 season, which will commence at home on Saturday, October 15th versus the Cincinnati Cyclones. Also signed for next season are forwards Trent Daavettila (daav-UH-till-uh), Kory Karlander, Justin Taylor and defenseman Sam Ftorek (fah-TORE-ick).

Season tickets for the upcoming 2011-2012 season are on sale at the Wings Stadium Ticket Office. Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information about tickets, give the Wings Stadium Ticket Office a call during regular business hours at (269) 345-5101.

For more information about the signing of Darryl Bootland, Dean Strong, and Brandon Svendsen, please contact Mike Modugno, director of public relations and broadcaster at (269) 349-9772, extension 220.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Vipers Name McGillis Captain:

This is posted on the Vipers website:

McGillis named captain!

by viper staff | Added 2011-08-29

The Vernon Vipers Hockey Club is pleased to announce that Patrick McGillis will serve as the team’s captain for the 2011-2012 hockey season.

McGillis has been a big part of the last two seasons championship runs. Before that he also led Notre Dame to a Telus Cup Championship. This shows that Pat knows what it takes to win and carry on the winning tradition in Vernon.

McGillis is also one of the hardest working Vipers and leads by example both on and off the ice. Head coach Jason Williamson says “Pat will be a great captain. He knows what it takes to be a Vernon Viper and he will pass on the culture that has been created in Vernon. This is a great accomplishment for Pat and well deserved.”

Vipers camp is set to open on Thursday morning. The players will play an inter-squad game on Thursday and Friday evening at 6 PM. The formal Blue and White game will be held on Saturday at 6 PM. Entry to the game will be by donation will proceeds going to the Somalia Relief Fund.

Former Vernon Viper Genoway Working It Out:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Chay Genoway was invited to the Minnesota Wilds development camp back in July. Genoway who played one season with the Vipers (2005-06) collected (17-32-49) in 56 regular season games in Vernon before playing the next five years at the University of North Dakota. On April, 12th 2011 the Minnesota Wild had signed Genoway to an entry level contract with the NHL franchise.

Chay Genoway's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Wild website:

Genoway Working It Out

Monday, 07.18.2011

At 5-foot-9, 177 pounds, Chay Genoway doesn’t look like your prototypical NHL defensemen. But looks are often deceiving.

At the Minnesota Wild Development Camp, the recent free agent signee out of the University of North Dakota is doing what he can to show that height is just a number, and strength knows no limits.

Genoway’s off-ice strength testing has been as impressive as his coast-to-coast goal in Saturday’s scrimmage. Word has it that after piling up the most consecutive pushups among the prospects, he immediately started his pull ups and tallied the highest number of those.

“He is quite strong physically,” said Kirk Olson, the Wild’s recently hired strength and conditioning coach, whose first order of business was working out the prospects this week. “He has a low center of gravity and is hard to knock off his feet.”

If anyone knows size isn’t always relative to strength, it’s Genoway. The former UND captain is showing that he arrived at camp ready to make a run at a professional career.

“I’ve been doing the normal summer time stuff, like lifting weights and conditioning,” Genoway said. “But I also tried to get on the ice more than usual this summer so it wouldn’t be too strenuous on things like the groin or hip-flexors, like the ice can be when you jump right to it.”

In his first camp, at 23 years old, Genoway was one of the elder statesmen. His development as a player is advanced compared to his younger counterparts, and he knows the importance of making a good first impression.

“You’re here to develop, but people are always watching, so you never know and you want to be prepared as much as possible,” said the Swan River, Manitoba native said.

“Guys are trying to make a name for themselves,” Olson added. “Not only with coaches, trying to make a roster spot, but with teammates. The guys were trying to pull whatever they could out of each other, and Chay did a great job of that.”

Working with Genoway for less than a week, Olson noticed his off-ice habits.

“Chay works his butt off,” Olson said. “You can see that he takes pride his work ethic.”

For an undersized defenseman, self-determination and motivation is a necessity to excel in a game populated by behemoths. Genoway has been training at UND this summer and credits his time in college for helping groom him to make the leap to pro hockey.

“That place prepares you for the next level,” the four-time All Academic team member said. “I’ve been training there for the last five years and there’s always guys there that are pushing you everyday. It was a wake up call.”

Often, the most eye-opening challenge for college hockey players is adjusting to the higher speed of the pro game.

“It has been a really good pace; especially, considering it is the summer time,” Genoway said. “There are better players you’re playing with. You have to work a little bit harder to be in position.”

In addition to the boost in tempo, he also is trying to adapt to the subtle differences in style between the college and pro game. The camp is his first taste of what it will take to succeed at the next level.

“It’s a little more positional and structured than in college,” Genoway said. “So, I really have focused on positioning, being sound defensively and making a good first pass. And if that goes well, getting up in the play a little bit.”

Getting up in the play, as a blueliner, is something Genoway did better than most while at UND. In his senior season, he racked up 37 points in 36 games, leading the Sioux to the Broadmoor Trophy, awarded to the WCHA playoff championship, and a Frozen Four appearance. He also led the team as a two-year captain, something that was immediately evident to Olson.

“There are two types of leaders: The Ra-Ra types, and the lead by example types,” Olson said. “With Chay, you get the best of both worlds. He always leads by example, but can step-up and say something when it’s needed. He is the type of leader other guys gravitate toward.”

At Development Camp, Genoway led by example at the off-ice workouts and said the team building exercises during outdoor training along with the more traditional work out routines were ways to show other methods of staying fit.

“We’ve done a little bit of everything – running, weight training and conditioning – we’ve also done some off-ice training that I’ve never done; things meant to push you out of your comfort zone. I think it helps the guys grow because you might see some of these guys on your team at some time.”

