Mondays With Murray: Merv Picked Right Racket? Oh, Really? 

Merv
The late, great Merv Griffin.

Two sporting events wrap up on Sunday — the 2022 U.S. (Tennis) Open and the Del Mar racing meet.

Today, we pay tribute to TV host and media mogul Merv Griffin (July 6, 1925 – Aug, 14, 2007), who loved tennis and race horses. Merv raised thoroughbred horses at his ranch in La Quinta, Calif. His colt Stevie Wonderboy, named after Stevie Wonder, won the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

Jim Murray’s column from Sept. 17, 1987, throws the spotlight on Merv’s love for the game of tennis.

ENJOY!


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1987, SPORTS

Copyright 1987/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANY

JIM MURRAY

Merv Picked Right Racket? Oh, Really?

The richest man on Sunset Boulevard was driving along it, idly listening to the car radio. The announcer broke for a commercial message, promising to come right back with the name of the man who, according to Forbes Magazine, was currently the richest man in the entertainment industry. The driver vagrantly mondaysmurray2wondered who it might be. Bob Hope? Aaron Spelling? Bill Cosby? A moment later, he almost crashed into a curbside tree.

“It was me!” recalls Merv Griffin in wonderment. “I had to pull off to the side of the road and sit there hyperventilating. I thought, ‘How dare they?!’ I glanced into cars going by and wondered whether they were listening to the same program. I hoped not.”

Merv Griffin arrived at his high estate, driving along and finding himself one of the richest men in town, from a standing start as a guy who used to stand in front of Freddy Martin’s band in the Coconut Grove and sing “I Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.”

Actually, Merv is the black sheep of the Griffin family. He comes from a long line of championship tennis players and they thought he might follow in the tradition. Uncle Clarence was three times U.S. men’s doubles champion with the storied William (Little Bill) Johnston, and another time was runner-up at Forest Hills with John Strachan. Uncles Milton and Elmer were world-class players, as was his father, Mervin, Sr.

“We all had lace curtain Irish names,” explains Merv.

The family parlor might have had muslin, but the lace curtain Griffins were very big in the ad court.

Merv Griffin Jr. drifted south from his San Francisco and abandoned his tennis roots. He became the band singer for Martin’s long run at the Grove. “It was the place for Hollywood in those days. Howard Hughes was there every night. Van Johnson used to grab the mike and sing. Bing Crosby used to dance by and say ‘Don’t pronounce your words so carefully, San Francisco. Slur them a little bit.’ ”

********
Hollywood as they say, beckoned, and Merv became the lead in such non-Academy epics as “Cattle Town,” “So This Is Love” and “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon.” Winces Merv: “I was supposed to be Doris Day’s co-star. But I photographed too young.”

It was tennis that got him out of films. “I hated the movies. One day, Uncle Elmer had a chance to play Jack Warner in tennis. ‘I can let him win and save your job,’ his uncle warned Merv. “Kill him!” instructed his nephew. The uncle mowed the Warner brother down in straight sets, love-love, and Merv was suddenly in New York on daytime television.

It was the day of the quiz show scandals in New York, but Merv’s shows were as honest as Uncle Elmer’s tennis and he was soon whisking from his run on Broadway’s “Finian’s Rainbow” to center stage on such classics of the game-show genre as “Play Your Hunch,” “Keep talking,” and “Word For Word.”

It was when he sat in for Jack Paar on the Tonight Show (pre-Carson) that his career took off. Merv Griffin had such a disingenuous air about his questioning that his guests frequently found themselves blurting their most intimate secrets and emptying all their closets with an alacrity that fascinated audiences.

“Merv was so disarming they would forget they were on national TV and get to thinking they were talking to Merv on the bar car of the New York-New Haven-and-Hartford,” an associate remembers. “Merv would just sit there and say ‘Oh, really!’ and ‘You’re kidding!’ and they would fall all over themselves to tell him things they never told anybody.”

Once, when Merv had on the deposed vice president, Spiro Agnew, his producer came to him in despair. “We can’t talk about anything!” he wailed. “Look at the list of things that are off-limits! The most controversial thing on the show will be ‘Hello!’ ”

Merv just smiled. “Don’t worry,” he soothed. “Just start the camera.”

Viewers remember that, but the end of the show, Merv was getting away with questions like “And then what did you steal?”

The Merv Griffin Show was an American institution. Congressmen, thieves, athletes, movie queens, diplomats took his couch. Merv acted as if he were in awe of all of them and played a part that was part autograph-seeker and part prosecutor. The show was more fun than a bugged confessional. It was impossible not to watch — like seeing a guy walk a ledge in a snowstorm.

Merv tried to maintain his little-boy-in-the-big-city approach, but he was as sophisticated as any of his film-star guests. Once, when he was singing at the Palladium, a young Hollywood High student was president of his fan club. A girl named Carol Burnett.

But Merv never forgot the fantastic popularity of the game show as a television staple. He put together a pair that were to become the biggest money-makers in the history of the breed and put Merv in the capital grouping that used to belong to guys who owned railroads or oil fields.

“Wheel of Fortune” became the most watched game show of all time before Merv sold it to Coca Cola for a quarter of a billion dollars. “Jeopardy” was a favorite game show from the White House to the firehouse.

Merv picked Vanna White out of a pile of photographs to dress “Wheel of Fortune.”

“Which face looks out at you?” he challenged his staff.” You can’t have a guy with a ladder going out there changing letters.”

But Merv never got too far from his serve-and-volley background. Like all the Griffins, he yearned for a spot on center court. He played life as if the point were always deuce, but he played tennis to relax.

His involvement took the form of organizing some of the earliest celebrity tournaments (he credits Clint Eastwood with pioneering them) and this weekend he hosts the Merv Griffin Tennis Tournament at the Riviera Tennis Club as part of the week-long Mita Festival, which annually raises more than a million dollars for United Cerebral Palsy. Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg and John McEnroe (if his baby is born) are expected.

For Merv, it’s a natural outgrowth of a lifetime of being able to say “Oh, really?” and “No kidding?” on TV with a perfectly sincere straight face. It’s the show biz equivalent of the high lob which the opponent smashes into the net. That shot is a Griffin family tradition. Not only puts you in the finals at Forest Hills but on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation P.O. Box 661532, Arcadia, CA 91066

——

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s mission is to establish a permanent legacy to Jim Murray. The JMMF has joined forces with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB share significant and timeless overlapping history with Jim Murray. Jim Murray wrote more columns on baseball than he wrote on any other sport, bringing baseball’s history and legends to life through sports journalism.

The JMMF will continue its “Mondays with Murray” posts indefinitely with a link to the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame website supporting its new Jim Murray initiative. The JMMF will dissolve its 501(c)(3) status and distribute its remaining financial assets to the Hall of Fame.

Baseball Hall of Fame non-profit 501(c)(3) #15-0572877

Preserving History. Honoring Excellence. Connecting Generations.

info@jimmurrayfoundation.org|

www.jimmurrayfoundation.org

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while cringing at Hockey Canada’s chutzpah . . .

Scattershooting2

If you ever wondered about the arrogance of Hockey Canada, well, wonder no longer. You only had to see the end of the IIHF World Women’s Championship HockeyCanadain Herning, Denmark, on Sunday to understand. . . . Yes, that was Scott Smith, the president and CEO of Hockey Canada, handing out the gold medals to the Canadian team after its 2-1 victory over the U.S., in the process allowing controversy to creep into what should have been a time that belonged strictly to the winners. . . . The arrogance, the tone deafness . . . call it whatever you want . . . it was off the charts. . . . What it wasn’t was surprising. . . . If you haven’t realized it before, you should be aware by now that the Hockey Canada pooh-bahs seem to be planning to wait this out while the whole mess gets swept (shovelled?) under the carpet and disappears from the public mind. . . . At the end of the day, it’s all about the power and the accompanying perks. Once your nose is in the trough, it’s awfully hard to walk away on a voluntary basis. Obviously, the time has come for someone — politicians? sponsors? — to push harder.


Old friend Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times is nearing a well-earned retirement. For a long time now, he has allowed me to lift items from his weekly Sideline Chatter column. Yes, he has taken the odd thing from me, but the exchange is heavily weighted the other way. . . . His column is wonderful. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s how he opened this week’s effort:

Warning: Dogleg ahead … and maybe    a giraffe leg.

Play at the Skukuza Golf Club in the wilds of South Africa had to be held up until the carcass of a giraffe — killed by a couple of lions, who were then replaced by 20 hungry hyenas — could be hauled away from the fairway of the third hole.

“It is what makes Skukuza so special,” greenskeeper Jean Rossouw told the London Daily Mail, “not knowing what is going to happen every time you play.”


