Tuer memorial service Tuesday … Ice coach promises change … Keller back with Blazers

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Picture of the elephant hill fire from north side of green lake looking south. #bcwildfires pic.twitter.com/VGpOo3X9vN

— jordi browne (@jordi_browne) August 30, 2017

A memorial service for Graham Tuer will be held on Tuesday, 2 p.m., at the Queensbury Convention Centre in Regina. Tuer, a familiar face around Western Canadian arenas for more than 50 years, died in Regina on Tuesday morning. He was 87. . . . If you wonder how much he will be missed, just Google his name or search for it on Twitter. . . . He was a remarkable man who touched a lot of people.

The Kootenay Ice has won 26 regular-season games over the past two seasons, and the franchise has experience a lot of change over the summer, with new owners and a new head coach coming on board.

Earlier this week, head coach James Patrick told reporters that there definitely will be changes on the Ice’s roster.

“We know that there’s going to be some new players on the team,” Patrick said. “We brought in six guys to start with. We’re going to have some young guys pushing at the door.

“We drafted two Europeans who are . . . I’m really impressed with (Slovak defenceman) Martin Bodak . . . there’s going to be new players on the team. That should be a strong message to some returning veterans that there’s not going to be enough spots for the amount of players we have. I hope that alone sends a message to them and increases the competition.”

Patrick went so far as to say that if some of the veterans don’t get that message “they may be missing the boat.”

“All you can focus on is yourself and being prepared and being ready to compete and give it all to earn a spot,” Patrick said. “That’s all I’m asking of them and I hope they have that frame of mind. I think a lot of them do; I don’t know if they all do.”

The Ice has four goaltenders in camp — veterans Mario Petit, 20, and Jakob Walter, 18, and a pair of 16-year-olds in Jesse Makaj and Carter Woodside.

Makaj, a second-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, played last season with the major midget Vancouver-NW Giants. Woodside, from Asquith, Sask., was a sixth-round pick in 2016. He played last season with the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires.

“They will be given a very long look,” Patrick said of the two young goaltenders. “They will make the decision for us.”

There is more on the Ice right here from Summit 107FM.

UPDATE: #IceRays resume operations, begin on-ice Saturday, and assist in hurricane relief efforts.

📰: https://t.co/76ug3DQdQH pic.twitter.com/UNTUWjkj0s

— CorpusChristiIceRays (@goicerays) August 30, 2017

The NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays are back in business.

Head coach Brad Flynn told Taking Note about their having to deal with the arrival of Hurricane Harvey and that was reported here on Wednesday.

Later in the day, the IceRays issued this news release:

“Following the impact and passing of Hurricane Harvey, the Corpus Christi IceRays have resumed operations and normal business hours at the American Bank Center. All players have safely returned to their billet homes, and the team has begun preparations for the 2017-18 season. The first skate of the season will take place on Saturday, and off-ice training begins today and will continue throughout camp.

“The IceRays organization thanks and appreciates the support sent from the hockey community, members of the IceRays family and surrounding communities throughout the events of Hurricane Harvey. The organization now urges those individuals and organizations to support the local Coastal Bend communities greatly impacted by the storm.

“The IceRays organization stands strong with the city of Rockport, Port Aransas, and the towns most affected by the impact of Hurricane Harvey. Starting today, the IceRays players and staff will be going to these areas to help distribute supplies and begin the rebuilding process throughout training camp and during the season. The IceRays Family extends to the outer regions of the Coastal Bend, and family is most important in difficult circumstances. The IceRays organization maintains its community-first approach and strong investment in the citizens and businesses of the area, and that commitment will not waiver in this time of strife.

“We will rebuild. We will overcome. We will rise.

“Texas Forever.”

Mark Romas has been named director of scouting by the Seattle Thunderbirds, the reigning WHL champions. He takes over from Dan McLean, who now is an amateur scout with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . Romas, a Winnipegger, has been Seattle’s Manitoba scout for six seasons, and has been scouting in the WHL for 24 seasons. He also has worked with the Moose Jaw Warriors (1992-98) and Regina Pats (1998-2010). . . . He will continue as the Thunderbirds’ Manitoba scout while handling the director of scouting’s duties.

Aaron Keller has returned to the Kamloops Blazers, this time as a part-time assistant coach. Keller, 42, has retired after playing professionally for 18 seasons in Japan. A defenceman who is from Kamloops, he played four seasons with the Blazers (1992-96), and was part of two Memorial Cup-championship teams. . . . While in Japan, Keller represented the country at eight world championship tournaments. . . . In Kamloops, Keller will work alongside head coach Don Hay and assistant coach Mike Needham, part-time assistant Chris Murray and goaltending coach Dan De Palma. . . . The Blazers had a vacancy on their coaching staff because Terry Bangen left to join the ECHL’s Worcester Railers as an assistant coach. . . . Keller has moved back to Kamloops and has been on the ice with the Blazers during training camp.

