Around The Western Hockey League



Monday, August 31, 1998

 LARRY BERNARD HIRED AS NEW ASSISTANT COACH -- The Prince Albert Raiders announced on Monday, August 24th, that Larry Bernard has been hired as assistant coach for the 1998-99 season.
 Larry is a former player in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds (1984-87). He also has numerous years of player and coaching experience in the minor pro ranks where most recently he was a player for the Huntsville Channel Cats, helping them to a Southern Hockey League Championship in the 1995-96 season.
 
 SCHMIDT NAMED WARRIOR GM -- The Moose Jaw Warriors announced on Tuesday, August 25th, that Ralph Schmidt has been appointed General Manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors for the 1998-99 season.
 Schmidt has been with the Warriors organization for 11 years as a scout and for the last six and half years was head scout and Director of Player Personnel.
 
 CHIEFS HIRE ATHLETIC THERAPIST -- The Spokane Chiefs announced they have hired J.R. Miller as the team's new Athletic Therapist. Miller comes to Spokane after spending three season's with the Dallas Stars as a member of their athletic therapy department. He is a licensed athletic trainer and NATA certified.
 His previous work experience includes stops with the Dallas Cowboys and as an Assistant Trainer for Texas Christian University's Athletic Training Department. The Texas native earned his Bachelor of Science from T.C.U. in May of 1996 and his Master's degree from T.C.U. in August of 1998. Miller is also a former Gatorade Academic Excellence Scholarship Award recipient.
 "We are very happy and satisfied that someone with J.R.'s qualifications was available for our therapist position," commented General Manager Tim Speltz. "His experience with the Dallas Stars of the NHL will definitely help him with this opportunity. His willingness to learn and commitment to his profession will give us the success we need."
 
 EMPHASIS ON OBSTRUCTION PENALTIES -- The Western Hockey League announced today that commencing with the exhibition season, obstruction penalties will be enforced. The guidelines will be exactly the same as the National Hockey League adopted following the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano.
 Obstruction penalties will be called for the following infractions: holding, holding the opponent’s stick, hooking, interference and tripping. Particular emphasis will be placed on fouls occuring in the neutral zone, which will open up the play and prevent the clutch and grab tactics prevalent in previous years.
 Richard Doerksen, Vice-President of the WHL stated, "All 18 WHL teams were unanimously in support of adopting the NHL obstruction standards at our Annual Meeting this past summer. The NHL did a tremendous job of enforcing the obstruction standard through the latter part of the season and the playoffs last year. The WHL will be using the exact same standards in our games. We are positive that this will be a major step for our League."
 Obstruction penalties will be assessed for any of the above infractions which occur way from the puck carrier. The penalty will be announced as, "two minutes for obstruction holding." In situations where the foul is on the puck carrier, the penalty will be announced as "two minutes for holding".
 
 PRO SIGNINGS:
 
 FRIDAY'S Transactions
 Orlando Solar Bears (IHL) -- Signed former Saskatoon Blade, Lethbridge Hurricane and Brandon Wheat King Kirby Law.
 
 THURSDAY'S Transactions
 San Jose Sharks -- Signed former Kamloops Blazer Jarrett Deuling.
 
 WEDNESDAY'S Transactions
 Dallas Stars -- Signed unrestricted free agent and former Brandon Wheat King, Saskatoon Blade, and Seattle Breaker Brent Severyn, who had been with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, to a one-year contract.
 New Jersey Devils -- Acquired former Saskatoon Blade Ken Sutton from the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.
 Las Vegas Thunder (IHL) -- Signed former New Westminster Bruin, Seattle Thunderbird, and Spokane Chief Dean Ewen.
 
 TUESDAY'S HOCKEY Transactions
 Chicago Blackhawks -- Signed former Prince Albert Raider and Regina Pat Jeff Shantz.
 Detroit Red Wings -- Agreed to terms with former Spokane Chief and Brandon Wheat King Barry Dreger.
 Baton Rouge Kingfish (ECHL) -- Signed former Calgary Wrangler, Lethbridge Bronco, Spokane Chief, Moose Jaw Warrior, and Prince Albert Raider Trevor Jobe to a one-year contract.
 Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) -- Named Ralph Schmidt general manager.
 
 MONDAY'S HOCKEY Transactions
 Pee Dee Pride (ECHL) -- Acquired the rights to former Prince Albert Raider, Swift Current Bronco and Tacoma Rocket Ryan Pisiak or future considerations from the Wheeling Nailers in exchange for goaltender Luciano Caravaggio.
 Quad City Mallards (UHL) -- Re-signed former Swift Current Bronco Mark McFarlane.