Friday, July 30, 2010

Vey, Harrison and Pitlick articles

Found two more very good articles from the Prince Albert Herald. I recommend reading both of them if you are a Tiger fan.

The first article tells us about Ryan Harrison and his thoughts on his new future with the Medicine Hat Tigers, and how he is currently battling strep throat.

The second article interviews Linden Vey and Tyler Pitlick on how their summers have went so far, as well as Vey's thoughts on the the two newest Tigers.

Ryan Harrison
Ryan Harrison was in pain Tuesday, but it had little to do with news of his trade to the Medicine Hat Tigers from the Prince Albert Raiders.

Battling a case of strep throat that’s caused him to lose about 10 pounds since last weekend, Harrison was sleeping at his Kelowna, B.C., home when Raiders coach and general manager Bruno Campese called to advise him of the trade.

Read more


Linden Vey and Tyler Pitlick

"Just like during his childhood, Linden Vey of Wakaw is getting together with the Saskatoon boys to play summer hockey.

Vey, who turned 19 a couple of weeks ago, is bound for St. John’s, N.L., on Tuesday for the Canadian junior team’s development camp."

Read More

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Articles on the Trade

The Medicine Hat News and Prince Albert Herald have good articles on the trade I'll post a few excerpts but you can read the whole thing on their respective website.

Medicine Hat News
“He’s a guy that can jump in to our top six (forwards) and make an impact,” said McEwen. “You can look at his numbers and the way he plays, he really combines skill and his skill comes from hard work.”

"The numbers certainly look good. Harrison has scored 14 goals in each of his two full seasons in Prince Albert, amassing 89 points and 248 penalty minutes in 134 games.
Also, says McEwen, the Tigers get a player who’s still got a couple years of eligibility but is already used to logging a lot of ice time in the WHL."

"That’s in contrast to Fiddler, a forward who led the Saskatchewan Major Midget Hockey League with 44 goals and 49 asissts last season, and Bourhis, a defenceman who was sixth in penalty minutes in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Bourhis turns 18 later this week, but between them the duo have only played two games in the WHL so far."

"“We gave up two good prospects,” admitted McEwen. “What our fans don’t see is obviously they are prospects, they are good players, but we’re really excited about what we got back.”
Harrison’s excited too. He had gone to Raiders management to request a trade and feels he has something to prove after not being taken in the NHL draft last month."

Prince Albert Herald

Negotiating with new Medicine Hat general manager Brad McEwen, the Raiders wanted more than “a top prospect,” which they believe they got in Fiddler.

“There was a little bit of a hiccup in the deal, because they didn’t really want to give Bourhis up,” Campese said of the Tigers.

“He’s a competitor. He had 185 minutes in penalties in his last year of minor hockey, and he had 139 last season in Yorkton. He’s a tough kid that plays hard. He probably could have played in the Western Hockey League last year, but Medicine Hat does a real good job of not rushing their kids, if they don’t have to.”

The Tigers listed the 4th round draft pick as future considerations on their web site. Makes me think that the Tigers were conscious of the fans opinion.

The more I think about the deal the more I get excited about this upcoming year. I am really really really hoping that Wacey Hamilton and Emerson Etem come back for another year. If both players move up it will take a Huge chunk out of the potential firepower. The lineup could look something like this.

Linden Vey Wacey Hamilton Emerson Etem
Tyler Pitlick Ryan Harrison Kale Kessey
Grbavac xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
gal/frazer/bredo/petryk + incoming prospects

That is a heavy duty top 2 lines. They have decent size and physical game play mixed with scoring and speed. I think the Cole Grbavac line and whoever else fills in on the third line will prove to be a pretty good checking unit. Hopefully the rookies coming in will provide a solid 4th line and some depth.

