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  • Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov (The Canadian Press)It's a far cry to believe anyone is taking out their small violin to play a sympathetic tune for Quebec Remparts coach-GM Patrick Roy, whose NHL lockout-induced import imbroglio is dragging along interminably.

    Thanks to new Canadian Hockey League rule that probably should be overturned on review, the Remparts have been running with an extra European on their roster for nearly a month, which of late has meant that either 18-year-old NHL draft prospect Nick Sorensen or Tampa Bay Lightning second-rounder Nikita Kucherov has sat out. Buffalo Sabres first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko (38 points in 21 games, tied for fifth in QMJHL scoring) is too valuable. Kucherov, 19, who played for Russia in the world junior championship last season and could do so again, has spent the last three games parked in the press box. It's only natural to wonder if he is in Roy's doghouse. Or on the trading block.

    Read More »from Nikita Kucherov now the Quebec Remparts’ odd import out; is he being shopped?
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    Projected NHL first-rounder Curtis Lazar is goal-less in nine games. Edmonton Oil Kings coach Derek Laxdal: "I think Curtis Lazar has got to find his game a bit. He's not contributing a lot offensively, but he's working hard." (Edmonton Journal)

    Why is Brent Sutter back behind the Red Deer Rebels' bench? (The Pipeline Show)

    Unfortunate news out of Kamloops: overage Blazers forward Jordan DePape's junior days are finished due to a recurring shoulder injury. (Kamloops Daily News, Taking Note)

    Kootenay Ice centre Sam Reinhart is coming to life while carrying a rebuilding team. (Sportsnet)

    Our own Cam Charron shares his thoughts on the final leg of the Subway Super Series. (The Pipeline Show)

    Let's have more draft hype for the Regina Pats' Morgan Klimchuk and more money for public schools. (WHL From Above)

    Brandon Wheat Kings rookie John Quenneville cashed in his chance to play premium minutes on Sunday. (Luber's Lounge)

    Justin Goldman of The Goalie Guild waxes profound on some possible Team Canada-worthy goalies (if not this year, than next). (The Pipeline Show)


    Boston Bruins pick Seth Griffith, the London Knights' marksman, has had the Kitchener Rangers' number during the past calendar year. (Waterloo Record)

    Read More »from Curtis Lazar looks to end goal slump: Monday’s coast-to-coast
  • Calgary Hitmen's Greg Chase (The Canadian Press)Hockey runs in the family for the Calgary Hitmen's Greg Chase.

    His father, Kyle Chase, is the president of the Sherwood Park Crusaders of the Alberta Junior Hockey League and is a former radio host on Edmonton's Team 1260. His uncle, Kelly Chase, played 10 seasons in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and Hartford Whalers.

    Having close family in high places in the hockey world has greatly benefited Chase. His dad's media job and contacts allowed him to meet highly respected hockey people and get inside perspectives from players and coaches at a very young age.

    "It was really cool being able to watch my dad in the studio and listen to him interview big NHL stars," says Greg Chase, 17. "I got to meet people and watch NHL games because of my dad's cool job. Some of my friends were definitely jealous of stuff I got to do."

    Meanwhile, working his way up the hockey ranks, his uncle Kelly gives him priceless advice to help him grow on and off the ice.

    "My uncle has been a great supporter for me," says Chase. "Before I was even on the radar, he always helped me by showing me ways to improve my game. He also has helped me by giving me tips on how to deal with the media and how to act professionally."

    Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Greg Chase, Calgary Hitmen
  • Rimouski's Peter Trainor has 15 goals this season (photo: Rimouski Oceanic)No. 1 star: Peter Trainor, Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)

    Trainor scored twice in regulation, then wrapped up his first QMJHL hat trick with a goal 3:15 into overtime as the Oceanic earned a 5-4 road win over surging Baie-Comeau.

    The undrafted 19-year-old extended his point streak to nine games, and he now ranks in the top 15 in the league in scoring with 35 points in 25 games. Trainor had five previous two-goal games in his 94-game career coming into Sunday.

    Francis Beauvillier (1G-2A) and Ryan MacKinnon (3A) had three-point nights for Rimouski, which led 4-2 midway through the third period but couldn't hang on.

    The Drakkar rallied to force overtime, extending their unbeaten streak in regulation to 15 games (12-0-1-2).

    No. 2 star: Daniel Cotton, Everett Silvertips (WHL)

    The Everett Herald's Nick Patterson said it best after the Silvertips downed the Medicine Hat Tigers 2-1 on Sunday despite being outshot 41-18: "Not sure how the Tips won this one. Cotton excellent in goal."

