Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday News/Notes: Red Deer 2016 Memorial Cup Hosts/Carroll Not Suspended

Red Deer Rebels First Alberta Hosts in 40 years:
-The big news came down yesterday afternoon that Red Deer had been chosen over the Vancouver Giants to host the 2016 Memorial Cup. The Memorial Cup is a round robin tournament whose host is the 4th team while the other 3 are the Champions of the OHL, QMJHL and WHL. Since 1983, the host city has alternated between the 3 leagues. The host city that year was the Portland Winterhawks.

Red Deer being picked means that an Eastern Conference team has been chosen for the 3rd straight time by the WHL. The last two hosts were Brandon(2010) and Saskatoon(2013). One of the main reasons that Red Deer was chosen, was probably the promise of large crowds and that an city from Alberta has not played host since Calgary in 1974. Red Deer has several young stars as well with 17 year olds Adam Musil and Meyer Nell and 16 year olds Jeff de Wit and Josh Mahura and have already signed their top two picks from the 2014 Bantam Draft: Jake Leschyshyn and Dawson Weatherill. The last time 3 straight teams from one conference were chosen to host was when Seattl(1992), Kamloops(1995) and Spokane(1998) were chosen form the Western Conference.

Austin Carroll Not Suspended?:
-Early in the first period of Monday night's game vs. Portland, Victoria was throwing checks willy nilly and Carroll caught Alex Schoenborn in the head with an elbow in the neutral zone knocking him from the game until midway through the 2nd period. The hit was not penalized and apparently has not been deemed suspension worthy either. This is puzzling because there was multiple great looks at the hit on instant replay and seemed to be a textbook hit to the head. Carroll appeared to target Schoenborn's head as he came over the middle and I was honestly surprised that he came back into the lineup. Even though the hit was not penalized, the league can still suspend the player, but I guess did not think it fit the definition. 

Jamie Kompon Article:
-Buzzing the Net writer Sunaya Sapurji published an article today about Head Coach General Manager Jamie Kompon and the path that led him to being coach for the Hawks. Despite the team's 1-6-0-1 start so far, the tireless work ethic that he has, along with finally having almost all of the team's core players back, I would expect this to be turned around very soon. 

4 WHL Eligible Players Make Debuts:
-19 year Everett Silvertips Defenseman Mirco Mueller played 17:54 and was a +1 for the San Jose Sharks in his NHL debut in his team's 4-0 win over the L.A. Kings. Mueller made several great plays in the game and appears to be set to stay with the Sharks for the rest of the season.
-18 year #1 pick and Kootenay Ice Center Sam Reinhart will make his debut for the Buffalo Sabres tonight against Columbus and is another player that seems a lock to not come back to the WHL.
-19 year old Edmonton Oil Kings Center Curtis Lazar will make his debut tonight for Ottawa in Nashville against Seth Jones and the Predators. He could be just on a 9 game try out, depending on how comfortable he looks at the NHL level, though through gritted teeth I'll tell you that he is NHL ready.
-18 year old Prince Albert Raiders Center Leon Draisaitl makes his debut for the Edmonton Oilers tonight vs. Calgary and should be locked into their top 6 as their #2 Center.
-Former Winterhawks Head Coach/GM Mike Johnston also makes his NHL debut as his Penguins play host to the Anaheim Ducks.

Heinrich Still Out:
-Blake Heinrich was still listed on the WHL injury report as "week to week" with a concussion.

Two More U.S. Division Games?!!
-Portland's schedule had them playing 7 of their first 10 games this season vs. Seattle and Everett and plays them both this weekend, before heading out onto their 5 East Division road trip next week. Two big wins this weekend will go a long way towards making a run at the Division title and getting off the slide they are currently on. Games within the division are essentially worth 4 points in the standings and Portland is only 1-3-0-1 against  these two so far this year.

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