Oil Kings, Rockets deal … Two Wheaties get NHL deals … Chiefs d-man to retire

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F Shane Harper (Everett, 2005-10) has signed a one-year contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 14 games with the Florida Panthers (NHL); seven goals and 12 assists in 39 games with the Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL); and one goal and two assists in 19 games with the Albany Devils (AHL).

“It’s the summer of 1994,” Corey Hirsch wrote at The Players’ Tribune in February. “I am standing at the edge of a cliff in Kamloops . . . and I am checking out.” He was 22 years of age and had seen enough. In the end, though, he didn’t drive his car over that cliff. He later was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, and now he’s telling his story. . . . The former WHL and NHL goaltender will be in Kamloops on Wednesday. His old junior team, the Blazers, will play the visiting Prince George Cougars later in the evening. First, the Canadian Mental Health Association, as part of its 25th anniversary, will present Hirsch and his message at 5:30 p.m., in the Valley First Lounge at the Sandman Centre. Tickets are available right here. . . . If you haven’t read his story, it’s right here. . . . This season, Hirsch is back in hockey as the analyst on the Vancouver Canucks’ radio crew.

The Edmonton Oil Kings and Kelowna Rockets moved Monday to settle roster situations.

The Oil Kings acquired Czech F Tomas Soustal, 20, from the Rockets for a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.

That move allowed the Rockets to get down to the maximum two imports and three 20-year-olds.

Kelowna found itself with four 20s after F Carsen Twarynski returned from the camp of the AHL’s Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

The Rockets also have D Gordie Ballhorn and James Hilsendager on their roster. Their two imports now are both Czech freshmen — D Libor Zabransky, 17, and F Marek Skvrne, 18.

The acquisition of Soustal left the Oil Kings with three imports, so they placed F Artyom Baltruk, who is from Belarus, on waivers. Baltruk, 18, had three goals and two assists in 60 games as a freshman last season. This season, he was pointless in three games. Edmonton also has freshman F Andrei Pavlenko, also from Belarus, on its roster. Pavlenko has two goals in five games.

Soustal joins G Travis Child and F Colton Kehler as Edmonton’s 20s.

Soustal should bring some offence to an Edmonton team that didn’t make the playoffs last season. He had 113 points, including 47 goals, in 175 regular-season games with the Rockets. Last season, he had 18 goals and 27 assists in 49 games. Soustal also has plenty of playoff experience, having totalled 13 goals and 14 assists in 54 games.

D Jake Toporowski of the Spokane Chiefs announced Monday that he will play his final game on Wednesday against the visiting Everett Silvertips. “Wednesday night will be a night that I grew up hoping wouldn’t come for another 20 years,” he wrote, “yet here we find ourselves. I am about to play my final hockey game. . . . This decision hasn’t been easy, but I feel it is the right one for my physical, mental and emotional health going forward. Words can’t describe the feelings, everything from the obvious sadness over it all ending to excitement about what the future holds.” . . . Toporowski, 19, is from Bettendorf, Iowa. He is the son of former Chiefs D Kerry Toporowski. . . . Injuries limited Jake to 36 games last season — he had three assists — while he didn’t play in any of the Chiefs’ first five games this season. He was a third-round selection by Spokane in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . Luke Toporowski, Jake’s 16-year-old brother, is a freshman forward on Spokane’s roster.

Selena Gomez has put living kidney donation in the national spotlight. So, what does it take to donate a kidney? https://t.co/O9NaTVxawe

— CORE (@COREDonateLife) October 2, 2017

Fans of the Regina Pats and Vancouver Giants are up next in the WHL/Kidney Foundation promotion that involves Don Cherry and is aimed at increasing organ donor awareness. . . . The Pats entertain the Saskatoon Blades on Saturday, while the Giants will play host to the Tri-City Americans in Langley, B.C. In both games, the home team will wear sweaters fashioned after Cherry’s wardrobe; yes, the sweaters will be available via auction. . . . The Kidney Foundation will have a booth at each game, so feel free to stop by.

Each of the 17 Canadian WHL franchises will have a night. The Prince Albert Raiders were first up last Saturday, with the Kootenay Ice and Moose Jaw Warriors to follow on Oct. 14. Here’s the remainder of the schedule: Brandon Wheat Kings, Oct. 20; Lethbridge Hurricanes, Oct. 27; Calgary Hitmen, Oct. 28; Edmonton Oil Kings and Kamloops Blazers, March 2; Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos, March 3; Victoria Royals, March 9; and Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels and Saskatoon Blades, March 10.

F Tanner Kaspick of the Brandon Wheat Kings has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. The 19-year-old Kaspick, a fourth-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft, attended the Blues’ training camp before being returned to the Wheat Kings. . . . This season, he has two goals and two assists in four games with Brandon. Last season, his third with the Wheat Kings, he had 19 goals and 26 assists in 49 games. . . . Kaspick, from Brandon, was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft.

Meanwhile, Renaud Lavoie of TVA tweeted last night that the Colorado Avalanche has signed Brandon F Ty Lewis, 19, to a three-year entry-level deal. Lewis, another Brandon native, attended Colorado’s camp as an undrafted free agent. Last season, he had 30 goals and 38 assists in 70 games. This season, his third with the Wheat Kings, he has two goals and eight assists in four games.

The Calgary Hitmen got down to three 20-year-olds on Monday as they placed D Brady Reagan on waivers. From Calgary, Reagan was a second-round pick by the Regina Pats in the 2012 bantam draft. He has split 235 regular-season games between the Pats, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Hitmen. He has 15 goals and 44 assists. Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 18 games with Lethbridge, and six goals and 16 assists in 50 games with Calgary. . . . The move leaves Calgary with F Matteo Gennaro, G Nick Schneider and F Jakob Stukel as its 20s.

D Turner Ottenbreit won’t be in the Seattle Thunderbirds’ lineup tonight when they visit the Tri-City Americans. Ottenbreit, Seattle’s captain, drew a TBD suspension for a headshot major and game misconduct on Saturday night against the host Portland Winterhawks. He hit Portland F Joachim Blichfeld, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. . . . D Cale Fleury of the Kootenay Ice also drew a TBD suspension. He took a cross-checking major and game misconduct for a hit on F Davis Murray of the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings on Sunday. Murray left the game and didn’t return.

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UNLV Hockey Assistant Coach Nick Robone Update: pic.twitter.com/Ppt1kqLGj9

— UNLV Rebel Hockey (@UNLVRebelHockey) October 2, 2017

Nick Robone, an assistant coach with the hockey team at the U of Nevada-Las Vegas, was among the wounded in the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night. . . . Robone, a native of Las Vegas, is in his third season there. The 28-year-old was shot in the chest and underwent surgery on Monday morning. . . . Robone’s father, Tony, told Brian Joseph of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the bullet didn’t puncture a lung, but the organ is bruised and he was in “pretty bad shape.” Tony added that the family is “optimistically cautious” that their son will be OK.

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!

MONDAY:

No Games Scheduled.

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TUESDAY (all times local):

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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).

The post Oil Kings, Rockets deal … Two Wheaties get NHL deals … Chiefs d-man to retire appeared first on Taking Note.

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