Bedard keeps adding to legend, has 11 points in two games . . . Lambert scores in Seattle debut . . . Rebels complete sweep of Oil Kings

Like Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill, the legend of Connor Bedard continues to grow.

On Friday night in Regina, Bedard ran his two-game total to 11 points as the ReginaPats beat the Saskatoon Blades, 7-4.

On Sunday, in his first game back after helping Canada win gold at the World Junior Championship, Bedard had four goals and two assists as the Pats beat the visiting Calgary Hitmen, 6-2.

Last night, he struck for three goals — his sixth WHL hat trick — and two assists to lead Regina past Saskatoon.

Bedard, the No. 1-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s rating that were released Friday, also went over 200 career points. He now has 203 points — 87 goals and 106 assists — in 107 career regular-season games.

Keep in mind that he won’t turn 18 until July 17.

(Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was at Friday’s game and filed this story.)

This season, Bedard has 75 points, 34 of them goals, in 30 games. He is tied for the WHL lead in goals, with F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels, and leads the league in assists and points. All this despite having missed 11 games while with the Canadian national junior team.

Oh, he also ran his point streak to 29 games. He actually was blanked in his first game of the season, but has at least a point in every game since then.

With 11 points in his two most-recent games, Bedard now will prepare to face the Portland Winterhawks in Regina tonight.


You would like to think that referee Kyle Rehman — yes, a product of the WHL’s officiating ranks — ended up on whatever kind of carpet the NHL has for its officials after his decision to flat-out ignore a sucker-punch to the head during a game on Thursday night.

Look, the Vancouver Canucks bring enough on themselves without getting stiffed by the stripes.

In this one, the Canucks were visiting the Tampa Bay Lightning. The home team had a 5-3 lead late in the third period. But the Canucks closed to within one at 17:52 while on a PP and with their goaltender on the bench.

Then, during a stoppage with 41 seconds remaining in the period, there was a gathering at the Tampa Bay net. After play had been halted, Lightning defenceman Mikhail Sergachev clearly drilled an unsuspecting Vancouver F Connor Garland on the chin. Tampa Bay players were upset that Garland had tried to poke free a puck being held by G Andrei Vasilevskiy.

If you watch the video, you will see Rehman enter from the left. He was right there and didn’t make a call. Thus, the Canucks didn’t get a PP and ended up losing, 5-4.

On Friday, Sergachev, in the first season of an eight-year, US$68-million, was fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the CBA.

As for Rehman, well, the NHL — a league that pretends to be serious about eliminating head shots from its games — isn’t at all transparent when it comes to its officials so we may never know if he was disciplined.


Santa


John Matisz has taken a look at the trade deadlines that the three major junior hockey leagues recently manoeuvred their way through. There is lots here, including the WHL not allowing teams to trade draft picks that are more than four years away. . . . Give the piece a read right here.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars still haven’t been beaten in regulation time. They ran their record to 33-0-3 with a 6-1 victory over the host Weyburn Red Wings on Friday night, after beating the Notre Dame Hounds 9-6 in Wilcox, Sask., on Thursday. The North Stars are to meet the Bruins in Estevan tonight.


NoSee


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Brad Lambert scored in his debut with Seattle and was named the game’s first star as the Thunderbirds skated to a 3-2 victory over the Raiders in Prince Albert. Lambert, who had been with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, was assigned to Seattle by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. He started on the right side with LW Reid Schaefer and C Jared Davidson. . . . In Moose Jaw, G Connor Ungar won his 20th game this season by stopping 42 shots to lead the Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Seattle is 3-2-0 on an East Division trip that winds up tonight in Saskatoon. . . . Portland is 2-3-0 on its eastern swing and will wrap it up tonight in Regina. . . .

D Stanislav Svozil returned to Regina’s lineup and had four assists in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Saskatoon Blades. He was playing his first game after having captained Czechia to a silver medal at the World Junior Championship. . . . G Rhett Stoesser blocked 34 shots to lead the host Red Deer Rebels to a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. The season series is over now, and Red Deer won all nine games. . . . Andrew Peard, the Oil Kings’ radio voice, notes that F Loick Daigle, 20, who was claimed off CHL waivers this week, became the first Quebec born-and-raised player to play for the team in modern franchise history. Daigle scored Edmonton’s lone goal. . . .

F Tyson Laventure’s 13th goal of the season, just 47 seconds into OT, gave the Lethbridge Hurricanes a 4-3 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars. F Blake Swetlikoff, who was acquired from Spokane prior to the trade deadline, had four assists. . . . F Carter MacAdams had a goal (7) and an assist in his game with Calgary after coming over from Prince George at the deadline and the Hitmen beat the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 6-3. The Broncos had three Wards — D Mason Ward, D Sam Ward and F Matt Ward in their lineup. “With all three of them in the lineup tonight, I may have to go strictly with first names for the Wards,” tweeted Craig Beauchemin, the Broncos’ radio voice. . . .

D Olen Zellweger (12) and F Ryan Hofer (24), both whom were acquired by Kamloops from Everett on Tuesday, scored in the first period and the Blazers went on to beat the host Silvertips, 6-3. . . . Everett got two goals (26) and an assist from F Jackson Berezowski, who had four goals and two assists in a 9-3 victory over host Spokane on Wednesday. . . . G Braden Holt turned aside 29 shots to lead the host Victoria Royals to a 4-0 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. Holt is 4-0-1, 1.57, .951 since coming over from Everett on Dec. 27. . . . F Robin Sapoušek, an 18-year-old Czech, made his WHL debut with the Royals. . . .

F Hunter St. Martin had a goal (3) and two late assists as the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. F Dallon Mellon (10) tied the game at 12:45 of the third period and F Cayden Lindstrom (10) got the winner at 16:59. . . . F Chase Bertholet scored twice (18), one on the PP and the other while shorthanded, to help the Spokane Chiefs to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. F Ty Thorpe, the Giants’ new captain, scored twice (23). He was named captain after F Zach Ostapchuk was dealt to the Winnipeg Ice.


Canary


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.


Wednesday

Will this trade deadline change WHL’s direction? . . . Johnston sheds light on Wiesblatt situation . . . Berezowski sparks Everett explosion

We are going to have to wait a few seasons to find out, but it could be that the WHL entered into a new era in the past few days.

There always have been buyers and sellers at the trade deadline, with the top WHLteams buying and the bottom ones selling. But never have we seen the buyers so willing to part with rather large packages of draft picks.

If this is to continue, it could set up a cycle that the WHL hasn’t experienced.

For years, the theory has been that major junior hockey is cyclical — a team scouted and drafted well, made the odd trade, mostly to add depth, and would be a championship contender every three or four years. Then another rebuild would being. At least, that was the theory.

A few years ago, the word ‘rebuild’ was replaced by ‘reload.’ It was then that some of the trades started to get bigger and involved better and better players.

But it wasn’t until this trade deadline that the league saw trades involving eight and nine draft picks. There was a time when teams treated draft picks like nuggets of gold rather than confetti.

Those days appear to have left us, at least for a few teams.

It will be worth watching now to see if the teams that traded away voluminous draft picks this year will be moving out players to recoup draft picks at the next deadline.

And then will it be rinse and repeat . . . rinse and repeat.

The thing to remember, too, is that when the WHL playoffs come to an end only one team will be holding the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

As well, one of the Kamloops Blazers or Seattle Thunderbirds, two of this deadline’s biggest spenders, won’t even get out of the Western Division come playoff time.


In a conversation with Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) of @pnwhockeytalk, Mike Johnston, the vice-president, general manager and head coach of the Portland PortlandWinterhawks, weighed in with some thoughts on what went down at the trade deadline and in which direction things may be moving:

“It is concerning, but every organization has the right to build their organization how they want to build it. They have to take the risks if they will win or lose and then rebuild. Certainly, that has never been our philosophy on how we do it. We try to be a contender every year, but not unload and not load up.

“What happened (in 2017-18) when Swift Current traded a lot of their young guys, the league put in the rule that you couldn’t trade 16-year-olds, so this year you are starting to see the effect of that rule. You can’t trade a signed 16-year-old now, so what else are other teams going to ask for? They are gong to ask for a lot of picks since you can’t acquire a good, young guy.

“I agree with not trading 16-year-olds, but I hope it doesn’t get to the point where in order to be a playoff team, or (have) a chance to win the league, you have to give up a lot of first-round picks. I hope it doesn’t move too far in that direction.”

——

You will recall that the Winterhawks acquired the rights to F Ozzy Wiesblatt from the Prince Albert Raiders just before Tuesday’s deadline. Portland gave up three conditional WHL draft picks in the exchange.

Critzer asked Johnston about the chances of Wiesblatt, a first-round draft pick of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, who is with their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, reporting to Portland:

“It was presented to us to obtain his rights, and I thought it made sense for the risk. Whether we get him or not, that will be determined by (the Sharks). He can’t play another game in the American League or the deal is done.

It isn’t a number of games but rather a Jan. 10 deadline. That is the deadline for all of hockey except the NHL players. So if a player is playing in the NHL like Seattle traded for Dylan Guenther, he can be sent back later. If (Wiesblatt) plays beyond Jan. 10 in the American League, he can’t be sent back to our league.”

While the Winterhawks were beating the Blades, 3-1, in Saskatoon on Wednesday night, Wiesblatt was scratched by the Barracuda. Wiesblatt has a goal and four assists in 17 games with the Barracuda, but he now has sat out three straight games. The Barracuda is next scheduled to play on Saturday and Sunday against the visiting Abbotsford Canucks.

Wiesblatt is a 20-year-old, but the Winterhawks are only carrying two — G Dante Giannuzzi and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme — so have room for him.


The OHL deal in which F Shane Wright, who had just captained Team Canada to OHLgold at the World Junior Championship in Halifax, moved from the Kingston Frontenacs to the Windsor Spitfires may well be a sign of things to come to the WHL. . . . The Spitfires surrendered two players, five draft picks and two conditional picks in that exchange. The interesting thing is that not one of those seven draft picks originated with Windsor.


Here is part of what Ken Campbell of Hockey Unfiltered wrote about the trade deadlines that passed us by on Tuesday:

“. . . one thing is for sure, the numbers are crazy. With the trade deadlines having expired in all three of Canada’s major junior hockey leagues, the sheer number of deals and players involved is staggering. And while the days of a teenager showing up at the rink for practice and being told to pack his hockey bag and jump on a bus to Sault Ste. Marie are long gone, the reality is players who opt to chase their NHL dreams through junior hockey are exposing themselves to the possibility that they’ll be traded at some point in their careers.

“It should be pointed out that all three junior leagues are far more sensitive to players’ needs now than they’ve ever been, with the exception of the need to make minimum wage, of course. A good number of deals that happen in major junior hockey these days are either at the request of the player or are done to give him a better opportunity for playing time elsewhere. First-round picks generally have no-trade clauses, which essentially means they have control over their destination. Players in high school cannot be dealt without their approval. And there are a good number of junior executives who will simply not trade a player to another team without his consent, whether he has a no-trade clause or not.

