Old News…

If you follow the Winterhawks at all on their website or via The Hawks Nest…then this post will most likely be old news…but it has been nearly a week since I last posted and while the end of May is usually quiet surrounding the team, this past week had some news…

First off, the team announced that they have hired Tyler Love as the new Goaltending Coach.  Love is the co-owner of World Pro Goaltending School in Calgary and has worked with such names as Carey Price, Jason LaBarbera and Chris Mason in the NHL and Tyson Sexsmith in the WHL.

Love will also consult on upcoming bantam drafts as well as evaluate goaltenders from around the WHL for the Hawks.

Brad Ross and Troy Rutkowski earned invites to Team Canada’s Under-18 Team selection camp from August 1-4 in Calgary.   If selected, they will represent Canada at the Ivan Hlinka 2009 Summer U18 Tournament to be held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from August 11-15.

Team Canada selected 40 players to participate in the camp and Portland was the only WHL team to have two players invited to try-out.   You can see the entire roster here.

The last Hawk to play in the Ivan Hlinka tournament was Tristan King for Team USA in the summer of 2007.

The GM and Coaching carousel continues this off-season with teams hiring and firing as they prepare for the 2009-10 WHL season.

Moose Jaw fired GM Chad Lang and replaced him with former Kelowna Rockets Coach Jeff Truitt.  It is unknown if Warrior Coach Dave Hunchak will be retained.

Chilliwack may have made the biggest splash in landing Marc Habscheid to be their new bench boss (although not officially announced, from the buzz in the blogosphere, it is almost certain as there are no secrets anymore).  Habscheid had been rumored for just about every job in the WHL, including Portland, in the past two-three years and now maybe we can see if he was worth the hype.

Also, Spokane added former player and NHL veteran Jon Klemm as an Assistant Coach next to Hardy Sauter.

In the NHL, Marian Hossa and the Detroit Red Wings are two wins away from retaining the Stanley Cup as the Wings took both games on home ice this past weekend over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hossa, while not scoring as much as he did last year as a Penguin, has been dominant with the puck and is truly playing at the highest level I’ve seen him play in the NHL.  He is a joy to watch, even if he is wearing a Wings jersey.

In the end, this series will be decided by the third and fourth lines and right now, Detroit has the edge in that area with the play of Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and others.  Can Pittsburgh match their intensity and willingness to battle?  They had better or this series ends in no more than five.

That’s it for now…

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