Does Randy Moller hold the WHL record for most goals in one game by a defenceman? If so, why hasn’t the record portion of the WHL Guide credited Moller with a five-goal game?
According to the WHL Guide, the record for most goals in one game by a defenceman is four, and is shared by seven players:
Ron Greschner of the New Westminster Bruins (Dec. 10, 1972, in a 9-4 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings);
Deron Quint of the Seattle Thunderbirds (March 2, 1995, in a 6-3 victory over the host Tri-City Americans);
Sergei Klimentiev of the Medicine Hat Tigers (March 12, 1995, in a 4-3 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes);
Justin Kurtz of the Brandon Wheat Kings (Feb. 28, 1997, in a 6-5 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors);
Nathan Paetsch of Moose Jaw (Jan. 26, 2002, in a 7-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos);
Richie Regehr of the Portland Winter Hawks (Nov. 27, 2002, in a 10-2 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars); and,
Braydon Coburn of Portland (Feb. 4, 2005, in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds).
However, Mark Weninger, a longtime Lethbridge hockey fan, has discovered that Moller, a defenceman who played two seasons (1980-82) with the Lethbridge Broncos, has a five-goal game to his credit.
Weninger is writing a book on the Broncos, who spent 12 seasons (1974-86) in Lethbridge before being sold and moving to Swift Current.
During his research, Weninger spent a lot of time poring over back issues of the Lethbridge Herald, and he happened upon a story in which writer Randy Jensen detailed a March 7, 1982, game in which the Broncos edged visiting Moose Jaw, 7-6. Moller struck for five of the seven Lethbridge goals.
“Moller scored five times, including the winner,” Jensen wrote, adding that Moller’s brother, Mike, “set him up on four of his goals.”
“I haven’t scored that many goals since peewee,” Randy told Jensen. “From bantam on, I never had more than three goals. I just got the breaks tonight.”
Moller, who had scored four goals in 46 games in 1980-81, finished 1981-82 with 20 goals.
The Quebec Nordiques selected Moller in the first round, 11th overall, of the NHL’s 1981 draft. He went on to play 815 regular-season NHL games, the first seven with Quebec. He also played with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers before retiring after the 1994-95 season. Now 58, Moller is on the Panthers’ broadcast crew.
But despite scoring five goals in one game, he isn’t in the WHL Guide as having scored more goals in one game than any defenceman in league history.
Hmmm . . . over to you, WHL.
It has been interesting watching Major League Baseball teams move players to the restricted list before they depart for Toronto and games with the Blue Jays.
Players need to be vaccinated in order to come into Canada — just like the Blue Jays have to be vaccinated to get into the U.S. — and it seems that most teams have three or four who have consulted with Dr. Google and decided not to bother.
And then there are the Kansas City Royals, who are scheduled to open a four-game series in Toronto today.
A MLB team carries 26 players on its roster; the Royals placed 10 players on the restricted list. Yes, there are 10 players in that locker room who aren’t vaccinated — OF Andrew Benintendi, P Dylan Coleman, 3B Hunter Dozier, C Cam Gallagher, OF Kyle Isbel, P Brad Keller, C MJ Melendez, 2B Whit Merrifield, P Brady Singer and OF Michael A. Taylor.
The Royals also will be missing some coaches for the same reason, although the team hadn’t released their names as of Wednesday night.
At some point prior to Thursday’s game, the Royals will announce the names of the 10 players from the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers who will be added for the games in Toronto.
“It’s an individual choice,” Royals manager Mike Matheny told reporters on Wednesday. “The organization’s done a real good job bringing in professionals and experts to talk guys through tough conversations and then put it in their hands to make the decisions they believe is best for them and their families.”
Merrifield explained his decision: “It was a choice I made talking with my family, talking with my wife. I didn’t think that the risk was worth it, honestly. . . . I don’t feel like COVID is a threat to me.”
Merrifield also claimed to have “had a really dear friend of mine die of COVID-19 . . . It’s something that I’ve taken seriously.”
Of course, he admitted that a trade could change his thought process.
“That might change down the road,” he told The AP. “If something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes. As we sit here right now, I’m comfortable with my decision.”
Dozier, meanwhile, had COVID-19 during the 2020 season and even missed some games. He said Wednesday that he “doesn’t do any vaccines,” but added that he’s “not against vaccines.”
Dozier explained: “I live a healthy lifestyle. I work out. I want my body to naturally fight stuff off.”
A player on the restricted list doesn’t get paid and isn’t credited with service time.
THINKING OUT LOUD: With John Schneider now managing the Toronto Blue Jays, perhaps the players will start to act like the professionals they are supposed to be. Get rid of the home run jacket and forget about those dumb post-game water/Gatorade showers. That stuff got old more than a few weeks ago. . . . You know what is a lot of fun these days? Watching the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners make some noise in MLB’s wild-card races after being down and out seemingly forever. . . . According to the gang at capfriendly.com, the first day of NHL free agency included 153 player signings valued at a total of US$919,175,000 and covering 314 years. F Ondrej Palat signed with the New Jersey Devils to begin Day 2 and that $30-million deal pushed the total of $949,175,000. Yes, it seems some of the teams in Gary Bettman’s league are rolling in dough.
THE COACHING GAME:
Jim Hiller, a former WHL coach, has joined the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach, filling the vacancy created when Marco Sturm was named head coach of the NHL’s teams AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. . . . Hiller, 53, has been an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and, for the past three seasons, the New York Islanders. . . . He has coached in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans and Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?). . . . Hiller, a defenceman, was selected by the Kings in the 10th round of the NHL’s 1989 draft and went on to play 40 games with them in 1992-93. . . . He played three games with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders in 1986-87 before going on to Northern Michigan U. . . .
The BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks have added Josh Dubinsky to their staff as an assistant coach. He had been an assistant coach with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers after also working with the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears.
The Tri-City Americans have hired Aaron Hoffmeyer as their equipment manager. He has experience with the U.S. National Team Development Program and most recently was head equipment manager with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals for two seasons.
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