There doesn’t appear to be anything new — at least, nothing for public consumption — in the situation involving the four players off the Moose Jaw Warriors’ roster who have been suspended indefinitely by the WHL.
The four players — D Marek Howell, 16; F Lynden Lakovic, who turned 16 on Dec. 12; D Maximus Wanner, 19; and G Connor Ungar, 21 — are shown on the WHL’s discipline page as having been suspended “tbd for standard of conduct violation.”
When the WHL announced the suspensions on Saturday, via a one-sentence news release. It stated that the players were suspended “pending an investigation into possible violations of team rules and the WHL Standard of Conduct policies.”
The WHL didn’t indicate who would be conducting such an investigation, whether an investigation is underway, or whether there was a time element involved.
Nor did the league indicate whether there is any police involvement.
Katie Strang of The Athletic reported on Monday that a Moose Jaw Police Service spokesperson confirmed they “have been made aware” of a situation involving players with the team but aren’t able to comment further at this time.
The four players all played in a 2-1 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen on Feb. 5, then were scratched on Wednesday as the Warriors beat the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-3. The night the suspensions were announced, the Warriors dropped an 8-4 decision to the Pats in Regina.
The Warriors next are scheduled to play on Friday against the visiting Winnipeg Ice.
Moose Jaw (33-17-3) is fourth in the Eastern Conference, five points behind the Saskatoon Blades and seven ahead of the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
While enjoying their annual Super Bowl retreat in Las Vegas, the WHL’s board of governors honoured Kelly McCrimmon by presenting him with a Governors Award. From a news release: The award “is presented annually to an individual who, through their outstanding hockey and overall contributions to the game, has impacted on the growth and development of the WHL.” McCrimmon, now the general manager of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was a long-time owner, general manager and head coach of the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The governors also took time out from their time at the slot machines to honour former Spokane Chiefs general manager Tim Speltz. Speltz was named as the recipient of last year’s Governors Award. However, scheduling issues due primarily to the pandemic prevented the award from being presented to Speltz prior to Monday. Speltz, the Chiefs’ GM for 26 seasons, now is the GM of the Henderson Silver Knights, the Golden Knights’ AHL affiliate.
TUESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:
The Swift Current struck four times in the third period en route to posting a 7-5 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings took a 4-3 lead into the third period, but the Broncos took a 5-4 lead on two goals from F Brad Birnie (14), at 0:32 and 3:47. . . . F Connor Hvidston (14), who also had two assists, and F Josh Filmon (33) stretched the lead at 8:33 and 12:34. . . . Swift Current was 2-for-2 on the PP and had a shorthanded goal. . . . Brandon was 3-for-6 on the PP. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Brett Hyland (26) and a goal (25) and two assists from F Nate Danielson. . . . Swift Current (25-22-3) is tied with the Regina Pats (25-22-3) and Calgary Hitmen (23-22-7) for sixth in the Eastern Conference. . . . Brandon (21-23-7) is 10th, four points from a playoff spot. . . .
The Saskatoon Blades snapped a 1-1 tie with three goals early in the third period as they skated to a ?? victory over the Cougars in Prince George. . . . F Jordan Keller pulled the Blades into a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 17:23 of the second period, then snapped the tie with his 13th goal at 2:26 of the third period. . . . D Spencer Shugrue’s first goal of the season and third in 140 games increased the lead at 2:51, and D Charlie Wright (5) added another at 4:35. . . . Keller also had an assist for the first three-point game of his freshman season. He has three two-goal games in his last five outings. . . . F Egor Sidorov scored his 31st goal — giving the Blades four goals in 5:46 — and also had two assists. . . . F Chase Wheatcroft of the Cougars drew one assist to run his point streak to 14 games. . . . The Blades are 2-1-0 in a B.C. Division tour that continues Friday night in Victoria. Interestingly, Saskatoon is the only East Division team that made its Prince George visit in the middle of the road trip; the others either began or ended their trip against the Cougars. . . . Saskatoon (35-13-4) is third in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . Prince George (24-23-4) is sixth in the Western Conference, four points behind the Tri-City Americans. . . . BTW, McBride has a population of about 600 people, so that’s an awfully good showing in support of Blades D Tanner Molendyk. . . .
F Brad Lambert had a goal and two assists as the Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the Tri-City Americans, 4-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . In nine games since joining the Thunderbirds from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, Lambert has seven goals and seven assists. He has a goal in each of his last four games. . . . F Lucas Ciona (23) scored Seattle’s last two goals, proving a 3-0 lead at 14:18 of the second period and making it 4-2 with an empty-netter at 19:44 of the third. . . . F Ethan Ernst (30) and F Adam Mechura (18) got the Americans to within a goal by scoring at 16:30 and 18:51 of the third. . . . Seattle (39-9-2) has won four in a row. It now leads the Western Conference by four points over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Tri-City (25-20-6) has lost five straight (0-4-1). It is tied with the Everett Silvertips (27-22-2) for fourth in the conference.
From the Ghostrider News blog that follows the junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League:
“With an amusing 1,350 penalty minutes the Kelowna Chiefs won the coveted KIJHL colouring books; they also finished dead last with 16 points. Clearly in a large city where there are almost as many players as protesters recruiting should be easy; there might even be a ‘convoy’ of players to choose from . . . but the owner, Jason Tansem, made himself the GM . . . What does that tell you?
“Tansem joins a long list of owners who have dabbled in the occult or whatever it is coaches do. Friend of the blog Lee Stone, who coached the Campbell River Storm to Cyclone Taylor and Keystone Cups along with three VIJHL championships, lost his coaching job recently when a new owner came in and meddled as GM.”
The junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League announced Monday that it has “parted ways” with Lee Stone, its general manager and head coach. . . . “He has been an integral part of every success this team has experienced from 2013-23,” the team said in a social media post. According to the team, Stone had a 373-113-32 record over nine seasons. . . . This season, the Storm is 31-11-2, good for second place in the six-team North Division. . . . On Tuesday, Stone posted on social media that “the timing of this decision by a new ownership interest was unfortunate and reflects ongoing changes to the club’s direction that I could no longer support.”
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