Monday reading: WJC, Cutthroats, Duluth, 1920 Olympics, Anchorage

For the latest Team USA World Junior Championships tryouts info, check out the United States of Hockey blog.

Colorado Springs’ Cody Ayers, who played D-III hockey until recently, is one of the familiar names on the CHL Denver Cutthroats’ open tryout roster. The camp starts Aug. 10.

Former Minnesota-Duluth player and radio analyst Jim Nelson passed away recently.

St. Cloud State goalie Ryan Faragher is profiled as is Western Michigan’s Garrett Haar.

The high expectations continue for former Badger Justin Schultz.

The ice hockey tournament in the Olympics was at the 1920 Summer Games, where Canada and the United States dominated. It’s a good read from USA Hockey Magazine.

Here is an update by the Anchorage fan blog. Vermont and UMass switch assistant coaches.

USA Hockey named Julie Juarez as manager of social media and communications. Here is a reaction to the invitees for the USA Hockey prospects game.

In the pros: Bidwill signs with Colorado Eagles

Arthur Bidwill saw a chance to move up a level in pro hockey and return to Colorado. He gladly took it.

The former Colorado College defenseman said he signed a one-year contract recently with the ECHL’s Colorado Eagles.

“After last season (in the Central Hockey League) ended I was looking for the best fit,” he said Friday. “It is great that I get to stay in Colorado. I really enjoyed my four years at CC. I know the Eagles have a really good fan base. It will be fun.”

Bidwill played four postseason games with the CHL’s Allen (Texas) Americans, with former teammate Brian McMillin, who recently re-signed with the franchise. Bidwill’s season ended early with a knee injury in the playoffs. He he fully recovered by the team awards brunch in May.

Bidwill did well in his short time in the CHL, finishing plus-7 thanks in part to the slower, more controlled pace on the NHL-sized sheets of the CHL, especially when compared to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. He knows the ECHL (which used to be an acronym for East Coast Hockey League) will be a step up in speed and skill.

“I do not know really what to expect,” he said. “I hope I can contribute. I know I will go in, work hard and then we will see what happens.”

The preseason starts Oct. 5 with the Eagles hosting the expansion franchise San Francisco Bulls with the regular-season opener at home against Alaska, which has Tim Hall on its protected list, on Oct. 12 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

Bidwill joins McMillin on CHL’s Allen Americans

Former Tiger defenseman Arthur Bidwill, pictured at right, is headed to Allen, Texas this weekend to join the Central Hockey League’s Allen Americans franchise, where former teammate and center Brian McMillin is tied for sixth on the team with 40 points (26 assists) in 61 games.

“There were one of the teams that approached me after the season,” Bidwill said Thursday afternoon.”‘It was a pretty easy decision. It was kind of a bonus to see McMillin on the roster and know someone already on the team.”

The Americans’ regular season concludes this weekend so Bidwill will head there now, sign a contract for the rest of the season and get in a couple practices before potentially making his debut during the CHL playoffs. Berry Conference No. 2 seed Allen (36-18-9) hosts the third-place Texas Brahmas (33-23-8) next weekend.

The CHL teams have a 19-man playoff roster paired with a rotating list of players available to fill in as needed. Bidwill expects to be in that grouping.

He is confident and hopeful he can do well and garner an invitation to next season’s training camp and perhaps a contract for the following season. There is some upward mobility possible with the Americans’ affiliation agreements with the American Hockey League’s Texas Stars, where Stephen Schultz is on the Austin team’s roster, and the Lake Erie Monsters in Cleveland.

“Hopefully I can get in for a couple games and start building my pro (experience),” he said. “College definitely helped prepare me for the pace of the game.”

Bidwill said he will get his mathematical economics degree. He is finishing his thesis over the next couple weeks. All his classwork is completed.

In the meantime, he hopes to keep playing the game he loves for as long as he is able, acknowledging that no one plays in the CHL to get rich.

“Definitely,” he said with a chuckle. “Right now I am just looking to build on my college experience in a new career in the pro ranks.”