McGeough, ex-referee, dies at 62 . . . Cozens, Addison blow through Brandon . . . Raiders run victory streak to 15


MacBeth

D Alexei Platonov (Medicine Hat, 2015-16) has been assigned on loan by Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga) to Cheboksary (Russia, Pervenstvo Vysshaya Liga). Platonov was injured during the exhibition season and hasn’t played in the regular season. Last season, he had one goal and two assists in 24 games with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). . . .

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has been claimed on waivers by Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia, KHL) from Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into six games and was 1-3-1, 2.64, .897. In seven games with CSK VSS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he was 3-2-2, 1.95 GAA, .913.


ThisThat

Former WHL/NHL referee Mick McGeough died Friday night in a Regina hospital. . . . His family revealed earlier in the day that he was to be taken off life support. McGeough, 62, had suffered a stroke on Sunday. . . . According to the Regina Leader-Post, McGeough’s family “made the announcement Friday — one day after a GoFundMe page was set up to assist with medical expenses.” . . . The Leader-Post story, which was written early on Friday and includes a link to a GoFundMe page, is right here.


G Ian Scott of the Prince Albert Raiders is on quite a run.

Consider . . .

On Nov. 14, Scott stopped 43 shots in posting a 2-0 shutout over the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, perhaps missing an empty-net goal when his attempt to fire the puck the length of the ice struck the scoreclock.

On Nov. 16, Scott scored an empty-net goal in a 3-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans.

On Nov. 17, Scott blocked 26 shots in a 6-0 beating of the Wheat Kings in Brandon.

On Nov. 20, Scott and the Raiders dumped the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1.

Last night, Scott stopped 26 shots and had an assist as the Raiders beat the Tigers, 7-3, in Medicine Hat. In earning the assist, his first of the season (and third of his career), Scott corralled the puck behind his goal and fired it off the left boards and right on to the stick of F Brett Leason. The WHL’s leading scorer went in shorthanded and scored, giving the Raiders a 4-0 lead.

This season, Scott is 19-1-0, 1.45, .948.

Scott, 20, is from Calgary. His NHL rights belong to the Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


The Nelson Daily has dubbed it “Twitter-Gate.” That would be the sniping that went on following a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game between the Nelson Leafs and the host Spokane Braves on Sunday. . . . In a story that is right here, The Daily reports that Larry Martel, the KIJHL president, has told both teams to cut it out. . . . The good news for Spokane hockey fans is that the two teams will close out November on Friday at Eagles Ice Arena. Game time is 7 p.m.

——

Former WHL D Jonas Harkins has joined the junior B North Van Wolf Pack of the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Harkins, who will turn 18 on Dec. 26, made his debut with the Wolf Pack on Wednesday night. A native of North Vancouver, he played 34 WHL games over four seasons with the Prince George Cougars and Regina Pats.


FRIDAY HIGHLIGHTS:

F Dylan Cozens scored three goals and set up three others, and D Calen Addison drew Lethbridgefive assists, as the Hurricanes skated to an 8-4 victory over the Wheat Kings in Brandon. . . . Lethbridge (11-8-4) has won two straight. The victory moved it into a tie with Brandon in the Eastern Conference standings. . . . The Wheat Kings (10-7-6) have lost three in a row. . . . The Hurricanes were 5-6 on the PP. . . . F Jordy Bellerive (10), who also had two assists, gave Lethbridge a 2-1 lead at 8:13 of the first period, and Cozens upped it to 3-1, on a PP, at 18:04. Cozens made it 4-1 on another PP at 4:06 of the second and the Hurricanes were in control. . . . Cozens enjoyed the first six-point game of his career, and had his third hat trick. This season, Cozens has 30 points, including 12 goals, in 23 games. . . . Addison has four goals and 21 assists in 23 games. . . . Addison, who is from Brandon, had a five-point night last season when he recorded five assists in a 7-2 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . F Ty Kolle scored twice for Lethbridge, giving him seven goals and four assists since being acquired from the Portland Winterhawks. . . . Brandon got two goals from F Stelio Mattheos, who has 21. . . . G Jiri Patera of the Wheat Kings was pulled for the first time in his freshman season. It came in his 19th start. He gave up three goals on 16 shots in the first period. . . . Brandon had D Schael Higson in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 16, but D Braden Schneider remains sidelined.