Soup


DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME, SAYS COVID-19 — Craig Dickenson, the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was back on the sideline for Sunday’s Labour Day Classic — that isn’t played on Labour Day — in Regina. Dickenson had tested positive for you know what and missed practices starting on Tuesday. He also missed Saturday’s walk through because he needed a negative test before he would be allowed to return. . . . The Roughriders know they have to be careful with this because it was only in July when they had 13 players and five staff members test positive. . . . ICYMI, the Blue Bombers (11-1) escaped with a 20-18 victory over the Roughriders (6-6). And now it’s on to Winnipeg for Saturday’s Banjo Bowl. If you’re a Roughriders’ fan you are pleading with your guys to play with more discipline — even a player who wasn’t dressed took a penalty yesterday and took them out of FG range — but you know you’re likely yelling into a void.


Headline at The Beaverton: Man who is “done with COVID” sure doing everything he can to keep it going.

——

One more from The Beaverton: No one is ever productive working from home declare CEOs working from Barbados.


Newquik


The Florida State football team had 140 staff members and 116 players on hand for its team photo. As Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wondered: “Do the grad assistants really need grad assistants?”


Mark your calendar. Game 1 of the World Series is scheduled for Oct. 28. As Bob Molinaro asks in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “Who will be the next Mr. November?”



ICYMI, Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama football team, signed a contract extension the other day that will pay him US$93.6 million through the 2030 season. . . . As sports business analyst Darren Rovell noted on Twitter — $26,326: In-state student tuition, room & board at Alabama for the 2022-23 school year. . . . $29,315: What Alabama football coach Nick Saban gets paid PER DAY this season.”


Teeth


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Jon Gruden, man, there’s a man who can apologize. Not. On eight years of his email hate, Gruden said, ‘I’ll make no excuses for it, it’s shameful. BUT. I am a good person. . . . I made some mistakes but I don’t think anyone here hasn’t.’ Gruden should be given another chance to work. The job should involve a mop and broom.”

——

Ostler, again: “Cameron Smith, world No. 2 golfer, calls LIV golfers not receiving world ranking points ‘perhaps a little bit unfair.’ Pal, if you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on, try your Saudi sugar daddies. They seem like sympathetic folks.”


THINKING OUT LOUD — A tip of the fedora to the Moose Jaw Warriors. Admission to their Black-White game on Sunday was by donation, and proceeds went to the Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association in memory of Ethan Williams. Well done, Warriors! Never forget. . . . The American League’s third wild-card spot could come down to the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, and they’ll meet 10 times between now and season’s end. Seven of those games will be in Baltimore. They start with a doubleheader in Baltimore today (Monday). . . . Oh, did I mention that Baltimore has won six of nine meetings with Toronto to this point? . . . Of course, both teams still are within range of the AL East-leading Yankees, who are folding like a cardboard suitcase in a rain storm. . . . Is it time to blow up Hockey Canada entirely, including rules and regulations and everything else, and start over?


Desk


Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Kudos to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, which doesn’t want its players working in the KHL because of its disapproval of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you play in the KHL this season, you can’t play hockey for a Swedish national team.”



You may have watched Northwestern and Nebraska in a college football game from Dublin, Ireland, a couple of Saturday’s ago. At one point in the telecast, St. Andrew’s Cathedral could be seen. “In Omaha,” wrote comedy writer Brad Dickson, formerly of the Omaha World-Herald, “it would be razed to make room for a strip mall.”


Scott Frost, Nebraska’s head coach, is on the hot seat this season. After losing, 31-28, to Northwestern in Dublin, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Nick Canepa wrote: “Scott Frost . . . unemployment nipping at his nose.” . . . The Wildcats bounced back with a 38-17 victory over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Saturday.


Chicken


THE COACHING GAME:

The WHL’s Vancouver Giants have added former NHL D Brent Seabrook to their staff as a player development coach. Seabrook, from Delta, B.C., isn’t a stranger to the Giants. He joined the coaching staff in December when head coach Michael Dyck was with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship tournament that was postponed shortly after it got started. . . . Seabrook won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks during an NHL career that included 1,114 regular games and 123 more in the playoffs. . . . He spent four seasons (2001-05) with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. He played 15 seasons in Chicago before retiring after the 2019-20 season. . . .

The BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers have added Tyler Gow to their staff as an assistant coach. Gow, 39, is from Nanaimo. He finished his junior A career by playing 40 games with the Clippers in 2000-01, then spent for years at St. Norbert College, an NCAA Division III school. In Nanaimo, Gow will be working alongside Colin Birkas, the general manager and head coach, associate coaches Bob Beatty and Bob Foglietta, assistant coach Dave Liffiton, skills coach Ben Walter and goaltender coach Sean Murray.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Wisconsin Lumberjacks of the Superior International Junior Hockey League played an exhibition game against the host Brooks Bandits of the AJHL on Thursday night. The Bandits won. 23-0. Shots were 56-12. . . . A couple of nights earlier, the Lumberjacks had dropped a 7-1 decision to the host Okotoks Oilers. . . . The Lumberjacks ventured into the SJHL on Sunday, where they were outshot, 49-19, and beaten, 3-2, by the Kindersley Klippers.


Service


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Shopping

MacDougall ready to chase more titles . . . Blades, Giants swing a trade . . . Thunderbirds add assistant coach

The big man is back on campus at the U of New Brunswick. Yes, he is!

Hey, Gardiner MacDougall, how did you spend your summer vacation?

Well, let’s see, I went on over to Saint John for a couple of weeks and helped the Sea Dogs win the Memorial Cup.

OK. Now what’s next?

Time to chase an eighth Canadian university men’s championship and a 10th conference title. But, hey, who’s counting?


After the interim chair of Hockey Canada’s board of directors gave the stamp of approval to the embattled organization’s leadership, Ken Campbell of Hockey HockeyCanadaUnfiltered tried to answer the question: “Why?” . . . Here’s what he wrote: “Because it’s a hockey thing and it involves hockey people, a group that, generally speaking, loves to wear its status as an outlier like a badge of honour. It’s such an insular, tribal group and it believes the problems that plague the game can only be solved by people who are deeply involved in it, people who are well-versed in the supposed complex and unique nuances involved in a game where players chase a black disc around the ice. Even if those are the same people who cause the problems in the first place.”

Bingo!

And, ICYMI, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday said that it’s “fairly clear that both the government and Canadians in general have lost confidence in the leadership at Hockey Canada.”

Sheldon Kennedy, who knows a thing or two about what’s going on here, told The Canadian Press: “For the betterment of the game and kids, the leadership group at Hockey Canada must resign as they have lost the trust of Canadians in their ability to lead. That is crystal clear.

“If we care about the game like we say we care about the game, I think that’s the best thing to do right now. Canadians are asking for the leadership group to step down. I don’t know how they’re not hearing that.”

They likely have some championship rings stuck in their ears.


Unfriend


The Saskatoon Blades have acquired F Justin Lies, who will turn 19 on Nov. 24, from the Vancouver Giants for F Kyren Gronick, 18, and a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2025 draft. . . . Lies, from Flin Flon, had eight goals and eight assists in 50 games last season. In 120 games with the Giants over three season, he scored 12 goals and added 18 assists. . . . The Giants picked Lies in the third round of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . .

The Blades, who dealt their leading scorer from last season, Kyle Crnkovic, 20, to the Seattle Thunderbirds for F Conner Roulette on Tuesday, are looking for some physical play from the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Lies. “Justin is the exact type of player we’ve been coveting over the last year to help add size, ability and tenacity to our forward group,” Colin Priestner, the Blades’ president and GM, said in a news release. . . .

Gronick, from Regina, was picked by the Prince George Cougars in the second round of the 2019 bantam draft. He was dealt to the Blades on Dec. 29 in a three-team deal that also involved the Medicine Hat Tigers. Saskatoon gave up a third-round pick in the 2023 WHL draft and a 2015 seventh-rounder in that exchange. . . . In 38 games over two seasons with the Cougars, Gronick had eight goals and 12 assists. In 37 games with the Blades last season, he had four goals and 10 assists.


Blinker


Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, has a question: “When we are all driving electric cars will be still call that thing on the car floor the ‘gas pedal?’ ”

——

Here’s the curmudgeonly on at his curmudgeonly best: “Am I the only one who is fed up to my earbrows with irrelevant ‘advanced stats’ from baseball broadcasts and telecasts? This has really gotten a bit out of hand. I do not care even a little bit about the velocity of the ball as it comes off the bat, nor do I care about the launch angle of a batted ball. I have a passing interest in the length of a home run that made it to the seats, but the exit velocity of a single to right field is stats for the sake of stats. Here is what I want to know from broadcasters/telecasters about batted balls: Was it fair or foul? Was it a hit or an out? That’s it; that’s the list!” . . .

I can only disagree with one part of that rant. It hasn’t “gotten a bit out of hand.” It is completely out of hand. I am so tired of hearing broadcasters refer to “exit velo” that I want to scream.