“But even with those restrictions, GMs in junior hockey are wheeling and dealing at a level that would put a used car salesman to shame.”

According to Campbell, 108 players have changed teams in the OHL since Sept. 5, either by waivers or trades. There also were 217 draft picks on the move. In the same stretch, the WHL had 97 players moved and the QMJHL had 80.

Campbell continued: “Trades have been part of junior hockey for decades, so this is nothing new. And while players are no longer uprooted from school and compromising their academic careers, they are required to adapt to a whole new set of teammates and billet families when they get traded. And the fact that it happens to literally hundreds of players in the Canadian Hockey League every season should be a concern.”

You are able to check out Campbell’s work at kencampbell.substack.com. A subscription is well worth it, too.


BlueWhale


If you visited this site looking for trade rumours involving junior hockey players, well, I’m sorry but you came to the wrong place.

Yes, there was a time back in the day when I trafficked in such rumours, but that bad habit came to an end more than a few years ago.

Let me tell you about it . . .

If was early in the WHL’s 2007-08 regular season when two teams cut a two-player deal. I was the sports editor at the late Kamloops Daily News and had learned about the trade well after the next day’s paper had been put to bed.

So I drove home and, assuming that both players had been made aware of the deal, sat down at my computer and posted a short story on my blog. If memory serves all these years later it was about 1 a.m.

Shortly after hitting the publish button, the phone rang.

Yes, it was one of the players who was involved in the trade.

“Is it true?” he asked.

I knew then that he hadn’t been told about the deal.

I assured him that it was.

“Are you sure?” he said, and by now it was apparent that he was in tears.

He had been selected in the WHL draft by the team that now was trading him away. He would go on to be a first-round NHL draft pick and go on to play a few seasons in the big league.

But this was the first time he had been traded.

He was sobbing as he hung up the phone.

I remember taking a long time to fall asleep that night, the sound of his weeping walking through my mind. It was then that it really hit home . . . these are young men, the vast majority of them teenagers and away from home, and while junior hockey operators might treat them like chattel, I decided then that I no longer would fall into that trap.

And that’s why you won’t find any such rumours or speculation on this site.

——

And then there’s the other side of junior hockey trade deadlines. . . . Here are three tweets on that subject. . . .

“WHL and CJHL trade deadline tomorrow. Understand teams trying to get better.  But trades impact a lot of people … players, teammates, families, billet families.”

“So hard — just hope the teams have someone the kids can talk to . . . some have been friends — family members and teammates for 3+ years.”

“January 10th . . . awful day for players . . . very mentally draining for them . .  same for billet families that love the billet kids as (if) they are family . . . it sucks!”


Here’s Elliotte Friedman in his latest 32 Thoughts: “No issues with (Connor) Bedard staying in WHL Regina, even if they aren’t a huge postseason favourite. If that’s his wish, that’s his wish. Depending on how the Pats do in the playoffs, curious to see if he plays at the World Championship.”

The IIHF’s 2023 World Championship is scheduled for May 12-28 in Tampere, Finland, and Riga, Latvia. 


Facebook


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Tri-City Americans have added former WHL goaltender Ty Rimmer to their staff as the goaltending coach. Rimmer, who played with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Prince George Cougars, Tri-City and the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 2009-13, replaces Eli Wilson who, according to the Americans, “has professional responsibilities that necessitate he move on.” According to Kelowna’s website, Wilson remains on staff as the Rockets’ goaltending coach. . . . The Americans also have brought Vanessa Hettinger on board as power-skating coach.


WEDNESDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS: F Nico Myatovic (15) scored at 3:26 of OT to give the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Ice in the only regular-season meeting between two of the biggest buyers leading up to the trade deadline. . . . The Kamloops Blazers, one of the other big spenders, got a goal (19) and four assists from F Logan Stankoven and a goal (21) and three assists from F Caedan Bankier in a 6-3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. D Olen Zellweger, acquired from the Everett Silvertips on Sunday, scored an empty-netter for Kamloops. F Ryan Hofer, who moved to Kamloops with Zellweger, sat out a one-game suspension. . . .

F Jackson Berezowski (24) struck four times and added an assist as the Everett Silvertips beat the Chiefs, 9-3, in Spokane. . . . F Blake Swetlikoff scored his second goal in as many games since being acquired from the Chiefs to help the host Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 5-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos, whose seven-game winning streak was snapped. . . . F Kai Uchacz scored his WHL-leading 34th goal in the first period then added the winning in a shootout as the Rebels beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 4-3, in Red Deer. . . . F Braeden Jockims, playing in his hometown, scored his first WHL goal in his second game and it stood up as the winner as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Blades, 3-1, in Saskatoon.


Password


THINKING OUT LOUD: If someone were to add up the number of major junior, junior A and junior B hockey players who changed teams in the past two weeks, I’m betting the number would be somewhere around 500. . . . Hey, Clay Matthews, if I haven’t bought that Tide stuff by now, I won’t be making the leap. So you can leave my TV screen any day now. . . . The value of SS Carlos Correa’s contract went from US$350 million (San Francisco Giants) to $315 million (New York Mets) to $200 million (Minnesota Twins). Such a sad, sad story.


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.


TVcords

Another WHL trade deadline here and gone . . . Seattle gets golden boy’s rights . . . Blades grab Chiasson


The WHL’s trade deadline arrived on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 48.

No. of players traded — 83.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 81.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 29.

Teams involved in trades — 11: Edmonton; 6: Everett, Kamloops, Kelowna, Seattle, Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Brandon, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina, Tri-City; 4: Portland, Prince Albert; 3: Red Deer, Spokane, Swift Current; 2: Moose Jaw; Saskatoon, Vancouver; 1: Calgary; 0: Medicine Hat.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


Late Tuesday afternoon, just before the trade deadline whizzed past, the Edmonton Oil Kings announced that they had acquired the rights to F Koji SeattleGibson, 15, six conditional WHL draft picks and a fourth-round pick in the 2004 draft from the Seattle Thunderbirds for the rights to F Dylan Guenther, 19, the rights to F Jordan Ramsay, who will turn 16 on Jan. 24, and a 2023 eighth-round pick. . . . The conditional picks — a second in 2023, sixth in 2024, fourth in 2025, and first, fourth and fifth in 2026 — all hinge on the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes assigning Guenther to Seattle. . . . Guenther, a first-round pick by the Coyotes in the NHL’s 2021 draft, has three goals and eight assists in 22 games with Arizona this season. . . . He scored the OT goal on Thursday as Team Canada beat Czechia, 3-2, in the World Junior Championship final in Halifax. . . . The Oil Kings selected Guenther with the first overall pick of the WHL’s 2018 draft. He helped the Oil Kings to the WHL championship last season as they beat the Thunderbirds in the championship final. . . .

Gibson, from North Vancouver, plays for the U18 prep team at the Burnaby Winter Club. Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . Ramsay, from Victoria, is with the U18 prep team at the Pacific Coast Academy. He was an eighth-round pick by the Oil Kings in the 2022 draft.


The Saskatoon Blades, perhaps the most under-appreciated team in all of the SaskatoonCHL at the moment, acquired F Jake Chiasson, 19, from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a first-round WHL draft pick in 2023, a second-rounder in 2025 and a conditional second in 2026. . . . Chiasson, from Abbotsford, B.C., was a fourth-round pick of the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL’s 2021 draft. The Wheat Kings selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2018 draft. . . . He was in his fourth season with Brandon, having put up 30 goals and 41 assists in 141 regular-season games. . . . This season, he has 10 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. . . . From the Saskatoon news release: “Chiasson made international news earlier this winter as he and three teammates, who were driving over a bridge in Brandon, helped save the life of a distressed man.” . . . The 2023 first-round pick was Saskatoon’s and not the one the Blades acquired from Seattle in the deal that had F Brad Lambert’s rights move to the Thunderbirds. . . .

The Blades (26-6-3) are rather quietly putting together a solid season. In fact, their points percentage of .786 trails only the Winnipeg Ice (.853) and Seattle Thunderbirds (.806). . . . BTW, the Thunderbirds and Ice are to meet tonight (Wednesday) in Winnipeg.

——

In a second deal, Brandon acquired F Dawson Pasternak, 19, and a conditional fourth-round pick in an undisclosed WHL draft from the Portland Winterhawks for the rights to F Colin Frank, a sixth-rounder in 2025 and a second in 2026. . . . Pasternak, from Winnipeg, was a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2018 draft. This season, he has 17 points, five of them goals, in 28 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had five goals and nine assists in 34 games. . . . Pasternak had an assist on Brandon’s first goal Tuesday night as the Wheat Kings beat the visiting Thunderbirds, 4-2. . . . Frank, from Ladera Ranch, Calif., will turn 17 on March 3. He was taken by Brandon in the 2021 U.S. prospects draft. He plays for the U16 AAA Anaheim Jr. Ducks and has 34 goals and 39 assists in 45 games.

——

In a third deal, the Wheat Kings acquired F Nolan Flamand, who will turn 19 on Thursday, from the Kelowna Rockets for F Trae Johnson, 17, and two picks — a third-rounder in the 2023 WHL draft and a fifth in 2024. . . . Flamand, from Saskatoon, had four goals and 12 assists in 35 games with Kelowna this season. He was a second-round pick by Kelowna in the 2019 draft. . . . Johnson, from Martensville, Sask., had two goals and four assists in 37 games with Brandon this season. He was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft.


Just before the deadline, the Winterhawks acquired the rights to F Ozzy PortlandWiesblatt, 20, from the Prince Albert Raiders for three conditional draft picks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . . The picks — one of the second-round picks was acquired from Brandon earlier on Tuesday —  are conditional on Wiesblatt being assigned to Portland by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks. . . . Wiesblatt, a first-round pick by the Sharks in 2020, is with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda with whom he has a goal and four assists in 17 games. . . . Prince Albert picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2017 draft. He put up 179 points, including 58 goals, in 195 regular-season games with the Raiders. . . .

The Winterhawks also dealt G Donavan Bodnar and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft to the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-rounder in 2024. . . . Bodnar, from West St. Paul, Man., won’t turn 18 until Nov. 22. He was a seventh-round pick by Portland in the 2020 draft. . . . Bodnar now is playing for the Seven Oaks Raiders in the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Earlier this season, the Portage Terriers acquired Bodnar’s rights from the Selkirk Steelers for D Jacob Ziegler, 18. . . .

In another move, the Winterhawks traded D Nicholas Andrusiak, 18, to the Red Deer Rebels for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft. . . . Andrusiak, from Tisdale, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires, and has two goals and an assist in 20 games. He got into two games with Portland early this season.