Genoway is hoping that team will soon be the Minnesota Wild.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Kamloops Storm Name Former Vernon Laker Baron New Assistant Coach:

The KIJHL Kamloops Storm have named former Vernon Lakers defenceman, Murray Baron the teams new assistant coach. Baron played one season with the 1985-86 Vernon Lakers before playing four years at the University of North Dakota. Baron was selected by Philadelphia Flyers round 8 #167 overall 1986 NHL Entry Draft.  Baron played 17 seasons in the NHL with five different teams (Philadelphia, Montreal, St. Louis, Vancouver and Pheonix).

Murray Baron's Player Profile:

This is posted on the KIJHL website:

Baron To Join Storm Coaching Staff

Monday, July 11, 2011 - Submitted by Kamloops Storm

The Kamloops Storm are pleased to announce the addition of Murray Baron to the teams coaching staff. Murray will be joining new coach Geoff Smith, Brent Fritz and Brad Priestlay. Murray has 988 games played in the NHL with Philadelphia, Montreal, St. Louis, Phoenix and the Vancouver Canucks. Murray total 35 goals and 94 assists with 1309 penalty minutes in his career. Known as a hard competitor, Murray was drafter in the 8th round by Philadelphia Flyers. Murray is a long time friend of new head coach Geoff Smith having played together at the University North Dakota. Murray has a solid understanding of the professional ranks as well as the BCHL, having played for the Vernon Lakers. After playing in Vernon he played three seasons with the University of North Dakota before starting his professional career. Murray was born in Prince George but has been a well known business man in Kamloops for many years. Murray will bring a physical presence to the team and provide a positive role model for the young players who will play for the Storm this coming season. Murray will be an assistant coach with the Storm.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mallards Re-Sign Former Vernon Viper Marino:

The Quad City Mallards of the “AA” Central Hockey League have re-signed former Vernon Vipers "AP" forward, Brandon Marino. Marino played in two games as an "AP" with the 2002-03 Vernon Vipers going pointless on both games.  Marino will be entering his third season with the Mallards. 

Brandon Marino's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Mallards website:



The Quad City Mallards of the “AA” Central Hockey League today announced they have re-signed right wing Brandon Marino. Per club policy, no contract terms were announced.

Marino, 25, scored ten goals and totaled 38 points in 58 games last season. Marino turned pro with the Mallards in 2009-10, scoring 13 times and recording 44 points during his rookie season.

“I look forward to Brandon bringing the tenacity he’s shown in his first two years with the Mallards to the in-your-face style of game we want to play this season,” said Mallards head coach and general manager David Bell.

Before joining the Mallards, Marino helped Cinderella story Bemidji State to a berth in the 2009 NCAA Frozen Four. The 5’ 9”, 185-pound Riverside, California, product scored seven goals and notched 19 points in 36 games in 2008-09 and rang up 15 goals and 51 points in 116 games over his four years as a Beaver. Marino played junior hockey for three seasons in the British Columbia and North American leagues before enrolling at BSU.

Off the ice, Marino is a certified personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist accredited by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Marino will put his personal training skills to work during his time away from the rink when he returns to the Quad Cities.

“Whether someone’s just looking to live a healthy lifestyle or you want a strict routine to prepare for an athletic event, I look forward to helping,” said Marino.

Marino joins fellow returnees Eric Giosa and Joel Gasper to bring the number of signings announced by the Mallards for the 2011-12 season to three.

Season tickets for the Flock’s 2011-12 campaign are now on sale. Mallard season ticket holders receive significant savings and a host of exclusive benefits. For more season ticket information, fans can contact the Mallards at (309) 277-1364 or

Friday, August 26, 2011

Former Viper Noonan Was The Right Fit For Predators:

I scooped up a link off the Boston Terriers blog, that posted an article on why the Nashville Predators drafted former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Garrett Noonan. Noonan played one season in Vernon (2009-10) collecting (2-16-18) in 58 regular season games with the Vipers. Noonan entering his second year with Boston University was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fourth round, 112th overall, of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Garrett Noonan's Player Profile:

This was in the Nashville Examiner:

Left-handed Garrett Noonan was the right fit for the Predators

Jim Diamond, Nashville Predators Examiner

July 10, 2011

Any number of items factor into the decision making process for National Hockey League teams selecting a player in the annual Entry Draft.

When the Nashville Predators drafted Boston University defenseman Garrett Noonan with the second of their two fourth round selections in June’s draft, the side that Noonan holds his stick entered into the discussion.

“As you know, we have a lot of defensemen, but we don’t have a lot of left-handed defensemen that are prospects for us,” Predators Assistant General Manager Paul Fenton said when recapping the team’s draft.

That was not always the case within the Nashville system.

“It’s funny, when we first started, everybody we had was left-handed,” Fenton added. “When you looked in our system at times, it used to be all left-handed guys at times. Now we have gone to a stage where we have a million right-handed defensemen.”

Nashville President of Hockey Operations and General Manager David Poile grimaced slightly when Fenton was talking about Noonan’s selection. Poile is an alum of BU’s Hockey East rival Northeastern University, while Fenton and Predators Chief Amateur Scout Jeff Kealty both attended BU.

“As you know, I have to keep Jeff and Paul happy by every three or four years drafting a guy from Boston University,” Poile later joked.

Noonan had a strong freshman campaign in his first season of collegiate hockey. In 38 games played, Noonan had four goals and 11 assists. He was also tops among all Terriers with 89 penalty minutes.

“Definitely I like to play physically,” Noonan said while attending Nashville’s annual Development Camp. “I think it is something you need to do to be a pro. That’s definitely part of the game and it is a big part of my game. Obviously you can’t fight in college, but I am not against that. I fought a little bit in junior, so it is definitely something I like to do – mix it up, play physically, and protect my teammates.”

Two of Noonan’s four goals came on the power play.

“I like to think of myself as a shutdown guy, but I played power play minutes too,” Noonan said. “Obviously I love playing power play, and you are going to get points when you play the power play, so it was a good year offensively.”

Noonan was one of three rising BU sophomores to be drafted in June. The Chicago Blackhawks drafted teammate Adam Clendening 36th overall and the San Jose Sharks selected forward Matt Nieto 47th overall. Noonan and Clendening were defensive partners for a large portion of their freshman year, so being drafted was a special experience for the pairing.

