Suspensions over, four Warriors ready to go . . . OHL teams shoot darts on social media . . . Pitch clock a home run for MLB

If you were wondering, it appears that the four players from the Moose Jaw Warriors who sat out the regular season’s last 17 games while under suspension will be back in the lineup tonight.

The Warriors are to entertain the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Game 1 of a first-WarriorsNewround playoff series, and G Connor Ungar, D Marek Howell, D Max Wanner and F Lynden Lakovic all have been practising and are eligible to return.

“I think they’re a big part of the renewed energy around the rink right now,” head coach Mark O’Leary told Randy Palmer of “They’re a big part of our team, they have been to this point and any success we find in the playoffs, they’re going to be a big part of it. They look the same way they did when they left our group and that’s great to see.”

It sounds as though Ungar may be in Moose Jaw’s goal when the game starts, too. He was having a terrific season — 26-7-3, 2.58, .925 — before the four were suspended for what the WHL said was “a violation of team and league rules.”

“It’s all in how you look at it,” O’Leary told Palmer. “Any time something happens, there are both positive and negative things and one of the ones is he’s rested, he’s fresh and he’s chomping at the bit wanting to make a difference. So Connor looks really good and he’ll be ready to go Friday.”

No, the Warriors haven’t yet allowed any of the four players to speak with the media.

Palmer’s complete story is right here.


The OHL playoffs opened on Thursday night and — oh, yes!!! — hilarity ensued. On Twitter, that is!

In one of the games, the host Ottawa 67’s outshot the Oshawa Generals, 20-0, OHLin the first period en route to a 7-0 victory.

After the game, the Niagara IceDogs’ Twitter account had this: “See ya soon, @Oshawa_Generals.” . . . The IceDogs, you understand, didn’t even make the playoffs.

Anyway, the Generals responded: “Y’all couldn’t even finish last properly. We are not the same.”

To which the IceDogs came back with: “Shots since this tweet: 22 67’s, 9 Gens. Maybe focus on the game.”

The Generals ended it with: “Ottawa may have handed us the loss, but somehow, despite their season ending last week, we still gave the IceDogs their 57th L of their season tonight.”

Then the Barrie Colts got involved, chiming in with: “Last week?!? More like months.”

Thought I would check in with the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine on Thursday night. I discovered that after three years it had shut Coviddown the centre’s operations as of March 10. . . . Thought you might be interested in knowing that as of March 10 the U.S. had lost 1,123,836 folks to COVID-19, with 2,216 of those dying in the week prior to that. . . . According to Health Canada, we have had 51,930 people die of COVID-19 through March 27 at 10 a.m. ET. In the seven days leading up to that, 117 people died. . . . All those deaths, all those families impacted forever, so many ill people and so few people doing anything about it. So, so sad, and I don’t think I will ever understand how we got to this horrid state of affairs.
Here’s Toronto-based journalist Matt Gurney (@mattgurney) via Twitter:

“To me, my no-bullshit explanation for why Canada is broken goes something like this: a plague just killed 50,000 of us, and I don’t see any sign that we’re actually, on any level, learning much of anything from that and applying those lessons in a meaningful way.

“If your country is so comfortable with the status quo, or so incompetent at changing it, that 50,000 dead Canucks all stacked up in a big heap isn’t enough to knock some sense into us, I don’t know how else to describe that other than ‘broken.’ ”

It’s that time of the year when a handful of players from non-playoff WHL teams head elsewhere to finish their seasons. Here are a few from the early days of the spring migration . . .

D Owen Pickering of the Swift Current Broncos has joined the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. Pickering, who turned 19 on Jan. 27, was selected by Pittsburgh with the 21st overall selection of the NHL’s 2022 draft. This season, he had nine goals and 36 assists in 61 games as he served as the Broncos’ captain. He signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Penguins in July. . . .

F Josh Davies of the Broncos will finish his season with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Florida Panthers. They selected Davies, who turned 19 on March 24, in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2022 draft. This season, Davies, a physical forward, had 20 goals and 14 assists in 62 games with the Broncos. . . .

F Connor Hvidston of the Broncos has signed an ATO with the San Diego Gulls, the AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks. They selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2022 draft. This season, Hvidston, 18, finished with 21 goals and 44 assists in 59 games. In 177 career regular-season games, he has 34 goals and 63 assists. . . .

D Landon Kosior, who completed his junior eligibility this season with the Prince Albert Raiders, has signed an ATO with the AHL’s Iowa Wild. He put up 135 points, 44 of them goals, in 213 regular-season games over four seasons with the Raiders. This season, the Regina native put up 17 goals and 46 assists in 63 games.


The Brandon Wheat Kings have added Riley Dudar to their hockey staff as director of player development, a brand new position for the organization. From a Wheat Kings’ news release: “The Winnipeg product joins the organization after working in hockey operations as a scout with the USHL’s Chicago Steel, as well as serving as the director of player personnel for the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers.” . . . According to the Wheat Kings, Dudar “will also join the Wheat Kings scouting staff as well as occupy the role of director of player development with the (Western Canada Hockey Academy) in Brandon at the J&G Homes Arena.” . . .

The NHL’s Vancouver Canucks announced on Thursday that its Young Stars Classic will be back in Penticton’s South Okanagan Events Centre for at least two more years. The 10th edition of the tournament is scheduled for Sept. 15-18. Prospects from the Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets will participate in each of the next two tournaments.


THINKING OUT LOUD — Opening Day in MLB with the pitch clock was a resounding success. How great was it to watch the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees play in two hours 33 minutes? . . . The WHL playoffs open tonight and you have to think the Seattle Thunderbirds and Winnipeg Ice, the regular-season conference champions, are favoured to meet in the final. They both loaded up prior to the trade deadline, but there can only be one winner. So while there is going to be joy at the end of the trail, there also is going to be a whole lot of pain. . . . Don’t sleep on: Saskatoon Blades. Only Seattle gave up fewer goals, and the Blades’ one-two punch in goal is as good as it gets. . . . Wanted to watch Connor McDavid and the Oilers against the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night. But the NHL’s blackout regulations wouldn’t allow it. So it was back to baseball with Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and the Angels in Oakland against the A’s. . . . I will never understand how the NHL game that had the Anaheim Ducks visiting the Seattle Kraken was available, but a game in which McDavid scored No. 300 wasn’t. Oh well, the NHL’s loss, I guess.

You may be aware that crooner Michael Bublé owns a chunk of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. However, you may not be aware of how that came to happen. Ryan S. Clark of ESPN chatted with Bublé and has that story and a whole lot more right here. Whether you’re a fan or not, this is an entertaining read. I mean, how do other WHL teams compete with a team that sometimes has Bublé appear on a video call while recruiting a player?

My wife, Dorothy, will be taking part in the 2023 Kamloops Kidney Walk on June 4 and, for a 10th straight year, is fund-raising. In September, she will celebrate 10 years as a transplant recipient. . . . If you would like to make a donation and be part of Team Dorothy, you may do so right here.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182


Or, for more information, visit right here.



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