The Prince George Cougars announced their presence on Deadline Day by PrinceGeorgeacquiring F Zac Funk, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen for F Carter MacAdams, 18, and three WHL draft picks — second-rounders in 2023 and 2024, and a fourth in 2024. . . . Funk, from Coldstream, B.C., had 13 goals and 19 assists in 33 games with the Hitmen this season. In 129 career games, he has 78 points, 39 of them goals. . . . He was a second-round pick by Calgary in the 2018 draft. . . . MacAdams, from South Surrey, B.C., was picked by the Cougars in the fourth round of the 2019 WHL draft. He has 18 goals and 30 assists in 117 regular-season games over three seasons with Prince George. This season, he has six goals and 15 assists in 36 games.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes reacquired G Jared Picklyk, 19, from the Tri-City Americans for a 10th-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. The Hurricanes had traded him to the Americans for a 2024 sixth-round pick on Nov. 17, but he got into only two games with Tri-City. . . . Before that deal, he was 4-5-0, 3.50, .877 with Lethbridge this season. . . . Picklyk, from Kelowna, will report to the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos.


The Kelowna Rockets acquired D Landon Cowper, 16, from the Prince Albert Raiders for a conditional fifth-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. Cowper, from Whitehorse, was a fourth-round pick by the Raiders in the 2021 draft. . . . He is playing for the U18 team at the RINK Hockey Academy in Kelowna, and has one goal and 15 assists in 18 games.


The Kamloops Blazers picked up the rights to D Daylan Weigel, 19, from the KamloopsSwift Current Broncos for a ninth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Weigel, from Warman, Sask., is with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos and, according to the Blazers, “will remain with the Broncos for the 2022-23 season and become an affiliate player.” . . . He has six goals and 18 assists in 31 games with Humboldt this season. . . . Weigel has played in 25 WHL games — one with the Regina Pats and 24 with Swift Current. He has six assists in those games. . . . Regina picked him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2018 draft.


The Vancouver Giants have acquired the rights to D Ben Feenan, 18, from the Tri-City Americans for a seventh-round pick in the 2026 WHL draft. . . . Feenan, a sixth-round pick by the Americans in the 2019 draft, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season when he left the team and joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.


In the final trade before the deadline, announced more than three hours after it Reginahad passed, the Regina Pats acquired F Steel Quiring, 19, from the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-round pick in the WHL’s 2026 draft. Quiring, from Vernon, B.C., had three goals and three assists in 30 games with Everett. He also has played for the Kelowna Rockets and Calgary Hitmen. The Silvertips acquired him from the Hitmen on Sept. 30. . . . The Rockets selected him in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. . . . Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) pointed out on Twitter that “the Pats are Quiring’s 4th WHL team in the last  year and five days.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Edmonton Oil Kings have claimed F Loick Daigle, 20, off CHL waivers from the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes. In 108 QMJHL regular-season games, he has 24 goals and 26 assists. . . . F Brad Lambert wasn’t in Seattle’s lineup on Tuesday night in Brandon, nor was F Chaz Lucius with Portland in Prince Albert. . . . The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced Tuesday that Briar McNaney has signed on as their interim head coach. . . . The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder have announced that Sean Brown, its general manager and head coach, has stepped down for “family reasons.” Corey Bricknell, who had been assistant GM and associate coach, has stepped in as interim GM/head coach. The Thunder (11-27-2) is eighth in the eight-team North Division.


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.


Phone

A quieter Monday in the WHL . . . Six more deals as deadline nears . . . Portland, Seattle add AHL assignees

As Monday disappeared over the horizon, there had been nothing in the way of WHLSunday’s craziness and with the WHL’s deadline now only hours away.

One supposes that some teams took time to count their remaining draft picks after what had transpired on Sunday.

Still, there were a handful of trades made on Monday, one of which involved a player who had been part of one of those Sunday blockbusters.

And two U.S. Division teams had players who began the season in the AHL assigned to them by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.

Read on . . .

——

The Swift Current Broncos were involved in a couple of trades. . . .

First, they and the Brandon Wheat Kings swapped a pair of defencemen, with SwiftCurrentMason Ward, 20, moving to the Broncos for Kayden Sadhra-Kang, 19. . . . The Wheat Kings acquired Ward from the Red Deer Rebels prior to the 2021-22 season. From Lloydminster, the 6-foot-5 Ward had four goals and six assists in 38 games with Brandon this season. . . . The 6-foot-4 Sakhra-Kang, from Richmond, B.C., was acquired by Swift Current from the Lethbridge Hurricanes early last season. In 90 games with the Broncos, he had four goals and 19 assists. . . .

The Broncos also made a deal with Everett, getting F Drew Englot, 20, from the Silvertips for F Raphael Pelletier, 20, and a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2024 draft. . . . This was the second time Englot was traded in fewer than 24 hours. On Sunday, he was part of the massive trade between the Kamloops Blazers and Everett. . . . Englot, from Candiac Sask., had three goals and 11 assists in 34 games with the Blazers this season. Kamloops had acquired him from the Regina Pats last season. . . . Pelletier, from Legal, Alta., had 37 goals and 53 assists in 162 games with the Broncos over the past four seasons. This season, he has 11 goals and 17 assists in 28 games. . . .

Ward and Englot are expected to be in the Broncos’ lineup tonight (Tuesday) when they meet the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers.

——

The Everett Silvertips acquired F Nolan Chastko, 17, from the Prince George Cougars for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2025 draft. . . . Chastko, from Brandon, wasn’t picked in the WHL draft. He signed with the Cougars, and has been playing with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. He has 10 goals and 14 assists in 29 games with Virden.

——

The Tri-City Americans also were involved in a couple of Monday deals. . . . They Tri-Citygot D Ethan Peters, 19, from the Edmonton Oil Kings for a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. From Moose Jaw, Peters was in his third season with Edmonton. He recorded 28 points, including 24 assists, in 119 regular-season games. . . . Following last season, he was presented with the Daryl K. (Doc) Seaman Trophy as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year. . . .

The Americans also acquired D Jackson Romeril, 17, from the Kelowna Rockets for a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft. . . . From Calgary, the Rockets selected him in the sixth round of the 2020 draft. . . . This season, he is pointless in 13 games with Kelowna.

——

——

Edmonton was involved in another Monday exchange when it got D Jacob Hoffrogge, 19, from the Everett Silvertips for a seventh-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft. . . . He had two goals and two assists in 23 games with Everett this season. He also has played with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

——

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 36.

No. of players traded — 65.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 65.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 16.

Teams involved in trades — 10: Edmonton; 6: Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Kamloops, Seattle; 4: Everett, Kelowna, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina; 3: Spokane, Tri-City; 2: Brandon, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; Swift Current; 1: Saskatoon, Vancouver; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


The Seattle Thunderbirds and Portland Winterhawks each has added a player to their roster who began this season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets assigned F Brad Lambert to Seattle and F Chaz Lucius to Portland. Neither has played since they were in the 2023 World Junior Championship in Moncton and Halifax.

Lambert, 19, had two goals and an assist in 14 games with the Moose. He had Seattleone goal in five games with Finland at the WJC. . . . Seattle acquired his WHL rights from the Saskatoon Blades on June 30 for fourth- and sixth-round picks in the WHL’s 2023 draft, a conditional first-rounder in 2023 and a conditional second-rounder in 2024. . . . With Lambert having been assigned to Saskatoon, the Blades now are in possession of those two conditional draft picks. . . . Might the Blades spend some draft capital today before the trade deadline arrives?

Lucius, 19, is a native of White Bear Lake, Minn. He had two goals and three Portlandassists in 12 games with the Moose. The Jets selected him with the 18th pick of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Portland grabbed his WHL rights in the fourth round of the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he played at the U of Minnesota, putting up 19 points, including nine goals, in 24 games. . . . Last week, he helped Team USA to a bronze medal at the WJC. He finished with seven points, five of them goals, in as many games. He had three goals, including the OT winner, as the Americans beat Sweden, 8-7, in the third-place game.

Portland and Seattle both are in the midst of East Division road trips.

Lucius is expected to join the Winterhawks once they return home. He could make his Portland debut on Jan. 20 against the visiting Victoria Royals.

Seattle general manager Bil La Forge said in a news release that his club looks “forward to getting (Lambert) in a Thunderbirds jersey soon.”


THINKING OUT LOUD: Look, I’m not a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, but those baby blue outfits they were wearing on Monday night should be sent to Mars. Sheesh, who is responsible for the Habs wearing those things instead of their traditional outfits? . . . If you were wondering, the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds will meet three more times this season. They’ll play March 7 and 21 in Kent, Wash., and March 22 in Kamloops. . . . How much of the NCAA’s championship football game did you watch on Monday night? . . . Today’s WHL trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, 3 p.m. in Alberta, and 2 p.m. in B.C.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

In the middle of all the trading frenzy, the Erie Otters chose to fire head coach BJ Adams on Monday. Adams, who was in his second season as the head coach, had been on the Otters’ staff since 2015. . . . The Otters, who are 1-9-0 of late, are 12-20-3 and in last place in the 10-team Western Conference. . . . The plan is for assistant coaches Vince Laise and Wes Wolfe to run the team while management searches for a head coach. . . .

The junior B Nelson Leafs of the Kootenay Junior International Hockey League are believed to be poised to introduce Briar McNaney as their new head coach. He would replace Adam DiBella, who resigned this week after the league suspended him for the remainder of this season for his role in a New Year’s Eve line brawl in a game against the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks. . . . McNaney, 30, spent five seasons on staff with the KIJHL’s Columbia Valley Rockies; he finished last season as general manager and head coach. . . . From Kamloops, he began this season as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers


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.


Trust

Blazers rock WHL world in landing Zellweger . . . Giants’ captain off to Ice for eight assets . . . Bedard back lighting it up with Pats

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 31.

No. of players traded — 59.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 62.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 12.

Teams involved in trades — 8: Edmonton; 6: Victoria, Winnipeg; 5: Kamloops, Seattle; 4: Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina; 3: Everett, Kelowna, Spokane; 2: Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; 1: Brandon, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tri-City, Vancouver; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


January 8, 2023.

It will be remembered as the day when discretion being the better part of valour no longer was entrenched in the WHL’s trade deadline-related thinking of those making the deals.

It was the day the Kamloops Blazers, the host team for the 2023 Memorial Cup, and the Winnipeg Ice, the Eastern Conference’s top team to date, combined to give up eight players, 13 WHL draft picks, including seven first-round selections, and a conditional pick for three players.

First things first . . .

Observers have been waiting for weeks to see what kind of impact the Blazers would have as Tuesday’s trade deadline approaches. Well, they found out on Sunday.

Kamloops acquired D Olen Zellweger, 19, and F Ryan Hofer, 20, from the Everett KamloopsSilvertips but the cost was off the charts.

All told, Kamloops coughed up two roster players (F Drew Englot, 20, and D Kaden Hammell, 17) and two prospects (D Rylan Pearce, 17, and F Jack Bakker, 15), along with nine draft picks and a conditional pick. Kamloops surrendered four first-rounders (2023, 2024, 2025 and 2026), one second (2023), one third (2025), one fourth (2023), one fifth (2024) and one sixth (2026). The Blazers also threw in a conditional second-rounder in 2026.

No, Kamloops didn’t get any picks back.

Zellweger, from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., is fresh off a run as perhaps Team Canada’s best defenceman in a gold medal-winning performance at the World Junior Championship that ended Thursday in Halifax. In Kamloops, he will be Everettreunited with Team Canada teammates Caedan Bankier and Logan Stankoven,

A second-round pick by the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL’s 2021 draft, Zellweger has 28 points, including 10 goals, in 23 games with Everett this season. He has signed a three-year entry-level contract with Anaheim so is unlikely to return to the WHL for a 20-year-old season.