“I was really happy for him,” Noonan said of Clendening. “He is a really good player. He will fit well in Chicago. I called him when he got drafted, and he called me what I got drafted. It was exciting for both of us.”

Despite being based in Boston, Kealty said that he does not see the players in that city more than any of the others that he scouts. From what he did see and what he heard from his connections in the city, Kealty was sold on Noonan.

“He is a really good and smart two-way defenseman,” Kealty said. “He has three years ahead of him at BU where he is going to play a lot. We really liked a lot of the intangibles that he had; the hockey sense, the two-way play, and I think that he will develop quite well over the next few years there.”

BU’s legendary coach Jack Parker has put numerous players in the NHL, including current Predators forward Colin Wilson.

Noonan being left handed may have contributed to his selection into the Nashville system, but the presiding factor was that he is a good hockey player.

“I can’t explain it other than this was the guy we wanted,” Fenton said. “This was a really high guy that fit to what we were doing. At the end of the day, if they are a hockey player they are going to adapt whether we have them on the left side or the right side. Do I want to balance it? Theoretically I want to balance it, but really at the end of the day it doesn’t matter."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Q & A's With Former Viper Tryout Tyler Steel:

Over the summer the Merritt Centennials website has had several Q & A's with some of the returning Centennial players from last seasons club. Back in July the Cents sit down with former Vernon Vipers tryout goaltender, Tyler Steel in a series of Q & A's with the local Vernon product. Steel attended the Vernon Vipers (2010-11) training camp last year before getting cut during the pre-season. Steel then joined and signed with the Merritt Centennials going 7-16 collecting one shutout and a 3.49 GAA

Tyler Steel's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Centennials website:

Getting To Know: Tyler Steel

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - Submitted by Merritt Centennials

In the second of an off-season series of Q&A's, we catch up with Cents goaltender Tyler Steel.

Status: Merritt Centennials Goaltender

Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 175 pounds

DOB: February 25, 1993 In: Vernon, BC

First Hockey Memory: Getting my first hockey stick when I was 2 and knew how to use it and went in the net and acted like a goalie

Hockey Inspiration: Making it all the way

Nickname: Steely

Last Book Read: Tough Guy - Bob Probert

Favorite Movies: Miracle

First Job: Subway

First Car: 2005 Pontiac Wave

Current Car: 2005 Pontiac Wave

Greatest Sports Moment: Making a Junior A team/ Winning back to back provincial titles for hockey/ Playing on Team BC twice for baseball

Most Painful Moment: Breaking my ankle sliding into second to break up a double play in baseball

Favorite Uniforms: Chicago Blackhawks

Favorite Arenas To Play: Nicola Valley Memorial Arena

Most Memorable Save: Countless glove saves

Funniest Players Encountered: Billy Marshall

Toughest Competitors Encountered: Lino Chimienti

Funny Hockey Memory: Starting a line brawl and goalie fight in Salmon Arm last year

Embarrassing Hockey Memory: Bouncer from the red line going between my legs

Favorite Players To Watch: Carey Price, Ryan Kesler

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: Baseball

Strangest Game: When Playfair scored his first BCHL goal.......oh wait...

First NHL Jersey As A Kid: Rob Blake Colorado Avalanche jersey

People/Personality Qualities Most Admired: Hard work

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Florida Panthers Sign Free Agent, Former Viper Strachan:

The Florida Panthers have signed free agent and former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Tyson Strachan to a one year deal. Strachan played just one season in Vernon (2002-03) collecting (6-22-28) in 56 regular season games with the Vipers, before playing four years at Ohio State University. Strachan was drafted by Carolina in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Tyson Strachan's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Panthers website:

Panthers Sign D Tyson Strachan

Tuesday, 07.12.2011 / 3:04 PM / Transactions

SUNRSISE, FLA – Florida Panthers Executive Vice President & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with D Tyson Strachan on a one-year, two way contract.

“We are pleased to have signed Tyson,” said Tallon. “He is a hard-working, big and strong defenseman who further adds to our organizational depth.”

Strachan, 26, has played in 67 career National Hockey League games, all with St. Louis (2008-11), registering six assists and 82 PIM. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman has split time playing with both St. Louis and Peoria (AHL) for the last three seasons. Prior to turning pro, Strachan spent four years playing hockey at Ohio State University (2003-07).

The Melfort, Saskatchewan native was drafted by Carolina in the fifth round (137th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Tyson Strachan’s Career Statistics:
--- Regular Season --- ---- Playoffs ----
Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003-04 Ohio State University CCHA 30 2 5 7 8
2004-05 Ohio State University CCHA 31 1 4 5 32
2005-06 Ohio State University CCHA 23 3 2 5 37
2006-07 Ohio State University CCHA 35 7 11 18 55
2006-07 Albany River Rats AHL 1 0 0 0 0 -- -- -- -- --
2007-08 Las Vegas Wranglers ECHL 25 2 7 9 68 16 0 4 4 12
2007-08 Peoria Rivermen AHL 34 1 2 3 61 -- -- -- -- --
2008-09 Peoria Rivermen AHL 29 2 3 5 67 3 0 0 0 11
2008-09 St. Louis Blues NHL 30 0 3 3 39 -- -- -- -- --
2009-10 Peoria Rivermen AHL 65 5 21 26 75 -- -- -- -- --
2009-10 St. Louis Blues NHL 8 0 2 2 4 -- -- -- -- --
2010-11 St. Louis Blues NHL 29 0 1 1 39 -- -- -- -- --
2010-11 Peoria Rivermen AHL 13 0 8 8 4 1 0 0 0 2
NHL Totals 67 0 6 6 82

The Florida Panthers Offseason is presented by JetBlue. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Home to more than 200 events annually and the Florida Panthers hockey club, the Broward County-owned BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vernon Vipers 2011-12 Exibition Schedule:

The BCHL website has posted the Vernon Vipers pre-season schedule for this coming season.