F Tristin Langan scored his second goal of the game in OT to give the host Moose Jaw MooseJawWarriorsWarriors a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Moose Jaw (11-5-4) has points in six straight (5-0-1). . . . Edmonton now is 14-8-4. . . . The teams exchanged goals until the Warriors scored the last two. . . . F Kaeden Taphorn (2) tied it 3-3 at 15:55 of the third period. It was his first goal in seven games with the Warriors since coming over in a deal with the Kootenay Ice. . . . Langan, who also had an assist, won it with his 17th goal, at 3:08 of OT. . . . The Warriors got three assists from D Josh Brook. . . . F Justin Almeida returned to Moose Jaw’s lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed injury suffered in Game 1 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series. He had a goal, his fourth, and the primary assist on Langan’s winner. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored his 15th goal 22 seconds into the first period and added two assists. . . . Edmonton was 1-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw’s unit wasn’t given even one opportunity. . . . F Andrei Pavlenko, a freshman from Belarus, as back after sitting out since Nov. 12. . . . This game actually featured four players from Belarus — Pavlenko and F Vladimir Alistrov of the Oil Kings, and F Yegor Buyalski and F Daniil Stepanov of the Warriors. . . . The Warriors will be on the ice again this afternoon as they meet the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in a game that is to be televised by Sportsnet. Game time is 2:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. MT, 12:30 p.m. PT). The Hurricanes beat the Wheat Kings, 8-4, in Brandon last night.


F Brandon Hagel’s late goal gave the Red Deer Rebels a 3-2 victory over the Kootenay Ice Red Deerin Cranbrook, B.C. . . . The Rebels (16-5-1) have won five in a row. They are 4-0-0 against the Ice this season, having won three times by one goal. . . . The Ice (7-15-4) has lost four straight (0-3-1). . . . The Rebels took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals from D Dawson Barteaux (2), on a PP, and F Jeff de Wit (15). . . . The Ice tied it on two goals from F Cam Hausinger, who has eight. He scored at 15:07 of the first, on a PP, and 5:46 of the third. . . . Nagel, who also had an assist, won it with his 15th of the year, at 19:10. . . . D Alex Alexeyev and F Reese Johnson each had two assists for the Rebels. . . . The Ice remains without F Peyton Krebs.


F Brett Leason had two goals and two assists to help the Prince Albert Raiders to their PrinceAlbert15th consecutive victory, this one by a 7-3 count over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . The Raiders now are 22-1-0. . . . The 15-game victory streak has tied a franchise record set in 1985-86. Next up for the Raiders? They’re in Cranbrook, B.C., tonight to meet the Kootenay Ice. . . . The Tigers slipped to 10-12-3. . . . The Raiders won the season series, 4-0-0, outscoring the Tigers, 19-7. . . . Leason ran his point streak to 23 games — yes, he has at least a point in every game this season — when he gave his guys a 2-0 lead at 9:22 of the first period. . . . His second goal, at 1:30 of the second period, came while shorthanded and gave his club a 4-0 lead. The Raiders now have scored a WHL-leading 15 shorthanded goals; the Red Deer Rebels are next with seven. . . . The Tigers came back to get within a goal, at 4-3, on a goal from F Ryan Jevne (7) at 7:50 of the third period. . . . The Raiders put it away with three goals in a span of 1:26 later in the period. . . . F Parker Kelly scored twice for the winners, giving him nine. . . . Leason leads the WHL in goals (24) and is tied with Edmonton F Trey Fix-Wolansky for the points lead, each with 51. . . . Tigers D Joel Craven missed his 13th straight game with concussion-like symptoms, while F Elijah Brown (shoulder) also is out.


The host Kelowna Rockets scored the game’s first two goals and went on to beat the KelownaRocketsVictoria Royals, 3-1. . . . Kelowna (11-13-1) has won three in a row. . . . Victoria (12-7-0) had won its previous two games. . . . F Kyle Topping (10) gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 10:47 of the second period. . . . The Rockets nursed that lead until 14:05 of the third when F Liam Kindree (5) made it 2-0. . . . F Kaid Oliver (14) got the Royals to within one at 18:18. . . . F Leif Mattson (9) gave the Rockets some insurance at 19:53. . . . Kelowna got 23 saves from G Roman Basran. . . . Victoria G Griffen Outhouse, who stopped 26 shots, set a franchise record by playing in his 166th game. He had shared the record with Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Royals had F Dante Hannoun back in the lineup, but D Ralph Jarratt remains out. . . . D Braydyn Chizen was among Kelowna’s scratches.