Last season, Zellweger led WHL defencemen with 78 points in 55 games and was named the league’s top defenceman.

Hofer, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder from Winnipeg, is one of the WHL’s premier power forwards. This season, his third, he has 23 goals and 13 assists in 36 games. The Washington Capitals selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2022 draft.

Englot, from Candiac, Sask., is in his fourth WHL season. The Blazers acquired him from the Regina Pats midway through the 2021-22 season. This season, he has three goals and 11 assists in 34 games.

Hammell, from Langley, B.C., was a first-round pick by the Blazers in the WHL’s 2020 draft. Last season, he put up 14 points, 11 of them assists, in 57 games. This season, he has six goals and four assists in 36 games.

Pearce, from Martensville, Sask., was a fourth-round pick by the Blazers in the WHL’s 2020 draft. He got into two games with Kamloops this season and earned two assists. Pearce now is with the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers.

Bakker, from White Rock, B.C., is playing for the U18 side at the Delta, B.C., Hockey Academy. He was a third-round selection by the Blazers in the 2022 WHL draft.

The Blazers (22-8-6) are third in the Western Conference, eight points behind the Seattle Thunderbirds (28-5-2) and five behind the Portland Winterhawks (26-6-3). The Silvertips (18-18-1) are tied for fifth with the Tri-City Americans (17-16-3), one point behind the Vancouver Giants (16-16-6).

Kamloops, which beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1, on Saturday night, is next scheduled to play Wednesday against visiting Vancouver. Hofer will sit out that one with a one-game suspension.

You can bet he’ll be in the lineup on Friday, though, when the Blazers are to play in Everett. The Silvertips are scheduled to visit the Blazers on March 10.

——

Meanwhile, shortly after Winnipeg beat visiting Portland, 6-3, on Sunday night, the Ice announced it had acquired F Zack Ostapchuk, the Giants’ 19-WinnipegIceyear-old captain and another member of Canada’s national junior team.

In exchange, the Ice surrendered two roster players (F Skyler Bruce, 19, and F Connor Dale, 17), two prospects (D Owen Brees, 15, and F Hudson Landmark, 15), and four WHL draft picks — firsts in 2024, 2025 and 2026, and a fifth in 2024.

Ostapchuk, from St. Albert, Alta., had 10 goals and 19 assists in 21 games with the Giants this season. In 153 career regular-season games, he put up 96 points, 48 of them goals. Vancouver selected him 12th overall in the WHL’s 2018 draft, Vancouverand the Ottawa Senators grabbed him in the second round of the NHL’s 2021 draft.

Ostapchuk has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Senators so is unlikely to be back in the WHL for his 20-year-old season in 2023-24.

Bruce, from Winnipeg, had 22 points, seven of them goals, in 33 games with the Ice this season. He has 70 points, including 26 goals, in 136 regular-season games. The Kootenay Ice picked him in the second round of the WHL’s 2018 draft.

Dale, a freshman who also is from St. Albert, has three goals and five assists in 24 games. He was a ninth-round pick in the WHL’s 2020 draft.

Brees, from Lethbridge, was picked by the Ice in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. He is playing with the U15 Northern Alberta Xtreme.

Landmark, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was an eighth-round pick in that same draft. He is playing with the U15 AAA Sherwood Park United Cycle Flyers.

The Ice (29-5-0) leads the Eastern Conference by two points over the Red Deer Rebels (26-8-4), with Winnipeg holding four games in hand.

The Giants (16-16-6) are fourth in the Western Conference, 12 points behind third-place Kamloops.

The Ice and Giants aren’t scheduled to meet again during this regular season. In their only clash, the Ice posted a 4-3 victory at the Langley Events Centre on Oct. 19.

Vancouver next will play Wednesday when it is to visit Kamloops.

Winnipeg’s next game is scheduled for Wednesday when it is to play host to the Seattle Thunderbirds, another organization that has gone big in this season’s arm race.

Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) pointed out that the Thunderbirds have acquired F Colton Dach (Kelowna Rockets), D Nolan Allan (Prince Albert Raiders) and D Luke Prokop (Edmonton Oil Kings) for a total of four first-round picks, two seconds, three thirds, a fourth, two sixths, and five players.

——


It was 11 years ago today (Monday) when the Swift Current Broncos and WHLKootenay Ice rocked the WHL’s world with what was then seen as a huge deal.

Mark Lamb, the Broncos’ general manager and head coach, and Ice GM Jeff Chynoweth got together and cooked up a deal that included six players and three WHL draft picks.

The Broncos dealt F Cody Eakin, 19, to the Ice for roster F Christian Magnus, four list players (F Ryan Bloom, F Colby Cave, G Steven Myland and F Jarett Zentner) and three picks — a first and a second in 2011 and a third in 2012.

The Ice went on to win the WHL championship that spring, ousting the Portland Winterhawks from a five-game final series. Eakin, who put up 44 points in 26 regular-season games with the Ice, scored 11 goals and added 16 assists in 19 playoff games. Eakin, F Matt Fraser and F Max Reinhardt each finished with 27 playoff points.

The Ice went 2-3 at the Memorial Cup, losing 3-1 to the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors in the semifinal. Eakin totalled six points, three of them goals, in the five games.

I’ll let you decide who won the exchange between the Broncos and Ice.


The World Junior Championship ended in Halifax on Thursday. Since then, Seattlethere has been speculation that Finnish F Brad Lambert will be joining the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. That speculation heated up Sunday when his name was dropped from the roster of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Lambert, who had two goals and one assist in 14 AHL games, is listed as inactive on the Moose’s stats page. He had one goal in five games with Finland at the WJC.

Lambert, who turned 19 on Dec. 19, was born in Lahti, Finland. The Winnipeg Jets, the Moose’s parent club, selected him 30th overall in the NHL’s 2022 draft.

Lambert’s father, Ross, spent one season 1982-83) with the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, putting up 106 points. Brad’s uncle, Lane, is the head coach of the NHL’s New York Islanders.


Meanwhile, F Connor Bedard, fresh off lighting up the WJC on behalf of Team ReginaCanada, returned to the Regina Pats’ lineup on Sunday. All he did was score four goals and add two assist as the Pats beat the visiting Calgary Hitmen, 6-2. . . . The announced attendance was 4,761, the Pats’ largest home crowd this season. . . . Bedard’s first career six-point outing included a pair of shorthanded goals. . . . Despite missing 11 games while with Team Canada, Bedard’s 70 points, in 29 games, has him leading the points race by eight points over F Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets. With 31 goals, Bedard is two behind F Kai Uchacz of the Red Deer Rebels, and Bedard’s 39 assists are two more than D Lukas Dragicevic of the Tri-City Americans. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post was in attendance; his story is right here. . . .

Now take a minute or two, think about the packages that Kamloops and Winnipeg traded away today, then try to figure out what it would cost an organization to get Bedard from the Pats. . . . were he available, that is.


T-Birds trade for Rockets’ captain . . . Leafs’ coach resigns after being hit with suspension . . . How about those North Stars?

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Tuesday. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 29.

No. of players traded — 48.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 49.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 11.

Teams involved in trades — 8: Edmonton; 6: Victoria; 5: Winnipeg, Seattle; 4: Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, Regina; 3: Kelowna, Spokane; 2: Everett, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; 1: Brandon, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tri-City; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland, Vancouver.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.

——

Less than 48 hours after celebrating Team Canada’s gold medal-winning effort at the World Junior Championship in Halifax, F Colton Dach, the captain of the SeattleKelowna Rockets, was traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday morning. . . . Dach, who suffered an injury to his right shoulder in a game against Sweden on Dec. 31, won’t play for Seattle for perhaps eight weeks. The good news is that it doesn’t appear that he will need surgery to repair the damage. . . . The Rockets also gave up a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2024 draft, while getting back F Ty Hurley, D Ethan Mittelsteadt, a first-rounder in 2024 — it originated with the Regina Pats — two conditional picks, a second-rounder in 2025 and a fourth-rounder in 2023. The latter originally belonged to the Everett Silvertips. . . .

Dach, who turned 20 on Wednesday, is from Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. The KelownaSaskatoon Blades selected him in the first round, sixth overall, of the WHL’s 2018 draft. He had 22 goals and 27 assists in 82 games over two seasons with the Blades. . . . The Rockets acquired him from the Blades on Sept. 28, 2021, in exchange for F Trevor Wong. Last season, Dach put up 29 goals and 50 assists in 61 games with Kelowna. This season, he had nine goals and eight assists in 14 games. . . . He missed time early in the season because of two concussions, one incurred in training camp with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago picked him in the second round of the 2021 NHL draft. These days, the Blackhawks’ medical staff will be keeping close tabs on Dach and his shoulder. . . .

Hurley, an 18-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., now has been traded twice this season. The Thunderbirds had acquired him from the Swift Current Broncos, who picked him in the fourth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. He had one assist in 16 games with the Broncos, and recorded one assist in 15 games with Seattle. . . . Last season, he had a goal and two assists in 31 games with Swift Current. . . .

Mittelsteadt, who turned 17 on Dec. 18, is from Victoria. Seattle selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2020 draft. He had two goals in 16 games with the Thunderbirds last season; this season, he had a goal and an assist in 24 games. . . .

Hurley and Mittelsteadt both played for Kelowna on Saturday night as the Rockets dropped a 5-1 decision to the host Kamloops Blazers, who had Team Canada forwards Caedan Bankier and Logan Stankoven back in their lineup. . . .

When Dach finally gets into the Thunderbirds’ lineup, he will join four teammates from Team Canada — D Nolan Allan, D Kevin Korchinski, Thomas Milic and F Reid Schaefer. (By coincidence, the Blackhawks also hold the NHL rights to Allan and Korchinski.) Earlier in the season, the Thunderbirds acquired Allan from the Prince Albert Raiders. They also added Luke Prokop, a high-end defenceman, in a deal with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . .

Since Oct. 25, the Thunderbirds have made five trades, acquiring five players and four WHL draft picks, while giving up six players, eight draft picks and six conditional picks. . . .

The Thunderbirds (28-5-2) lead the U.S Division, the Western Conference and the overall standings. They presently are on a six-game East Division trip that opened with a 6-0 victory over the Regina Pats on Friday and continued Saturday with a 6-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Thunderbirds will face the Brandon Wheat Kings on Tuesday and then be in Winnipeg on Wednesday to meet the Ice (28-5-0) in a game that some observers see as a likely preview of the WHL’s championship final.

——

In another Saturday swap, the Winnipeg Ice acquired F Easton Armstrong, who is to turn 20 on Jan. 24, from the Regina Pats for D Omen Harmacy, 17. . . . Armstrong, 19, has 13 goals and nine assists in 39 games this season, his third with the Pats. From Los Angeles, he was a 10th-round pick by the Pats in the WHL’s 2018 draft. He has 20 goals and 14 assists in 121 regular-season WHL games. . . . Harmacy, from Winnipeg, was an eighth-round pick by the Ice in the 2020 draft. A sophomore, he has three assists in 30 games after recording six assists in 32 games last season.