Friday, September 9th Westside @ Vernon 7pm

Saturday, September 10th Vernon @ Merritt 7:30pm

Tuesday, September 13th Vernon @ Westside 11am

Friday, September 16th Trail @ Vernon 7pm

The Vipers start training camp Thursday, September 1st 2011

The Vipers will also be holding a Blue and White inter-squad game Sept 3rd, 6:00pm at the Westbild Center. Donations will be sent to the Somalia Relief Foundation.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Silverbacks Aquire Former Vipers Defenceman Hambrook:

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have aquired former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Bennett Hambrook. Hambrook started the season with the Vernon Vipers last year (2010-11) before being traded to the Prince George Spruce Kings on September, 20th 2010 for future considerations, after playing in just three games with the Vipers. Hambrook was traded to the Woodstock Slammers of the Maritime Junior Hockey League on July, 17th 2011 for future considerations.

Bennett Hambrook's Player Profile:

This is posted on the BCHL website:

22-Aug-11 The Salmon Arm Silverbacks Hockey Club acquires the playing rights of Bennett Hambrook from the Woodstock Slammers Hockey Club of the MJHL in exchange for future considerations.

Former Viper Goaltender Zaba Re-Signs With HC Bolzano:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Matt Zaba has re-signed with the HC Bolzano. Zaba played just a single season with the Vipers (2002-03) going 34-9 during the regular season picking up two shutouts and a 2.21 GAA before playing four years at Colorado College. Zaba made his NHL debut on January 23, 2010 with the New York Rangers in a game vs the Montreal Canadiens.

Matt Zaba's Player Profile:

This is posted on the HC Bolzano website:

Matt Zaba is the HC Bolzano his wedding vows

Matt Zaba is also coming in the winter it is fix hütenNun Bolzano's Gate: The Canadian goalkeeper will also be available in the 2011/12 season with the Italian record holder between the posts. The 27-year-old Canadian has extended his contract for another year and is the second confirmation of the HC

Bolzano in the squad for the upcoming Serie A season. For the white-red, this is a big win, but Zaba has in the past season on many occasions demonstrated his class. Him the best statistic of all top-flight goalies stood on beech.
Matt Zaba, this marks the second season in European hockey, having previously worked in the years in the AHL and was in the 2009/10 season with the New York Rangers in the game against the Montreal Canadiens to his first and only NHL was used.

On 14 July 1983 Yorkton Canadian-born goalkeeper has had his career in unterklassigen leagues

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vipers Add Three New Recruits, Roster Now Full?

Over the past two weeks the Vernon Vipers have announced three more signings with the additions of, forwards, Riley Hunt, Jedd Soleway & defenceman, Marc Hetnik. This meaning with the veterans returning from last years club as well as the new recruits it looks as if the Vipers have a full roster, with the exceptions of now needing a backup goaltender, maybe one other defenceman.

I dont really know a whole lot on either Riley Hunt or Jedd Soleway other then what was said in the paper. Nice to see another local kid (Jedd Soleway) make the team. Soleway is listed at 6'1 and looks like he may be a bit of a physical-gritty player picking up 98 penalty minutes last season with the Okanagan Rockets. Lets hope he can through his body around and bang and crash along the boards.

I have read on the internet that Hunt may be smaller but will be a treat to watch over the next few seasons. Rumored to be scouted-looked at by several Junior hockey teams across Canada Hunt has been said to be very skilled. With his young age and smaller figure it will be interesting to see how he lines up against older-bigger younger men in the BCHL. I was shocked to hear that he has already committed to play at Harvard. Im looking forward to watching him at training camp in a few weeks and seeing what this kid can do.

I first read and heard about Marc Hetnik committing to the Vipers back in late May and have posted several good articles on the soon to be Vipers d-man right here on my blog. It sounds like Hetnik comes from a hockey family-background and is a solid d-man that can skate, handle the puck well and put up some decent numbers. Let's see how he does playing in Canada in the BCHL. Really looking forward at catching him in action at the Vipers training camp.

I have also heard and got confirmation that the Vipers have also recruited-signed two more forwards. (Connor Hartley from Red Deer and Alex Hagen)

Other then needing a backup goaltender, and maybe one d-man it will be interesting to see how training camp is done-run this year with the Vipers having a almost complete roster-lineup ready to start the season. The Vipers only have four twenty year olds, meaning they can still add two more twenty yr olds to their roster. Will Jason Williamson bring two in before the season? or wait for the season to start and see how his team looks? Will Williamson take a look at any WHL players that get cut? It will be interesting to see how this years Vipers lineup shapes up over the next month.

Let's take a look at the Vipers roster for this coming season. Here is a list of returning and recruited players as well as players aquired in trades. This may be a sneak peak at this years version of the 2011-12 Vernon Vipers.

Both Zach Mcphee and Ryan Renz are questionable for this coming season. Rumor was McPhee may head to the WHL and join Mark Ferner and the Everett Silvertips. McPhee played in a handfull of games with the Silvertips last season. Ryan Renz was supose to be heading off to University this season, but rumor is the veteran d-man is looking at returning for another season with the Vipers. Max Mowat is also questionable after rumors going around hes thinking of quiting hockey and moving on away from the game.