On Defense. The Tigers have a bit of a logjam but its very uncertain.
Sebastian Owuya, Coyle, Konan, Sohn, Businius, McKay, Carr, Patrik Parkkonen + any rookies that make the team

Coyle could play pro, Carr is an overager. We dont know exactly how the 2 new euro imports will fit in. Moves will be made once the coyle/carr situation is known.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tigers Acquire Ryan Harrison

The Medicine Hat Tigers announced today the acquisition of 18-year-old forward Ryan Harrison from the Prince Albert Raiders.

The Raiders will receive prospects defenseman Austin Bourhis, who will turn 18 on July 31st, 17-year-old forward Todd Fiddler and future considerations.

Tigers website says Future Considerations. P.A says 2012 4th round pick. Kinda strange

Harrison, a 5’ 10”, 185 lbs center from Kelowna, BC, placed fifth in team scoring for Prince Albert as a 17-year-old last season. He scored 14 goals and added 40 assists for 54 points while collecting 136 penalty minutes.

“We like what Ryan will add to our 1992 born group of players,” said Tigers’ general manager Brad McEwen. “He will fit in very nicely with the likes of Emerson Etem, Linden Vey and Kale Kessy on our forward lines.”

Fiddler, from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, led the Saskatchewan Major Midget Hockey League in scoring this past season with 44 goals and 49 assists for 93 points in 40 games for the Beardy’s Blackhawks, winning the league scoring title by 19 points and was named league MVP. He also had 2 goals and 6 assists in 6 playoff games, picking up at least one point in all but 4 of the Blackhawks 46 games he played in during the 2009-10 season. Fiddler also competed for Team West at the World Under 17 Challenge in Timmins, Ontario picking up 3 goals and 2 assists in 5 games during the 2010 tournament. Fiddler was the Tigers 3rd round selection, 65th overall in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft and appeared in 1 regular season game for the Tigers.

Bourhis, from Kipling, Saskatchewan, played for the Yorkton Terriers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League this past season collecting 7 goals, 14 assists and 139 minutes in penalties for the Terriers. Bourhis was 6th in the SJHL in penalty minutes. He was acquired by the Tigers from the Edmonton Oil Kings last season, also appearing in 1 WHL game in 2009-10.

“Todd Fiddler’s skill set is of exceptional quality,” says Bruno Campese, Raider Head Coach and General Manager. “His skating ability, hockey sense, playmaking skills and scoring ability will make him an offensive threat.”

“Austin Bourhis is a hard-nosed competitor that is tough to play against and will add some toughness to our lineup,” according to Campese. “The Raiders would like to thank Ryan for his contributions over the past two seasons and wish him well in the future.”

Scouting Reports
Ryan Harrison is 5'10 185 lbs who put up 54 pts in 72 games as a 17 year old. It was rumored that he wanted out of P.A. Michael Remmerde an NHL scout has this to say about him.

"Gritty little guy oozes leadership and does whatever it takes to win. But his size and skill combination is underwhelming. One of those guys who you want to succeed. Decent speed and so-so offensive ability, but I hoped he'd put the puck in the net a lot more. Even if he doesn't make an impact in the NHL, he's the sort of player who can be a leader on your AHL squad. Worth a middle round pick."

Others describe him as a horse who plays a physical game. He had 8 fights as a 16 year old, and 6 as a 17 year old so he is not afraid of mixing it up. Sounds a lot like a bretton cameron type of player.

Todd Fiddler is a highly touted prospect who led the Saskatchewan Major Midget Hockey League in scoring last year. He may become a pretty good offensive weapon. Austin Bourhis will be 18 next season, a bit of a late bloomer. From what I hear he is a hard nosed type of defensman.

I am a bit neutral on this trade. What I understand Harrison wanted out of P.A and the Tigers gave up a key prospect to get him. I think Harrison will be a very good addition but I think the Tigers potentially gave up too much for him if that future considerations is indeed a 2012 4th round pick. We will have to wait and see what kind of game he can bring to the Tigers.

I am wondering what type of impact Fiddler could make at the whl level, and what kind of impact Bourhis can make. It is possible the Tigers loose long term in this deal, that being said it is also possible for the Tigers end up with a steal if Fiddler and Bourhis dont make much of an impact. The Tigers get a proven player while P.A get 2 unproven players and a pick at the whl level.