    An 18-year-old from West Vancouver, Cotton started the season in street clothes, watching from the stands as the third goaltender with the Seattle Thunderbirds.

    But with Austin Lotz injured and Cole Holowenko struggling earlier this season, the Tips took a flyer on Cotton and the gamble has paid off. Everett traded a draft pick to its bitter rival and gave Cotton a chance to play right away.

    After Sunday's 40-save performance, Cotton is 6-4 with a 2.84 goals-against average and .911 save pct. This after going 0-8, 4.91, .876 with the Thunderbirds last season.

    Carson Stadnyk, who came in with one goal in 24 games, scored both Everett goals Sunday, including the game-winner with 7:17 left in regulation.

    No. 3 star: Ryan Tesink, Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    The Sea Dogs are scuffling this season as they try to rebuild the franchise that won back-to-back Q title, and Tesink is doing his part to keep the team afloat.

    The St. Louis Blues prospect scored three times as the Sea Dogs rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Acadie-Bathurst 4-2. Tesink scored twice in the second period to tie the game 2-2, then buried an empty-netter after Jakub Izacky scored the game-winner earlier in the third.

    Registering his first career hat trick, Tesink raised his career-high goal total to 14.

    Read More »from Trainor heads trio of Q forwards getting their first career hat tricks: Sunday’s 3 Stars
  • Halifax Mooseheads defenceman Trey Lewis (Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images)

    It's almost automatic to describe a racial incident as ugly without knowing what actually happened, but the one in a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game on Sunday is somewhat faith-restoring.

    On Sunday, Val-d'Or Foreurs rookie centre Vincent Dunn received a game misconduct under QMJHL rule 4.96, which calls for an ejection and minimum two-game suspension for making either " "racial taunts, gestures and slurs." During a skirmish, the 17-year-old Dunn — as can be best pieced together from the tweets of Halifax Chronicle-Herald reporter Willy Palov — evidently made an "inappropriate racial remark" toward Halifax Mooseheads captain Trey Lewis. It's not known what Dunn said to Lewis, a Mi'kmaq from Elsipogtog First Nation in New Brunswick. What is known is that after Mooseheads coach Dominque Ducharme brought the incident to the officials' attention, Dunn was given a game misconduct and will likely face further discipline from the QMJHL.

    UPDATE: The QMJHL has suspended Dunn for two games for violating the league's anti-discrimination policy with his remarks. The Forerurs have also been fined $500.

    This is where it would be very easy to make some loose connections between other racial incidents in elite hockey, especially after what happened in the Czech Extraliga to NHLer Wayne Simmonds in recent weeks. It is nothing but regrettable that Lewis, a 19-year-old stay-at-home defenceman, was slurred for doing nothing more than playing physically and with an edge to help his team. But it sounds like it was handled amicably — Lewis did not repeat what was said, while the Foreurs were contrite about Dunn's insensitivity.

    Read More »from Val-d’Or Foreurs’ Vincent Dunn faces suspension for racial remark toward Halifax Mooseheads’ Trey Lewis, who accepts his apology
  • No. 2 overall pick Ryan Murray is awaiting a MRI on his injured shoulder (Getty Images)

    As if Canada's national junior team lineup, with its ghost rosters and whatnot, is not already a moving target. The full extent of the injury that Columbus Blue Jackets second overall pick Ryan Murray, who's obvious captain material for Team Canada, suffered on Friday is not yet known, but it sounds like it could threaten his tournament if the MRI the 19-year-old is scheduled to have imminently reveals significant damage.

    The blueline is arguably Canada's deepest position group ahead of the WJC in Ufa, Russia. Having Murray and Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Scott Harrington, captain of the London Knights, available created the potential rare luxury of having a defence pair return intact. Moreover, this year's tournament represented a chance for Murray to get a shot at reversing the outcome of last year's world junior. As everyone remembers, with Harrington out of the lineup, Murray ended up being on the ice for the first Russia goals in Canada's 6-5 semifinal loss — the kind of rough

    Read More »from Ryan Murray has apparently dislocated shoulder; Canada not only WJC contender dealing with injuries
  • St. Louis Blues prospect Jordan Binnington (OHL Images)

    No. 1 star: Jordan Binnington, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)

    With Team Canada coach Steve Spott on the opposing bench and first place in the conference up for grabs, Binnington made 35 saves to help Owen Sound blank the Kitchener Rangers 4-0. The 19-year-old, who's in the mix for a spot on the national junior team, was the picture of certitude as he stymied the Rangers early and bought time for the mythical three-headed beast CamelCat — Cameron Brace, Gemel Smith and Daniel Catenacci, who have scored 55 per cent of Owen Sound's goals — to wear down likely Team USA starter John Gibson.

    Binnington made 16 saves in the first period, while Catenacci (1G-1A, +3) and Brace, with a short-hander, delivered second-period strikes to open a lead. The shutout was all the more impressive because the Attack had to face eight power plays. The victory was Binnington's franchise-record 66th.

    Read More »from Jordan Binnington tops John Gibson in top-goalie duel: Saturday’s 3 Stars
  • Combing all corners of the country and the blogosphere for your junior hockey headlines ...


    A combined 14 points for Kamloops' Colin Smith-Tim Bozon-JC Lipon line against Portland's stingy defence? Sounds like quite a night. Meantime, the Blazers picked up 19-year-old forward Travis Kornelsen from Calgary, since it's an unwritten league rule those two teams have to trade every couple years. (Kamloops Daily News)

    Don't worry, you were not the only one who noticed 17-year-old goalie Eric Comrie came back with a 41-save, first-star effort for Tri-City after not getting to start for Team WHL. (Tri-City Herald)

    HockeyProspect puts eight WHLers in its top 30 rankings for the 2013 NHL draft, including Kelowna defenceman Madison Bowey. (

    A should-read today: how B.C. Lions tailback Andrew Harris, perhaps the CFL's most exciting Canadian player, was a minor hockey star until: "The fees, the equipment, the travel expenses, I don't know how a lot of families today can afford it. "I played at a time when composite sticks were just coming out." How many other great athletes has hockey lost due to high costs? (Vancouver Sun)

    Edmonton Oilers selection Martin Gernat has rejoined the road-weary Edmonton Oil Kings following shoulder surgery; the defenceman is two weeks away from skating with the team. (Edmonton Journal)

    A Gordon Lightfoot reference in a Prince Albert Raiders game story is an excuse to drop this SCTV reference. (Prince Albert Daily Herald)

    The Vancouver Giants are above .500 (5-4-0-0) since adding rugged Kale Kessy. (Vancouver Sun)


    The London Knights have taken a 'Liberati leap' into first place in the Western Conference. And the Owen Sound Attack are going to have to learn how to win at Budweiser Gardens again, like they did in 2011. (London Free Press, Metro London)

    Read More »from London Knights leap into first; Tourigny endorses Drouin, MacKinnon: Weekend coast-to-coast
  • Andrey MakarovNo. 1 star: Andrey Makarov, Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

    After only allowing two pucks get past him in two games for Russia against Team WHL in the Subway Super Series, Makarov picked up for the Blades right where he left off for his country. The Buffalo Sabres prospect stoned the Prince George Cougars, turning 42 shots away in a 4-0 win.

    Every period was practically identical. The Cougars put 14 shots on net every period; the Blades posted 12 a period.

    When Makarov is on his game, he is nearly impossible to beat. He proved that once again against Prince George in the CN Centre, posting his first shutout of the season.

    Nevertheless, it is tough to say whether tonight's outstanding performance will trigger a strong latter half of the season or if it will start a short hot streak that will fizzle out. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder has been a hot-and-cold goaltender in Saskatoon. His worst cold stretch of the season came at the beginning of October when he allowed 19 goals against in the first five

    Read More »from Saskatoon Blades’ Andrey Makarov stones the Cougars: Friday’s 3 stars
  • Nathan MacKinnon is the top prospect for the 2013 NHL draft (Richard Wolowicz, Getty Images)

    Most of the great goal posts in this space involve an individual effort, like a goal scorer deking around one or two defenders before scoring from next to no angle. Or maybe it's a two-man effort that involves something passing the puck through an eye of the needle.

    But how often do you see a goal that came about after two pretty passes like the ones that distinguished this tic-tac-toe collaboration between the Halifax Mooseheads' Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon and the finisher, Stefan Fournier on Friday night? The concept of defenders having an 'active stick' makes it nearly impossible for two long passes to go tape-to-tape-to-tape. Yet the two highly ranked prospects for the NHL draft and Halifax's captain morphed into — take your pick, the old WHA Winnipeg Jets, the Soviet KLM Line, the 1980s Edmonton Oilers? — for a sweet spot in time. You can't blame the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies if they did stand around watching Drouin, Fournier and MacKinnon play, because this was sweet.

    Read More »from Jonathan Drouin, Nathan MacKinnon and Stefan Fournier with the prettiest passing play you might ever see (VIDEO)


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