“A B.C. judge has frozen the assets of a former Vancouver Canucks draft pick who is being sued over allegations he defrauded a realtor of more than $2.8 million,” Keith Fraser of Postmedia wrote earlier this week. “Harpreet Singh Khela, the realtor, claims that Prab Rai, a fifth-round pick in the 2008 NHL draft, held himself out to be a successful and wealthy business person, purporting to have important connections with prominent local and international business people and retired hockey players.” . . . In freezing Rai’s assets, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick “noted that the only substantive assets of Rai are two Lamborghini luxury vehicles with a combined value of about $1.2 million.” . . . Rai, now 32, played five seasons (2005-10) in the WHL, getting into 62 games over one-plus seasons with the Prince George Cougars and then playing 238 with the Seattle Thunderbirds, who acquired him during 2006-07. The Cougars selected him in the seventh round of the 2004 bantam draft. In 300 regular-season games, he totalled 98 goals and 130 assists. . . . Fraser’s story is right here.


Printer


THE COACHING GAME:

The Seattle Thunderbirds have added Carter Cochrane to their organization as an assistant coach. . . . Cochrane, 25, is from Kamloops. He spent the past three seasons with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks, the last two as an assistant coach, the first one as skills coach. . . . As a defenceman, he played 43 games in the WHL — 33 with the Everett Silvertips (2013-15), nine with the Tri-City Americans (2014-15) and one with the Vancouver Giants (2015-16). . . . With the Thunderbirds, Cochrane fills the vacancy created when Kyle Hagel left in July after being in Seattle for five years. He now is an assistant coach with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda.


Lost


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Kamloops Blazers have added Morris Boyer to their organization as athletic therapist. He was the head athletic therapist with the Calgary Flames from 1998-2015, and also has extensive experience with Hockey Canada teams. In Kamloops, he will be working with Colin Robinson, who is into his 27th WHL season, 18 of those with the Blazers. . . .

The OHL’s Niagara IceDogs have traded D Sam Dickinson to the London Knights for seven — yes, SEVEN — draft picks. The IceDogs picked up second-rounders in 2024, 2025 and 2026, third-rounders in 2023, 2025 and 2026, and a fifth-round pick in 2023 in the exchange. . . . Dickinson, from Toronto, was selected by the IceDogs with the fourth overall pick in the OHL’s 2022 draft. He was the first defenceman taken in the draft. . . . From Ryan Pyette of Postmedia: “The 16-year-old was listed on the IceDogs’ training-camp roster this week, but, as has been rumoured for months, does not want to play for the club and did not report. That made him a defected player and eligible to be moved to the highest bidder.” . . .

Annie Fowler, who spent 16 seasons covering the Tri-City Americans for the Tri-City Herald, has joined the WHL team’s staff. She will supply feature stories to the team’s website — amshockey.com. . . . From a news release: “Fowler’s articles will be a part of the Americans News Center . . . They will be published on amshockey.com and distributed in print form at Americans home games.” . . . The Americans’ announcement on Wednesday came on the fourth anniversary of her final day at the Herald. She was laid off, caught up in cutbacks, after having worked at the newspaper for 18.5 years.


Stairs


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Law

A tip of the fedora to the Windsor Lancers . . . Blades, Thunderbirds swap high-end forwards . . . Rebels lose veteran goalie to ‘congenital defect’

On May 24, I posted this on Taking Note:

The U of Windsor Lancers men’s hockey team is going to spend some time in Merritt, B.C., in August. They will be involved in a hockey academy while there, and they also will play a couple of exhibition games. The big news — really big news — is that they are going to spend time working with First Nations communities who continue on the road to recovery from wildfires and floods that hit them hard in 2021. . . . The Lancers will be helping to erect five emergency homes, a project that should take five days if all goes according to plan. . . . “We’re always looking for opportunities for our student athletes to learn and grow at the rink and away from the rink,” head coach Kevin Hamlin said, “and this just seemed to be a great fit given all the craziness that’s happened and come to light out west.” . . . There’s more on this story from AM800 News right here.


The New Westminster Bruins raised single-game ticket prices prior to the 1985-86 season . . .


The Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired F Kyle Crnkovic, 20, the WHL’s fifth-Seattleleading scorer last season, from the Saskatoon Blades for F Conner Roulette, 19, and a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. . . . Crnkovic, a first-round pick by the Blades in the WHL’s 2017 draft, had 94 points, including 39 goals, in 68 games last season. In 210 games over four-plus seasons with Saskatoon, he put up 81 goals and 140 assists. He is from Chestermere, Alta. . . . Seattle now has two 20-year-olds on its roster, the other being F Jared Davidson, who finished last season with 42 goals and 47 assists in 64 games. . . . Seattle selected Roulette, who is from Winnipeg, in the second Saskatoonround of the WHL’s 2018 draft. In 131 games with the Thunderbirds, he had 117 points, including 49 goals. Last season, he put up 24 goals and 42 assists in 65 games. He added 18 points, five of them goals, in 25 playoff games as Seattle reached the WHL final. . . . The Dallas Stars picked Roulette in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . The Blades, who open training camp on Thursday, have yet to post a training camp roster on their website. But I believe they now have two 20-year-olds with them — F Josh Pillar and D Aidan De La Gorgendiere. Moving Crnkovic, then, would perhaps indicate that another deal/acquisition is imminent.



G Chase Coward won’t be on the Red Deer Rebels’ roster when the new season gets rolling. Coward, 19, got into 35 games last season, but medical issues now RedDeerhave him on the sideline. . . . “Chase underwent testing this summer and discovered a congenital defect to his lower body,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner, president and general manager, said in a news release. “At this time, Chase has decided he will not attend training camp or be a part of the Rebels’ roster to start the season, and we support him as he navigates through the process.” . . . In 41 regular-season games, 35 of them last season, the Swift Current native was 24-11-3, 2.62, .904. . . . Last season, Coward was 22-10-2, 2.51, .906. . . . As WHL observer Alan Caldwell tweeted: “This leaves the Rebels with no experienced goaltenders since they traded Coward’s 21-22 batterymate Connor Ungar to Moose Jaw in the spring.” . . . Perhaps the Rebels would be interested in one of two veteran OHL goaltenders, both of them 20 years of age, who have been waived. Tucker Tynan was dropped by the Soo Grehyounds, while the Peterborough Petes have dropped Tye Austin. . . . G Kyle Kelsey, 18, who was acquired from the Warriors in the Ungar deal, may get a look. However, the Rebels, who open camp on Thursday, have yet to post a training camp roster.


The MacBeth Report (@MacBethReport) reports that two former WHLers — Brandon Davidson and Tyler Wong — signed contracts with Kunlun Red Star Beijing of the KHL this week. Davidson, who played last season with the AHL’s Rochester Americans, signed a two-year deal, while Wong signed a four-year extension after putting up 14 goals and 14 assists in 48 games last season. He has played the past three seasons with Kunlun Red Star. . . . Davidson, 31, played three seasons (2009-12) with the Regina Pats. Wong, 26, spent five seasons (2012-17) with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The interesting thing about these signings is that Kunlun Red Star will be playing out of Mytishchi, Russia, for a second straight season because of COVID-19 restrictions for foreigners entering China. According to The MacBeth Report, “Mytishchi is an outer northern suburb of Moscow.” . . . Am I the only one who finds it interesting that Canadian players are signing contracts to play in Russia while that country is making war on Ukraine?


Car


THE COACHING GAME:

The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder announced late Monday that Jeff Shantz, its general manager and head coach, was leaving to join the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes as a development coach. . . . From a news release: “Sean Brown has assumed all head coach and general manager duties for the Thunder, and has begun our search for Jeff’s replacement.” . . . Brown was named associate GM and associate coach on July 18. . . . Shantz was introduced as the GM/head coach on July 13 after a five-year run as a coach at the Edge School in Calgary. Shantz, 48, played three seasons (1990-93) with the Regina Pats before going on to play 642 regular-season NHL games. He finished his pro career by playing eight seasons in Europe. . . .

The BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters have signed Tim Fragle, their general manager and head coach, to a contract extension that runs through the 2024-25 season. . . . Fragile is preparing for his third season with the Smoke Eaters with whom he spent two seasons (1997-99) as a player. . . .

The AHL’s Calgary Wranglers have added former WHL players Mackenzie Skapski and Daniel Johnston to head coach Mitch Love’s staff. . . . Skapski, a former goaltender, will serve as development goaltending coach; Johnston will be the video coach and also work in team services. . . . They will work alongside assistant coaches Don Nachbaur and Joe Cirella. . . . Skapski, 28, played three seasons (2011-14) with the WHL’s Kootenay Ice. In a five-season pro career, he got into two NHL games with the New York Rangers, going 2-0-0, 0.50, .978 with one shutout. . . . Johnston, 29, played four full seasons (2009-13) and parts of two others in the WHL, starting with the Portland Winterhawks and finishing with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He spent the past two seasons on the Brandon Wheat Kings’ coaching staff. . . .