The junior B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced on Friday that Adam DiBella, the head coach of the Nelson Leafs, has been kijhlsuspended for the remainder of the 2022-23 regular season and the playoffs. . . . The suspension amounts to the regular-season’s final 15 games and whatever playoff games the Leafs end up playing. . . . The move followed a New Year’s Eve line brawl between the host Leafs and Beaver Valley Nitehawks. . . . Earlier in the week, the KIJHL issued 35 games in suspension to Nelson players and eight to the Nitehawks. . . . Later Friday, the Leafs, who won’t appeal any of the disciplinary decisions, announced that they had accepted DiBella’s resignation. . . . “Our investigation determined that the incident in Saturday’s game was instigated by the Leafs at Mr. DiBella’s direction,” Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner, said in a news release. “The KIJHL has zero tolerance for these types of actions by any team staff member, and the severity of Mr. DiBella’s suspension reflects the seriousness that we place on leadership and player safety.” . . . Should DiBella want to coach in the KIJHL in the future, he will have to apply to the Nelsoncommissioner for reinstatement. . . . The KIJHL also ruled that DiBella won’t be allowed in “any KIJHL facility for a period beginning one hour before and ending one hour after any Nelson Leafs game. He may not travel on the team bus and he may not be present on the ice, players’ bench, dressing room or office immediately before, during or after team practices. He is not to conduct any official business as a representative of the Nelson Leafs, such as player meetings, trade negotiations and athlete recruitment.” . . . As well, the Leafs were fined $5,000 “and instructed to take proactive steps to ensure all team staff are sufficiently trained and educated in the standards of conduct required under KIJHL regulations. A written report outlining steps taken by the organization in these areas must be submitted to the Commissioner no later than June 1, 2023.” . . .

In announcing DiBella’s resignation, the Leafs also issued an apology to the “Beaver Valley Nitehawks, all Nelson Leafs fans, hockey fans in general and all member clubs of the KIJHL. . . . As a proud member of the KIJHL, the Nelson Leafs failed to abide by league principles to encourage participation in hockey in a manner so as to foster clean play and good sportsmanship. As an organization the Nelson Leafs intend to ensure that our club is seen as a healthy, competitive and respectable recreational activity for our players and fans and as a club that promotes hockey, education and life skills.” . . .

The Leafs (17-9-5) opened a three-game road swing Friday night in Chase with a 4-3 victory over the Heat, then were beaten, 3-2, by the 100 Mile House Wranglers on Saturday night. The Leafs will finish the trip against the Kamloops Storm on Sunday. General manager Lance Morey and assistant coach Tyson Soobotin are running things while the board of directors makes “a decision concerning the head-coaching position in the days to come.”

The KIJHL’s news release is right here.

The Leafs’ news release is right here.


Swing


Here is Ken Campbell at Hockey Unfiltered on Friday:

“The Regina Pats have been very clear to this point that they have no intention of trading World Junior hero and future NHL superstar Connor Bedard, despite the fact that they currently sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference of the Western Hockey League and are likely first-round fodder. In fact, they’re not even a lock at this point to make the playoffs.

“This comes despite the fact that the Seattle Thunderbirds . . . are apparently prepared to offer an enormous package of players and picks to the Pats in exchange for Bedard. ‘I don’t know how you don’t do it,’ one scout said. ‘Regina could get 10 assets for this guy. And if Seattle were to get Bedard, you might as well just give them the Memorial Cup right now.’ ”

——

Meanwhile, there have been reports that the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets will assign F Brad Lambert, who turned 19 on Dec. 19, to Seattle. Lambert is fresh off playing for Finland at the World Junior Championship; he had one goal in five games. . . . The 30th overall selection in the NHL’s 2022 draft, Lambert has two goals and one assist in 14 games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The Thunderbirds acquired his WHL rights from the Saskatoon Blades on June 30, giving up two conditional draft picks — fourth- and sixth-rounders in 2023 — in the exchange.


F Ben King, who led the WHL with 52 goals during the 2021-22 regular season, RedDeerhasn’t played for the Red Deer Rebels since Oct. 22 due to an undisclosed injury. Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner and general manager, told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com this week that King might return in two weeks. “We’re getting a hell of a player back in a couple of weeks who’s been out of our lineup for a long time,” Sutter said. “We’re looking forward to that.” . . . Sutter admitted that knowing King is close to returning will impact his thinking at Tuesday’s trade deadline. “If something comes up we’ll look at it, but we like our team the way it is,” Sutter said. . . . King, who started this season in camp with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, had five goals and five assists in five games when he was injured.


Bags


THINKING OUT LOUD: It always amazes me that major junior teams are in such a rush to get their World Junior Championship players back into the lineup. Why not send them home for a few days, if possible, allowing them to get some rest — mentally and physically — and getting them as far away from the coaches as possible? . . . Just because I know you’re wondering, it looks like pitchers and catchers will report on Feb. 14 and spring training games are to start on Feb. 24. . . . The U of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team ran its winning streak to 15 on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the host MacEwan Griffins. The Dinos, who put it away with two empty-net goals, now are 17-3-0. . . . Nothing ruins a day like having the power go out just as the lasagna is going in the oven. So guess what’s on the menu for Sunday evening? . . . QB Nathan Rourke of the CFL’s B.C. Lions is able to sign an NFL deal starting Monday, but he still has more team visits on his schedule. Unfortunately for CFL fans, I have to think NFL money will be awfully hard for him to leave on the table.


Becky Sullivan of npr.org reports that the faculty of Lake Superior State University has issued its “annual list of words that is says deserve to be ‘banished’ from our vocabularies over ‘misuse, overuse, and uselessness.’ ” . . . And it’s hard to argue with any of them, from GOAT to ‘it is what it is.’ ” . . . Irregardless of all that, and moving forward, Sullivan’s story is absolutely right here.


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Single-use plastic bags to be replaced by reusable bags you will use a single time.

——

Headline at The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) — Pigeon with meth backpack caught in B.C. prison yard, says officers’ union president.


Mummy


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars won their 31st game of the season on Saturday, beating the host Kindersley Klippers, 5-1. Why is that worth noting? Because the North Stars have yet to lose in regulation time this season. They now are 31-0-3. . . . Battlefords had beaten visiting Kindersley, 5-1, on Friday. . . . The North Stars next are scheduled to play on Thursday against the Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask. . . .

The Chilliwack Chiefs announced that they set a BCHL attendance record on Saturday night when their announced attendance was 5,008 for a 4-3 victory over the Cranbrook Bucks. . . . The Chilliwack Coliseum, which once was home to a WHL franchise, lists its capacity as 5,000 for hockey. . . . Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anything about the previous BCHL single-game attendance record. . . .

ColoradoGritThe NAHL has approved a franchise for Greeley, Colo. The Colorado Grit will begin play in the Greeley Ice Haus in time for the 2023-24 season. The Grit will play out of the South Division. One of the team’s three owners is former NHLer David Clarkson. . . . There’s more 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.


Muppet

Hurricanes grab Swetlikoff from Chiefs . . . Rebels, Cougars swap forwards . . . Wallace now a Blazers Legend

The Lethbridge Hurricanes let the WHL’s other Eastern Conference teams know LethbridgeThursday that they are serious about this season by acquiring F Blake Swetlikoff from the Spokane Chiefs. . . . In the exchange, the rebuilding Chiefs (7-24-3) picked up the rights to F Jack Lackas and two draft picks — a second-rounder in 2026 and a fifth in 2025. . . . Swetlikoff, a 19-year-old from Regina, was a third-round selection in the 2018 WHL draft. He has 19 points, 14 of them assists, in 34 games with Spokane this season. . . . In 128 career regular-season games, he has 22 goals and 39 assists. . . . “We feel that (Swetlikoff) will help our top nine,” Lethbridge general manager Peter Anholt said in a news release. “It was a steep price for us to pay, but our team deserved to be added to with the way we’ve played this season.” . . . Swetlikoff is expected to make his Lethbridge debut on Saturday against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . The Hurricanes (21-15-1) are sixth in the 12-team conference, having won six of their past 10 games. They are one point behind the Calgary Hitmen (20-11-4) and three in arrears of the Moose Jaw Warriors (23-13-0). . . . Lackas, who turned 16 on Dec. 26, is from Las Vegas. Lethbridge selected him in the WHL’s 2021 U.S. draft, but he is unsigned. Lackas is playing with the U16 AAA Phoenix Jr. Coyotes this season.

——

The Red Deer Rebels and Prince George Cougars swapped a pair of 17-year-old RedDeerforwards on Thursday. Ryker Singer is on his way to Red Deer, with Arjun Bawa moving to Prince George. The Cougars also got second- and seventh-round picks in the WHL’s 2023 draft in the exchange. . . . Singer, the 20th player chosen in the WHL’s 2020 draft, has three goals and six assists in 34 games this season. He is from Paradise Hills, Alta. . . . “He’s got speed, skill and good hands, and he’s a smart player,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner and general manager, told Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com. “It’s a trade for both teams (where) we wanted to add more speed to our team with skill, and they wanted a player who has some size.” . . . Bawa, from Richmond, B.C., had two goals and three assists in 34 games this season. Red Deer took him in the PrinceGeorgesecond round of the 2020 draft. . . . “Arjun . . . is a big physical player (who) will fit well with our forward core,” offered Mark Lamb, the Cougars’ general manager and head coach, in a news release. . . . The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Bawa is the son of Robin Bawa, a former WHLer (Kamloops Jr. Oilers, Kamloops Blazers, New Westminster Bruins, 1982-87) who went on to play 61 NHL games. He was the first player of Indian descent to play in the NHL. . . . The Rebels are scheduled to play the Raiders in Prince Albert tonight, while the Cougars are at home to the Everett Silvertips.

——

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. Here are the trade numbers since Oct. 25:

No. of trades — 27.

No. of players traded — 43.

No. of WHL draft picks traded — 47.

No. of WHL conditional draft picks traded — 9.

Teams involved in trades — 8: Edmonton; 6: Victoria; 4: Kamloops, Lethbridge, Prince George, Seattle, Winnipeg; 3: Regina, Spokane; 2: Everett, Kelowna, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Red Deer; 1: Brandon, Saskatoon, Swift Current, Tri-City; 0: Calgary, Medicine Hat, Portland, Vancouver.

Why did I start with Oct. 25? Because that was the day that the Seattle Thunderbirds acquired D Luke Prokop from the Edmonton Oil Kings, signalling to me that the countdown to deadline day had started.


One of my favourite sports columns every year comes from the keyboard of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gene Collier. His 39th annual Trite Trophy column, in which he examines a whole lot of trite phrases from the sporting press, is right here.

It includes a whole lot of stuff like this awesome paragraph:

“And Just To Put A Button On this tribute to minor annoyances, ‘False start, offense’ is redundant. All false starts are on the offense. It’s like saying 7 a.m. in the morning, which people do Time and Time Again, even though all 7 a.m.’s are in the morning.”