Harrison is still pretty young at 18. The Tigers will be able to get 2 years, possibly 3 out of him, and he has put some some pretty good numbers. Fiddler is a year younger at 17 but perhaps he has more offensive potential?? but unproven at the whl level. Bourhis is a hard nosed, perhaps a bit of a late bloomer.

This deal give the tigers more depth and scoring at forward. If Etem and Hamilton both come back, the Tigers look to have a very talented top 2-3 lines. This trade is a bold move by the new gm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recap Of Signings

Most of this is old News

Gord Baldwin Resigned with Calgary
Stefan Myer was signed by Calgary to a 2 year contract.
Matt Keetley Resigned with Calgary
Micheal Sauer accepted a qualifying offer from the New York Rangers. (He had shoulder injury problems last year.)
Matt McCue was traded by Anaheim to the NY Rangers in exchange for Tomas Zaborsky.

Atlanta Thrashers walked away from a $2.4 million salary arbitration award to forward Clarke MacArthur. It means he is now a free agent. He made 1.4 million last year. Atlanta fans in general seem very angry toward MacArthur. Atlanta gave up a 3rd and 4th round pick for him, and he only ended up playing their for 2 months. Now the Thrashers get nothing for him.

I really liked his offensive hockey smarts when he played for Medicine Hat. He also had a bit of an aggressive retaliation streak in him. I've followed him a bit but haven't watched him enough to judge his progress. I do remember thinking that his offensive hockey smarts/and skill were above and beyond most players. Given the right situation he could be a diamond in the rough for the team that does sign him.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tigers Announce Desjardins Replacements

Medicine Hat Tigers announced today the promotion of Tigers’ director of scouting Brad McEwen to the position of general manager with the recent departure of former general manager/head coach Willie Desjardins to the Dallas Stars of the NHL.

Medicine Hat Tigers’ general manager Brad McEwen announced today the promotion of Tigers’ associate coach Shaun Clouston to the head coaching position with the Western Hockey League club.

Tigers TV Interviewed Shaun Clouston. You can find the Interview on the Tigers TV Section of their website

Clouston looked pretty excited about the opportunity.

Grant Buchanan interviewing Willie Desjardins

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flames Re-sign Matt Keetley

The Calgary Flames re-signed goalie Matt Keetley on Thursday.

Keetley accepted a one-year deal that pays him $500,000 at the National Hockey League level and $62,500 in the minors.

Keetley, a 24-year-old native of Medicine Hat, made 23 appearances for the AHL Abbotsord Heat last season (10-7-1, 2.59 GAA, .912) and nine for the ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings (2-7-0, 3.84 GAA, .880).

Restricted free agents still unaccounted for include Ian White (who has a July 30 arbitration date), Brett Sutter, Matt Pelech, Kris Chucko, Gord Baldwin and J.D. Watt.

20 Year Olds
Also I've been hearing that Dallas stars could very well place Jace Coyle into their minor league system next season. Their depth on Defence is a little shallow. Coyle may have shot at sticking

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tiger Legend

There are so many blogs and article on the net filled with News of Desjardins leaving. If I linked them all It would fill a couple pages so I'll just embed the piece that was on Chat TV.

By Liam Nixon of Chat TV. I found it on Jon Keen's blog this morning but I'll embed it here as well.

Their are many people in the Hat who are junior hockey crazy and as one of those people I can't thank him enough for all success he has brought with him to the Tigers. I still get goosebumps every-time I watch Brennan Bosch skate down the Ice and pot home that Double Overtime Game 7 Winner. I hope Willie does well in Dallas. It was only a matter of time before he moved on to bigger and better things. Maybe he can convince the Stars to send Jace Coyle back to the Hat another year?

I hope sometime during the next year Desjardins will be able to stop by for a game to receive a proper thanks from the crowd. He is already a Tiger Legend.