Former NHL D Ladislav Smid will be a guest coach when the Edmonton Oil Kings, the WHL’s defending champions, open training camp this week. Smid, from Frydiant, Czech Republic, has retired after a 17-season pro career, the last five with Bili Tygri Liberec of the Czech Extraliga. He spent 11 seasons in the NHL, playing with the Edmonton Oilers, who own the Oil Kings, and the Calgary Flames. . . . The Oil Kings also revealed that Kirt Hill, who is preparing for his fifth season as president of hockey operations and general manager, has signed a multi-year contract extension, but the exact length wasn’t provided. . . . The Oil Kings also revealed that Luke Pierce, who moved from assistant coach to head coach after Brad Lauer left for the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, also has signed a multi-year extension. Again, the exact length wasn’t provided. . . . There is more on the Oil Kings’ hockey operations staff right here.



THINKING OUT LOUD — A reminder to those folks who cover junior hockey: There isn’t any such thing as an overage player; he is a 20-year-old player. Were he overage, he wouldn’t be eligible to play. . . . And while we’re at it, there aren’t any assistant captains; there are alternate captains. . . . If you are a fan of the Oakland A’s or Washington Nationals, I feel for you. Consider that after Tuesday’s games, they had combined for 92 victories. The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, had won 90 games. . . . Hey, WHL, you’ve got teams opening training camps this week and there still are rosters that aren’t available. Believe it or not, there really are fans and other observers who are interested in these things. . . . Hey, WHL, perhaps you could create a full-time, high-salaried position for Alan Caldwell. You know, Minister of Statistics, Rosters, Draft Picks and Information, or something like that. If you’re interested, Caldwell is posting rosters right here as he is able to locate them. He also will be updating them as camps progress. I checked the spreadsheets there Tuesday night and got a message telling me that “some tools might be unavailable due to heavy traffic.” Yes, WHL, people really are interested in this stuff.


Chicken


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Library

Wheat Kings have their GM . . . Blazers deal top-end defenceman after he asks out . . . Ex-WHL goalie moves west to play volleyball

Marty Murray is the new general manager of the Brandon Wheat Kings. Murray, 47, takes over from Doug Gasper, who resigned on May 6, citing personal reasons in leaving after one season as GM. Gasper spent the two seasons before that as the club’s assistant general manager. . . . Kelly McCrimmon had been the Wheat Kings’ general manager for 27 seasons (1989-2016) before joining the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. McCrimmon sold the franchise to the J&G Group of Companies, headed up by president and CEO Jared Jacobson, on Sept. 8, 2020. Murray is the Wheat Kings’ third general manager since then, following Darren Ritchie (2019-21) and Gasper. . . .

Murray was the general manager and head coach of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede for the past two seasons. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons with the NAHL’s Minot Minotaurus, the first five as head coach and the last four as GM and head coach. . . . From Lyleton, Man., Murray is a former Wheat Kings star, having totalled 132 goals and 260 assists in 264 regular-season games over four seasons (1991-95). He twice played for Canada at the World Junior Championship, winning gold twice and leading the 1995 tournament in scoring. . . . There is a complete news release right here.


Facebook


The Kamloops Blazers have traded D Mats Lindgren, 18, to the Red Deer Rebels RedDeerfor D Kyle Masters, 19, and a lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2025 WHL draft. . . . Lindgren, the son of former NHL F Mats Lindgren, had asked for a trade after being a fourth-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL’s 2022 draft. . . . The Blazers, the host team for the 2023 Memorial Cup tournament, had selected Lindgren, a North Vancouver native, with the seventh pick of the first round in the WHL’s 2019 draft. He had five goals and 39 assists in 68 regular-season games in 2021-22, then added seven assists in 17 playoff games. . . .

The Minnesota Wild selected Masters, who is from Edmonton, in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL draft. Last season, he had three goals and 11 assists in 65 regular-season games with the Rebels. In 109 games over three seasons, he has five goals and 22 assists. Red Deer selected him 16th overall in the 2018 WHL draft. . . .

Under the conditions of the trade, the first-round pick acquired by Kamloops will move to 2026 if the Rebels are part of the draft lottery prior to the 2025 draft. The draft lottery includes the six non-playoff teams. . . . The Blazers now hold two first-rounders in each of the 2023 and 2025 drafts. . . . During the WHL’s 2021 draft — it had been moved from May to Dec. 9 because of the COVID-19 situation — the Blazers dealt their 2021 first-round selection to Regina for the Pats’ first-rounder in 2023. Regina used the pick to take F Jaxsin Vaughan, who has played the past two seasons at the Rink Hockey Academy in Kelowna. Vaughan 16, was pointless in six games with the Pats last season. . . .

The trade on Monday leaves the Blazers without a defenceman who likely would Kamloopshave led them in minutes played and played on the first PP unit. It gives the Blazers one more chip to be used in what undoubtedly will be more than one or two future moves. . . . I would suggest that the Blazers are going to have to ascertain the status of F Logan Stankoven, 19, before deciding where to go from here. From all reports, he was really good at the just-completed World Junior Championship in Edmonton. So what are his chances of playing his way onto the roster of the Dallas Stars, who selected him in the second round of the NHL’s 2021 draft? All is well if he comes back. If he doesn’t return, Kamloops will need to go shopping for a high-end forward. . . . Also, is G Dylan Ernst, 18, capable of leading a team on a march to the Memorial Cup after getting into 24 games last season? Or do the Blazers need to go out and acquire some experience at that position? . . . No matter how you look at it Blazers’ fans are in for some interesting times.


Straws


In 1991, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card — his rookie card — sold for US$50,000. That same card sold for a record $12.6 million on Sunday. The previous record was $7.25 million, paid earlier this month for an American Tobacco Co. T206 Honus Wagner card that was produced somewhere around 1910. . . . BTW, you can’t make this part up: Bobby Caina Calvan of The Associated Press reported that “the auction netted a handsome profit for Anthony Giardino, a New Jersey waste management entrepreneur who bought it . . . at a New York City show in 1991.” . . . A different 1952 Mantle sold for $5.2 million in 2021. That was the record for a Mantle card prior to Sunday. . . . Sunday’s sale also set a record for any single item of sports memorabilia, surpassing the $9.3 million paid earlier this year for the uniform top worn by soccer’s Diego Maradona when he scored the “Hand of God” goal at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico City. . . . With that kind of memorabilia in mind, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times informs us that “Ty Cobb’s dentures are up for auction for the first time in 23 years.” The last time they were on the block, in 1999, they sold for $7,475.


Yardsale


THE COACHING GAME:

The Edmonton Oil Kings have yet to make an announcement but veteran hockey writer Jim Matheson tweeted on Monday that former NHL D Ladislav Smid “is going to be working” with them “in a coaching capacity.”. . . He will be working with head coach Luke Pierce and Serge Lajoie, who recently signed on as assistant coach and director of player development. . . . Smid, 36, is from the Czech Republic. He played seven-plus seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and then spent three seasons in the Calgary Flames organization. . . . He has played the past five seasons in his home country. . . .

Charlie Mattersdorfer has been named the Lethbridge Hurricanes as the skills and development coach. Mattersdorfer, 41, has spent the past two seasons as the club’s power skating coach. He played one season (1997-98) with the Hurricanes. . . .

The OHL has its first female assistant coach with the Hamilton Bulldogs having hired Laura Fortino as an assistant coach and the director of player development. Fortino, 31, is from Hamilton. She played university hockey at Cornell, is heavily involved with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association and has won Olympic gold and silver medals with Canada’s national team. . . . In the WHL, Olivia Howe has been a “coaching assistant” with the Moose Jaw Warriors since Oct. 11, 2019.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

G Max Paddock, who played four seasons in the WHL, is leaving hockey to play volleyball. Paddock, 22, played nine games in goal for the Acadia Axemen last season (2-6-0, 3.17, .898), but now has chosen to transfer across the country to the U of Fraser Valley where he will play on the Cascades men’s volleyball team. . . . He was a volleyball star with the Neelin Spartans while in high school in Brandon. . . . His father, Russ, was an international-calibre volleyball player, who is the athletic director at Brandon University. . . . Max is a nephew to John Paddock, the general manager and head coach of the Regina Pats.


Coyote


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Econ

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while remembering “Henderson has scored for Canada” . . .

Scattershooting2

We purchased our first colour television set in August 1972. Yes, it was because the eight-game Summit Series — Canada vs. Soviet Union — was to begin on Sept. 2 in Montreal.

At the time, we had been married for about two months and I was a year into my TVsports journalism career that began at the Brandon Sun.

If memory serves, the price tag on the TV set — it was a beauty, a 19-inch RCA XL100— at Eaton’s in downtown Brandon was $499, which we didn’t have in our bank account. So I went to the Royal Bank for a little financial help.

At the time, I spent a lot of time covering the Manitoba Senior Baseball League and one of the players with the Brandon Cloverleafs worked at the Royal Bank. So . . . he turned me down.

But the CIBC, with whom my parents had banked for years in Lynn Lake, came to the rescue, which is how I (we?) came to enjoy the Summit Series in glorious colour. Not just colour . . . 100 per cent solid state AccuColor!