Riley Hunt (Recruited-Committed)
Jedd Soleway (Recruited-Committed)
Connor Hartley (Recruited-Committed)
Alex Hagen (Recruited-Committed)
Marcus Basara (Returning From Last Year)
Aaron Hadley (Returning From Last Year)
John Knisley (Returning From Last Year)
Patrick McGillis (Returning From Last Year)
Darren Nowick (Returning From Last Year)
Colton Sparrow (Returning From Last Year)
Michael Zalewski (Returning From Last Year)
Adam Tambellini (Recruited-Committed)
Jarryd Ten Vaanholt (Aquired In Trade)


Geoff Crisfield (Recruited-Committed)
Marc Hetnik Jr (Recruited-Committed)
Luke Juha (Aquired In Trade)
Brett Corkey (Returning From Last Year)
Justin Elliott (Aquired In Trade)
Max Mowat (Returning From Last Year)


Kirby Halcrow (Returning From Last Year)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Phoenix Coyotes Sign Free Agent Former Viper Matt Watkins:

The Phoenix Coyotes have signed free agent former Vernon Vipers forward, Matt Watkins to a one year deal. Watkins played just a single season with the Vipers (2004-05) collecting (36-38-74) in 60 regular season games before playing four years at the University of North Dakota. Watkins was selected by the Dallas Stars in the 5th round (160th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Matt Watkins Player Profile:

This is posted on the Coyotes website:

Coyotes Sign Oystrick, Arsene and Watkins to One-Year Contracts

Wednesday, 07.06.2011


GLENDALE, ARIZONA – Phoenix Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have signed free agent defensemen Nathan Oystrick and Dean Arsene as well as free agent forward Matt Watkins to one-year (two-way) contracts. As per club policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Last season, the 6-foot, 210-pound Oystrick played nine games with the St. Louis Blues, recording 1-2-3 and nine penalty minutes. Oystrick also played 61 games with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), registering 15-30-45 and 125 penalty minutes. It marked the third time in his last four AHL seasons that Oystrick reached at least 15 goals, 43 points and 105 penalty minutes (he recorded 15-32-47 and 106 PIM in 2006-07 and 15-28-43 and 112 PIM in 2007-08 with the Chicago Wolves).

During the 2008-09 season, the 28-year-old native of Regina, Saskatchewan, played 53 games with the Atlanta Thrashers, recording 4-8-12 and 50 penalty minutes. In addition, in 2007-08, Oystrick led the Wolves to a Calder Cup Championship, playing in 24 playoff games and recording 3-8-11 and 35 penalty minutes.

In 65 career NHL games with the Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks and Blues, Oystrick has collected 5-10-15 and 61 penalty minutes. Oystrick was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round (198th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Last season, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Arsene played 77 games with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), collecting 1-10-11 and 137 penalty minutes. The 30-year-old native of Murrayville, British Columbia, also played 13 games with the Edmonton Oilers in 2009-10, recording 41 penalty minutes.

In 2008-09, Arsene helped lead the Hershey Bears to a Calder Cup championship, playing in 22 playoff games and collecting two assists and 14 penalty minutes.

Last season, the 5-foot-10, 187-pound Watkins played 64 games with the San Antonio Rampage (AHL), posting 15-20-35 and 45 penalty minutes. During the 2009-10 season, the 24-year-old native of Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, recorded 12-10-22 in 51 games with San Antonio.

Watkins was originally drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round (160th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Vipers High On Hetnik:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers high on Hetnik

By Graeme Corbett - Vernon Morning Star

Published: August 19, 2011

Word of mouth can sometimes be as persuasive as anything a hockey scout can say. That was the case for defenceman Marc Hetnik Jr., the newest member of the Vernon Vipers.

Hetnik, 19, is good friends with former Vipers Mike Collins and Garrett Noonan; the trio played high school hockey together with the Catholic Memorial Knights, a preparatory school in West Roxbury, near Boston.

After listening to them talk about Vernon’s junior A program, and seeing them move on to play NCAA Division 1 – Collins is with the Merrimack Warriors and Noonan with the Boston University Terriers, and was drafted by the Nashville Predators in this year’s NHL Entry Draft – he started giving the B.C. Hockey League some serious thought.

“They couldn’t say enough about how much they enjoyed themselves out there, how good the hockey was and how good the overall experience was. Just hearing that over and over again, I was anxious just to get the opportunity,” said Hetnik, a Brookline, Mass. product committed to the Terriers for the 2012-13 season.

His father, also Marc, played with BU’s 1978 national championship team that went 30-2 and beat arch-rival Boston College Eagles in the championship game, the only time the two schools have met in an NCAA final.

“I got some good genes, I guess,” grinned Hetnik, who was pretty much glued to the television during the Bruins’ run to the Stanley Cup this spring.

“It was unbelievable. Everyone watched every minute of every game. You got 10 or 12 phone calls every night, people asking ‘Where are you watching the game?’

“Once they did win, the parade was unbelievable. It was a great series.”

A natural athlete, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Hetnik was captain of three different sports teams at Catholic Memorial – hockey, golf and lacrosse.

“Hockey was always my passion,” said Hetnik, a point-per-game blueliner for the Knights, earning Catholic Conference all-star honors.

“I like to have the puck on my stick. I like to get the puck moving and make plays... just playing overall smart hockey and making everything easier on everyone else.

“I’m looking forward to making my presence known out there. I want to get crackin’.”

Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson has yet to see Hetnik play, but likes what he’s heard.

“He comes highly recommended from a number of different people we trust out east. He’s supposed to be one of the higher end guys in Massachusetts, and our program has a good reputation out there.”

Hetnik will continue to work at Dexter Southfield School in Brookline before flying to Vernon at the end of August to report for main camp.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Former Viper Ciocco Enters Fourth Year As Instructor At Leach Bros Hockey Camp:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Josh Ciocco is entering his fourth year as an instructor with the Leach Bros Hockey Camp. Ciocco played parts of two years with the Vipers from (2001-2002). Ciocco was aquired during the 2001-02 season from the Prince George Spruce Kings before getting traded in the 2002-03 season to the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Josh Ciocco's Player Profile:

Here is a link to the Leach Bros Hockey Camp website,

Jay and Andrew Leach come from an impressive hockey background that has extended their playing and coaching experience from College all the way up to the NHL. They have developed their company to provide exceptional instruction for the game of hockey by teaching their clients the fundamentals and skills that will propel them to the highest level possible.

