Friday, 18 July 2014

Bryan Maxwell Speak With Lethbridge Media

Photo from Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations
The Lethbridge Hurricanes officially introduced Bryan Maxwell to the team's coaching staff Friday morning.

The club announced earlier in the week that Maxwell has been hired to join Drake Berehowsky and Mike Craig behind the bench for this upcoming Western Hockey League season as the Canes new Assistant Coach. 

Maxwell was a very successful WHL coach in years past with Medicine Hat, Spokane, and the Hurricanes.  Lethbridge media had a chance to speak with him for the first time since the announcement was made a few days ago.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Bryan Maxwell Joins Coaching Staff

The Lethbridge Hurricanes are pleased to announce the hiring of Bryan Maxwell as Assistant Coach, joining Head Coach Drake Berehowsky and Mike Craig behind the bench.
“I really appreciate the opportunity to start coaching again” commented Maxwell. “I really enjoyed coaching and making a difference with the players and I feel it’s been kind of wasted lately not being able to help in the area, but I’m so excited to help turn this thing around and help get us going in the right direction.” 

Maxwell spent more than a dozen years coaching in the WHL, being named WHL Coach of the Year with Spokane in the 1991-92 season. He coached the Hurricanes for six years from 1995-96 to 2002-03. During his time in Lethbridge, Maxwell compiled a record of 397-382-69and he’s thrilled to be getting back to what he says he was meant to do. “I’m really looking forward to working with the defense, so I don’t feel it’s a challenge, I feel it’s what I know and it’s what I was supposed to do.

General Manager Brad Robson couldn’t be happier to have Maxwell back with the club. “Bryan gives us lots of coaching experience, his expertise has always been well known for schooling and putting defensemen in the NHL and pro levels over the years. Bryan’s leadership and coaching ability will improve our hockey club defensively and working with the penalty kill will also help our club moving forward.” Robson went on to say “with Bryan’s hiring and the recent hiring of Peter (Anholt), both men give us lots of experience in coaching and more importantly mentorship for everyone on and off the ice.”

Head Coach Drake Berehowsky echoes Robson’s comments saying “Bryan brings a wealth of knowledge to our hockey club. He’s coached kids at this level and winning starts with a strong defense.”

(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)


Thursday, 3 July 2014

(D) Walters Signs Amateur Tryout With Columbus

The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced Thursday Nick Walters has signed an Amateur Tryout agreement with the Columbus Blue Jackets.


The 20-year old from Spruce Grove, AB started his WHL career with the Everett Silvertips before being traded to the Brandon Wheat Kings. The Lethbridge Hurricanes acquired the steady defenceman in November 2013 and he finished the season registering 2G, 7A in 46 games along with 64 PIM’s. In 241 career WHL games, Walters tallied 52 points (9G, 43A) and 341 penalty minutes.


Walters was a 4th round (116th overall) selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, but after not signing with the team, he now has a great opportunity with Columbus to showcase his talents at camp in the fall.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Canes Select Two Russian Forwards at Import Draft

The Lethbridge Hurricanes had a pair of picks in today’s CHL Import Draft and used both to pick a pair of forwards, Nikita Milekhin and Pavel Skumatov.

The Hurricanes used their 3rd overall pick to select Milekhin, a 1997-born right winger who played for Moscow Dynamo last season. In 26 games, Milekhin tallied 21 points, including 13 goals and added 12 PIM’s. He followed that up with 6G, 1A in 15 playoff games. The scouting report on Milekhin is that he is a very good skater, with good quickness, speed and skill. He stands out with good hockey sense and vision. He also reads the play well and his game is moving ahead as his progress has been excellent.

Lethbridge Hurricanes General Manager Brad Robson adds “he’s a good sized, strong player with skill that comes from the Moscow Dynamo program. He comes from a good family background and his father also coaches in Russia.”

In the second round (63rd overall) the Hurricanes added left winger Skumatov who is 6’0 and 165 pounds. As one of the youngest players on his team where he played in the MHL (U20 Vityazi Chekhov), he had a pair of assists in 26 games. Scouts like his size, speed, skating ability, decision making, hockey sense and his reliability and well as his compete level.

Overall, General Manager Brad Robson is pleased to get both kids they had listed in their top five. “Both players have good skill and will give us some secondary scoring; we expect both of them to be top 9 players. In addition, both players have a desire to come to the CHL and play for the Hurricanes.” 

(From Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Media Relations)


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Hurricanes Picking Twice at Import Draft

The Lethbridge Hurricanes will pick twice in the July 2nd CHL Import Draft.

The Canes will have the 3rd overall and 63rd overall selections. The club will be picking two players, as GM Brad Robson released defenceman Kris Khenkel this last week. That means the German-born Belarusian player will go back into this year's Import Draft and can be picked up by any team in CHL. 

I spoke with Brad a few days ago to get his take on this draft 

Pat: Brad, the 3rd and 63rd overall picks on July 2 for this club. What do you expect and what direction will you go?

Robson: "Well at number three we know we will be getting a very good hockey player. We've been doing our due diligence, working hard, dealing with agents and European scouts. We've been spending probably two or three hours each day lately speaking with agents to see which players are willing and wanting to come over to the CHL. There's a lot of leg work that goes into this. With the way our hockey club is and with all the depth we have on the back end, there's a very strong possibility we will be picking a forward."

Pat: So with this forward, what type of player are you looking for specifically?

Robson: "The biggest thing we've noticed this year is there are a lot of Russians and Czechs that are not under contract. There's been a trend in Finland and Sweden where their ice hockey federations are signing all their players at 17 years old to 3 year contracts to fulfil their obligations to junior hockey. We are working with lots of teams and agents. Again at the forward position their are some heigh-end Russians and Czechs. Fortunately the guys we have listed high and the people we've talked to have some size and there are also some smaller guys with speed and skill we could consider taking in that second round."