And what a glorious time it was.

We are going to hear a lot about the Summit Series over the next while, this being the 50th anniversary of what I would suggest is the greatest and most meaningful event in Canada’s sporting history.

What other event brought an entire country to a screeching halt on a number of days? What other event brought an entire country to a fever pitch after first leaving it in a horrid depressive state? What other event dominated the country’s conversation for that long a period of time?

Without going into great detail, Team Canada won the last three games to win the series, 4-3-1. Yes, the “1” was a tie.

Incredibly, Paul Henderson scored the winning goal in each of those three games, the winner in Game 8 coming with 34 seconds remaining in the third period.

If you were watching, Foster Hewitt’s play is etched forever in your memory:

“Cournoyer has it on that wing. Here’s a shot. Henderson made a wild stab for it and fell. Here’s another shot. Right in front, they score! Henderson has scored for Canada!”

(Let us pause for a short rant . . .

After all that, Henderson somehow isn’t in the Hockey Hall of Fame. And, yes, he was a pretty fair NHL/WHA player. He put up 477 points, 236 of them goals, in 707 regular-season NHL games. Throw in five seasons in the WHA and he totalled 760 points, including 376 goals, in 1,067 games. He’s a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame — individually and with Team Canada — and the IIHF Hall of Fame.

But, somehow, he’s not in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and that’s amazing! It’s also a damn shame.)

Anyway . . .

Unfortunately, some of the joy in reliving the series is dampened because Russian despot Vladimir Putin continues to make war on Ukraine. That will prevent surviving players from the Soviet team from being involved in any Summit Series-related events.

I have read two of the books that have been published with the 50th anniversary in mind.

Scott Morrison’s contribution — 1972: The Series That Changed Hockey Forever — tells a terrific story, from before training camp through the exhibition game that Team Canada, while on its way home from Moscow, played in what was then Czechoslovakia. That happened to be Canadian C Stan Mikita’s homeland and he was greeted as a conquering hero.

I also would highly recommend Ice War Diplomat: Hockey Meets Cold War Politics at the 1972 Summit Series. Author Gary J. Smith was in the Canadian diplomatic service. He could speak Russian and was stationed at the Canadian embassy in Russia. The story he tells could only be related by someone who was heavily involved behind the scenes and he does a masterful job.

I haven’t yet read Ken Dryden’s new book — The Series — but I definitely have it on my list. It’s only 200 pages in length, but you can bet that Dryden, one of three goaltenders on Team Canada, will tell things his way.

Also available: The Greatest Comeback: How Team Canada Fought Back, Took the Summit Series and Reinvented Hockey, by John U. Bacon; and Montreal to Moscow — 1972 Summit Series: Cartoons & Anecdotes, by Terry Mosher (aka Aislin, the Montreal Gazette’s superb editorial cartoonist).

On top of that, a four-part documentary — Summit 1972 — will begin on CBC-TV on Sept. 14. The series will air on four consecutive Wednesdays. I will be watching and, yes, I will set the PVR and watch it again, and likely again.

“Henderson has scored for Canada!”


Dylan


The Seattle Thunderbirds tweeted on Wednesday that their “training camp is closed to the public,” except for the Future Thunderbirds and Blue-White Seattlegames on Sept 4. On Friday, however, the Thunderbirds reversed field, tweeting that “training camp begins Aug. 31 and starting Thursday (Sept. 1) it is open to the public.” . . . Meanwhile, Sarah Brusig of ilovekent.net reported that Dan Hearst, a citizen of Kent, appeared at the City Council meeting of Aug. 16. Why was he there? According to Brusig, “he asked Council to stop funding the Seattle Thunderbirds because they don’t reference Kent in their branding. ‘They need to understand that they owe the citizens of Kent,’ Hearst said.” . . . Hmm. . . . Might be time to start referring to them as the Seattle Thunderbirds of Kent.



From Bill James Online (@billjamesonline), in response to a question posed by former MLBer-turned-broadcaster Kevin Youkilis: “You asked in a recent broadcast how many balls go through BECAUSE of the shift, vs. those lost to the shift.  According to the Bill James Handbook 2022, in 2021 there were 4,802 hits taken away by the shift, but 3,946 balls that went through BECAUSE of the shift. . . . Ratio is 11 to 9. For every 11 hits taken away by the shift, 9 balls beat the shift by hitting through the vacated area.”


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Trump to represent self in case against United States; has already stiffed self out of legal fees.


Joe Posnanski, a terrific baseball writer, with a note about his friend Len Dawson, the former NFL quarterback who died on Wednesday at the age of 87: “For much of (his time with the Chiefs), he was also a sports broadcaster in Kansas City. On Dec. 25, 1971, the Kansas City Chiefs lost a soul-crushing, double-overtime playoff game to the Miami Dolphins — it remains the longest game in NFL history. Dawson was the Chiefs’ quarterback in that game. And when it ended, he put on a suit and did the sports report for KMBC television in Kansas City. ‘One of the toughest things I’ve ever done,’ he said. ‘But I didn’t stutter.’ ”


Brain


Headline at The Onion (@TheOnion) — Durand and Kyrie Agree To Be Teammates So Long as They’re Never in Same Room Together.


There was an intriguing report on Friday about a trade in the QMJHL that will qmjhlnewhave F Justin Robidas, 19, the captain of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, move to the Quebec Remparts for a package that will include G Mathys Fernandez, 17, and a number of draft picks. The intriguing part is that, as Mikael Lalancette of Le Soleil reported, the transaction will “be announced during the holiday season.” That would be “holiday” as in Christmas. . . . Yes, because it’s the Q. . . . BTW, Robidas’ father, Stéphane, is a former NHLer who now is an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens.


Spiderjpg


Jack Finarelli (aka The Sports Curmudgeon) tells me that he first heard of a Lisfranc injury “about 20 years ago when Philadelphia Eagles RB Duce Staley suffered the injury and had to have surgery on his foot.” It turns out that Staley’s 2000 season came to an early end because of the injury to his right foot. He underwent surgery and had two pins inserted. Staley returned to play six more seasons — three with the Eagles and three with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2002, he rushed 269 times for 1,029 yards. . . . QB Nathan Rourke of the B.C. Lions underwent surgery to repair the Lisfranc injury to his right foot on Friday. The Lions later tweeted that “surgery went well.” Of course, when’s the last time an athlete had surgery and the team informed fans that it didn’t go well?


The CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers obviously are onto something here . . . It works just like a coat check. You turn your bike over to a valet and you are given a number in return. At game’s end, you hand over the number and your bike is brought to you . . .


Dentist


THINKING OUT LOUD — The Baltimore Ravens beat the visiting Washington Commanders, 17-15, on Saturday night. From the department of meaningless statistics: Baltimore has won 23 straight exhibition games. . . . ICYMI, Nebraska and Northwestern opened the U.S. college football season at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday. The highlight may have occurred when Internet issues prevented fans from paying for concession items with credit cards or even cash. As a result, many products, including beer, were given away. “Fans ended up able to get as much beer as they could carry,” CBS reported, “. . . all at no cost to them.” Can you see that happening in an American or Canadian sporting facility? . . . Has a Canadian business or organization ever read the room worse than Bell Media with its decision to dump anchor Lisa LaFlamme? Well, other than Hockey Canada, that is. . . . Just wondering who in the Alberta tourism industry had the idea to allow someone with a limited wardrobe and who seems to struggle with one language to welcome home Canada’s deputy prime minister and minister of finance, who is fluent in five languages and a Rhodes Scholar? And the video hits the Internet and you aren’t even on the hook for advertising costs. Smooth move!


THE COACHING GAME:

Former WHLers Morgan Klimchuk and Ralph Jarratt have joined the Victoria Royals as assistant coaches. . . . Last season, Klimchuk was an assistant coach with the the U15 prep team at the Edge School in Calgary. Klimchuk, 27, played four WHL seasons, starting with the Regina Pats (2010-15) and finished with the Brandon Wheat Kings (2014-15). . . . Jarratt, 24, spent five seasons (2014-19) with the Royals. . . . Ed Fowler, the Royals’ director of player personnel since 2019, is retiring. As a result, J.F. Best, who had been associate coach and assistant general manager, is the club’s new director of player personnel and player development. Best joined the Royals as an assistant coach in 2017. Fowler had been there since 2013, and had worked as a scout and senior regional scout. . . . There is a news release right here that details the Royals’ hockey operations staff.