A big question on my mind is how does this affect the Tigers short and long term future? It has been speculated that Brad McEwen will go from head scout to GM. Shaun Clouston will go from associate coach to head coach. Will another assistant be hired?

Even with a legend like Willie moving on I am not too worried about the Tigers immediate future. In the short term the Tigers appear to have quite a few solid 17 year olds, and some solid talent already here.

The questions on my mind is how will the new GM be able to plug weaknesses and get value for players that need a change and how the Tigers will fare in 3-4+ years down the road after Willies mark has left the team.

Unique Visitors
If you were wondering how many Unique Visitors I get a day it fluctuates pretty widely. I dont get near as many as someone like Drinnan or Alan Caldwell.

In the offseason with limited news on Average I get about 120 unique visitors a day. During the hockey season on average I get roughly 150 daily. When something big happens like a trade or the GM/coach leaves It jumps to 500-700 unique visitors.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Willie Desjardins Moves To Dallas

The Era of the Mustache is gone. It was rumored for a few weeks but it is now official. Here is a press release Directly From Dallas. And I added the Press Release From the Tigers below it

Dallas Stars Name Willie Desjardins Associate Coach
Frisco, Tex. – Dallas Stars General Manager Joe Nieuwendyk announced today that the club has named Willie Desjardins associate coach and the club has re-signed Stu Barnes for next season.

“We are very excited to name Willie Desjardins to our coaching staff,” said Nieuwendyk. “He has run an exceptional program in Medicine Hat for almost a decade now. Willie’s winning pedigree and positive attitude brings a lot to our organization. He will help the Dallas Stars in our efforts take the next step in getting back to the playoffs. “We believe Stu is an important piece to our coaching staff and our pleased to continue our relationship with him.”

"Willie has run the model program in the WHL and has been responsible for the development of many NHL players,” added head coach Marc Crawford. “He has been very successful at the World Junior Championships. Desjardins will bring a fresh prospective, new ideas and help with continued improvement of the Dallas Stars."

Read the Full article here

Tigers Press Confreence
Replacements for Desjardins as Tigers Head Coach and GM are to be named at later dates.

Tigers Press Release
Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat Tigers announced today Willie Desjardins will join the coaching staff of the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars as associate coach to Marc Crawford.

“Our entire organization is very happy for Wil,” stated Tigers’ president/governor Darrell Maser.
“No one is more deserving of this opportunity than Willie. It speaks to the quality of coach and person he is to make the transition directly from major junior hockey to the NHL. Dallas has made an excellent choice for their organization,” said Maser.

During his eight seasons with the Tigers, Desjardins lead the club to two appearances in the Memorial Cup in 2004 and 2007. The Tigers captured four consecutive eastern conference titles from 2003-04 to 2006-07 while under Desjardin’s tutelage. For his efforts, Desjardins was named the WHL and CHL Coach of the Year in 2005-06.

“He has been the cornerstone of this franchise for eight years and certainly is the best coach this organization has seen,” stated Maser.

Desjardins appeared behind the Tigers bench in 559 games, posting a record of 323 wins, 176 losses, 60 OTL/SL/T for a 63.15 winning percentage. He leads all former Tigers’ coaches in games and wins while being the longest serving coach in Tiger’s history.

The 53-year-old native of Climax, SK, served as head coach for the Canadian National Junior Team at the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships and as an assistant coach to Pat Quinn the previous year. He also was named as a coach for the Subway Super Series, an all-star series vs. Russian Selects, for the past three seasons, as a WHL assistant coach in 2007 and WHL head coach in 2008 and 2009.

“At this time, we would like to thank Willie and his family for all they have done, not only for this franchise but also for the community of Medicine Hat. It has been an honour to have had the opportunity to work with Willie,” concluded Maser.

Willie Desjardins commented, “Not many people in their lifetime get the experience I had while in Medicine Hat. It was from the city. I don’t feel this was just another city to play hockey. It is THE city to play hockey. I had such exceptional player to work with. They were a big impact on me. It was all about character and what they wanted to accomplish. Then you go to our staff and the people I got to work with everyday. The coaches, Shaun and Krugs, J.F., Scottie, Mikki and Sticks made it was such a great environment to come to the rink. The guys was committed to winning and committed to working as a team. It made the situation unique.”

