Ex-WHLer saw lots (and lots) of Brooks

B.C. Hockey Hall honours Nachbaur with Quinn Award

 

If you weren’t aware, Garth Brooks played six shows in Saskatoon last week. Shannon Briske, a former WHLer, attended five of them. Briske’s brother, Byron, who played with the Victoria Cougars, Red Deer Rebels and Tri-City Americans in a four-season (1992-96) career, was at the other one. . . . Shannon played three seasons (1992-95) in the WHL, starting with the Portland Winterhawks and finishing up with 17 games with the Regina Pats. . . . The Briske brothers are financial planners in Saskatoon and have a corporate box at SaskTel Centre. . . . Eric Anderson of CBC News has more right here.

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The Portland Winterhawks have a couple of vacancies on their scouting staff. The Prince George Cougars announced last week that Scott Blakeney, who had been with Portland for eight years, has joined them and will be scouting the Lower Mainland of B.C. . . . Meanwhile, Jason Pashelka, a veteran of 11 years with Portland, has left the Winterhawks and is exploring options throughout the WHL. From Edmonton, he has scouted Alberta for the Winterhawks.

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Don Nachbaur, the head coach of the Spokane Chiefs, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Pat Quinn Coaching Award. This award is to be

Don Nachbaur (Photo: Spokane Chiefs)

Don Nachbaur (Photo: Spokane Chiefs)

presented annually in memory of Quinn, who died in November 2014. . . . The award, which was established in 2015, will be presented annual by the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame “to an individual, regardless of their level of coaching, who helps and shares excellence by educating players in the sport of hockey.” . . . Nachbaur, who was born in Kitimat, B.C., and raised in Prince George, is heading into his seventh season as Spokane’s head coach. He also spent six seasons as head coach of each of the Tri-City Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds. He has won the WHL’s Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as coach of the year with each of the three WHL teams he has coached. . . . Quinn was inducted in the BCHHF in Penticton in 2002.

TeamSnap Coaches Conference 2016

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With the NHL season having ended, OnlineGambling.lv has posted its odds for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs:

Pittsburgh Penguins: 20/3
Chicago Blackhawks: 7/1
Washington Capitals: 15/2
Anaheim Ducks: 10/1
San Jose Sharks: 10/1
St. Louis Blues: 10/1
Dallas Stars: 12/1
Los Angeles Kings: 12/1
Tampa Bay Lightning: 14/1
Nashville Predators: 16/1
New York Islanders: 16/1
Florida Panthers: 20/1
Minnesota Wild: 20/1
Montreal Canadiens: 20/1
Philadelphia Flyers: 22/1
Boston Bruins: 26/1
New York Rangers: 30/1
Detroit Red Wings: 35/1
New Jersey Devils: 35/1
Colorado Avalanche: 40/1
Winnipeg Jets: 40/1
Calgary Flames: 50/1
Ottawa Senators: 50/1
Columbus Blue Jackets: 60/1
Edmonton Oilers: 60/1
Carolina Hurricanes: 80/1
Buffalo Sabres: 80/1
Toronto Maple Leafs: 100/1
Arizona Coyotes: 200/1
Vancouver Canucks: 200/1

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OnlineGambling.lv also posted these:

Odds to be the first coach fired:

Michel Therrien (Montreal): 5/3
Patrick Roy (Colorado): 7/2
Dave Tippett (Arizona): 6/1
Claude Julien (Boston): 7/1
Alain Vigneault (New York Rangers): 9/1
Willie Desjardins (Vancouver): 11/1

Odds on which team signs Steven Stamkos:

Tampa Bay: 2/1
Detroit: 13/4
Toronto: 4/1
Montreal: 7/1
Buffalo: 9/1

Over/under on total value of Stamkos’ contract: $80.5 million

Odds to receive the biggest free-agent contract (aside from Stamkos):

Milan Lucic: 5/4
Kyle Okposo: 7/5
Louis Eriksson: 9/1
David Backes: 9/1

Odds on what a new Las Vegas franchise would be called:

Black Knights: 2/1
Gamblers: 4/1
Rattlers: 12/1
Penn and Tellers: 50/1
Soon-to-be-Coyotes (when someone finally takes a hint): 100/1

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Odds on other cities getting an NHL franchise by 2020:

Seattle: 2/1
Quebec City: 4/1
Kansas City: 16/1

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While the NHL season just ended on Sunday night, KHL teams are preparing for their next training camps. As Patrick Conway reports in his latest edition of Russian hockey news and notes, KHL camps open in “just 20 days or so.” . . . Conway starts to set the stage for next season right here.

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Coaching

Mike Yeo is the head coach in waiting with the St. Louis Blues. The NHL team announced Monday that it has signed Yeo as associate coach and that he will succeed head coach Ken Hitchcock, who has said he will retire NHL after the 2016-17 season. . . . Yeo, who got a four-year deal with the Blues, started last season as head coach of the Minnesota Wild, but was fired during the season. . . . The Blues also announced the signing of long-time NHL assistant coach Rick Wilson, who had been in Minnesota with Yeo but was dumped following the season. Wilson also worked with Hitchcock in Dallas and was with the Stars when they won the Stanley Cup in 1999. . . . The Blues lost assistant coaches Brad Shaw and Kirk Muller after the season, so the hirings of Yeo and Wilson fill those spots. . . . Wilson spent eight seasons (1980-88) on the coaching staff of the Prince Albert Raiders, the last two as head coach. He has been in the NHL since 1988-89. . . . Michael Russo of the Minneapolis StarTribune has more right here.

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There were numerous reports on social media last night that the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks are close to a deal that would bring Randy Carlyle back as NHL their head coach. He was the Ducks’ head coach for six-plus seasons. Carlyle was dumped by the Ducks 24 games into 2011-12, then was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs for that season’s final 18 games. The Leafs fired him 40 games into 2014-15. . . . It is believed that Travis Green, a former assistant GM/assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks, was given serious consideration for the Anaheim position. Green is the head coach of the Utica Comets, the Vancouver Canucks’ AHL affiliate. . . . In Anaheim, Carlyle would take over from Bruce Boudreau, who now is the head coach of the Minnesota Wild. . . . Meanwhile, there are rumblings that the Calgary Flames are close to replacing head coach Bob Hartley and that Glen Gulutzan appears to be the leading candidate. An assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks, Gulutzan is a former WHL player (Moose Jaw, Brandon, Saskatoon, 1986-92). If Gulutzan ends up in Calgary, perhaps Green will be promoted to Vancouver. . . . There also are reports that Rick Bowness, an associate coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is about to join the New York Rangers’ staff. Bowness and Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault worked together when the latter was the Canucks’ head coach.

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The OHL’s Flint Firebirds rounded out their coaching staff on Monday, announcing that Stan Matwijiw will be back as goaltending coach and that Scott MacDonald has signed on as an assistant coach and video co-ordinator. . . . Matwijiw, who played in the WHL (Prince Albert, Lethbridge, 1991-94), is going into his second season with Flint. Earlier, he spent eight seasons with the Plymouth Whalers. . . . MacDonald was an assistant coach and video co-ordinator four four seasons (2010-14) in Plymouth.

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Christian Wohlwend has signed a two-year contract as head coach of Switzerland’s U-20 hockey team. He takes over from John Fust. . . . Wohlwend has been head coach of the U-19 team and an assistant with the U-20 side since 2011. He also has been head coach of HC Lugano’s U-20 team for three years. . . . Wohlwend was expected to serve as head coach of Hockey Thurgau of the Swiss NL B, but his contract there has been terminated.

Martin Merk of iihfworlds2017.com also reported that Patrick Fischer’s contract as the head coach of Switzerland’s national team has been extended for two years. He was named head coach in December.

Merk’s piece is right here.

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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

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