Texas


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Freud

Silvertips add Struch to staff . . . Cote replaces Babcock with Huskies . . . Shockey back in coaching game

David Struch has joined the WHL’s Everett Silvertips as an associate coach. Struch, 51, has been involved in the WHL coaching ranks for 16 seasons, most recently as head coach of the Regina Pats. . . . He joined the Pats as an assistant coach for 2014-15 and took over as head coach for 2018-19. He was fired early last season. . . . Struch also was assistant GM for five of his seasons in Regina. . . . He also spent eight seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, working as assistant coach, associate coach and, finally, as head coach. . . . As a player, Struch played four seasons with the Blades and then 14 seasons as a professional before retiring after 2004-05. . . . With Everett, he fills a spot created when Louis Mass joined the San Jose Barracuda, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, as an assistant coach. . . . Struch will be working with Dennis Williams, the GM and head coach, assistant coach Dean DeSilva and goaltending coach James Jensen.


The Mike Babcock era at the U of Saskatchewan is over, having lasted one season. Brandin Cote was promoted from associate head coach to interim head Huskiescoach on Thursday, taking over from Babcock, who has moved into a mentorship role with the Huskies. . . . According to Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Babcock will “serve as a mentor and will also work on program recruiting and fundraising.” . . . Babcock worked as a volunteer head coach last season and was expected to coach one more season before stepping aside. . . . The NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs still owe him for one more season after having fired him on Nov. 20, 2019, with three-plus years remaining on an eight-year, $50-million deal. . . . Babcock’s son, Mike Jr., will remain on the Huskies’ staff as an assistant coach. . . . Cote, 41, a former WHL player from Swift Current, has been on the coaching staffs of the Prince Albert Raiders (2016-17) and Swift Current Broncos (2018-21). . . . Cote played five season (1997-2002) with the Spokane Chiefs and was the team captain for the last two of those seasons while Babcock was the head coach there. . . . The Huskies were 13-7 under Babcock last season, then lost a best-of-three first-round series, 2-1, to the Calgary Dinos.


Biscuits


QB Nathan Rourke of the B.C. Lions says he hopes to return before the end of this CFLlogoCFL season, but he knows that might be asking too much. He is to have surgery to repair the Lisfranc injury he suffered to his right foot in a 28-10 victory over the host Saskatchewan Roughriders on Aug. 19. . . . Interestingly, QB Matt Corral of the Carolina Panthers suffered the same injury on the same night and the NFL team has said he won’t play this season. . . . And then Chet Holmgren, a 7-footer who was the No. 2 selection in the NBA’s 2022 draft, suffered a Lisfranc injury to his right foot on Saturday in Seattle and the Oklahoma City Thunder has said he will miss the 2022-23 season. . . . Hands up if you had heard of Lisfranc injuries before Aug. 19.


Birdseed


THINKING OUT LOUD — Tennis star Novak Djokovic said on Thursday that he won’t be playing in the U.S. Open. Why not? He isn’t vaccinated so isn’t allowed into the U.S. So maybe all those people who are critical of the Canadian government for its restrictions that won’t allow unvaccinated MLB players into the country finally will realize that it’s the same for unvaccinated foreigners wanting to enter the U.S. . . . And the next MLB team scheduled to visit Toronto will be the Chicago Cubs. They’ll be there — minus three or four unvaccinated players — for a three-game series next week, Monday through Wednesday. We will learn the names of those players at some point during the weekend with the Cubs in Milwaukee. . . . ICYMI, Pete Carroll, the head coach of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, said his club “may have” two No. 1 quarterbacks, in Geno Smith and Drew Lock. And when is the last time that having two No. 1s worked, be it with quarterbacks or goaltenders? For what it’s worth, Smith is to start Seattle’s final exhibition game, tonight (Friday) against the host Dallas Cowboys, with Lock coming off the bench. . . . Did you know: The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, who will play three seasons in the 5,000-seat Mullett Arena on the Arizona State U campus in Tempe, have entered into an affiliation with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators. Uhh, the Gladiators play in the 13,000-seat Gas South Arena.


Colonel


THE COACHING GAME:

The Brandon Wheat Kings have added Del Pedrick to their organization as an assistant coach. He replaces Dan Johnston, who now is with the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers. . . . Pedrick, who is from Melita, Man., was the head coach of the Notre Dame Hounds U18AAA men’s team for the past two seasons. He also has been the head coach of the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines (2000-02) and Swan Valley Stampeders (2002-06). . . . From a news release: “Over his career, Pedrick was an MJHL coach-of-the-year finalist three times, coached in the Under-16 Challenge Cup in 2012 and 2013, and coached in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in 2004 and 2006. More recently, he led his Notre Dame Hounds in 2021-22 to a SMAAAHL U-18 league championship.” . . . In Brandon, Pedrick will work with head coach Don MacGillivray, assistant coach Mark Derlago and goaltending coach Tyler Plante. . . . The Wheat Kings open camp on Wednesday. . . .

The BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild has signed Chris Clark, its assistant general manager and head coach, to a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2023-24 season. Clark, 40, has been with the Wild since joining the organization as its goaltender coach in 2008-09, the franchise’s inaugural season. He has been the head coach since the middle of the 2019-20 season. . . .

Jake Toporowski has signed with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers as assistant coach and director of hockey operations. . . . Toporowski, 24, was an assistant coach with the Southern Professional Hockey League’s Quad City Storm for 2019-20 and 2021-22. . . . Toporowski, his brother, Luke, and their father, Kerry, all played for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs.


Yearbook


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Healthy

Winterhawks get whole new look; remembering how they came to land in Portland . . . Pair of ex-WHLers retiring? . . . Thunderbirds’ camp closed to fans

With the Portland Winterhawks having unveiled their new look — a new logo came prior to the 2021-22 season and now there is a whole new uniform — it’s worth taking a look back at how the WHL ended up in the Oregon city.

Dean (Scooter) Vrooman, the longtime radio voice of the Winterhawks, wrote the story that first appeared here on March 30, 2008. Remember, too, that they originally were Winter Hawks; Winterhawks came later.

Enjoy!

——

It was the summer of 1975 and Brian Shaw, Ken Hodge and Innes Mackie were unemployed. With nothing but time on their hands, they decided to go duck hunting in Stettler, Alta.

Shaw and Hodge had been fired by ‘Wild’ Bill Hunter, who owned the World Hockey Association’s Edmonton Oilers and the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings. Mackie had just returned from Kimberley, B.C., where he had turned down a job offer at a mine. The offer Mackie had received included a chance to play a little hockey on the side.

Shaw was in the process of putting together a group of investors to buy the Oil Kings from Hunter. Shaw would run the show. Hodge would coach. Mackie would be the trainer. They didn’t know it at the time but they were embarking on a 20-year relationship — relationships of hockey, business and friendship.

The Three Amigos became inseparable until Shaw passed away in the summer of 1994.

On this day in Stettler, the three men, who would become the three original members of the Winter Hawks’ front office, were solidifying the mutual respect and trust needed. The ducks weren’t flying that day, at least not in the Stettler area, so the three erstwhile hunters headed for a local bar to shoot a little pool. Everyone was having fun, too, until a cowboy in a black hat came over and started yipping at Hodge for monopolizing the pool table. After an unflattering comment from Hodge regarding the cowboy’s hat, feathers started to fly — and it had nothing to do with ducks.

“He started to take his jean jacket off and when it got about half way down each arm, I smoked him,” Hodge remembers. “It’s Saturday night and the place is full. There were five of us — and two of them bailed out. Brian, who was always quick with the wit, was not ready to handle this type of negotiation. So that left Innes and I — and, needless to say, we had our hands full. There were probably eight of them involved by now. The pool cues are getting broken, I’m getting thumped in the back of the head and Innes got jumped. Finally, we hear sirens and red lights. The three of us were never so happy to see the RCMP.”

That incident was neither the first nor the last for friendships that would last more than 20 years.

When he was 16 years of age, Hodge earned a job as a defenceman with the Jasper Place Mohawks — a high-profile team in Edmonton. Coincidentally, the general manager and head coach was Shaw, who was working in the first of what would be many dual roles. It didn’t take Shaw long to earn his reputation as a slick team manager.

“The team was the talk of the town,” Hodge says. “People in Edmonton were very envious. Brian started out with just one bantam team and ended up with the first true feeder system in the Edmonton area when he expanded to midgets and junior. The Jasper Place Mohawks were first class all the way. They paid all their bills, wore flashy uniforms and won lots of hockey games.”

Hodge was one of four players from Jasper Place chosen by Shaw to play the next season with the Moose Jaw Canucks of the newly formed Western Canada Hockey League. Shaw was the general manager and head coach and Hodge was a key defenceman.

Other than the Canucks, the WCHL featured the Oil Kings, Estevan Bruins, Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Weyburn Red Wings and Calgary Buffaloes. Moose Jaw finished fourth in a 56-game regular season, 16 points behind the first-place Oil Kings, but went on to win league’s first championship trophy by beating the Oil Kings — the Canucks won that series 3-2 with four games tied — and then Regina, winning the best-of-seven final, 4-1.

It was the pivotal season of Hodge’s career. In a regular-season game against Regina, Hodge was struck in an eye by a high stick. In the playoffs, he again was hit in the same eye. After a series of operations during the summer, doctors told him that they would know by early 1968 if his eye would ever recover.

