Hockey Canada made a bold move today to help improve the health and safety of the game for kids.
The organization voted to eliminate bodychecking at the peewee level. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, each province voted in support of the measure except for Saskatchewan. Peewee hockey is played by 11-and-12 year-olds. It’s a big step and one that looks bold but makes a lot of sense.
The move comes two years after USA Hockey and Quebec amateur hockey each have done the same with their youth hockey programs. The aim here is obvious as they want to protect kids from concussions and other debilitating injuries for kids.
Dreger also shares that they will begin a program to teach the proper ways to bodycheck once players get out of peewee hockey starting in 2014-2015.
Devin Setoguchi, most recently in Leafs camp on a PTO, has signed with HC Davos of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Tuesday.
Setoguchi, 28, was with Toronto following a summer in which he attended rehab in an effort to get sober and start repairing his reputation which, he admitted in August, had been tarnished.
“The amount of times I’ve let people down, there weren’t a lot of takers on me,” he said, per Sportsnet. “Around the league my word has not really meant much.
“I had gotten to the point where I had diminished any merit I had in the league.”
The decision to go to rehab came after a disappointing ’14-15 campaign in Calgary. Setoguchi appeared went pointless in 12 games, but did reasonably well with the club’s AHL affiliate, scoring 10 points in 19 games.
A former 30-goal scorer, Setoguchi now joins one of Switzerland’s biggest and most prolific clubs. Davos has won 31 NLA titles, and is the league’s reigning champion.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.