Ahh, yes, one of my pet peeves . . . tonight’s game will begin at 7 p.m.

Along with the first annual golf tournament, which actually is the inaugural golf tournament.

Anyway . . . give Collier’s piece a read. I just know that you’ll enjoy it.


Mute


THINKING OUT LOUD: Is there a way to take two spoonfuls of adult cough syrup without getting it on the bottle and ending up with at least one sticky hand? . . . It’s a good thing Canada won the World Junior Championship in Halifax on Thursday night because the last thing Hockey Canada needs on its plate is another investigation. Just imagine the outcry had Canada, which led 2-0 with seven minutes remaining in the third period, lost the final to Czechia. I mean, early on in the tournament there were folks questioning Canada’s goaltending development record. . . . No, your favourite WHL team isn’t going to end up getting F Connor Bedard from the Regina Pats before next week’s trade deadline. Perhaps the Pats, with the likes of Bedard, F Tanner Howe and D Stan Svozil on their roster, should be buyers. What say you, John Paddock? . . . BTW, the Pats had F Cole Temple, the fifth overall pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft, in their lineup for their past two games. From Brandon, he is the son of former Wheat Kings F Jeff Temple. As well, Cole’s grandfather, Ted, one of hockey’s really good guys, played goal for the Wheat Kings (1967-69). . . . If you are so inclined, please think about clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thank you!


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

G Jesse Sanche was backing up Dylan Ernst on Wednesday night when the Kamloops Blazers dropped a 3-2 OT decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips. Sanche, 16, is from Kelowna and was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2021 draft, but has yet to play in a WHL game. He was on the bench because I’m guessing that Czech G Michael Schnattinger, 18, was placed on waivers following the acquisition on Tuesday of G Matthew Kieper, 18, from the Regina Pats. Kieper hadn’t yet arrived in Kamloops, thus Sanche got a prime seat for the game. . . .

During that Wednesday game, the Blazers elevated Greg (Spike) Wallace to legendary status as they put his name on one of their Legends banners and lifted it into the arena rafters. On March 7, 2012, the WHL presented Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award. The following morning, the Blazers announced that Wallace was leaving the team “by mutual agreement . . . to pursue other initiatives. The Blazers and Spike have agreed that now would be an appropriate time for (him) to . . . pursue new opportunities.” . . . Wallace had been part of the Blazers since 1984, serving as trainer and equipment manager, then later as community liaison. He was a part of three Memorial Cup champions and five WHL titles. . . . Former Blazers players Jerome Iginla and Darryl Sydor, now two of five owners of the franchise, were on hand to salute Wallace on Wednesday night.


Vultures


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.


ATMfees

WHL and Ice: Is there fire where there’s smoke? . . . KIJHL suspends coach indefinitely after line brawl . . . Blazers get goaltender from Pats

It was on Jan. 29, 2019, when some members of the Winnipeg media gathered in Oak Bluff, Man., for a news conference involving the WHL and the Winnipeg Ice. WHLThis followed the decision by the WHL’s board of governors to approve the sale of the Kootenay Ice and the subsequent move to the Manitoba capital.

Officials at the news conference included Ron Robison, the WHL’s commissioner, and Ice owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell.

“A new 4,500-seat rink will be built, likely near Oak Bluff,” reported Sean Kavanagh of CBC News. “The team will for its first two years, play out of the University of Manitoba’s 1,400-seat Wayne Fleming Arena as the new arena is built outside Winnipeg.”

And now, here we are, almost four years later and halfway through the 2022-23 WinnipegIceWHL season, with the Ice still playing out of the Wayne Fleming Arena.

On Dec. 14, the Winnipeg Free Press, in a story by Mike Sawatzky, reported that the WHL had fined the Ice $500,000 because it won’t have a new arena ready for the 2023-24 season.

On Dec. 17, the WHL and the Ice issued statements contradicting that story. Those statements are right here on the Ice’s website.

The WHL’s statement reads, in part: “Reports of the Western Hockey League issuing a fine against the Winnipeg ICE and its ownership group are false and inaccurate. The Winnipeg ICE (has) assembled a highly-competitive team this season and the WHL continues to work with the ICE regarding a solution to the Club’s long-term plans for a suitable facility in Winnipeg. Further information will be available in the new year.”

The Ice statement reads, in part: “The Winnipeg ICE were not and have never been fined by the Western Hockey League.”

It’s interesting that it took the WHL and the Ice three days to respond to a story of this magnitude. I mean, a $500,000 fine is nothing at which to sneeze.

It’s also interesting that the news release is on the Ice website but doesn’t appear anywhere on the WHL’s site.

And it’s interesting that the Free Press, in reporting that the WHL and Ice were denying that a fine had been issued, didn’t indicate that it was (or wasn’t) standing by its story.

(UPDATE: On Dec. 19, the Free Press printed a correction on Page A2: “The Western Hockey League did not fine the Winnipeg Ice for delays related to the construction of a new arena, as the Free Press reported last week. . . . The Free Press regrets the error.”)

Anyway . . . I don’t know what happened in that instance, but it seems that there is something going on involving the WHL and the Ice, and I’m guessing it has something to with the lack of a new home for the Ice in the Winnipeg area.

WHL insiders have clammed right up on this one. In fact, about all I have been able to determine is that midnight on Dec. 31 had some kind of relevance — a deadline of some kind? — in whatever is happening.

As someone said, “I’m sure the coming days will be interesting.”


Adulthood


Old friend Dwight Perry has retired from the Seattle Times, meaning his column, Sideline Chatter, no longer appears in the newspaper’s pages. In honour of his departure, here are a couple of items from his final column . . .

——

Canada won its first Davis Cup title in the event’s 109-year history, beating Australia 2-0 in Malaga, Spain.

The euphoria quickly died, however, when the U.S. refused to trade the Stanley Cup for it.

——

Seattle has been declared the No. 1 city for singles, according to a study released by the personal-finance website WalletHub.com.

Heck, Ichiro could have told you that two decades ago.

——

And here is how Perry signed off . . .

With the world safely back on its axis — the Mariners finally back in the playoffs and the Huskies reclaiming the Apple Cup — I guess I can safely retire now.

Thanks for going along on this 23-year Sideline Chatter ride in The Seattle Times. Adios.



Columnist Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette, after the host Washington Capitals dumped the Montreal Canadiens, 9-2, on New Year’s Eve:

“The hat trick Alexander Ovechkin scored on the hapless Canadiens propelled him closer to Wayne Gretzky’s career goal-scoring record, even as Ovechkin’s pal Vladimir Putin rains missiles on civilians and infrastructure in Ukraine and blocks humanitarian grain shipments from leaving Russian ports.

“Why is Ovechkin still playing in the NHL? Why has he not been suspended and deported in view of his vocal, active support for a murderous dictator? That question promises to be a continuing theme in 2023.”


History


Adam DiBella, the head coach of the junior B Nelson Leafs, has been suspended kijhlindefinitely by the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League  “pending completion of an investigation . . . into his actions” in a New Year’s Eve game that featured a line brawl. The Leafs and the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks became involved in a brawl as the second period started. . . . On Tuesday, the league hit Nelson players with 35 games in suspensions, including eight-games each to four different players, while Beaver Valley players got eight games. . . . The KIJHL’s news release is right here.

Jim Bailey, the Black Press sports editor, described the incident like this: “After a physical but scoreless first period, as the puck dropped to open the second, each of the Nelson players attacked their Beaver Valley counterpart in an effort to start a brawl. Even the two Nelson defencemen skated to the opposite blueline to engage the Nitehawks’ defencemen.

“The intent from the Leafs’ bench was obvious, as Nelson coach Adam DiBella sent out his fourth line, prolific in penalty minutes but slight in points, to take some of the Nitehawks top skaters out of the game.”

BTW, the Leafs won the game, 3-1.

And if you’re interested in some social media reaction to all of this, check out KIJHLSniper (@KijhlS) on Twitter.


Road


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

Andy Kemper, the Portland Winterhawks’ historian, points out that G Dante Giannuzzi picked up his 10th career assist the other night, and that set a franchise record. That record had been shared by Byron Dafoe (109 games, 1986-91) and Clint Malarchuk (77games, 1978-81). Giannuzzi, a 20-year-old from Winnipeg, has played in 89 games over five seasons. . . . Unfortunately, I don’t believe the WHL record book includes an entry for most career assists by a goaltender. . . . However, quanthockey.com has Randy Petruk and Dean Cook sharing the career record, each with 20. Petruk played 196 games over four seasons (1994-98) with the Kamloops Blazers. Cook got into three games with the Victoria Cougars (1985-86) and 147 with the Blazers (1986-89). . . . 

Hey, wouldn’t it be great if the WHL and its other 21 teams followed the Winterhawks’ example by adding historians to their organizations? . . .

The Winterhawks are scheduled to open an East Division swing against the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday night. And the six East Division teams better be ready because the Winterhawks Booster Club also is on the road. . . . Planning for the trek began four years ago. Stuart Kemp, the booster club’s president, reports that the travelling party of 30 will fly into Regina on Thursday, get settled there, and ride the bus to Brandon for Friday’s game. . . .

The Edmonton Oil Kings revealed on Tuesday that D Graydon Gotaas “has taken a leave of absence . . . due to personal reasons.” Gotaas, an 18-year-old from Camrose, Alta., had two assists in 15 games this season. He was acquired from the Prince Albert Raiders on Oct. 17, 2021, along with a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft, for D Ross Stanley. In 43 career games, 23 with Edmonton, Gotaas has two goals and five assists. . . . The Oil Kings also announced that D Rhys Pederson, 16, will finish the season on their roster. A fifth-round pick in the 2021 WHL draft, he had been a regular with the NAX U18 prep team. He has been in seven games with the Oil Kings, but has yet to register a point. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets have signed Czech D Marek Rocak, 17, and he may be in their lineup as soon as Friday against the visiting Kamloops Blazers. Those same teams play again Saturday in Kamloops. . . . Rocak, a selection in the CHL’s 2022 import draft, has been playing with HC Frýdek-Místek in the Czechia2 league. He played for Czechia in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer in August, recording one assist in five games. . . . Kelowna’s other import player is F Gabriel Szturc, 19, who has been playing for Czechia at the World Junior Championship. . . .

Bruce Hamilton, the owner, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, has said that F Colton Dach, the team’s captain, “is likely out eight weeks for sure” with a shoulder injury suffered at the World Junior Championship. Hamilton told Regan Bartel, the Rockets’ radio voice, that Dach “will likely move right into the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks’ medical team and they will make a decision (on) how long he is going to be out.” . . . Dach remains with Team Canada in Halifax, where he was spotted at Tuesday’s practice with his right arm in a sling. . . . Bartel’s chat with Hamilton is right here. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers have acquired G Matthew Kieper, 18, from the Regina Pats for a pair of WHL draft picks — a fourth-rounder in 2023 that originated with the Edmonton Oil Kings and a sixth-rounder in 2025. . . . Kieper, from Winnipeg, will partner with starter Ethan Ernst as the Blazers prepare to play host to the 2023 Memorial Cup tournament. Ernst has been more than a pleasant surprise for Kamloops, having gone 20-5-2, 2.36, .919 in 28 games. . . . In 55 career games with the Pats, Kieper is 23-22-3, 3.88, .873. This season, in 12 games, he is 4-5-1, 4.39, .865. . . . Freshman Czechia G Michael Schnattinger, 18, would appear to be the odd man out in Kamloops. He is 1-2-3, 3.74, .880 in nine appearances. . . . The Blazers also have two other imports on their roster — Finnish D Aapo Sarell, 19, and Slovakian F Jakub Demek, 19. Demek was acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings on Nov. 14, but has yet to play this season after having had offseason shoulder surgery. He is expected to return later this month. . . .