On Nov. 15, 1967, Hodge received a call from Gordon Fashaway inviting him to Portland to play for the Buckaroos of the professional Western Hockey League. Hodge was excited about the offer and pushed the doctors for an answer. Unfortunately, the answer he received wasn’t the one he had hoped to hear. Hodge’s playing career was over.

The next season, Shaw moved on to the St. Catharines Black Hawks of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. While Hodge was helping with training camp, he accepted an offer to coach the Sorel Eparviers of the Quebec Junior A Hockey League.

Hodge, at 21 likely the youngest head coach in the history of Canadian junior hockey, had quite a debut season. Sorel put up a 33-16-1 regular-season record and went all the way to the Eastern Canadian best-of-five final where it lost 3-1 to the Montreal Jr. Canadiens, who would go on to win the Memorial Cup. It’s worth noting that the Jr. Canadiens played in the OJHL, where they ousted Shaw’s Black Hawks from the best-of-seven championship final in five games.

Hodge’s impressive season in Sorel opened up an opportunity for him to coach in the International Hockey League, with a team in Flint, Mich. He would spend four seasons in Flint.

Meanwhile, Shaw returned to Edmonton where he coached the Oil Kings, winning the WCHL’s 1971-72 title in his first season. That put the Oil Kings into what was the first Memorial Cup to be decided in a tournament format — this one also featured the Peterborough Petes and Cornwall Royals, but no host team — in Ottawa. The Oil Kings were eliminated with a 5-0 loss to Cornwall during which Edmonton defenceman Keith Mackie, Innes’s brother, was struck in an eye by a deflected puck and suffered a torn iris. For the record, Cornwall edged Peterborough 2-1 in the final.

The next season, Hunter, the Oilers’ general manager who was most impressed with Shaw’s championship season with the Oil Kings, offered him the head-coaching job with the WHA team. When Shaw accepted, Hunter hired Hodge to coach the Oil Kings.

“I jumped at the opportunity because the Oil Kings were a very prestigious team,” Hodge remembers. “I wanted to get on with my career in hockey and I saw too many people stagnating in Flint.”

As it turned out, Hodge made the wrong move at the wrong time. He got caught in a rebuilding program with the Oil Kings. Much of the talent from the previous season graduated and Hunter gave Hodge a little over a year to win. He didn’t, so Hunter fired him.

Meanwhile, Shaw’s Oilers got off to an amazing start — winning 18 straight games. Unfortunately for Shaw, the team was playing over its head and it didn’t take long for reality to set in. Hunter enjoyed the winning streak and wanted it to continue. When the wins stopped coming, Hunter, never know for his patience or for a willingness to avoid headlines, fired Shaw.

Two months later brought Shaw, Hodge and Mackie to a pool room in Stettler.

Eventually, Shaw’s group bought the Oil Kings from Hunter and 16 games into the 1975-76 WCHL season the three amigos became the WCHL club’s new management team. Shaw was the general manager, Hodge the head coach and Mackie the trainer.

However, things weren’t all coming up roses. Shaw’s one year at the helm of the Oil Kings was less than successful. Edmonton hockey fans weren’t in any hurry to go to the old Memorial Gardens to watch the Oil Kings when they could watch the WHA’s Oilers in the brand new Northlands Coliseum.

“Brian and I felt we knew more about the game than anyone else,” Hodge says. “We thought we would be able to turn the Edmonton Oil Kings into the premier franchise in the Western Hockey League and a very profitable venture. We found out very quickly that we weren’t as smart as we thought we were. We thought we could compete with a major league team on a minor league budget, but we lost more money than any of us could afford to lose.”

Mackie had played on Shaw’s and Hodge’s Oil Kings and, contrary to what you might have guessed, the relationship didn’t begin on the best of terms. When Mackie was an 18-year-old defenceman playing for Shaw in Edmonton, he had been asked to go to Crosstown Motors, an Oil Kings sponsor, and pick up a new car for Shaw.

“Innes and Brian probably came to an understanding after Innes smacked up two of Brian’s brand new cars,” Hodge says with a laugh. “One of the accidents was just one of those things, but the other was pretty funny. Innes went to Crosstown Motors, picked up Brian’s big Dodge, and only had to cross one busy two-way street. Smack! He couldn’t have been more than 40 feet out of the parking lot when he’s done and it’s tow truck city.”

As a player, Mackie quit the Oil Kings early in the 1973-74 season after being taken out of a game by Hodge.

“It’s all water under the bridge now,” Mackie says. “When I was 18, I played for Brian as a fifth or sixth defenceman. At that time they only used four defencemen and sometimes three. I wasn’t getting very much ice time and I wasn’t going to go through the same thing when I was 19. So, Hodgie sat me out one game and that was it. Goodbye.“

“Innes and I didn’t see eye to eye as coach and player,” Hodge agrees. “But I always enjoyed Innes as a person. His brother Keith and I were golfing buddies and Innes was the little brother who always tagged along.”

Even through their trials and tribulations, Hodge had enough respect for Mackie to make him the Oil Kings trainer.

Since then, Mackie has always been more than just a trainer. He looks for statistics, quotes and any other information he can find out about every player in the league. One of his attributes is a near photographic memory, and Hodge and Shaw came to depend on that over the years. If there is ever a question about a player, Mackie is the first person asked.

“Innes sometimes confirmed my feelings about hockey players,” Hodge says. “He has always been a very knowledgeable hockey person. Innes helped Brian and I on some of our decisions on who we would keep and who we would release or trade. He also had input on people from other teams that might help our franchise if we traded for them. The early years of the Winter Hawks was basically built through trades. Most of our trades were very positive for us and Innes had a role in many of them.”

Mackie also scours the rule book on the long bus rides. He knows the rules inside and out — and has a knack for memorizing them, no matter how obscure.

Mackie earned the nickname ‘Eagle Eye’ for his ability to spot illegal curves in the blades of opponents’ hockey sticks. Players with illegal sticks were sent to the penalty box with minor penalties and several Portland victories were earned as the result of subsequent power plays. In 18 seasons, he was wrong about one stick — and he still claims that the referee didn’t measure that one properly.

“When the game is on, I watch things differently,” Mackie, who now is with the Tri-City Americans, points out. “I watch what’s happening behind the play, on the other team’s bench, and away from the puck. If I see something the coaches don’t, I can help out once in awhile. Sometimes, I can relay information to the coaches if an opposing player misses a shift, or a guy is hurt.”

All three of the amigos were involved in the move from Edmonton to Portland.

Originally, Shaw went to Vancouver to meet with Nat Bailey, who owned the Mounties of baseball’s Pacific Coast League. Bailey wanted to get involved in hockey and was going to underwrite all the costs of moving the Oil Kings to Vancouver. Bailey also was prepared to give Shaw plenty of working capital to get started. This dream move never happened, however, because the New Westminster Bruins, a nearby WCHL franchise, blocked the move.

At the time, Hodge wanted to move to Spokane. Shaw, though, wanted to check out Portland and arranged a meeting with Dick Reynolds, the general manager of Memorial Coliseum.

“I didn’t have any idea where Portland was,” Mackie says. “I had to get a map. All I knew was that the Edmonton Oil Kings were in the Western Canadian Hockey League — and Portland wasn’t in Canada.”

Shaw’s meeting with Reynolds and the Coliseum staff was very positive and soon the Oil Kings were to become the Portland Winter Hawks.

“It was one of the best decisions that Brian made,” Hodge recalls. “At that time, we both had an equal vote. So, it was one vote for Spokane and one vote for Portland. Brian decided his vote was bigger than mine and he won.


Bear


THE COACHING GAME:

Brock Sheahan is the new head coach of the Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Caroline Hurricanes. Sheahan, 38, had been the head coach of the USHL’s Chicago Steel since being promoted from assistant coach on Dec. 1, 2019. The Steel was the USHL’s regular-season champion in 2019-20 and 2020-21 and won the playoff title in the spring of 2021. . . . With the Wolves, the AHL’s reigning champions, the Lethbridge native replaces Ryan Warsofsky, who left to join the NHL’s San Jose Sharks as an assistant coach. . . . The Steel, meanwhile, promptly named general manager Mike Garman as its new head coach. He will carry both titles for 2022-23.


Your


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

An interesting tweet from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Wednesday revealed that “training camp is closed to the public” except for the annual Blue vs. White game on Sept. 4. . . . An explanation wasn’t provided. . . .

Ryan Campbell is the Seattle Thunderbirds’ new equipment manager. He spent 2021-22 as an assistant equipment manager with the AHL’s Stockton Heat, a franchise that has since relocated to Calgary as the Wranglers. . . . In Seattle, Campbell replaces Justin Sturtz, now the head equipment manager with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks.