We are located in the Seacoast of New Hampshire. Approaching our 4th year of operation, we provide a broad range of high quality camps and clinics to athletes ranging from kids to adults. We strive to push our clients to perform at their very best and look to improve skill level, ability and overall knowledge of the game.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Florida Panthers Re-Sign Former Viper Santorelli:

The Florida Panthers have re-signed former Vernon Vipers forward, Mike Santorelli to a two year contract. Santorelli played just a single season with the Vipers (2003-04) collecting (43-53-96) in 60 regular season games, before playing four years at Northern Michigan University. Santorelli was selected 178th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators. He made his NHL debut with the Predators on January 8, 2009, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. On August 5, 2010, Santorelli was traded by Nashville to the Florida Panthers for a 5th round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Mike Santorelli's Player Profile:

This is posted on the Panthers website:

Panthers Re-Sign C Mike Santorelli

20-Goal Scorer Agrees to Two-Year Deal with Cats

Wednesday, 07.06.2011

SUNRISE, FLA – Florida Panthers Executive Vice President & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has re-signed C Mike Santorelli to a two-year contract.

“We are very pleased to have re-signed Mike,” said Tallon. “He is a hard working and dedicated player who made our team out of training camp and went on to post career bests in goals and assists last season. We look forward to his continued contributions to our club.”

Santorelli, 25, has played in 114 National Hockey League games with Nashville (2008-10) and Florida (2010-11) scoring 22 goals with 22 assists and 30 PIM. The 6-foot, 190-pound forward posted career highs in goals (20), assists (21) and points (41) in his first season with Florida.
Santorelli was acquired in a trade with Nashville on August 5, 2010.

The Vancouver, BC native was drafted by Nashville in the sixth round (178th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

The Florida Panthers Offseason is presented by JetBlue. Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Home to more than 200 events annually and the Florida Panthers hockey club, the Broward County-owned BankAtlantic Center welcomes more than two million guests each year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Former Viper Gore Commits To University Of Regina:

Former Vernon Vipers goaltender, Lucas Goren has committed to the University of Regina for this season. Gore played one season in Vernon (2007-08). In 27 games with the Vipers Gore went 14-8-1 with a 3.31 GAA before joining the WHL Chilliwack Bruins the following season where he would finish his three year WHL career.

Lucas Gores Player Profile:

This is posted on the University Of Regina's website:

Sautner adds three to recruiting class


University of Regina men's hockey head coach Blaine Sautner announced Tuesday that former WHLers Lucas Gore (pictured), Joel Kot, and Blaine Tendler have all committed to the Cougars for the 2011-12 season.

Gore, a goaltender from Kamloops, B.C., was a workhorse for the Chilliwack Bruins last season. He played in 64 of the team's 72 regular season games and compiled a 31-23-7 record to go along with an impressive .911 save percentage. In three full seasons with the Bruins, Gore had a 3.31 career goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. He also played in 11 career playoff games with Chilliwack.

"Lucas brings a ton of experience to our squad and will be able to contribute to our team immediately," Sautner said. "Lucas and A.J. (Whiffen) will be a very solid tandem for us in the seasons to come."

Tendler, a 6'1" blueliner from Viceroy, was named the 2011 SJHL Defenceman of the Year after a spectacular 20-year-old season with the Yorkton Terriers. He had 11 goals and 27 points for Yorkton in 47 regular season games and added four assists in 11 playoff contests last year. Tendler played for the Prince Albert Raiders for three full seasons before finishing off his junior career with two seasons in Yorkton.

"Blaine is a big, mobile defenceman that has a good first pass and is very steady," Sautner said. "His offensive capabilities will be a definite asset to our team as he has proven to be a valuable guy on the power play in the past."

Kot, a defenceman, played in 85 regular season games for the Red Deer Rebels over parts of three seasons. He won an MJHL championship and the Anavet Cup with the Dauphin Kings as a 19-year-old and finished off his junior career with Estevan (SJHL) last season, registering 24 points in 36 regular season games and scoring five points in nine postseason contests.

"Joel is a mobile defenceman who will be a great addition to our team," Sautner said. "He's a slick passer, has a good shot, and was a huge part of the Dauphin team that played in the Royal Bank Cup back in 2010."

The three recruits bring Sautner's recruiting class up to nine players. Seven players committed back in early June, but goaltender Andrew Hayes has opted to pursue a spot in the professional ranks.

The Cougars begin their 2011-12 schedule with a non-conference game at Saskatchewan on Sept. 9. The team's Canada West slate begins on Oct. 7 and 8 with a pair of games against the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

2011-12 University of Regina Men's Hockey Recruiting Class

F Liam Brennan – 6-2, 190 lbs. – Lumsden, Sask. – Augustana Vikings (ACAC)
D Dayton Fossum – 6-0, 190 lbs. – Frontier, Sask. – La Ronge Ice Wolves (SJHL)
G Lucas Gore – 6-0, 170 lbs. – Kamloops, B.C. – Chilliwack Bruins (WHL)
F Tyler Henry – 6-1, 175 lbs. – Balgonie, Sask. – Bonnyville Pontiacs (AJHL)
F Troy Hunter – 6-1, 207 lbs. – Virden, Man. – Estevan Bruins (SJHL)
D Joel Kot – 5-11, 193 lbs. – Moose Jaw, Sask. – Estevan Bruins (SJHL)
D Mark Schneider – 6-1, 190 lbs. – Brandon, Man. – Regina Pats (WHL)
D John Sonntag – 6-3, 215 lbs. – Goodsoil, Sask. – Kindersley Klippers (SJHL)
D Blaine Tendler – 6-1, 200 lbs. – Viceroy, Sask. – Yorkton Terriers (SJHL)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Former Viper Morgan's Popularity Is Growing In Milwaukee:

Former Vernon Vipers defenceman, Nyjer Morgan has his popularity growing in Milwaukee. Morgan played with the Vipers as an "AP" during the 1996-97 season. Morgan was drafted by the Pirates in the 33rd round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft.

Nyjer Morgans Player Profile:

This is posted on the Brewers website:

Morgan's popularity is growing in Milwaukee

Center fielder and his unique alter ego help Brewers laugh, win

By Audrey Snyder / | 08/04/11

MILWAUKEE -- Catcher Jonathan Lucroy jogs toward the television in the clubhouse, turns up the volume and takes a seat on the leather couch. Before he knows it, those at their lockers put their cell phones and iPads away, take a seat next to him and instantly there's laughter.