Pat: What's the situation with Kris Khenkel?

Robson: "Kris Khenkel was released from our hockey club this past week. He is now eligible to go back into the CHL Draft and be selected by another club or he could go back and play junior in Belarus. So we will picking two Europeans and there's a strong possibly both will be forwards."

Pat: How big is it to make sure you have strong connections overseas when it comes to securing quality players in the Import Draft?

Robson: "it's huge! I think some agents think we are probably becoming a pain in the butt, but you know we want to make sure things don't turn out like the Khenkel situation where a player is under contract. We are dealing with things to make sure the players we do bring over are free and has no obligations or ties to a contract back home.  That's probably the biggest thing."


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Reid Duke Selected 169th by Minnesota Wild

Lethbridge Hurricanes Center Reid Duke had his NHL dreams come true when he was selected in the 6th round, 169th overall by the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.


The 6’0, 188 pound Calgary, AB native has been on the NHL Draft radar all season long, being ranked as high as 65th among North American Skaters at the mid-term rankings in January. He ended up ranked 137th among North American Skaters after finishing the season with 40 points (15G, 25A) in 62 games. Duke also earned himself an invite to the NHL Combine giving himself one last chance to impress NHL brass ahead of today.


Duke becomes the first Hurricanes player since Brody Sutter in 2011 (Carolina, 7th round, 193rd overall) to be selected in the NHL entry draft which is great news for the organization.

“We’re very proud of Reid and his accomplishments.  It’s great for him getting drafted and being recognized” commented General Manager Brad Robson. He added “today the work begins as he starts another chapter in his hockey career. This is a great opportunity for him going to Minnesota; they are a team on the move.”


The Lethbridge Hurricanes would like to congratulate Reid on taking this next step in his hockey career.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Lethbridge Library Partners WIth Local Sports Teams

Taking a huge step forward towards its initiative of ‘fitting a community into a Library’, Lethbridge Public Library CEO, Tony Vanden Heuvel announced today a partnership with 4 major sports teams in the City – the Lethbridge Bulls, University of Lethbridge Pronghorn Athletics, Lethbridge College Kodiaks and Lethbridge Hurricanes- which will offer Library card holders the chance to score tickets to a game!

Tony says: “the Library has been topping up its fun quotient as part of the Library experience for several years – Blockbusters, TopReads, eBooks, eMagazines (Zinio), The Word On The Street, Banff Mountain Film Festival, family parties, but today’s initiative creates new and exciting liaisons with community partners and the step into recreational fun is an unprecedented move for the Library. As the Library has been taking its ‘red chair’ to City venues for conversations, we have found that people enjoy the chance to meet with us outside our doors; they have expressed appreciation that the Library offers ‘experiences’, programs and a Library card with amazing benefits.”

He noted that since the Library is about Connecting You to Ideas offering the chance to ‘check out’ tickets to a sports game encourages individuals to support their local sports teams and to connect with Library resources for aspects about the game as well – books and DVDs on hockey, baseball, basketball and more. It may also provide the opportunity to explore future activities between the teams and the Library.

Tickets are currently available at the Library for Lethbridge Bulls Games as the season is now underway. "The Lethbridge Bulls are very excited to be a part of this new initiative and to be forming ties with the Hurricanes, Pronghorns and Kodiaks, as well as the Lethbridge Public Library. We look forward to seeing the growth and development of this program in the future" says Georgi Ellis of the Lethbridge Bulls.

As the season approaches tickets will also be available for the U of L Pronghorns games. “We’re always looking to enhance our partnerships in the local community and this initiative with the Lethbridge Public Library is a perfect opportunity to do just that. We’re excited that thousands of Library members across the region will have an opportunity to attend more than 50 Pronghorn home events this season,” said Robb Engen, Business Development Manager for Pronghorn Athletics.

Watch for Hurricanes’ tickets in the fall: “The Lethbridge Hurricanes are excited to partner with the Lethbridge Public Library in this new initiative. The opportunity for patrons to enjoy the library as well as some other activities in the community is not just a unique experience; it’s something that is fun for the whole family” says Esther Madziya, Hurricanes Communications and PR Manager.

Lethbridge College Coach, Avery Harrison, says “"The Kodiaks are extremely excited to team up with the Lethbridge Public Library and offer game tickets to Library members. Being a part of the community is very important to us, and we look forward to opportunities in the future where we can collaborate and partner in other areas."

This initiative also extends to Chinook Arch Regional Library card holders who will be able to access tickets through Lethbridge Public Library. Robin Hepher, Associate Director, Chinook Arch Regional Library System noted, “Like libraries, sporting events play an important role in bringing the community together. Chinook Arch Regional Library System is pleased to be working with the Lethbridge Public Library and the local sports teams to extend this exciting program to library card holders across southwestern Alberta.”

Some of the guidelines that will apply to accessing game tickets with a Library card:
* Customers wishing to reserve or check out game tickets must have a valid library card in good standing.
* Tickets are reserved on a first come, first served basis using the online request system available on the library’s website.
* Customers can view which tickets are available for upcoming games on the library’s website.
* Customers who have reserved tickets must pick up their tickets at the following locations:

- Bulls, Hurricanes and Kodiaks – Customer Service desk at the Main Branch
- Pronghorns – Customer Service desk at The Crossings Branch

* Each library cardholder can reserve up to 4 tickets for 1 game, per season, per team.

Ask for details and assistance at Library Customer Service Desks at both the Main Branch and The Crossings Branch or visit the Library’s website at

(From the Lethbridge Public Library)