The Prince George Cougars scored the game’s first two goals and the last two as they beat PrinceGeorgethe visiting Regina Pats, 5-3. . . . The Cougars (10-10-3) had lost their previous two games. . . . The Pats (8-17-0) have lost two in a row. . . . The Pats went 1-5-0 on their road swing, including 1-4-0 in the B.C. Division. . . . F Jackson Leppard (5) got the home side off to a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded score at 5:58 of the first period. . . . D Joel Lakuska (4) made it 2-0 at 11:40. . . . F Josh Maser (7) gave the Cougars a 3-1 lead at 2:32 of the second period. . . . The Pats got even on F Nick Henry’s three goals, in a span of 6:59 in the second period. It was the third hat trick of his career and the second in eight days. Henry also scored three times on Nov. 16 in a 10-4 loss to the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . Henry’s 15th goal tied the game at 7:41 of the second. . . . Prince George F Ethan Browne (5) broke the tie, on a PP, at 11:57 of the second. . . . F Josh Curtis (6) got the empty-netter at 19:01. . . . Prince George G Isaiah DiLaura stopped 30 shots. . . . The Pats lost F Marco Creta to a boarding major and game misconduct at 9:30 of the second period. . . . Regina F Jake Leschyshyn had his 12-game point streak snapped.


G Carl Stankowski stopped 24 shots for the Calgary Hitmen in his return to Kent, Wash., Calgaryas they beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-2. . . . The Hitmen (10-13-2) have won two in a row in the U.S. Division. They are 4-1-0 on a road trip that wraps up tonight in Kennewick, Wash., against the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Thunderbirds (8-11-3) have lost two straight. . . . “I’ve had this game marked on my calendar for a long time,” Stankowski told Alex Medina of hitmenhockey.com before the game. “I’m pretty anxious to go there and play against some of my old teammates. It’s going to be really fun and exciting to go back in that barn. It’ll bring back a lot of great memories. I want to win that game really bad.” . . . Stankowski, then 16, was Seattle’s starting goaltender in the playoffs as they won the WHL championship in the spring of 2017. After getting into only seven regular-season games, he went 16-4, 2.50, .911 in the playoffs after starter Rylan Toth was injured. . . . Stankowski ran into injury and health issues, and didn’t play last season, then was dealt to Calgary over the summer. . . . With the Hitmen, he now is 6-6-2, 3.72, .879. . . . The Hitmen got two goals from each of F Mark Kastelic, who has 21, and F Luke Coleman, who has seven. . . . Kastelic’s two goals, one on a PP, and one from F Carson Focht (5), at 1:59 of the second period, gave the visitors a 3-0 lead. . . . Seattle got to within a goal as F Matthew Wedman (8) scored, shorthanded, at 7:55 of the second period and F Zack Andrusiak (12) found the range at 10:05 of the third. . . . But F Luke Coleman put it away with two empty-netters, giving him seven goals. . . . Calgary was 1-2 on the PP and 7-7 on the PK. . . . Andrusiak has goals in five straight games.


The Kamloops Blazers scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Tri-City Americans, Kamloops15-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . The Blazers (9-10-2), who are only 2-6-1 at home, now are 7-4-0 on the road where they have won six of their last seven. . . . The Americans (12-9-0) have lost three straight. . . . The Americans last played at home on Oct. 19. They then went on an 11-game road trip on which they were 7-4-0. . . . F Orrin Centazzo scored the Blazers’ first two goals, giving them a 1-0 lead at 8:50 of the first period and a 2-1 edge, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second. He’s got six goals. . . . D Montana Onyebuchi (2) had a goal and an assist for Kamloops, with F Zane Franklin and F Luc Smith each getting two assists. . . . The game featured the Schmiemann brothers playing against each other — Dom with the Americans and Quinn with the Blazers. Quinn’s first WHL goal gave the Blazers a 4-1 lead at 14:51 of the second. The goal came in his 20th WHL game, 17 of them this season. . . . Kamloops got 34 stops from G Dylan Ferguson. . . . F Jermaine Loewen, the team captain, was among the Blazers’ scratches. He apparently was ill.


Tweetoftheday

Advertisements

Hurricanes bank more than $400,000 . . . Winterhawks, Ice, Blades trim rosters . . . Ex-WHLer joins coaching ranks


MacBeth

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has cleared KHL waivers and been assigned by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) to CSK VVS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into one game playing 33 minutes and allowing three goals on 14 shots, for a 5.36 GAA and a.786 SP.