The junior B Castlegar Rebels have removed the interim from head coach Nick Headrick. The team’s board of directors has decided that Headrick will finish this season as head coach. He was an assistant under Arnie Caplan, who was fired in mid-November. . . . When that move was made, the Rebels were 5-12-1. They are 2-9-2 under Headrick. . . . Caplan also was the general manager. The Rebels now have hired Jesse Dorrans to fill that role. Dorrans is a former Castlegar GM and head coach. In fact, this will be his third go-round with the Rebels.


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.


Truck

Taking Note’s pick as sportsmen of the year . . . Come on, folks, mask up . . . Rockets, Giants stung by WJC injuries

As another old year gives way to a new one, numerous organizations hand out end-of-year awards. That doesn’t happen at Taking Note, but if it did I would Brandonbe quick to salute Calder Anderson, Jake Chiasson, Nolan Ritchie and Ben Thornton of the Brandon Wheat Kings as this site’s sportsmen of the year. . . . In case you missed it, in the words of the Brandon Sun’s Perry Bergson, they “successfully interceded to help a distressed man who was contemplating suicide on the First Street Bridge” on the evening of Nov. 29. . . . “We’re very happy that we were able to save him and get him some help,” Thornton told Bergson, who added: “They also learned another lesson when 30 or 40 vehicles drove by without stopping in the short span they were trying to help the man. Yet they never considered leaving until the man was safe.” . . . Gentlemen, I salute you. . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.


Let’s be honest. We are part of a society that is putting together an absolutely Covidabysmal record unless being selfish and uncaring is the objective. Really, had you told me four years ago that the time was coming when our children would by dying, when our children would be unable to get much-needed surgical procedures, when our hospital’s emergency rooms would be over-run and that society would refuse to help by doing something as simple as masking up, well, I would have told you that you were crazy. . . . But, well, here we are.

——

After avoiding COVID-19 for almost three years, it caught up with me almost five weeks ago. Ironically, I tested positive on a day when I was to have visited a pharmacy for my fifth shot. Thankfully, the boosters did what they were supposed to, leaving me with a bit of a cough and some fatigue. The strangest thing is that there have been good days followed by bad. Just when you think you’re over the rough road, it reappears. Kind of like city streets, if you know what I mean. . . . As for that fifth shot, well, it’ll have to wait until May. . . . In the meantime, I will be here as fatigue’s curtain allows.

——

André Picard wrote this in The Globe and Mail last week:

“In some ways, these more recent viral challenges have distracted us from the main event: COVID-19. While we largely returned to ‘pre-pandemic’ normalcy this year, this has actually been the deadliest year yet for COVID-19; in 2022, Canada will surpass 17,000 deaths, more than the 14,642 deaths we recorded in 2020 or the 16,489 in 2021. A fifth wave of Omicron is just beginning.

“We still don’t know if SARS-CoV-2 will mutate further. We do not know if it will become seasonal, like most respiratory viruses. And we definitely do not yet have a handle on what it will mean if we suffer repeated COVID-19 infections — but it certainly won’t be good news.

“Viruses are ubiquitous, and will continue to pose new threats. We can’t live a virus-free existence, nor can we place our children and seniors in a protective bubble.

“But we also cannot hang them out to dry on a viral firing range, without any protection. We need to use the mitigation tools (vaccinations and masks) we have while we develop new ones. That’s what ‘living with COVID’ really needs to mean, moving ahead into a new year.”

——

The Angus Reid Institute released results of an online survey early in December that showed of 5,013 participants 54 per cent would be prepared to mask up if it was made mandatory if COVID-19 levels increase. But only 31 per cent are wearing masks more than half the time when they are in indoor public places. Sheesh, people, that just doesn’t make any sense.

Get vaccinated and wear a mask when appropriate, like when shopping or anywhere in a crowded area. . . . Just because the politicians and health officers won’t do their part by mandating masks doesn’t mean you can’t do the right thing and be part of the solution.



Look, F Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is not the greatest goal scorer nhl2in NHL history. So stop trying to tell me that he is. He’s still 88 behind Wayne Gretzky. Have people already forgotten just how great Gretzky was? . . . Allow me to point out that Gretzky also scored 92 goals in the WHA, which was a better league than many of those same people seem to recall. As for Gordie Howe, well he scored 801 NHL goals and another 174 in the WHA. . . . But when Ovechkin puts in No. 895, then you can call him the greatest goal scorer in NHL history. OK?

——

While some hockey fans celebrate Ovechkin’s scoring accomplishments, there are those who don’t and never will go that way. Why? Because of Ovechkin’s long-time support of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin, who, of course, is responsible for the ongoing war on Ukraine. Luke Fox of Sportsnet took a look at the Ovechkin-Putin situation the other day and it really is an interesting read. That piece is right here.

——

BTW, did Gretzky really have to throw mud on his legacy by jumping on the gambling gravy train?


It is every general manager’s worst nightmare . . . a top player leaves for an international assignment and then suffers a serious injury. . . . That is what has happened with the Kelowna Rockets and Vancouver Giants, each team having had a player seriously injured at the 2023 World Junior Championship. Those injuries may well have an impact on the WHL’s Western Conference playoff race from which eight teams will qualify. . . .

F Colton Dach, the Rockets’ captain, initiated a hit during a Saturday game — KelownaCanada beat Sweden, 5-1 — and left the game in obvious discomfort thanks to an injury to his right shoulder area. Dach, who turns 20 on Wednesday, has 17 points, nine of them goals, in 14 games with the Rockets this season. Earlier, he missed some time with a concussion. . . . The Rockets (12-18-3), who have lost five in a row, are eighth in the conference, seven points ahead of the Victoria Royals (8-24-4). . . .

Meanwhile, freshman F Samuel Honzek, the Vancouver Giants’ leading scorer, Vancouversuffered a skate cut to the back of his left leg on Wednesday as his Slovakian side beat the U.S., 6-3. The 18-year-old Honzek, who is expected to be out as long as six weeks, leads the Giants in assists (26) and points (43) in 31 games. . . . Vancouver (14-16-6) is tied for fourth in the conference with the Tri-City Americans, who hold two games in hand. They are one point ahead of the Everett Silvertips. . . .

The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10.


The Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals swapped 19-year-old goaltenders on Dec. 28. Tyler Palmer, who had left the Royals for what the team said was WHLpersonal reasons, was dealt to Everett in exchange for Braden Holt. . . . Palmer, from Fernie, B.C., was in his second season with Victoria. He left the Royals sometime after a 7-4 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Nov. 12. . . . Holt, from Bozeman, Mont., was in his fourth season with Everett. In his first start with Victoria, he stopped 35 shots in a 3-0 victory over the host Vancouver Giants. . . . Having acquired Holt, the Royals then traded G Logan Cunningham, a 17-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., to the Edmonton Oil Kings for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 WHL draft. . . . After adding Cunningham to their roster, the Oil Kings dropped G Ronin Geraghty, 18. From Burnaby, B.C., he was 0-5-0, 6.48, .819 in seven games with Edmonton. . . .

Still with goaltending, the Swift Current Broncos lost starter Gage Alexander on Dec. 30 when the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks signed him to an entry-level deal and assigned him to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. Alexander, 20, had played in 15 games for the Broncos this season, two more than Reid Dyck. Alexander was 8-5-1, 3.47, .898. . . . The Ducks had selected Alexander in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. . . . The Broncos had acquired him from the Winnipeg Ice on July 28, giving up a third-round pick in the WHL’s 2025 draft in the exchange. . . . The move left the Broncos with Dyck, an 18-year-old from Winkler, Man., and Joey Rocha, 17, from Nanaimo, B.C., as their goaltenders. . . . Dyck, in his third season, was 4-10-0, 4.07, .880 at the time of the deal; Rocha, a freshman, had been in four games. . . .

And while we’re on the subject of goaltending, how about the run Scott Ratzlaff is on with the Seattle Thunderbirds while starter Thomas Milic is with Team Canada at the WJC? Thom Beuning, the veteran radio voice of the Thunderbirds, points out that Ratzlaff’s December looked like this: 8-0-1, 1.65, .941, with two shutouts. . . . Ratzlaff, 17, is from Irma, Alta. He was a second-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 draft. This season, the 6-foot-2, 170-pounder is 14-2-1, 2.04, .925. In 42 career appearances, he is 32-4-2, 2.31, .912. . . .

And let’s not forget about Daniel Hauser of the Winnipeg Ice. An 18-year-old from Chestermere, Alta., Hauser recorded his 20th victory of the season the other night. This season, in 22 games, he is 20-2-0, 2.36, .912. He has made 70 regular-season appearances over three seasons, going 61-5-2, 2.24, .911. Not at all shabby, eh?


The junior B Nelson Leafs and the visiting Beaver Valley Nitehawks of the kijhlKootenay International Junior Hockey League took time out from chasing a puck to exchange Happy New Year greetings as they began the second period on Saturday evening. . . . The Leafs are the team in white in the above video, and the video evidence would seem to indicate that they were first off the mark. . . . The puck now has been passed to Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner. . . . Happy New Year, Mr. Dubois.


MyWay


THINKING OUT LOUD — The best part of the World Junior Championship? That’s easy. Having the opportunity to listen to Dennis Beyak do play-by-play again. It says here that he is the best in his field even if he is semi-retired. . . . The other day, the choice was Beyak calling Slovakia and Switzerland from the WJC on TSN or Jack Edwards handling the Buffalo Sabres against his beloved Boston Bruins on Sportsnet. Sorry, Sportsnet. . . . The most annoying commercial on TV these days (pick one) — Clay Matthews for Tide, Rogers’ Wrapped in Red spots, the Subway ads featuring the Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes, or the Sobeys’ family of four. . . . If you enjoy your time on this site, and even if you don’t, you may want to consider clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right side. Thanks in advance. . . . Dan Russell, the now-retired host of the long-running Vancouver-based radio show Sportstalk, release his memoir — Pleasant Good Evening: A Memoir — My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportsnet — in 2022 and now is thinking of spinning off a podcast. “My plans,” he writes on his blog, “now are to add more content to this site, especially in the audio vault. And I will update this blog from time to time. I’m also considering a podcast as my 2023 project. One that will combine what is happening today with the large archive of Sportstalk audio I have saved over the years.” If you haven’t seen his blog, it’s right here.