“Then you come to the ownership of the Tigers, which is outstanding. You won’t find better ownership in the league. Darrell and Brent understand the game real well and are really committed to winning. I had other opportunities to leave in the past and they were the reason I stayed because this was such a good place to work. If I didn’t enjoy working here it would have been easy to leave. Winning begins at the top and they were the ones that got it going and I was just part of it,” said Desjardins.

I watched the news today at lunch on chat TV and the "news anchor" Desjardins Wife looked incredibly sad. Almost on the point of crying.

I'll post my thoughts on the Whole thing tomorrow.

Wacey Hamilton
Wacey Hamilton has gotten an invite to to Colorado Avalanche's Training Camp. Chat TV interviewed Wacey and he said the Flames, Bruins, and Avalanche were interested in him. Colorado does not hold a summer prospects development camp.


I think with the Hamilton News this brings to a halt of any potential trading on Tigers 20 year olds.

Joey Frazer
Jace Coyle *Contract with Dallas future uncertain*
Wacey Hamilton *Camp invite shot at going pro*
Tristan King **Likely Gone*
Taylor Gal
Thomas Carr

Monday, July 12, 2010

Media Press Conference Tomorow

The Medicine Hat Tigers have called a media conference for tomorrow Tuesday, July 13th at 12:00 pm.

Their are now multiple people tweeting and face-book statuses saying that Willie is going to become an associate coach with the Dallas Stars. Its highly likely that the Tigers will use this press conference to officially announce it or announce his resignation.

I would think Shaun Clouston is ripe to take over the head coaching position by himself. What still needs answering is who will become the next Tigers General Manager? Will Clouston take over that as well?


TSN has released a new article


Willie Desjardins, general manager and head coach of the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers, is expected to be named associate coach of the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Desjardins, 53, also served as coach of the silver medal-winning Canadian hockey team at the World Juniors earlier this year.

Shaun Clouston is set to be named as the new head coach of the Tigers, but will not be taking over the role of GM.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Is Willie Desjardins Moving On?

Coming down the Pipe is reporting that Willie Desjardins is a leading candidate to jump to the Dallas Stars Organization for an assistant or associate coaching position.

Earlier last month Willie Desjardins Interviewed for a coaching job with the Manitoba moose......and after doing some researching I found another source commenting about he was looking to move on to the minor pro level.

Has he decided that he is ready to move on? or is this another scenario where a team really wants him for his success at the junior level?

My Gut tells me he is moving on to bigger and better things. No doubt we wont receive confirmation until there is a done deal on the table, if at all.


Coming Down the Pipe has more about the Willie Desjardin Situation

"While nothing has been announced as of yet, another source suggested to me tonight that Willie Desjardins' appointment as an associate coach in Dallas is all but a certainty now."
Gregg Drinnan had this to say last night.

Shaun Clouston is about to become a WHL head coach again. Clouston, the Medicine Hat Tigers’ associate coach, will be taking over from Willie Desjardins, who is expected to join the NHL’s Dallas Stars as an associate coach. The rumour has been kicking around for a few days, of course, but I only got confirmation from a solid source late Sunday night. . . . Desjardins has been with the Tigers for eight seasons, winning WHL titles in 2004 and 2007. . . .

Clouston was fired as head coach of the Tri-City Americans 60 games into the 2002-03 season — he was replaced by Bob Tory — and joined the Tigers the following season. . . . Clouston is the older brother — by 19 months — of Ottawa Senators head coach Cory Clouston. . . . The Stars are believed to be restructuring their coaching staff under head coach Marc Crawford. When last season ended, former NHL players Charlie Huddy, Stu Barnes and Andy Moog were the assistant coaches with Mike Valley the goaltending coach. Moog has since left the Stars.
KimJohnston's Twitter
Calgary media is reporting Medicine Hat Tigers coach Will Desjardins has resigned from the team.

