Edmonton Oilers announce Fort Wayne Komets as new ECHL affiliate
The two teams had been previously affiliated between 1988 and 1990. © Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images The Oilers have a new ECHL affiliate. Oilers assistant general manager Bill Scott released the following statement:"On behalf of Ken Holland, Keith Gretzky and the entire Edmonton Oilers organization, we are thrilled to announce our new affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL. As one of the premiere clubs in the ECHL with a rich history of professional hockey in Indiana, we are very excited to have our future Oilers in Fort Wayne.
Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend lost a lot of goals Wednesday but still celebrated the day. © Provided by The Canadian Press
In selling Mexican forward Alejandro Diaz to Norway's Sogndal Fotball, Friend said goodbye to the Canadian Premier League's leading scorer with 13 goals this season. But he was also fulfilling the Canadian Premier League's mission — to help develop players and further their career.
"The reality is this league is built by Canadians for Canadians, but also for players to come here in this country and showcase themselves," said Friend, a former Canadian international striker. "Obviously we're still very new … To be at the stage where we're at, where (other) clubs are respecting the level and paying transfer fees — and substantial transfer fees now for players. And Diaz is a great example now.
Hurricanes sign Ethan Bear to one-year contract extension
The Carolina Hurricanes have signed defenseman Ethan Bear to a one-year contract extension, according to a report by PuckPedia. © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Ethan Bear Bear’s new one-way contract carries a $2.2 million cap hit. The 5’11”, 197-pound right-handed defenseman scored five goals and 14 points while averaging 16:05 in 58 games with the Hurricanes during the 2021–22 regular season. The #Canes re-signed 25 y/o RFA RD Ethan Bear to 1 year $2.2M Deal. Will be UFA on expiry, 1 year from UFA eligibility.14P in 58 GPOn ice 50% 5v5 GF, 54% DFFScored 0.
"I think it just shows how much we've grown as a league. And the respect we're getting outside of our country."
Pacific is also benefiting financially. The club did not detail the Diaz transfer fee but said it is the second-largest transfer in league history, with the potential to become the largest based on conditional performance objectives.
The CPL's largest transfer was the January 2020 sale of Forge FC attacking midfielder Tristan Borges, the league’s MVP and Golden Boot winner at the time, to Belgium's OH Leuven, reportedly for between $300,000 and $500,000.
Borges was loaned back to Forge in March 2021.
Diaz has accounted for almost half of Pacific's 28 goals in league play this season. The 26-year-old Mexican scored 31 goals and added nine assists in 62 games in all competitions over three seasons with Pacific.
Philadelphia Flyers hire Rocky Thompson as assistant coach
Thompson served as an associate coach for the San Jose Sharks in 2020-21 but parted ways for last season after explaining that a medical exemption kept him from taking the COVID-19 vaccine. It would seem as though that will no longer pose an issue, as the Flyers welcome him aboard to help coach the forwards and power play. While Thompson doesn’t have a ton of NHL experience as a player or coach, his minor-league résumé is vast and impressive. He played more than 600 total games in the AHL and served as head coach of the Chicago Wolves for three seasons before joining San Jose.
Sogndal (8-6-5) currently stands eighth in Norway's second-tier league. The club is coached by former Chelsea and Rangers forward Tore Andre Flo.
Diaz, who won CONCACAF championships with Mexico’s under-17 and under-20 teams, joined Pacific in March 2020 from Mexico’s Club America where he came up through the youth ranks. He made 56 appearances in Mexico for Club America’s senior team and, via loan spells, at Necaxa, Atlas and second-tier Zacatepec.
Friend says Pacific couldn't believe Diaz was available at the time.
"But I think ultimately he wanted a change. He needed a change to get out of Mexico, maybe remove himself from the pressure that he had. And sort of carve out his own career without all the pressure in his own country," he said.
"A fantastic character and I think he's going to succeed in Europe now," he added.
Friend knows his football. He won 32 caps for Canada and played in Norway before embarking on a successful career in Germany with Borussia Moenchengladbach, Hertha BSC, Eintracht Frankfurt and TSV 1860 Munchen. He finished out his career in MLS with the Los Angeles Galaxy, his career cut short by in 2014 due to concussions.
Red Wings sign David Perron to two-year, $9.5M contract
Almost seeming to get better with age, Perron has recorded at least 46 points in each of his last six seasons.For the first time in his lengthy career, the 34-year-old Perron has signed a contract with someone other than the St. Louis Blues. He’ll join the upstart Detroit squad and offer a plug-and-play offensive dynamo for new head coach Derek Lalonde to deploy. Almost seeming to get better with age, Perron has recorded at least 46 points in each of his last six seasons, including 27 goals and 57 points this year in just 67 games.
Pacific (9-4-5) currently stands second in the CPL standings and has advanced to the round of 16 in the Scotiabank CONCACAF League after eliminating Jamaica's Waterhouse FC. The defending CPL champion hosts Costa Rica's Herediano in the first leg of their matchup next Tuesday.
"Obviously you never want to lose your top striker in the middle of a season and we're in a CONCACAF (League) run but that's part of the game. It's why we're doing this," said Friend. "We have to set our egos aside and say 'Look this is what's best for the league, best for the club and what's best for the player.' And we celebrate it. And we hope to do that to the next player that replaces him and does the same thing."
Pacific, which lost forward Terran Campbell to Forge FC prior to this season, now looks to Dutch youth international forward Djenairo Daniels to help the attack.
"Ultimately it's about us believing in the next player and we have some very, very talented offensive players," said Friend.
The 20-year-old Daniels joined Pacific in February and has two goals in 19 appearances, 12 of which were off the bench, in all competitions.
Daniels worked his way up the ranks as a youth with Almere City and PSV Eindhoven before joining Jong PSV. He went on to play for Utrecht's reserve team before leaving the Netherlands on loan to join Sassuolo's under-19 team in Italy last year.
Josh Heard, a Welsh-born attacking midfielder, is second in Pacific scoring this season with four goals.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 10, 2022
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Alejandro Diaz, the CPL's leading scorer, heads to Europe with blessing of Pacific FC .
Pacific FC CEO Rob Friend lost a lot of goals Wednesday but still celebrated the day. In selling Mexican forward Alejandro Diaz to Norway's Sogndal Fotball, Friend said goodbye to the Canadian Premier League's leading scorer with 13 goals this season. But he was also fulfilling the Canadian Premier League's mission — to help develop players and further their career. "The reality is this league is built by Canadians for Canadians, but also for players to come here in this country and showcase themselves," said Friend, a former Canadian international striker.