ThisThat

The Lethbridge Hurricanes reported to shareholders on Monday that they made a profit Lethbridgeof $422,443 in 2017-18. . . . That was down from the $737,710 profit the previous season. However, the 2017-18 financials included a payment of $167,000 to the City of Lethbridge that was due after improvements were made to their home arena. . . . The Hurricanes lost out in the Eastern Conference final in each of the past two seasons. . . . There was other interesting item to come out of the annual meeting. The Hurricanes will be out of their arena early in the playoffs next spring, what with the World men’s curling championship in the ENMAX Centre from March 30 through April 7. General manager Peter Anholt told shareholders that the tentative plan is for the team to play early home playoff games, if necessary, in the Nicolas Sheran Arena. . . . According to the City of Lethbridge’s website, the Nicolas Sheran Ice Centre has a seating capacity of 978. It is home to the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams. . . . “We’ve talked to a lot of other teams that have moved from their venue to another venue outside of their city, and it doesn’t work,” Anholt said. “We’ve got the Nicolas Sheran. It’s not perfect, there’s going to be some unhappy fans and unhappy advertisers, but we’ll deal with it.” . . . Aaron Mahoney of lethbridgenewsnow.com has more right here. . . . Interestingly, Mahoney reported that the Hurricanes didn’t make as much in 2017-18 as the previous season, despite “an increase in ticket sales by $30,000.”


The Portland Winterhawks appear to have gotten down to three 20-year-olds by releasPortlanding F Connor Barley, who no longer appears on their roster. Barley, from St. Andrews, Man., played last season with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers, putting up 35 goals and 32 assists in 58 games. . . . His departure leaves the Winterhawks with D Brendan De Jong, just back from a stint in camp with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, F Conor MacEachern and D Jared Freadrich as the three 20s. . . . The Winterhawks also got down to two goaltenders — sophomore Shane Farkas, who turns 19 on Dec. 1, and freshman Dante Giannuzzi, 16 — by releasing Evan Fradette, a 17-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., who was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Giannuzzi, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round selection in the 2017 draft.


The Kootenay Ice dropped three veteran skaters from their roster on Monday, leaving it Kootenaynewwith 26 players on its roster, including two goaltenders and 10 defencemen. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner, 20, F Sebastian Streu, who turns 19 on Nov. 22, and F Eli Lieffers, 18, all were released. . . . The Ice had acquired Wegleitner from the Brandon Wheat Kings on July 20 for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. From Vancouver, he has also played for the Everett Silvertips and Victoria royals. In 112 regular-season games, he has 11 goals and nine assists. . . . From Neuwied, Germany, Streu had nine goals and three assists in 54 games as a freshman last season. He has dual Canadian/German citizenship so wasn’t classified as an import. . . . From Saskatoon, Lieffers was fourth-round pick by the Ice in the 2015 bantam draft. He had one goal and one assist in 11 games over three seasons with the Ice. Lieffers was pointless in two games with the Ice last season. . . . Two of the 10 defenceman on Kootenay’s roster are imports — veteran Martin Bodak, a Slovakian who will turn 20 on Nov. 28, and Finnish freshman Valtteri Kakkonen. The Ice also has sophomore F Gilian Kohler, who is from Biel, Switzerland, on its roster.


The Saskatoon Blades are down to two goaltenders after returning G Koen MacInnes, 16, Saskatoonto the Burnaby Winter Club where he is expected to play for the Burnaby Winter Club’s midget prep team. A second-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, MacInnes started three exhibition games and went 3-0-0, 2.27, .929. . . . His departure leaves the Blades, as expected, with Nolan Maier, 17, atop the depth chart and Dorrin Luding, 19, as the backup, at least to open the regular season. . . . The Blades also dropped F Braden Plaschewsky, 16, from their roster. A second-round pick in that 2017 bantam draft, he is expected to play for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. He had two goals in six exhibition games with the Blades. . . . Saskatoon is carrying 26 players, including two goaltenders and nine defencemen.


Among the players making their way back to WHL teams from NHL camps on Monday — D Vladislav Yeryomenko to the Calgary Hitmen from the Nashville Predators; G Liam Hughes to the Seattle Thunderbirds from the Philadelphia Flyers; F Brett Davis to the Kootenay Ice from the Dallas Stars; and D Wyatte Wylie to the Everett Silvertips from Philadelphia. . . . Yeryomenko was a fifth-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Hughes was on an amateur tryout with the Flyers. . . . Dallas selected Davis in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft. . . . The Flyers grabbed Wylie in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL draft.


Logan Proulx, who played two-plus seasons in the WHL, has joined the junior B Fairview, Alta., Flyers of the North West Junior Hockey League as an assistant coach. A defenceman, Proulx, who is from Trail, B.C., played 137 games over three seasons (2007-10) with the Edmonton Oil Kings, putting up nine goals and 13 assists.


You will recall mention here late last week of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League after they incurred a one-year suspension to owner Barry Dewar, a 20-game suspension to a head coach who wasn’t really the head coach, and a $10,000 fine, all for tampering. . . . Now comes word that Jassi Sangha, the club’s real head coach, has been suspended for a game after playing an ineligible player in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Princeton Posse on Saturday. . . . Larry Martel, the KIJHL’s first-year president, told Kamloops This Week that it was a clerical era. . . . KTW’s piece is right here.


If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. You might even be the person to push her total over $3,000. Thank you!


Tweetoftheday

Hamilton talks a bit about lawsuit . . . Are Chiefs all-in on this season? . . . Pats player draws six-game suspension

Deer

We had some visitors to our backyard on Friday afternoon. Two does — one with two offspring, the other with one — stopped by to say hello and see how the hedge tasted. Oh, and the two moms also sampled what’s in the bird feeders. It’s amazing how their tongues fit perfectly in the slots in the feeders.



MacBeth

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has been placed on waivers by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL). In one game, he was 5.36, .786.


ThisThat

Bruce Hamilton, the president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets and the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors, was in attendance earlier this week when the Moose Jaw Warriors held their annual general meeting.

Among other things, the Warriors, one of the WHL’s four community-owned teams, MooseJawWarriorsrevealed a profit of $704,182 for the 2017-18 season and a bank balance of $1,157,466. As Marc Smith of discovermoosejaw.com reported, that bank balance is “after the team spent $233,648 on new boards and glass at Mosaic Place.” (Smith’s story on the annual meeting is right here.)

After the formal part of the meeting, Hamilton took part in an open session that also included Warriors general manager Alan Millar and head coach Tim Hunter.

According to Smith, Hamilton provided an update on the minimum-wage lawsuit that some of the CHL’s teams are facing. If you’ve tuned in late, some past and present players are involved in a class-action lawsuit asking, among other things, that teams pay minimum wage to players. The leagues/teams are fighting the lawsuit.

“We have legislation in every province now except Alberta and Ontario,” Hamilton said, referring to legislation to exempt teams from minimum-wage laws in some jurisdictions. “We anticipate Ontario when the new premier can find time to work towards that . . . we feel confident that it will go through; Alberta, we may need to wait until there’s an election there.”

Of the possibility that the teams could lose the lawsuit, Hamilton said: “It’s sad because if it came to be, it would really impact a lot of other sports and amateur athletics in Canada.”

According to Smith, Hamilton also said: “We’re confident that in the end, we’ll succeed, but how long it takes is the thing that probably wears people out a bit. But we can only do what we’re asked to by the courts and in the end our plan is to be successful and save the amateur status for the players.”

What I don’t understand is this . . . major junior players aren’t amateurs. They just aren’t.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines amateur as “one who engages in a pursuit, study, science or sport as a pastime rather than as a profession.”

Over at dictionary.com, it’s “an athlete who has never competed for payment or for a monetary prize.”

Another online definition: “A person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid basis.”

By those definitions, there are few, if any, true amateurs left in our sporting world.

Major junior players already receive a stipend of some kind so they aren’t amateurs, something with which the NCAA obviously agrees.

So why not bring an end to all of this by negotiating a settlement, making certain that players receive, if not minimum wage, at least something from merchandise sales and cash cows like the World Junior Championship and Memorial Cup tournament?

If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of the book written by former NCAA and NBA basketball player Ed O’Bannon. It’s title is Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA.

Yes, comparing the CHL and its teams to the NCAA is in a lot of ways comparing apples and oranges. But O’Bannon’s book is all about the rights of a player to control his likeness — including in computer games — and there are similarities, for sure.

By the way, Smith’s piece on the hot-stove session is right here.


The WHL’s three other community-owned teams are the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Prince Albert Raiders and Swift Current Broncos.