With all these Rumours coming out its either a really huge hoax or its a matter of days/hours before we hear something official. :(

Thursday, July 8, 2010

NHL Summer Prospect Development Camps

Most of the NHL Prospect Development Camps have gotten underway some yet to start, but I went browsing for any info at all regarding Tigers players at these camps.

Here are a couple things said about some of the Tiger's players I managed to come across.

Tyler Bunz was a highlight at Oiler Camp excelling at 2 on 1 drills. One fan even said he was the best player on the ice out of all the players there.
Tyler Pitlick was noted as having a very hard shot.

Tristan King was flashing off his puck skills in Dallas including a very nice shootout move at the end of a practice session.
Jace Coyle was noted as jumping into the rush so often he looked like a 4th forward.

Emerson Etem was noted as being downright electric with the puck, but wasn't noticed at all when he didnt have the puck. He was also seen getting crunched from hard hits quite often.

The orange country register has an article up recapping his road to the NHL and has a photo of him full stride at Ducks Camp.

Bretton Cameron is confirmed as being invited to Chicago's development camp. HE is listed on their summer prospect camp roster. Chicago invited quite a few free agents, they have 70 players attending their development camp.
Their camp starts on July 9th.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Import Draft

Lots of stuff happened the past couple days while I was gone.
Both European players selected in the CHL import draft are expected to report.

Euro Draft

40th Overall Sebastian Owuya - Defensman

6'3 200 lbs 6th round NHL draft pick by the Atlanta Thrashers. Next season will be his 19 year old season.

Scouting Report
Big and strong defensive defenseman. Very solid. Good positioning. A good team player that can play the body well. Does a good job in front of the crease.

Ive read some reports where fans think he is a diamond in the rough someone who has the potential to break-out and become a very good player.

Chances of Reporting
Highly Likely. While it is unconfirmed by the Tigers and I'm not sure if the Tigers office knows about Sebastian Owuya's decision to come over yet, however I found a very recent article that makes it pretty clear he has decided to come to Canada. A previous article says that he was initially unsure of what to do and that it was a very tough decision. But a newer article says that after talking with his agent he decided it would be much better for his development. The article goes on to state that he feels very very excited about the opportunity.

Here is the article translated by google.

59th overall Patrik Parkkonen - Defensman

5'9 161 lbs. last year played for HIFK U20 in Finland.

This pick was still in the first round, as last year the Tigers traded their first round pick to Brandon for their first in this years draft. Patrik will be a 17 year old next year, and eligible for the 2011 nhl entry draft

Scouting Report
"He is a real hard working, dedicated player who wants to play professional hockey. He is really excited to come to Canada. He is a player that will be a big part of our program this year and in the years to come," concluded Desjardins.

“He’s a good player, skates well, really works at his game,” said Desjardins. “He’s a guy we know is real excited to play and come over.”

Chances at Coming Over
Very High. As Desjardin has been interviewed as saying Patrik is really excited to come over.

Jace Coyle
Signed a 3 year NHL entry level deal with the Dallas Stars, That is awesome news congratulations to Jace. After watching the NHL playoffs and watching Duncan Keith play I remember noticing aspects to his game which reminded of Coyle. A very strong skater that looks effortless yet still have the stamina to race up and down the rink a few times.

Perhaps I underestimated Coyle a little on my arm-chair GM report. Or perhaps its the signing that has made me rethink his potential. If Coyle can develop better passing instincts, and learn to master the poke-check he could develop into a NHL player. Coyle is currently participating in the Dallas Stars prospect camp.

20 year Old Situation
The Dallas Stars news release doesn't mention anything of where they expect Coyle to play next year. I dont know what Dallas depth chart's look like. I have a suspicion that they may send him back to junior for another year. Dallas will have two 20 year old's eligible to come back to the Hat next year in Tristan King, and Coyle, from what I've read they want Tristan King to play in the AHL next season.