Let’s be brief: Dinos invade Serbia for Universiade

By Jon Roe

Eleven University of Calgary Dinos swim team members are heading to Serbia to compete in the 2009 Summer Universiade. The event, which takes place in Belgrade from July 1 to July 12, is a competition for university athletes from around the world.

Dinos will make up over a quarter of the Canadian swim team and Dinos coach Mike Blondal will lead the squad, with help from Dinos assistant coach Kevin Anderson.

Seanna Mitchell, Jessika Craig, Breanna Hendriks, Jessica Johnson, Hanna Kubas, Allison Long, Katy Murdoch and Kevyn Peterson will swim for the women’s team and Kelly Aspinall, David Dimitrov and Chris Tobin will swim for the men.

The Dinos women’s swim team won their first ever Canadian Interuniversity Sport title in 2009, finally wresting it away from the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, while the men placed second behind the T-Birds.

Three football players drafted to CFL

Offensive lineman Dylan Steenbergen became the 13th Dino drafted in the first round of the Canadian Football League draft after he was picked seventh overall May 2. Safety James Green and linebacker Andrea Bonaventura were also drafted, 18th and 20th overall respectively, in the third round.

Steenbergen, who was selected by the Montreal Alouettes, is the first Dino to be chosen in the first round since offensive lineman Richard Yalowski was also drafted by the Alouettes in 2006.

Green joins former teammate Mark Dewit with the Toronto Argonauts and Bonaventura will head north to the Edmonton Eskimos. Green and Bonaventura were Canada West all-stars in 2008.

Since 1970, 97 Dinos players have been selected in the CFL draft.

Lecavalier still on the block, apparently

Despite multiple assurances to the contrary, the Tampa Bay Lightning are still interested in moving captain Vincent Lecavalier.

Trade rumours about the forward reached a frenzied peak during the NHL all-star game in Montreal in January, when the Quebec native was rumoured to be heading to the Montreal Canadiens. The trade never materialized and Lecavalier finished the season swimming with the bottom-feeding Lightning.

However, a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger suggests he could be on the move to the Los Angeles Kings in a package that might include 22-year-old defenceman Jack Johnson. Johnson, though, according to Barry Smith, head coach of Kontinental Hockey League team SKA St. Petersburg, is interested in signing a one-year deal to play in Russia. Smith was contacted by Johnson’s father, Jack Johnson Sr., about the possibility.

Though there probably is no good reason why Johnson would rather toil away in the hockey salt mines of Russia than play in Los Angeles or Tampa Bay, perhaps he’s interested in the solid perks the KHL offers its players, including mid-season, 30-per-cent salary rollbacks.

Johnson was originally drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes third overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft before he was traded in 2006 to the Kings after he refused to sign away from the University of Michigan.

Trade speculation on Lecavalier, in the mean time, is expected to continue until a no movement clause kicks in with the first year of his 11-year, $85-million contract extension with the Lightning on July 1. He won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004.

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