The above tweet from the Brandon Wheat Kings appeared here last week. Stacey Preston now has started a GoFundMe for her nieces and nephews, who “have lost their best friend, their Dad. . . . Unfortunately, the kids do not have the financial resources to lay him to rest. If anyone would like to help they would be grateful, and so would I.” . . . Al Gibbs left behind four children, including 18-year-old twins. . . . A friend of his told me: “In 2015 he had a chronic infection in a shoulder and hip that resulted in his kidneys failing, exacerbating his diabetes and setting off a litany of other health challenges. There were a couple of periods of time over the past seven years when Al was told he qualified for a kidney transplant and a niece was found to be a match. The catch was always that Al needed to be healthy enough for the surgery. . . . This never quite happened.”

If you would like to help, the GoFundMe page is 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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Optimist

Ex-Storm head coach back in BCHL . . . Americans add pair of associate coaches . . . Cougars back on The Goat

THE COACHING GAME:

The junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League made it official on Monday morning. As you read here on Sunday night, the Storm has promoted former NHLer Jan Ludvig to head coach, replacing Geoff Grimwood. . . . According to the Storm’s news release, “Grimwood is pursuing other opportunities closer to his family on Vancouver Island.” Shortly after the news release was issued, Taking Note was told that Grimwood now is an assistant coach with the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. He was with the Storm for one season. . . . In Victoria, Grimwood will be working with GM/head coach Rylan Ferster. In July 2018, Ferster, then the GM/head coach of the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, hired Grimwood as assistant GM and associate head coach. Ferster resigned about a month later and Grimwood replaced him. If you’re wondering how that went, visit Google and search for Grimwood West Kelowna Warriors. . . . Ludvig was to have been an assistant coach with the Storm this season. The Storm is to begin training camp on Aug. 29. . . . The Storm’s complete news release is right here. . . .

The Tri-City Americans have added Jody Hull and T.J. Millar as associate coaches who will work alongside Stu Barnes, the co-owner who is heading into his second season as head coach. . . . Barnes and Hull played together for a bit with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Hull, 53, has been coaching the OHL for the past 16 years, most recently as an associate coach with the Niagara IceDogs. . . . Millar, 28, was a coaching development associate with the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He is familiar with the Americans, having worked for them on a work placement through university in 2015-16. . . .

The junior B 100 Mile House Wranglers have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Dale Hladun, their general manager and head coach. The new deal will take them through the 2024-25 season. Hladun has been with the Wranglers since the 2014-15 season, and guided the Wranglers to the 2015-16 KIJHL, Cyclone Taylor Cup and the Keystone Cup titles. . . . The Wranglers opted out of the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic. . . .

The MJHL’s Winkler Flyers have added Coltyn Bates to their staff as assistant general manager and assistant coach. He’ll be working alongside Justin Falk, the GM and head coach. . . . Bates, 25, played three seasons (2015-18) with the Flyers before going on to the U of Wisconsin-Superior for four seasons. . . .

The MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues issued a news release on Monday about their “coaching and player development staff.” . . . That staff includes Alex Mandolidis, the general manager and head coach, along with two assistant coaches (Zach Heisinger and Austin Lauder, both back for a third season); a goaltending coach (Byron Spriggs, for a second season); a skill development coach (Larry Woo); someone to oversee culture and leadership (Mel Davidson); a strength-and-conditioning coach (Derek Tarko); a mental skills coach (Justine Fredette); an athletic therapist (Lana DeBeer, back for a 21st season); and a director, athlete performance (Tommy Howell). . . . The Blues are owned by 50 Below Sports + Entertainment, an organization that also includes the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice and the MJHL’s Winnipeg Freeze. Some of the aforementioned, including Spriggs, Wood, Fredette and Davidson, appear on the websites of two or three of the teams.


Roosters


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Prince George Cougars and Vista Radio have reached agreement on a deal that will have the WHL team’s games broadcast on 94.3 The Goat for the 2022-23 season. The deal includes one exhibition game — against the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Sept. 17 — along with 68 regular-season games and the playoffs. . . . Cole Waldie is prepping for his first season as the radio voice of the Cougars, with Hartley Miller back for a 10th season as the analyst for home games. . . . Under terms of the agreement, game broadcasts also may be found at myprincegeorgenow.com. . . . The WHL’s B.C. Division now has games scheduled to be heard on The Goat, The Lizard (Kelowna Rockets) and The Zone (Victoria Royals). . . . 

Justin Sturtz is the new head equipment manager with the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks. He was the Seattle Thunderbirds’ head equipment manager last season. . . . Prior to that, he was with the AHL’s Iowa Wild for three seasons and the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers for four seasons (2013-17).


NewCar


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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Barbie

Goodbye to a dear friend . . . Kamloops Kidney Support Group is back and here for you . . . What about that fifth shot? What about Evusheld?

2016Walk1
Dorothy with long-time friends Sue and Ron Burt, and their pooch Ralphie, at the 2016 Kamloops Kidney Walk.

Sue and Ron Burt have been there for Dorothy in each of her nine Kamloops Kidney Walk fund-raising efforts. And they were there to walk with her when possible, such as here in 2016 at McDonald Park.

Unfortunately, we lost Sue a few days ago, taken from us after a battle with cancer. She was a good friend and neighbour for more than 20 years, and our little corner of the world definitely is a poorer place without her.

We solved a lot of the world’s problems, Sue and I, usually at our favourite table at Señor Froggy on Kamloops’ north shore and most times without raising our voices. But, you know, we never could understand why the power brokers didn’t seem to be listening to us.

Thanks for letting us into your life, Sue, and the time will come when we’ll meet again on the other side.


The Kamloops Kidney Support Group is back after a pandemic-related absence of more than two years.

If you have kidney-related issues and questions, and would like to chat with someone who has been there, we’re here for you.

The KKSG gathers on the second Wednesday and fourth Saturday of every month, always at 10 a.m., and always at the Barside Lounge and Grill at Chances Casino, 1250 Halston Ave. These are informal get-togethers over breakfast, with lots of coffee and plenty of conversation.

The next meetings are scheduled for on Aug. 27, and Sept. 14 and 24.

You won’t get any medical advice from us, but we will share our experiences with you. If you have been recently diagnosed with kidney disease or are pre-dialysis or on dialysis (hemo or peritoneal), a kidney donor or a recipient, a family member, or anything in between feel free to come and meet us.

According to figures compiled by BC Transplant, medical teams in the province completed 130 kidney transplants in the first half of 2022. As of June 30, there were 460 people in B.C. awaiting kidney transplants, while 3,733 recipients were being followed post-transplant.

For more information, call one of the KKSG’s co-founders — Edna Humphreys at 250-376-6361 or Dorothy Drinnan at 250-573-2988.


After Cayden Desjarlais died in a motorcycle crash last year, five of his organs ended up being donated, with his heart going to a 28-year-old mother of a six-year-old son. Now Cayden’s mother, Deanna, is working to get more people to register as organ donors. . . . “I couldn’t think of a better place to be honouring him and I know he wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” Deanna told Kelly Sinoski of the 100 Mile Free Press. “It’s bittersweet for me. I’m sad but you live life and pass it on and knowing that his organs have saved five lives is super important.” . . . Sinoski’s story is right here.



Perhaps the most frustrating thing I have discovered during the pandemic that has been with us for going on three years is the apparent inability of provincial health officials to get on the same page. I mean, do these people not speak to each other on a regular basis? . . . We have a friend who is a kidney recipient and now lives in Edmonton. She already has had her fifth shot (third booster) and also received two shots of Evusheld the other day — one in each butt cheek. . . . Evusheld? It was approved by Health Canada on April 14 “for use in adults and children (12 years of age and older, weighing at least 40 kg) who are not currently infected with COVID-19 and have not had recent known contact with someone infected with COVID-19, and who are immune compromised and unlikely to mount an adequate immune response to COVID‐19 vaccination; or, for whom COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended.” . . . Meanwhile, Quebec will be offering a fifth dose to those in long-term care homes and private seniors residences starting on Aug. 29. . . . In Manitoba, however, some folks who are under 50 years of age and had their third shot more than nine months ago can’t yet get a fourth dose. . . . And in B.C.? Crickets. Not a mention of Evusheld. Nothing on a fifth shot (third booster) for the immuno-compromised. In our province, independent modellers said last week that the number of COVID-19 cases could be at least 100 times greater than what is being reported by the NDP government. From a Vancouver Sun story: “The B.C. modelling group — which includes experts from the University of B.C., Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and the private sector — warned that under-reporting of COVID-19 cases makes it challenging for the public to understand the risks.” . . . And, of course, there isn’t an elected official anywhere in North America who has enough courage of his/her convictions to push for mandating masks in public facilities, never what the medical/scientific community believes. . . . And so those in our society who are immuno-compromised and have made it this far by mostly solo-navigation will continue to mask-up, social distance and wash/sanitize their hands. If you respect them and care about them, you will wear a mask, too.







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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Want an easy win to feel great? Register to be an organ donor today. It will only #TakeTwoMinutes and you could save a life. Great deed and fuzzy feels without any hassle. #Register2Give taketwominutes.ca

%d bloggers like this: