It seems fitting that as the Calgary Hitmen get set to launch the 2011-12 season we look back at what’s happened this off-season.
March 23 Hitmen bench boss Coach Mike Williamson named head coach of Canada’s National Under-18 Team for the 2011 IIHF World Under-18 Championship, April 14-24 in Dresden and Crimmitschau, Germany.
May 4 Hitmen Director of Business Operations Mike Moore wins WHL Marketing / Public Relations Award.
May 5 Hitmen select 10 players in the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft including Jake Virtanen with the number one overall selection. Other picks include; Josh Thrower (Rd 2), Ben Thomas (Rd 3), Braden Oleksyn (Rd 3), Chase Lang (Rd 5), Logan Franz (Rd 5), Ryan Duret (Rd 6), Travis Sanheim (Rd 9), Skylar Canada (Rd 10), Kyle Michalovsky (Rd 11).
May 27 Graduating forward Kris Foucault (LW) signs with Minnesota Wild.
June 15 Forward Rob Trzonkowski (RW) earns invite to Canada’s Summer Under-18 Team Selection Camp July 30 to August 2.
June 21 Head Scout and Assistant GM Brad Whelen resigns to become Western Regional Scout for Tampa Bay Lightning.
June 23 Hitmen announce they will play a six game pre-season schedule starting Sunday, September 4th against Medicine Hat at the Edmonton Tournament.
June 29 Hitmen announce 2011-12 Regular Season Schedule. The 72 game marathon begins with a pair of road games starting September 24 in Cranbrook against the Kootenay Ice and September 30 in Lethbridge in advance of the Sunday, October 2 home opener vs. Kootenay. Game time is 2pm at Scotiabank Saddledome. Of the 36 Hitmen home games, 28 will be played on the weekend with 11 on Fridays, three on Saturdays and 14 Sundays. Home games (Monday-Saturday) will start at 7pm at Scotiabank Saddledome while Sunday’s will be a mix of a new 4pm puck drop along with the traditional 2pm starts.
June 29 Hitmen select 18-year-old Victor Rask (C) from Sweden 3rd overall in Canadian Hockey League Import Draft and 19-year-old Alexander Gogolev (RW) from Russia with their second round pick, 60th overall.
July 8 Hitmen announce Alex Roach (D) will attend LA Kings Development Camp on July 10 and training camp later in September.
July 11 Hitmen promote Travelling Scout Dan Bonar to Head Scout.
July 19 Graduating forward Tyler Fiddler (LW) commits to U of C Dinos to utilize his WHL scholarship this fall with plans to study business.
July 20 Hitmen acquire 17-year-old Chris Driedger (G) from the Tri-City Americans in exchange for a third round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.
August 4 Hitmen announce the hiring of longtime NHL Scout Ray Payne as the club’s new Travelling Scout.
August 8 Hitmen hold first ever Hole-in-One golf tournament at Springbank Links. Although no one nets an ace, over $10,000 in closest to the pin prizes are awarded and the largest Alumni contingent attends with 21 Hitmen grads in attendance; Karl Alzner, Carey Bracko, Mike Broda, Jared Carli, Brett Carson, Gerry Festa, Tyler Fiddler, TJ Galiardi, Paul Gentile, Brandon Kozun, Brent Krahn, Jeff Maher, Sean McAslan, Carson McMillan, Brad Mehalko, Dennis Mullen, Jason Norrie, Shaun Norrie, Paul Postma, Ian Schultz, Dan Spence.
August 15 Hitmen announce 2011 Training Camp will be hold over six days at Don Hartman North East Sportsplex (5206-68th Street NE). Rookie Camp runs from August 26-28 with Main Camp August 28-31. The annual Team Black vs. Team White Intra-Squad game will be played Wednesday, August 31 from 11-1:30pm.
August 18 Hitmen acquire 18-year-old Brady Brassart (C) from the Spokane Chiefs in exchange for a fourth round conditional pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.