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A little talk with Sam Grist; Hanlon joins Giants

It was nice to talk to Sam Grist today. I didn’t get much face time with the rookie D-man last year, but he is a very good interview.

He is anxiously awaiting the NHL draft, as is fellow D-man Zach Yuen. While Zach is considered a third-round guy, Sam knows he won’t go that high, but he’s OK with that.

Sam has been working out since returning to Victoria, preparing for his second season with the Tri-City Americans.

I’ve been working out with my trainer Jeff Compton and I work out with AHL players and NHL players,” said Sam, who listed Adam Cracknell (St. Louis Blues) and Dan Gendur (Milwaukee Admirals) among those he shares dumbbells with. “It’s really cool to have older, more experience guys there to talk to.”

And it’s not just in the gym. He’s been getting pointers from them on the ice, as well.

Last summer, Sam said he had a chance to work out with former Ams defenseman Clayton Stoner (Minnesota Wild), but hasn’t seen him yet this summer.

Sam and Zach will be two defensemen returning this season for the Americans, along with Drydn Dow, Brock Sutherland and Matt MacKenzie. But, with 7 overage players coming back, decisions will have to be made. Sutherland and MacKenzie are in that overage group, as are goalie Drew Owsley and forwards Carter Ashton, Adam Hughesman, Mason Wilgosh and Brendan Shinnimin.

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The Vancouver Giants named former Washington Capitals coach Glen Hanlon their second in command behind head coach Don Hay. Hanlon, 54, signed a two-year deal with the Giants.

“I told Glen right away that he was overqualified,” Hay told the Vancouver Province. “But he’s in it for the right reasons.”

Hanlon was a goaltender with the Brandon Wheat Kings (1974-77) and was a third-round pick by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1977 NHL draft. He played in the NHL with the Canucks, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings.

His most recent job was head coach of the Slovakian national team.

I’ve met Glen a couple of times at Olie and Stu’s Desert Bash when he was head coach of the Capitals and Olie’s coach. I hope he will make a return visit next month. I’m sure Olie has his number.

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The Everett Silvertips, still in search of a head coach, also will need to find a new radio/PR man as Jon Rosen will step down at the end of July. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jon the last four years and I will miss him. It’s not often radio men leave their job. Bob Ridley had been with Medicine Hat since 1970.

As for a coach, the Silvertips have to replace Craig Hartsburg, who now is an associate coach with the Calgary Flames. The Everett job has been a tough sell since Kevin Constantine left in 2007 to take the head coaching job with the Houston Aeros (AHL). He now is the coach of HC Ambri-Piotta in the Swiss National League A.

John Becanic followed Constantine and lasted two years, as did Hartsburg, who came in after Becanic was fired.

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