Special night in Kamloops, Prince Albert. . . . Dr. Smillie, Clark will be honoured. . . . NAHL adds two teams, USHL loses one


D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) has signed a one-year contract extension with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he has four assists in 37 games.


Two men who have made huge contributions to the WHL will be honoured tonight.

In Kamloops, Dr. Bob Smillie will be presented with a Distinguished Service Award. In whlPrince Albert, the Raiders will induct Donn Clark into their Wall of Honour as a builder.

Dr. Smillie has had a long association with the league, starting with the Kamloops Chiefs in 1973-74 when he served as the team’s doctor. Later, he filled various roles with the Kamloops Jr. Oilers and the Blazers, including team doctor and education liaison. He also served on the Blazers’ board of directors when the franchise was community-owned. Now he is the executive director of the Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund, which began with the sale of the franchise in 2007. The fund has contributed more than $3.26 million to community sports groups in the Thompson-Nicola region.

Dr. Smillie will be saluted prior to the Blazers’ game against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Clark, who will turn 57 on Monday, will be honoured before the Raiders meet the Red PrinceAlbertDeer Rebels.

Clark is from Kelvington, Sask. Yes, Wendel is his younger brother.

Donn played 68 games over three seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, before getting into 31 games for the Raiders in 1982-83. However, he is better known for his work in the Raiders’ front office. He did two stints as the team’s head coach (1993-95, 2000-02) and also worked as the club’s general manager and director of hockey operations (2001-08).

Bruce Vance, who once worked for the Raiders, is in Krasnoyarsk, Russia,  where daughter Jessica is a goaltender with Team Canada at the Winter Universiade. Bruce took time Thursday to tweet that Clark is a “great choice. This wall was Donn’s concept. He told me he’d never be on it . . . glad he is. Wish I could attend.”

While you’re here, feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thank you, in advance.

The NAHL has added two franchises — the Maine Nordiques and the New Mexico Ice Wolves.

The Nordiques are owned by ISS Kings of Youth Hockey Club, LLC., which is owned by NAHLDr. Darryl Antonacci. The Nordiques will be the seventh team in the East Division and play out of the Androscoggin Bank Colisée in Lewiston, Maine. The arena seats 3,677 with a capacity of 4,000. The arena once housed the QMJHL’s Lewistone Maineiacs.

Dr. Antonacci also owns the ISS Kings Youth Hockey Club, which has been around for six seasons. Nolan Howe, the son of Hockey Hall of Fame Mark Howe, has been the Kings’ head coach from the start.

The Ice Wolves, who will be based in Albuquerque, are owned by Desert Ice Investment, LLC., which is owned and operated by Stan E. Hubbard. The Ice Wolves will play out of the Outpost Ice Arenas, which was purchased by Hubbard in August, and will become the seven team in the NAHL’s South Division.

This season, the NAHL comprises 24 teams playing in four six-team divisions.

Meanwhile, the USHL has lost a team with the news that the Central Illinois Flying Aces, who are based in Bloomington, Ill., have received approval for what they are calling a “one-year temporary withdrawal from play” for 2019-20. . . . More from a news release: “The Flying Aces’ current five-year lease to play in Grossinger Motors Arena ends at the close of this season. The team has fulfilled all the terms of the lease and commits to ensure all vendors continue to be paid in full for all services provided.” . . . The franchise is owned by CSH International, Inc., which, among other things, also owns the WHL’s Everett Silvertips.

While all of that was going on, the Canadian Sport School Hockey League issued a news release announcing “expansion of teams for existing members” for next season.

St. George’s School, which is based in Vancouver, will add a team in the Midget Prep Division. St. George’s already had teams in the Elite 15, Bantam Prep and Bantam Varsity divisions.

The Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Sask., are adding an Elite 15 Division team. The team joins clubs in the Elite 15 and Bantam Prep divisions.

The Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy is adding a team in the Female Varsity Division. RHA also has teams in the Midget Prep, Elite 15 and Bantam Prep divisions.

The CSSHL annual general meeting is scheduled for Winnipeg, May 6-8.


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