Rebels pare down roster by two

Cut and paste. Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter reduced his Western Hockey League club’s roster to 31 players Thursday by reassigning 16-year-old forwards Tyler Kirkup and Josh Logel, both of whom will rejoin their midget AAA teams. Kirkup will suit up with the Southwest Cougars, based in Souris, Man., while Logel will be back with the Calgary Northstars.

Cut and paste.

Red Deer Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter reduced his Western Hockey League club’s roster to 31 players Thursday by reassigning 16-year-old forwards Tyler Kirkup and Josh Logel, both of whom will rejoin their midget AAA teams.

Kirkup will suit up with the Southwest Cougars, based in Souris, Man., while Logel will be back with the Calgary Northstars.

“For these kids, whether they’re close or how they fit in, it’s about the long-term development of the player and where they’re going to get the most opportunity to play,” said Rebels assistant GM/director of player personnel Shaun Sutter.

“Both of these kids played midget triple A last year. That was quite an accomplishment for them to play at that level and this year we expect them to be dominant players at that level. They’ll also have the opportunity to really grow not only on the ice, but off the ice, and that’s because they’ll have that kind of responsibility — to be the best players on the ice every game.”

Kirkup, five-foot-11 and 164 pounds, produced 15 goals and 27 points in 43 regular-season game with the Cougars in 2013-14 and two goals in three playoff outings, while the six-foot-one, 198-pound Logel was one of three 15-year-olds with the Northstars last season. His statistics were not available.

Brent Sutter, with the help of NHLers Brandon Sutter, Kris Russell, Matt Fraser, Paul Postma and Colin Fraser, has put his players — rookies and veterans — through the paces this week in preparation for Saturday and Sunday preseason games versus the Prince George Cougars and Swift Current Broncos at St. Albert. However, a large group of returning skaters will not play in either game.

“We’ve been going through a lot of things this week, including showing the kids video to emphasize how we want to play within our system both on the offensive and defensive sides of the puck,” said the Rebels boss.

“Having the pros out on the ice with us really helps too, because it has the kids playing at their pace.

“It’s been good for a lot of the guys and hopefully it’s been good for the pros, too. They’ve been great at helping us with drills.”

Sutter confirmed that at least six veterans — Haydn Fleury, Brooks Maxwell, Brett Cote, Conner Bleackley, Presten Kopeck and Kayle Doetzel — will not play this weekend. Three others — Devan Fafard, Kolton Dixon and/or Wyatt Johnson — may or may not see action.

Dawson Weatherill will start between the pipes Saturday and Taz Burman and Rylan Toth will split the goaltending duties Sunday.

Just notes: Fleury returned Wednesday from the NHL Showcase event in Toronto. “He’s a top-end guy and it’s nice to have him back practising with us,” said Sutter. “He makes everyone better by practising harder. He’s one of our leaders and it’s good to have him back in the mix.” . . . Fleury and Bleackley, selected by Carolina and Colorado in the first round of this year’s NHL entry draft, will leave for their respective NHL team camps the second week of September. Also slated to attend NHL camps are Johnson (Anaheim), Doetzel (Toronto) and Evan Polei (St. Louis) . . . Sutter will reduce the roster by at least two more players — reassigning 15-year-olds Weatherill and forward Jake Leschyshyn to the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs and Saskatoon Blazers — following this weekend. He’ll also make decisions on 16-year-old forwards Reese Johnson and Zachary Gladu prior to the Rebels heading to Kennewick, Wash., for a pair of preseason games Sept. 5-6.

Rebels

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fear of COVID-19 is growing, suggests new poll of Canadians

OTTAWA — A new poll suggests a growing number of Canadians are… Continue reading

Publisher says news media need cash ‘now’ to survive drop in advertising revenue

TORONTO — The federal government needs to move quickly to support the… Continue reading

Virus puts UK PM in intensive care; Japan declares emergency

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in intensive care Tuesday… Continue reading

N-95 respirators and emergency relief on the way for Canada

OTTAWA — Coveted N95 respirators will continue to come to Canada from… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer emergency call centre hours change starting next week

Hours at the City of Red Deer’s COVID-19 emergency call centre will… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

David Marsden: Hospital parking should always be free

If you need to visit a patient at a hospital or other… Continue reading

COVID-19 forces weekend warrior racers off the road, devastates race organizers

Donna Moore enters a road race almost every weekend. One after the… Continue reading

‘Modern Family’ cast shares memories as series finale nears

LOS ANGELES — The group crying began after the final scene of… Continue reading

Ryan Reynolds sweetens Hayley Wickenheiser’s ask for medical supplies

TORONTO — Hayley Wickenheiser’s call for medical supplies for front-line health care… Continue reading

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Woman scared for brother in Calgary long-term care home with COVID-19 deaths

Person connected to Red Deer College tests positive for COVID-19

‘I wish this individual well,’ says president

Most Read