F Lukáš Vartovník (Everett, 2006-08) has signed a one-year contract with Spišská Nová Ves (Slovakia, 1. Liga). Last season, with Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia, 1. Liga), he had five goals and 11 assists in 36 games. . . .
F Martin Cibák (Medicine Hat, 1998-2000) has signed a one-year contract with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga).
Last season, he was the captain of Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL), and had 12 points, including six goals, in 38 games. He was traded to Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL), and had two goals and an assist in 16 games.
The WHL may have lost another player to post-concussion syndrome.
F Brandon Del Grosso, 18, isn’t with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
“As of right now,” he told Taking Note, “I’m just going to school and taking things day by day. I was not ready to return to Moose Jaw this year as I haven’t played in a hockey game in quite a while.”
Del Grosso played one game last season. On Oct. 9, he took a hit from behind that, he said, left him with whiplash and a concussion. Almost a year later, Del Grosso is still feeling it.
“I still have symptoms (from) time to time,” he said.
A ninth-round pick by Moose Jaw in the 2011 bantam draft, he had 43 points, 13 of them goals, in 43 games with the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants in 2012-13. He also got into three games with the Warriors that season.
So, to date, his WHL resume shows four games, with no points.
From New Westminster, he is now attending Douglas College, which is located in his hometown.
“As far as hockey goes,” he said, “I’m not currently playing but that could change in the future.”
Making the decision to leave the game, especially when it wasn’t on his terms, “wasn’t easy, that’s for sure,” he said.
If you missed it, Sean Rooney and Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News reported Wednesday that F Gavin Broadhead of the Medicine Hat Tigers has had to retire due to post-concussion syndrome.
That story is right here.
Meanwhile, the U of Minnesota Gophers announced Wednesday that Amanda Kessel, the sister of Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel, won’t play this season because of post-concussion syndrome.
Amanda Kessel didn’t play for the Gophers last season as she was with the U.S. women’s national team. She incurred a concussion while with the national team.
“It’s obviously a difficult decision and one that I’ve taken time to come to terms with,” Kessel said in a news release. “As someone who has played through a lot of injuries, it wasn’t until suffering a concussion that I fully understood the importance of being 100 per cent healthy when I’m on the ice. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case right now.
“My No. 1 priority is my health, and I hope that I’ll be able to return to the ice in the future.”
She has been working with doctors and specialists at the Carrick Brain Center in Atlanta.
Kessel, who has one year of eligibility remaining, won the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2012 as the NCAA’s top Divison I women’s player.
The Moose Jaw Warriors lost a member of their organization in July when F Ethan Williams of Winnipeg committed suicide. Williams, who would have turned 17 on Aug. 22, was to have attended his third Warriors training camp. . . . On Wednesday, Katie Brickman of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald reports right here, 11 veteran players “participated in the Cycle Around the Globe for World Suicide Prevention Day . . . with a certain person in mind.” . . . Warriors GM Alan Millar told Brickman: ““I think it is very important to be in the community and give back to the Moose Jaw community that supports us so well but, as part of that, there are a number of causes that are so important. This day is close to our hearts with what happened to a young man, Ethan Williams, recently. He was part of our family.”
It could be that Russian F Nikita Scherbak has played his last game with the Saskatoon Blades. Scherback led the Blades last season in goals (28), assists (50) and points (78). He was selected in the first round of the NHL’s 2014 draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He turns 19 on Dec. 30, so has to play in the NHL or be returned to the Blades. . . . Because he was a first-round NHL pick, the Blades were allowed to pick twice in the CHL’s 2014 import draft, which they did. On top of that, there is a one-year moratorium on trading import draft selections. . . . So, as Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports right here, the Blades already are contemplating finding Scherback another WHL team with which to play.
“Government officials in Washington state, home to four Western Hockey League teams, have been investigating the working conditions of the teams’ mostly-teenaged players over the past year, TSN has learned.
“Matthew Erlich, a spokesman for Washington’s Department of Labor and Industry, told TSN that officials recently referred the case to the state attorney general’s office and added that the labor department is waiting for a legal opinion from the attorney general before pursuing its investigation further.”
Those are the first two paragraphs of a story by Rick Westhead, TSN’s senior correspondent. The complete story is right here.
TSN posted its first Craig’s List of the 2014-15 season on Wednesday. The list, compiled by TSN’s Craig Button, features his ranking of the top 40 players who are eligible for the 2015 NHL draft. This list, which is right here, includes one WHLer, Seattle F Mathew Barzal, in the top 20, but there are five in the top 30 and 10 in the top 40.
The Prince George Cougars have hired Craig Hyslop as an athletic therapist. Hyslop, 28, is from Prince George. He spent the last two years with CBI, a health services centre in Prince George. According to general manager Todd Harkins, Hyslop will “take care of (the players’) health and well-being,” while Chico Dhanjal “takes care of their equipment.” . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman tweeted Wednesday that D Landon Cross, 20, has received his release and will join the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. Cross, who is from Brandon, was acquired by the Kootenay Ice from the Kamloops Blazers last season. He didn’t report to the Ice this season, saying he wanted to finish his junior career with the Pistons. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades will open the season with Troy Trombley, 20, and Trevor Martin, 18, as their goaltenders. The 6-foot-7 Trombley, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was 9-30-3/4.08/.899 last season. He also has played with the Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans. Martin, from Ardossan, Alta., split last season between the midget AAA Leduc Oil Kings and the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines. . . . Saskatoon’s roster sits at 29, including two goaltenders and 10 defencemen.
The new third jersey is here! pic.twitter.com/SifZ5ktKBX
— Kamloops Blazers (@blazerhockey)