September 29, 2006
Los Angeles Acquires Rights to Michigan's Johnson From Carolina
The defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes traded the rights to Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson and veteran blueliner Oleg Tverdovsky to the Los Angeles Kings Friday in exchange for forward Eric Belanger and defenseman Tim Gleason.
Johnson, who is about to start his sophomore season with the Wolverines, was the third overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. During his freshman campaign at Michigan, the Ann Arbor native scored 10 goals and 32 points in 38 games. He also racked up a Division I-high 149 penalty minutes.
"I’m here in Michigan, and that’s where my focus is,” Johnson told the Associated Press. “I’m
excited about my new team, but my life isn’t going to change because of
A source close to the Carolina organization told Inside College Hockey at June's NHL Draft in Vancouver that the Hurricanes' brass was privately upset with Johnson for twice rebuffing the
team's efforts to sign him even though he would've
stepped into the lineup immediately.
"[Johnson] wanted to spend another year in
school," Carolina general manager Jim Rutherford told AP. "I think that in his best interests for his development ... he should be playing pro now. He’s ready to do that. The sooner he starts
playing pro, the sooner he starts to develop into a real good NHL player."
September 29, 2006
WCHA Experiments With Rules in Exhibitions
The WCHA will experiment with three rules during exhibition games this season. They are:
- An officiating crew consisting of two referees and two assistant referees.
- Teams will not be allowed to ice the puck while killing penalties.
- Teams will not be allowed to substitute players if they ice the puck with three exceptions
– if a goaltender was pulled for an extra skater
and that team wants to put the goaltender back in, if a player is injured on
the play or if a penalty occurs during the play.
Names Mitchell Assistant Coach
Willie Mitchell, a former associate head coach
at Wayne State, has been named an assistant coach at Vermont,
Catamount head coach Kevin Sneddon announced Monday.
"I feel very fortunate to be adding another
great coach to our program," Sneddon said. "I
have been truly fortunate during my career to be surrounded
by great people, and this continues today by naming Willie
Mitchell as men's hockey assistant coach. Willie's coaching
experience at the collegiate level combined with his recruiting
expertise will certainly help our program. Throughout his
career as a player and as a coach, he has had success. Our
staff is looking forward to continuing that trend as we
compete for Hockey East championships."
"I am grateful to Kevin Sneddon and the
University of Vermont for such an incredible opportunity
to be a part of their program and family," Mitchell
said. "I am very honored and excited to join such a
prestigious program and look forward to working with the
student-athletes and entire staff as we work toward our
goals as a team."
Mitchell comes to Vermont after spending seven
years with the Wayne State program. The 1993 graduate of
Western Ontario previously served as the volunteer assistant
coach at Michigan State.
Joins UMD Staff
Former two-time All-American and Hobey Baker
Memorial Award recipient Bill Watson, a name synonymous
with University of Minnesota Duluth men's hockey, has been
added to the 2006-07 Bulldog staff as a volunteer assistant
"I'm glad to be back in college hockey
again and be involved with the sport on a day-to-day basis,"
said Watson, 42. "I think with my experience both as
a coach and a player, I can bring a different perspective
to the Bulldog hockey program."
Back at Denver as Coach
Former Denver captain Matt Laatsch has joined
the team as a volunteer assistant coach, head coach George
Gwozdecky has announced. Laatsch guided the Pioneers to
their second consecutive NCAA championship in 2005 and tallied
6-24—30 during a solid four-year career. He returns
to the Pioneers after a brief stint with the American Hockey
League’s Utah Grizzlies before retiring from professional
hockey after attending the Chicago Blackhawks camp in the
fall of 2005.
“I am excited to be back as a volunteer
assistant coach,” Laatsch said. “I have always
wanted to coach and I am very grateful to Coach Gwozdecky
and the University of Denver for this opportunity.”
Laatsch will assist in on-ice coaching, game
analysis and video breakdown for the Pioneers. He played
110 games for DU and was part of the most successful classes
in DU hockey history. His senior class of 2005 posted a
112-43-14 record in 169 games, captured back-to-back NCAA
titles in 2004 and 2005, two WCHA Final Five and two WCHA
regular-season championships, and four Wells Fargo Denver
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