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, after the final game in soccer’s World Cup: “If you watched this game and came away from it with the idea that it was not a good expenditure of your time, then you simply do not like soccer and should make a note to yourself not to waste any more time trying to appreciate the sport.” . . . Hey, he is correct!


How many WHLers do you know of, past or present, who have put together and released an album? Yes, an album of their own music. . . . F London Hoilett of the Calgary Hitmen is quite a story, having made the team prior to this season despite never having been drafted. He also is something of a musician and has his first album — Can’t Sit Still — ready for release on Jan. 10. . . . Cami Kepke of Global Calgary has more right here.


Mitts


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

A few things of note that popped up while I was away from here . . .

D Ethan Samson, the captain of the Prince George Cougars, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the Philadelphia Flyers, who selected him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2021 draft. Samson, 19, is from Delta, B.C. He had two goals and an assist as the Cougars beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 10-6, on Saturday night. This season, Samson has 11 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets have added former player Curtis Hamilton, 31, to their front office as assistant general manager. Yes, his father, Bruce, is the Rockets’ owner, president and general manager. There is a news release right here. . . .

Gilles Courteau, who took over as the QMJHL’s president during the 1985-86 season, will retire at the end of this season. A replacement is expected to be named in May, with Courteau staying on into 2024 to help with the transition. . . . The league has changed the name of its championship trophy from the President’s Cup to the Gilles Courteau Trophy. . . . Courteau first worked in the QMJHL office in 1977 as a statistician. . . .

The junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League announced that they will ice a team for the 2023-24 season. The Braves have sat out the past two KIJHL seasons for reasons related to the pandemic. . . .

Another high-end WHL forward changed teams on Dec. 31 when the Winnipeg Ice acquired Carson Latimer, 19, from the Prince Albert Raiders for F Aiden Quiring, 17, and third-round selections in the 2024 and 2025 WHL drafts. . . . Latimer, a fourth-round selection by the Ottawa Senators in the NHL’s 2021 draft, had 22 goals and 38 assists in 75 regular-season games with the Raiders. This season, he had 10 goals and 18 assists in 31 games when he was dealt. . . . Quiring, a freshman who was a third-round pick in the 2020 WHL draft, had five goals and three assists in 26 games at the time of the trade. . . .

The Tri-City Americans revealed on Dec. 30 that D Ben Feenan “has left the team for personal reasons and will join the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs.” . . . Feenan, 18, is from Surrey, B.C. He had three assists in 22 games this season, after recording six helpers in 48 games in 2021-22. . . . The Americans selected him in the sixth round of the WHL’s 2019 draft. . . .

The Americans got past the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 7-6 in OT, on New Year’s Eve. And wouldn’t you know it . . . Americans D Lukas Dragicevic didn’t pick up so much as one point, thus ending his 27-game point streak. He put up seven goals and 30 assists during that stretch.


Grinch


Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press recently wrote a piece in a newsletter about things he would change if he ruled the hockey world for a day. Here’s one item with which I completely agree:

“Severely limit betting/gambling advertisements. Heck, I might just consider an outright ban. I could tolerate them when they first began, in small doses. But it’s to the point now of being completely obnoxious. Seemingly every second commercial is for some website, and now even hosts such as Ron MacLean are routinely shilling for these services. To be clear, I’ve got absolutely nothing against gambling. If you have the means and can do it responsibly, knock your socks off. It’s the idea of having it shoved down my throat everywhere I turn that I find so offensive.”


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.


Dinner

Mondays with Murray: Aw, Shucks, City Slickers Win It Again

Today we take you back to Jan. 2, 1986 when Jim Murray took on the state of mondaysmurray2Iowa in his column and created a backlash that not only got him banned from the state by the governor but also made him the target in a news article headlined ‘Dear Jim Murray: You Stink — Iowa’.

ENJOY! 

——

Murray

THURSDAY, JANUARY 2, 1986, SPORTS

Copyright 1986/THE TIMES MIRROR COMPANYJIM MURRAY

Aw, Shucks, City Slickers Win It Again

Well, I guess the good old American farmer is in worse trouble than we thought.

A bunch of corn-kickers from Iowa came out to the big city for New Year’s and got shucked again.They came out with the egg money and blew it on the wrong shell again. They’re going home, so to speak, with a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge and a watch that loses an hour a day and turns green on their arm.

It’s getting embarrassing. Another defeat for home cooking and mom’s apple pie. Quiche is better for you.Throw away the fudge. We’re beginning to wonder what’s so great about the Fourth of July, picnics in the park, rhubarb and homemade jelly.

I mean, you’re going to have to start covering your eyes when these guys come to town in the family Winnebago with their pacemakers and the chicken salad. I bet they didn’t even get Bob Hope’s autograph or get to see Tom Mix’s footprints in the Chinese Theater.

These people are the salt of the earth. They feed the world.They just can’t play football.

They can butcher hogs, grow grain. Why, we wouldn’t have frosted corn flakes if it weren’t for them.

But when they get to the Rose Bowl, they act like guys who just got off a truck with a straw suitcase and the rent money sewn into their jackets. They’re ripe for the old pigeon drop and other bunco games the city slickers put on them in wicked old L.A., where people take their clothes off in the picture shows and drink beer from a bottle. You folks all know the kind of things they do right there in L.A. And with the shades up, too.

Whatever happened to Midwest verities, to Big Ten football? Don’t they go down in the coal mines for players anymore? Don’t they fan the corn rows for the boys who can plow without a horse and lift a tractor with one hand anymore? Doesn’t anybody make biscuits and gravy anymore?

It’s enough to make you afraid of America. How you gonna keep ’em down on the farm if they keep getting beat, 45-28?

It isn’t as if they hit the bright lights. Iowa’s coach kept his football team from visiting the fleshpots of L.A., like Knott’s Berry Farm and Marineland and other dens of iniquity. He wouldn’t even let them eat out. Iowans don’t hold with going where you’ve got to order off a menu. I never saw so much potato salad in my life.

Rodeo Drive got a good leaving-alone from them, too. They don’t buy anything that doesn’t come in a catalogue — or give coupons.

But, this time, they thought they really had the team that was slick enough to make them proud. Iowa doesn’t come to the Rose Bowl that often that it can afford to get its hat pulled down over its ears and a note pinned on its back reading “Kick me.”

The last time Iowa came to the Rose Bowl, it didn’t even score (28-0), but its coach, Hayden Fry, thought he could spot the trouble right away. It was going to Disneyland and all that honky-tonking, as he called it. Also, eating roast beef in a place that had tablecloths. I mean, how could a guy keep his mind on football in a place that had merry-go-rounds and monorails and Mickey Mouse? The biggest threat to morals since pictures started to talk.

That kind of surprises you about Hayden, who looks like a pretty good city slicker himself. I mean, he’s not Broadway Hayden, but he does look like a guy who has peeked at a hole card himself now and again. In fact, he might have known what it was when he dealt it. Hayden is a traveling man from Texas, and people who have played with him there say you better be sure to cut the cards.

But, Hayden not only sheltered his team from the temptations of the magic kingdom, he didn’t even bring his team out here till the dark of night, five days before kickoff. He didn’t land in wicked L.A., he chose a windsock airport out in the boonies, and his team came in wearing dark glasses like spies.

Now, any man who chooses to prepare his team for a game in 80-degree temperature in a state where 20-above is a balmy day has got to be a guy who would let you bring your own deck. Getting ready for a game in a field house you have to steam heat to 85 in preference to a place where to get 85, you only have to open the doors, is missing a point somewhere. Practicing indoors is smart only if you’re going to play indoors. And something other than football.

But Hayden Fry didn’t lose the game, a guy named Eric Ball won it.

The history of the Rose Bowl is fecund with tales of second-stringers who came in and turned the game around and on its ear. Doyle Nave comes to mind with last-second heroics in the 1939 game, but nobody ever took over a Rose Bowl game any more thoroughly than Eric Ball did Wednesday. All he did was rush for 227 yards and four touchdowns. He put the ball in position for the fifth touchdown, which was inches away from the goal line on third down, when the coaches let the quarterback sneak it over, for reasons best known to themselves. Five TDs would have been a record.

The extraordinary thing about Eric Ball is not what he does, it’s where he’s from. He was raised in Ypsilanti, Mich., and for those of you unfamiliar with the geography there, that’s about a two-mile walk from the University of Michigan Stadium and a local call from coach Bo Schembechler’s office.

Eric probably saw something in Big Ten football before the rest of us, because he didn’t stop going till he got 2,000 miles from it. “He came in with his father to visit — it wasn’t a tough recruit at all,” UCLA coach Terry Donahue revealed.

Eric was a candidate for a rubber room on the last day of the season when, with the ball on the USC goal line and the winning touchdown and Rose Bowl in full view, he tried to dive across the line. He made it. The ball didn’t. The ball popped so high in the air it came down with snow on it. It came down in the arms of USC’s Marcus Cotton and, if Arizona State hadn’t lost that night, Eric Ball might have spent New Year’s in hiding instead of in spotlights.

Coach Fry seemed to think in a complete state of shock after the game. “We were completely annihilated,” he whispered. “That (UCLA) is the finest group of athletes we have ever played against. We couldn’t stop them. Nobody could stop them. Obviously, if they played all season like they played tonight (sic) they’d be the national champions. We held Michigan to nine first downs. UCLA made, what, 29 first downs? Michigan was supposed to be No. 3, but Michigan couldn’t hold a light to this bunch.”

What of Eric Ball? He was asked. “Ball?! Hell, I couldn’t tell him from the rest of them. What’d they have — a hundred? They all ran by us.”

Should he have let his team visit the sin palaces of Disneyland and the berry patches? “Do you realize what the score would have been if I let them go honky-tonking around?” demanded Fry, indignantly.

Actually, he probably should have brought his players out in August and let them have the run of Sunset Boulevard and the Playboy Mansion and wear a neckful of gold chains and shoes without socks and smoked glasses and eat quiche. Down Home America ain’t what it’s cracked up to be anymore. River City better wise up.

Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

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

——

After a successful 20-year run, the JMMF dissolved and distributed its remaining financial assets to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to create the Jim Murray Sports Communications Scholars Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB share significant and timeless overlapping history with Jim Murray. He wrote more columns on baseball than he wrote on any other sport, bringing baseball’s history and legends to life through sports journalism.

The Jim Murray Sports Communications Scholars Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is expected to continue in perpetuity or until contributions to the program are exhausted. The HOF’s development team created a special link specifically for donations designated to this program.  Please note that this page will exist in tandem with a new webpage to come this spring ’23 with all info necessary for prospective students to apply.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE NEW HOF/JMMF WEBPAGE supporting its new Jim Murray initiative.

Meanwhile, for those of you wishing to make a donation by check, please make payable to: 

National Baseball Hall of Fame 

and mail to:

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, 25 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326

Please specify: Jim Murray Scholars Program

The JMMF is extremely grateful to all our donors over the past two decades.  You have helped ease the financial burden of a college education while helping to share the work of one of, if not THE best sportswriters in the world.

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

Preserving History. Honoring Excellence. Connecting Generations.

%d bloggers like this: