Friday, July 11, 2014

Things that make me go hmm...

Bill Ranford - pictured right
  • Jordon Cooke is making the most of his opportunity to impress the Los Angeles Kings.
    The 21 year-old Kelowna Rockets goaltender is attending Kings prospects camp this week after receiving an invite from the Stanley Cup champions.
    Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford says the CHL goaltender of the year deserves a chance to prove himself at an NHL camp.
    "With what he has done the last two seasons in Kelowna, we had a spot in our camp open and just I felt like he had earned it to get a look and have an experience of going through a camp with an NHL team."   
    Cooke is one of the smaller goaltenders at Kings camp, but Ranford says he has made the adjustments to make himself appear bigger. "I am a little bit taller than he is. I talked about what I had to do throughout my career in the aspects of reading releases and trying to hold my feet a little bit longer.  And that's kind of the approach I am taking with him because every other aspect of his game is strong", Ranford added.  
  • It appears the Minnesota Wild have had a change of heart. So has Cody Almond. The Kelowna Rockets alumni has signed a one year contract with the NHL team after spending a few years playing in the Swiss Elite League. Almond was essentially forced overseas back in 2012 when the Wild didn't offer him a contract. Two years later, the 24 year-old is back in the NHL. Almond was drafted by the Wild in the 5th round in 2007 and played a total of 25 games with them in 2009-2010, 2010-2011 and most recently 10 games in 2011-2012. Almond's off season home is right here in Kelowna.
  • What is the next step in Kyle Beach's hockey career? The Kelowna resident did not receive a qualifying offer from the NHL New York Rangers at the end of the month meaning the 24 year-old is a free agent. Last season, Beach split time between playing in Sweden and with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers AHL affiliate. It is hard to imagine that the 1st round pick of the Chicago Black Hawks has not played one NHL game. Beach was taken 11th overall in 2008. Beach is getting married this summer.
  • Myles Bell is off to New Jersey Devils prospects camp today. The camp officially begins Monday. The Kelowna Rockets leading scorer the last two seasons is without a contract and must sign one in order to play in the Devils organization this upcoming season. Bell is unable to return to junior after playing as an overage this past season.
  • Tyrell Goulbourne is at Philadelphia Flyers prospects camp this week. Now 20, Goulbourne will want to make great strides this week by showing the organization that he was worthy of a third round pick in the 2013 NHL draft.  Goulbourne ideally is looking for a pro contract from the Flyers. If he doesn't get one, he is a sure bet to return to the Kelowna Rockets this season competing for one of three overage spots with Colton Heffley, Cole Martin and Carter Rigby.
  • You may have missed it, because I did. Ex-Kelowna Rockets forward/defenceman Brandon McMillan is going to salary arbitration with the Phoenix Coyotes. McMillan's arbitration hearing is July 29th. Under a two way contract, the WHL champion from 2009 was paid 709,500 at the NHL level.
  • Another transaction that slipped through the cracks last week was Blake Comeau signing a one year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 2nd round pick of the Islanders in 2004, Comeau has played 422 NHL games with the Islanders, Flames and Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Troy Bodie signed a one year deal with the Leafs on July 3rd. Bodie was a member of the Kelowna Rockets MC winning team in 2004.
  • The Kelowna Rockets second round pick from the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft will indeed attend training camp this fall. Cal Foote, the 15 year-old (has late December birth date) son of ex-NHL'er Adam Foote will be in Kelowna in late August looking at earning a roster spot. I texted with Adam and he confirmed his son will be in the Okanagan. In case you are wondering, Adam Foote will be watching eagerly in the stands.
  • The Washington Capitals have been putting Madison Bowey to work in more ways than one at prospects camp this week. The Kelowna Rockets captain is writing a blog. 
  • We are 72 days away from the Rockets opening the 20014-2015 WHL regular season. It will mark the franchises 20th season in Kelowna.


g.k said...

Hey Regan I just read where the Rockets will not bid for the rights to the next Mem.Cup hosted by the WHL in 2016! Its really a shame that we will never likely see it in Kelowna again, as the Rockets are handcuffed by being a tenant at Prospera rather than owning the facility themselves. This really needs to change, even if the city could purchase it from R.G Properties & sell it to the Rockets over time. We have a nice building but its showing its age & we need to expand if we ever want to host another Mem. Cup. As long as R.G owns the building that will never happen. Any thoughts on what you would like to see change is anything?

Regan Bartel said...

I can't see the arena expanding. I think the capacity is great for junior hockey. Not to big. Not to small. The biggest stumbling block with the building is the dressing rooms. They are waaaaay to small. At the 2004 MC and the World Juniors, portable/makeshift dressing rooms had to be added so every team could have its own dressing room. That and a new press box are musts if Prospera Place wishes to host a major event like the MC.