Not waiting on whether Henri Jokiharju was going go or stay in Chicago and because Joachim Blichfeld was overage and could work into the San Jose Sharks system, the Portland Winterhawks brought in two seventeen year olds. Both signed immediately and will be at training camp. The Hawks also signed several fifteen-year-old prospects. None will be on the team this year but they will start to make an impact next season.
A big change impacts the WHL with the change in trades. After last season, which saw a record in players still attending school, the change affects 15, 16-year-old signed players that now cannot be traded, and 17 year olds can only be traded if they request it. It remains to be seen what this will do in January come trade deadline, but it will help many players who were younger and sent packing as many teams tried to shore up for a deep run in the playoffs.
Due to a concert with the Smashing Pumpkins and Sunday with a relay for Alzheimer’s, which will take over the Rose Quarter commons, the Hawks moved training camp to an all weekday event. Fitness testing will be Monday, August 20 and camp will be August 21 to 24.
The always-popular Fan Fest will move to Beaverton at the Skating Center located just west of Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and 91st Avenue on Sunday. In the parking lot will be a bounce house, pick shoot and more along with several vendors. Times are TBA, but expect Neely Cup dates to start at 4pm, Fan Fest to start at 11am or noon.
The search is on for a broadcaster that is not a Vrooman. Earlier, it was believed that Dean or Todd would fill in at the start of the season it is not to be. Dean is busy in sales and Todd is happy away from hockey. With that, they hope to be with someone in time for training camp.
Every game with the exception of September 22 (Seattle vs Portland) will air on CW32. It’s been a good relationship this far and between Joe TV in Seattle and CW32 in Portland. Jeremy Imig runs the broadcast in Portland and has looked very professional on screen.
The Booster Club has announced trips to Tri-City Dec. 15, Everett Feb. 9, and Kelowna Mar. 2 & 3. The trips are part of many weekends with three games in three nights. They hope to be at all four games of training camp and Fan Fest as well.