"Tony Gumbel?" asks Japanese reliever Takashi Saito. "New character?"

There's nothing to do but burst into laughter as the players watch the most recent Nyjer Morgan postgame interview on MLB Network. Going by his on-field alter ego of Tony Plush, the Brewers center fielder unleashes another comical interview that draws national attention.

Morgan has become a fan favorite during his first season in Milwaukee, and this time it's his play that's earning him just as much attention as his so-called "gentleman's name."

"I guess Beyonce has her Sasha Fierce, and so he's got his thing, his Tony Plush," said veteran Jerry Hairston Jr., whose locker was next to Morgan's when both were in Spring Training with the Washington Nationals earlier this year. "And so far it's worked."

Morgan said he's having more fun than ever this season, and it shows. Lost in between pretending to shoot arrows onto the field from the dugout and his contagious laugh is a player who has been providing the Brewers with a spark. Morgan is batting .328, has turned in several clutch at-bats to set up Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, and has held his own in center field.

More important, for the first time in his career he is with a club that's in a pennant race.

"Last year I did the same things but I was on a losing ballclub, so I guess the things I was doing weren't up to par," he said. "When you lose 100 games back-to-back years you have to do something, man."

After spending the past four seasons trying to create his own fun with the Pirates and Nationals, the 31-year-old gets giddy just talking about being with the National League Central-leading Brewers.

"I've had my ups and I've had my downs in this game," said Morgan, a Pirates 33rd-round Draft pick in 2002. "I've been buried, chewed up and spit out, and I know how to handle it. But that's what's going to make you a better person and a better player. Just being able to handle all the people's opinions and not paying attention to it, and just understanding yourself. I mean, shoot, I know I'm not crazy. I just have fun."

Morgan came to Milwaukee, in a trade at the end of Spring Training, with something to prove. He thought that fans misunderstood Plush, who steps on the field with the belief that his 6-foot, 175-pound frame bulks up to that of a macho 6-foot-4, 220-pound entertainer who plays with reckless abandon. It was the same mindset that Morgan had when he was a hockey player and manned left and right wings from the ages of 7-20. There's still no taking that aggressiveness out of him as he pounds his chest just reminiscing about his hockey career.

There were the doubters who criticized his dedication to the game, called him crazy and didn't think he'd find a club that could handle his "easy breezy" fun-loving approach.

"What are you supposed to be, a choir boy out there?" he said. "This is me, man, I don't know how to sugarcoat it."

In a day and age in which players' personalities are less evident, Morgan said that there's no reason for baseball to "be like Wonder Bread."

Milwaukee has so far made plenty of room for Morgan, Plush, T Dot, @TheRealTPlush and the player who runs out to center field. The names are plenty and his words are witty, but the combination has been perfect.

"I knew he was going to be good defensively," manager Ron Roenicke said. "Offensively I knew he was going to be a scrappy player. But, no, I didn't expect him to be doing what he's doing."

The emergence of Morgan has been a pleasant surprise for the Brewers, especially after they placed center fielder Carlos Gomez on the disabled list two weeks ago when he sustained a broken collarbone. Morgan spent time on the disabled list at the beginning of the season, but has been thriving since regaining his health.

"All of my haters out there that hated on me tough last year, I just wanted to kind of tell them to shut up and basically just do it with my stick," he said. "Now I'm doing it with my stick and I just want to continue it. Eventually they're going to give me the love that I need, and you know I gotta get that respect."

His teammates say that he knows when to flip the switch and be serious, and that off the field he's pretty much the same character. He doesn't need energy drinks to bring his boundless enthusiasm; in fact, just the thought of Plush with caffeine draws laughs.

His high energy level and knack for clutch hits has fans obsessed with him, as they're laughing right along with Plush's sayings, antics and Twitter episodes.

"It's like this whole city's crazy, and he kind of is, too, so it just fits," said one of 200-plus fans who recently waited outside for more than an hour in 90-degree heat to get Morgan's autograph.

In the Brewers' team store, the demand for Morgan's apparel is so high that T. Plush merchandise is flying off the shelves. Milwaukee released an exclusive black T-shirt that has "T. Plush" in a graffitied font and his number 2 on the back. Keeping the shirt in stock has been a challenge, senior director of merchandise branding Jill Aronoff said. "The people just love it," Aronoff added.

Many Brewers fans say that they enjoy seeing a player who is flamboyant and who shows personality on the field, yet has the play to back it up. The feeling is mutual in the clubhouse, where Morgan's teammates will often stop what they're doing just to listen in on one of his humorous interviews.

"I've been around him for about five months and I've never seen him change," Gomez said. "Any time you wake up or come in and you're in a bad mood, and you see a guy like that, you forget all about it. It's just fun."

The excitement carries over to the broadcast booth, from where legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker can't say enough good things about what Morgan brings to the club. Praising Morgan's lack of fear, Uecker said that it's easy to see why people gravitate toward a player who has no problem running into a catcher to score or crashing into a wall to make a catch.

The broadcaster enjoys the banter that he and Morgan share off the field. It started in an empty clubhouse in Chicago, where a few repeated whispers of "Bob" had the announcer wondering where the sound was coming from. Uecker kept hearing his name and after walking through the clubhouse, he eventually realized that it was coming from Morgan's locker. He looked inside and found the player hiding behind all of his clothing with a huge grin on his face.

It was just Plush being Plush.

"He does it all the time now," Uecker said. "Under chairs here, under the couch, he hides and as soon as I walk in the clubhouse he starts that 'Bob' stuff. And I do a voice with him, too. I pretend that I'm a radio guy and I won't leave him alone if he starts it. He's a good guy. He's an energy producer and you like to have those guys."

Teammates are pushing to try to get him a reality show, and Morgan insists that his personality isn't an act. Plush, Morgan or whoever it really is is just having a good time. Regardless of what opposing fans and teams think of him, as long as the Brewers are OK with what he's doing on the field and in the clubhouse, Morgan and Plush will continue to entertain.

"The guys embrace it," he said. "That's what's cool about it. They understand that even though I do joke around, I'm serious. I come to work prepared mentally and am physically ready to go, ready to win, ready to compete. And I just leave it all out on the field."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Former Viper Murphy Commits To Providence College:

Former Vernon Vipers forward, Kyle Murphy has committed to Providence College for this coming season. Murphy played for Notre Dame in 2009-10 before joining the Vernon Vipers last season collecting (18-24-42) in 58 regular season games.

Kyle Murphys Player Profile:

This is was in Fridays Providence Journal Newspaper:

Friday, August 12, 2011

By mark divver

Assistant sports editor

New recruits

Providence College coach Nate Leaman continues to bring in reinforcements for the upcoming season, with Matt Montesano and Kyle Murphy the latest to join the Friars.

Montesano, 20, from West Bridgewater, Mass., is a 6-foot-1 center. Before deciding on PC this week, he was set to play for Sioux City of the United States Hockey League this season.

He played for Boston College High School and the Boston Advantage Midgets before spending last season with Bonnyville of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he had 27-36-63 totals in 67 games.

Murphy, 21, is a transfer from Notre Dame, and will be a junior at PC.

The 5-foot-9 winger was scoreless in 17 games for Notre Dame in 2009-10. Last season he played for Vernon of the British Columbia Hockey League and posted 18-24-42 totals in 58 games.

A native of New Jersey, Murphy attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Minnesota, as did PC assistant Ben Barr. Murphy’s brother, Ryan, played at Boston College from 2001-05.

In other recruiting news, the Friars are reportedly interested in 6-foot-2 center Joe Manno, who recently decommitted from UMass-Amherst. The 19-year-old Manno, a native of Quebec, had 16-27-43 totals in 24 games for Connecticut’s South Kent School last winter.

Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which drafted Manno in 2009, also is said to be recruiting him.

Anthony Florentino, who is committed to PC for 2013, turned down an invitation to play for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program U-17 team, which is based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The rugged 16-year-old defenseman from West Roxbury, Mass., will stay at South Kent this winter.

Vipers Bring In Prospects:

This is in todays Morning Star Newspaper:

Vipers bring in prospects

Published: August 14, 2011

The Vernon Vipers are once again tapping local talent to bolster their lineup for the coming B.C. Hockey League season.

Vernon’s Jedd Soleway, a 1994-born forward, and Riley Hunt, a ‘95 forward from Revelstoke, committed to the club Friday.

Hunt played Midget last season with Revelstoke, and represents the Vipers’ required 16-year-old player. He skated at the Hockey B.C. Under 17 provincial camp last July in Salmon Arm, and recently committed to play with the NCAA Division 1 Harvard Crimson.

Vipers’ head coach Jason Williamson said that while Hunt may be small in stature, he will give the Vipers a dynamic edge on offence.

“He’s been recognized by some higher-level programs and when you have a player like that, you’d be crazy not to have him in yours.

“He’s a smaller player so it’s going to take some adapting to get used to this levague, but we’ll get through that.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Soleway played with Okanagan Rockets in the B.C. Major Midget League, producing 16 goals, 17 assists and 97 penalty minutes in 40 games last season.

“He’s a local kid, big body and he’s put in a lot of work,” said Williamson, adding Soleway was a standout at the recent Sunvalley Showcase event at Wesbild Centre.

“He looked good and he had interest from other teams, so we had to move on him before someone else did.”

– Former Viper Trevor Fitzgerald is headed to Vancouver Island to play with the Nanaimo Clippers.

Clippers’ head coach/GM Mike Vandekamp acquired Fitzgerald, as well as defencemen Josh Bryan and Scott Milnthorp from the Prince George Spruce Kings in exchange for Jesse Ursic and triplets Leo, Myles and Gerry Fitzgerald.

Trevor, a Vernon native who was obtained by the Kings in a trade which saw defenceman Ryan Renz land with the Vipers, has met Vandekamp in the past.

“He recruited me in Grande Prairie two years ago. He was good friends with Bernie Pimm and Shawn Bourgeois and they recommended me. He’s a pretty renowned coach and it should be good.

“I know he likes size and grit and that’s my style.”

Fitzgerald wasn’t keen on the extended road trips the Spruce Kings face, especially now with the Quesnel Millionaires out of the league.

“Dave Dupas, their coach, called me and said he had no hard feelings. He was glad I was happy and he wished me well.”

– Viper grad Kyle Murphy has found a new home in the NCAA.

After leaving the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to play junior with Vernon in his 20-year-old year last season, Murphy, a Fair Haven, N.J. native, committed this week to the Providence College Friars of the Hockey East Conference.

Murphy, a diligent two-way forward and one of Vernon’s better faceoff men last season, posted 18 goals and 25 assists for 43 points in 58 games last season. His academic record is equally impressive.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Spruce Kings Trade Former Viper Skirving To Trail:

The Prince George Spruce Kings have traded former Vernon Vipers forward, Todd Skirving to the Trail Smoke Eaters. Skirving who was recruited by the Vipers last season played in 34 regular season games collecting (4-5-9) before being traded at last years BCHL trade deadline. Skirving along with future considerations was sent to the Prince George Spruce Kings for defenceman, Ryan Renz. Skirving played in just 15 regular season games with the Spruce Kings last season collecting (4-4-8).

Todd Skirvings Player Profile:

This is posted on the Spruce Kings website:

The Prince George Spruce Kings have picked up Ben Matthews who is a 6' 4" 210lbs 20 year old defenceman from Chugiak, Alaska. Matthews was acquired from the Trail Smoke Eaters in exchange for Todd Skirving. In two seasons with the Smoke Eaters, Matthews has played in 107 games with a record of 8 goals, 23 assists and 130 penalty minutes.