Brandon Wheat Kings’ executive Kelly McCrimmon will remain with the Western Hockey League club. The 54-year-old had been in talks to join the Toronto Maple Leafs front office.
“I have made the decision to remain with the Wheat Kings,” McCrimmon said in a statement. “I was honored to have been considered for a position with the Maple Leafs. It would have been a tremendous opportunity.”
McCrimmon is the Wheat Kings’ owner, GM and head coach.
He had discussions with Toronto about joining its management team, which includes Kyle Dubas, Mark Hunter and Brandon Pridham.
“With our team expected to contend this season, I felt I owed it to the group to stay here and try to help us take the next step,” McCrimmon added.
Toronto filled out its coaching staff last week adding Jim Hiller, Andrew Brewer and D.J. Smith.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have already lost prospect goaltender Oscar Dansk who decided to sign in the Swedish Hockey League earlier this week.
According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets are now in danger of losing Peter Quenneville.
GM Jarmo Kekalainen tells Portzline the Jackets are still uncertain about signing the forward.
If Quenneville isn’t signed by June 1, he is eligible to go back into this year’s draft.
The 21-year-old has spent parts of two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League after leaving Quinnipiac University during the 2013-14 season. He had 27 goals and 75 points in 72 games this season.
Quenneville, who is the second cousin of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and nephew of Islanders’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk by marriage, was the seventh round selection of the Jackets (195th overall) in 2013.
After all the speculation and wondering what exactly the Kings would do with 2009 top pick Brayden Schenn this season as he approached his games deadline between staying in Los Angeles or heading back to junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings, the Kings finally made a tough choice. Team general manager Dean Lombardi announced today that Schenn will head back to junior hockey after getting an extended look after eight games with the Kings this year. Schenn also spent two weeks in the AHL on a conditioning assignment after being a healthy scratch for so long, but it wasn’t meant to be this year for the 19 year-old.
Schenn hasn’t played in a game since October 30th for the Kings and getting a young kid like him consistent playing time is the right move to make. Keeping him with the big league team as a consistent healthy scratch would only harm his development. Now, he heads back to the CHL where he’ll play a ton of minutes and likely also get a chance to play once again for Team Canada in the World Junior Championships at the end of this month. In eight games Schenn had no goals and two assists with a -2 rating.
We’ll likely see Schenn get a better look next year in Los Angeles to be the teams number two or three centerman. He’ll be back, but in the long run this is better for his development. Only curious part of all this is why it took the Kings so long to decide what they would do with him. The team has plenty of players at center, Schenn’s position, but not much at wing (a big reason why Marco Sturm is looking to be acquired). Had Schenn been a natural left or right wing, it’s possible he would’ve stayed up. Instead, the potential addition of Sturm to go along with the return of Alexei Ponikarovsky, keeping Kyle Clifford in the fold, and the stalwart play of Ryan Smyth strengthens up the Kings left wing considerably.
Lost in the mix of the Los Angeles Kings great start to the season is how the Kings are going to handle the future of prospect center, and 2009 first round pick, Brayden Schenn. Schenn has been a healthy scratch more often than not lately and thanks to that, a decision on whether or not to send him back to his junior team has been delayed. NHL teams get nine games played to decide whether or not that player stays in the NHL and start up their entry-level contract or be sent back to junior hockey.
For Schenn, what started out well this year has turned into being mired in the press box as the Kings decide his immediate future. As Rich Hammond of L.A. Kings Insider shares, head coach Terry Murray isn’t making a decision on him just yet.
“We haven’t made a decision on Schenn, nothing firm. … We did have a meeting, a coaches-manager meeting. We talked about a bunch of different scenarios, but we haven’t reached any decision. Just keep going through it, and keep working with all the young players that are here, that are part of the hockey club, and try to make them better every day.”
Schenn is still at eight games, meaning the Kings could put him in one more game before making a decision on his contract status, but Murray said he wasn’t sure whether Schenn would get into a game any time soon.
With Schenn being so close to the brink of forcing the Kings to make a decision one way or another, it puts him in the precarious spot of having to be the guy in the press box each night when he could be getting work with the Brandon Wheat Kings on a nightly basis in the WHL. Having him bust his tail in practices with the Kings while learning on the job means analysis of the situation from chair jockeys like us can get a bit crazy. Both arguments have merit, but at this point you have to think that coach Murray and Kings GM Dean Lombardi have a good idea of what they’re doing. Seeing Schenn handled this way, however, is most peculiar though.