The Kamloops Blazers have signed F Riley Ginnell, whose family has a long history with the WHL. . . . Ginnell, from Calgary, was a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had 12 goals and 15 assists in 36 games with the bantam AAA Calgary Royals. . . . His brother, Brad, is going into his second season with the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Their father, Erin, is a former WHL player (New Westminster, Calgary Wranglers, Seattle, Regina, Swift Current, 1985-87) who now scouts for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. He has been an NHL scout since 2000. . . . The late Pat Ginnell, Erin’s father, was a legendary WHL coach and general manager, who scouted for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues for 14 years. He also played on the 1956-57 Flin Flon Bombers, who won the Memorial Cup.

The Saskatoon Blades have signed D Majid Kaddoura, who is from Chestermere, Alta. Kaddoura, 16, was added to the Blades’ protected list last season. He played for the Calgary-based Edge School’s Elite 15 team in 2016-17, putting up four goals and 21 assists in 29 games and was named the league’s top defenceman. . . . Meanwhile, D Brandon Armstrong, 18, was among the players released by the Blades on Wednesday. He had been released by the Moose Jaw Warriors before being invited to camp by the Blades. From Maple Ridge, B.C., he was a fifth-round pick by the Warriors in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. Last season, he had one goal and one assist in 34 games with the Warriors.

The Regina Pats have signed F Cole Dubinsky, D Ryker Evans and D Parker Gavlas. . . . Dubinsky, from Androssan, Alta., was a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Last seasons, he had 14 goals and 16 assists in 22 games with the OHA Edmonton bantam prep team. . . . Evans, from Calgary, was a 10th-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He played last season for the minor midget CRAA Blue side, putting up three goals and 23 assists in 36 games. . . . Gavlas, 17, is from Saskatoon and was in the Pats’ training camp as a free agent. Last season, he had six goals and 11 assists in 43 games with the midget AAA Battleford Stars. . . . The Pats also announced their leadership group on Wednesday. F Sam Steel, the WHL’s reigning player of the year, will be the captain. The alternates will be F Matt Bradley, F Jake Leschyshyn and D Josh Mahura. Steel, 19, won the WHL scoring title last season, with 131 points. Bradley, 20, was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers over the summer. Leschyshyn, 18, is coming off knee surgery that limited him to 43 games last season. Mahura, 19, was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels in January.

The Seattle Thunderbirds have signed four players — F Graeme Bryks, G Cole Schwebius, D Cade McNelly and F Samuel Huo. . . . Bryks, from Edmonton, was an eighth-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Last season, with the midget AAA Knight of Columbus Pats, he had 11 goals and 15 assists in 32 games. . . . Schwebius, from Kelowna, was a 10th-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He was 1.93, .911 in 17 games with the OHA Elite 15 team last season. . . . McNelly, from Westlock, Alta., was in Seattle’s camp a year ago as a free-agent, and was added to the Thunderbirds’ protected list. Last season, he had three assists in 20 games with the midget AAA Fort Saskatchewan Rangers. . . . Huo, from Richmond, B.C., was in Seattle’s training camp this week as a free-agent invite. Last season, with the Burnaby Winter Club’s Elite 15 side, he had 18 goals and 14 assists in 28 games.

The Swift Current Broncos have signed D Christian Riemer, 17, to a WHL contract. From Regina, Riemer was added to the Broncos’ protected list last season and has been in training camp with them. Last season, with the midget AAA Swift Current Legionnaires, he had nine goals and 11 assists in 40 games. . . . He was in the Broncos’ lineup on Tuesday as they scored a 4-0 exhibition victory over the host Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Everett Silvertips have signed D Alex Moar and G Danton Belluk to WHL contracts. . . . Moar, from Prince Albert, was selected by Everett in the fifth round of the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos, he had one goal and 22 assists in 40 games. . . . Belluk, from Lorette, Man., was a 10th-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he was 11-5-2, 2.72, .913 with the midget AAA Eastman Selects. . . . Moar and Belluk remain with the Silvertips and are expected to play in this weekend’s Delta Hotels Preseason Classic in Everett.

The Calgary Hitmen have signed D Layne Toder, 17, who was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. From Elkhorn, Man., he had 11 goals and 17 assists in 44 regular-season games with the MJHL-champion Portage Terriers last season. Toder, who was named to the MJHL’s all-rookie team, added a goal and eight assists in 18 playoff games.

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

If you’re looking for information on WHL teams and their training camp rosters, visit Small Thoughts At Large, the blog maintained by Alan Caldwell. . . . You will find it all right here.

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

Former NHL enforcer Rudy Poeschek, who probably has CTE, is on this week's Kamloops Crime Stoppers most-wanted list for breaching probation pic.twitter.com/8sMHrmcnfC

— Tim Petruk (@timpetruk) August 31, 2017

The post Tuer memorial service Tuesday … Ice coach promises change … Keller back with Blazers appeared first on Taking Note.

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