The Raiders held their AGM on Aug. 21 and declared a loss of $168,430 for 2017-18, after losing $250,850 in 2016-17. The Raiders made the playoffs last spring, but lost a seven-game first-round series to the Moose Jaw Warriors.

The Hurricanes’ AGM is scheduled for Sept. 17, with the Broncos’ on Sept. 25.

A year ago, the Hurricanes announced a profit of $737,710 for the 2016-17 season. In 2017-18, they reached the Eastern Conference final for a second straight season.

For 2016-17, the Broncos announced a profit of $135,922. That came after reaching Game 7 of a second-round playoff series. In 2017-18, the Broncos won the Ed Chynoweth Cup as playoff champions, so it will be most interesting to see what that has meant to the franchise’s bottom line.


If early indications mean anything, it would appear that the Spokane Chiefs are all-in on SpokaneChiefsthe 2018-19 WHL season. . . . It isn’t often that a WHL team keeps two 19-year-old goaltenders on its roster, but that’s the position in which the Chiefs find themselves after dropping Campbell Arnold, 16, from their roster. . . . The move left the Chiefs with a pair of 19-year-olds — Dawson Weatherill, who has rejoined the team after being in camp with the NHL’s Boston Bruins, and Bailey Brkin. . . . Weatherill made 46 appearances with the Chiefs last season, going 26-12-6, 3.09, .893. . . . Brkin got into 23 games with the Kootenay Ice (7-12-2, 4.51, .874) before being acquired by the Chiefs. In Spokane, he was 4-2-0, 2.59, .913 in seven games. . . . Arnold, a second-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, will remain on the Chiefs’ protected list. He played last season at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C. . . .

Last season, the Chiefs, under head coach Dan Lambert, who was in his first season in Spokane, went 41-25-6 to finish third in the U.S. Division. They lost a seven-game first-round playoff series to the Portland Winterhawks.


F Brian Harris has joined the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders after being released by the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Harris, 19, is from Wawanesa, Man. . . . Last season, he had two goals and one assist in 49 games with the Oil Kings. In 2016-17, he had one goal in five games with Edmonton. He also played with Swan Valley that season, putting up 15 goals and 11 assists in 60 games. . . . He was an 11th-round selection by Edmonton in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . .

G Nick Sanders, 20, who was released by the Calgary Hitmen, has joined the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats. Sanders missed a lot of last season due to hip problems, but he did get into 13 games with the Bobcats and four with the Prince Albert Raiders, who dealt him to the Hitmen. . . .

F Blake Bargar, 20, who played the past four seasons in the WHL, has joined the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. Bargar, from Torrance, Calif., spent two seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors and one each with the Victoria Royals and Seattle Thunderbirds. In 238 regular-season games, he put up 19 goals and 23 assists.


The Moose Jaw Warriors now have four 20-year-olds on their roster after bringing in D Dalton Hamaliuk, who had been released by the Spokane Chiefs. Hamaliuk was in the Warriors’ lineup on Friday night for an exhibition game in Brandon against the Wheat Kings. He scored once in a 3-2 loss to the Wheat Kings. . . . From Leduc, Alta., Hamaliuk has six goals and 31 assists in 213 regular-season games, all with the Chiefs. . . . In Moose Jaw, he joins G Brodan Salmond, D Brandon Schuldhaus and F Tristin Langan in the competition for the three 20-year-old spots. . . . By the way, Schuldhaus will sit out the first three games of the regular season with a suspension left over from last season. He was suspended after taking a match penalty in Game 7 of a second-round playoff series with the visiting Swift Current Broncos on April 16.


D Parker Gavlas of the Regina Pats has been hit with a six-game suspension after taking a Patschecking-to-the-head major and game misconduct during an exhibition game against the host Saskatoon Blades on Thursday night. . . . Gavlas, 19, is from Saskatoon. He was pointless in eight games with the Pats last season. He had one goal and 11 assists in 35 games with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers. . . . The Blades won Thursday’s game, 3-2, to run their exhibition record to 6-0-0. . . . Gavlas sat out Regina’s final exhibition game — a 5-2 loss to the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night — and will miss the first five games of the regular season.


If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. Thank you!


There was an interesting development in the camp of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. They announced that, effective immediately, they will be much more specific when it comes to reporting player injuries. In other words, there won’t be any more lower-body and upper-body injuries in the Blackhawks’ injury reports.

They were as good as their word on Friday, too, with goaltender Corey Crawford speaking with reporters about a concussion he suffered last season. He admitted that he still has symptoms, so hasn’t yet been cleared to take part in training camp.


Riley Cote played four seasons (1998-2002) with the Prince Albert Raiders before going on to a pro career that included 156 regular-season NHL games. He was an enforcer with the Philadelphia Flyers, totalling one goal, six assists in 411 penalty minutes. . . . These days, the 36-year-old native of Winnipeg is “preaching the gospel of medicinal marijuana,” writes David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail. . . . Canada will legalize marijuana in October, and Shoalts also spoke with CHL president Dave Branch, who said that his organization is educating itself about what remains a banned substance. . . . Shoalts’s complete story is right here.


Tweetoftheday

Giants set to introduce new GM . . . Hay: ‘I do want to coach . . . passion is still there’ . . . Americans sign draft pick

MacBeth

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) was traded by Spartak Moscow to  Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (both Russia, KHL) for monetary compensation. This season, in 12 games, he was 6-5-0, 2.11, .922 with one shutout. . . . This trade reverses the May 1 deal between the two clubs, which also was for monetary compensation. . . .

D David Musil (Vancouver, Edmonton, 2009-13) signed a one-year contract extension with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had one goal and five assists in 52 games. . . .

D William Wrenn (Portland, 2010-12) signed a one-year contract with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). This season, with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL), he had one assist in 21 games. He also had three goals and five assists in 25 games with Sport Vaasa (Finland, Liiga), and had one assist in five games while on loan to Lukko Rauma (Finland, Liiga). . . . Sport’s loan of Wrenn to Lukko was made once Sport was eliminated from playoff contention. . . . Wrenn averaged 17:04 time on ice per game with Dinamo Riga, 20:13 TOI per game with Sport and Ilves. . . .

F Jordan Knackstedt (Red Deer, Moose Jaw, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract with Dresdner Eislöwen (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Eispiraten Crimmitschau (Germany, DEL2), he had 22 goals and 46 assists in 51 games. He led his team in points and assists. He was second in the league in assists and fourth in points.


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants will introduce Barclay Parneta as their new general manager at a Vancouvernews conference today (Wednesday) in Tsawwassen. Parneta, 47, takes over from Glen Hanlon, who left the Giants last week after spending two seasons as the GM. . . . Parneta, who has a home in Richmond, B.C., has been working with the Tri-City Americans for the past eight seasons, most recently as assistant GM. He has experience with the Giants, having scouted with them for three seasons under then-GM Scott Bonner. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia has more right here.


Don Hay, who stepped aside as head coach of the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers earlier this month, said on Tuesday that he still wants to coach and that he is prepared to look at “all different opportunities.”

Chatting with Don Taylor and Bob Marjanovich of TSN-Vancouver 1040, Hay, who now is in an advisory role with the Blazers, said: “I do want to coach. I still have the passion to coach . . . the passion is still there.

“I enjoy getting up every day and having the challenge of coaching and going to the rink. Coaching is more than just teaching hockey. It’s life skills and social skills for the young guys who are leaving home at an early age. It’s something that I’ve done for a long time that I feel I can still do a good job of.”

Hay admitted that his decision to vacate his role after four seasons as the Blazers’ head coach was “a real tough decision for me.” He added: “I’m still passionate about coaching. I enjoyed my time in the Western Hockey League. I thought it was time to take a step back maybe for a year to get recharged. . . . Any time you step away you are going to have to do a lot of thinking about it . . . it was definitely a tough decision.”

Hay is the WHL’s all-time winningest head coach, both in terms of regular-season and playoff victories.

Hay, 64, made no bones about the fact that he still wants to coach.

“I look forward to another opportunity down the road a little bit,” Hay said. “I’d look at all different opportunities, whether it’s overseas or junior or in pro. If it’s a good opportunity for myself and my family and I’m excited about it, I think it’s something I would look at.”

In the meantime, he’s preparing for his new role as an advisor with the Blazers, who are in the market for a general manager and a head coach.

“I’m really looking forward to this new role,” Hay said. “Kamloops is my home. It’s pretty easy to get from my house to the rink. I look forward to that role.”


The Memorial Cup schedule (all times local):

Game 1, Friday – Regina 3, Hamilton 2 (5,678)

Game 2, Saturday – Acadie-Bathurst 4, Swift Current 3 (OT) (6,237)

Game 3, Sunday – Acadie-Bathurst 8, Regina 6 (5,832)

Game 4, Monday – Hamilton 2, Swift Current 1 (5,820)

Game 5, Tuesday – Hamilton 3, Acadie-Bathurst 2 (6,072)

Game 6, Wednesday – Regina vs. Swift Current, 8 p.m.

Tiebreaker (if necessary) – Thursday, 6 p.m.

Semifinal – Friday, 8 p.m.

Final — Sunday, 5 p.m.



The Tri-City Americans have signed D Carson Haynes, who had eight goals and 16 assists in 36 games with the bantam AAA Lethbridge Golden Hawks this season. The Americans selected Haynes in the third round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . .


Tweetoftheday

Writers resting after MVI involving elk . . . Hurricanes’ future looks bright . . . Where were Americans’ fans? . . . A full MacBeth Report

ThisThat

Jesse Geleynse and Andy Eide, two members of the media who were in Kennewick, Wash., to cover a WHL game on Monday night, were injured in a car accident on their way back to the Seattle area early Tuesday morning.

Geleynse, who works for the Everett Herald, and Eide, from 710 ESPN Seattle, had driven to Kennewick to cover Game 6 of the WHL’s Western Conference final between the Tri-City Americans and Everett Silvertips.

On the return trip on Interstate 90, their car was behind a semi tractor-trailer when an elk got in the way.

KOMOnews.com reported: “A preliminary investigation found that the semi and the Mazda were both heading east on I-90 when the semi hit an elk that was standing on the freeway. The Mazda driver swerved to avoid the elk that had been struck, lost control, and the car rolled over onto its top in the median.”

Those in the car were taken to hospital in Ellensburg, Wash.

Eide told Taking Note late Tuesday afternoon that he was at home and resting.

Geleynse also is at home, nursings cuts, bruises and a concussion.

The KOMO story is right here.


Three years have come and gone since Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, recommended that shareholders in the Lethbridge Hurricanes put a ‘For Sale’ sign on their franchise and sell to private owners.

“It’s not to say that this community organization can’t get things turned around,” Robison Lethbridgetold media after speaking to shareholders on May 4, 2015. “But we think, when you look at the franchise moving forward, that private interests would be in the best interest of the club.”

At that point, the Hurricanes hadn’t been in the playoffs for six seasons and were somewhere around $1.25 million in debt.

And then along came Peter Anholt. He hitched his white horse to the rail at the edge of town and . . .

Anholt had stepped in as general manager and head coach in December 2014. After the season, he signed a three-year contract as general manager.

The shareholders voted not to sell, and, well, the rest is history.

In the past three seasons, the Hurricanes have played 22 home playoff games, including 10 in 2017 and nine this season when they lost a third-round series in six games to the heavily favoured Swift Current Broncos.

The Hurricanes now can afford to buy lunch for their banker, rather than using a line of credit to pay for it.

Keep in mind, too, that Hurricanes’ fans wear their sunglasses at night because the future is that bright. Their favourite team reached the Eastern Conference final even though Anholt turned into a seller at the January trade deadline.

The Hurricanes’ roster now includes three of the WHL’s top young players — F Logan Barlage, who was acquired from the Broncos, and F Dylan Cozens, both of them having completed their 16-year-old seasons, along with D Calen Addison, who turned 18 on April 11.

Yes, things are looking good in Lethbridge, so good, in fact, the prospective private owners need not bother venturing into city limits.


You are free to wonder if the Tri-City Americans are long for the Kennewick-Richland-Pasco area of Washington State.

The Americans drew an announced crowd of 3,033 fans to Game 6 of the WHL’s Western Conference final against the Everett Silvertips on Monday night. In seven home games in TriCity30these playoffs, in what was their 30th season, the Americans’ average announced attendance was 3,053.

The Americans play in the 5,797-seat Toyota Center, which opened in 1988 and now is in need of upgrading.

However, the Kennewick Public Facilities District has asked voters three times for the OK to increase a sales tax to fund a project that would include, among other things, an upgrade for the hockey facility. Three times it has been rejected.

In November, with the latest referendum having been defeated, Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager who owns a piece of the franchise, told the Tri-City Herald that the arena’s “infrastructure is certainly in trouble.”

According to Wendy Culverwell of the Herald, Tory said team expenses have doubled under current ownership while revenue has been flat.

“There comes a time when that doesn’t make sense any more,” Tory told Culverwell.

Culverwell wrote: “The Americans’ lease runs through 2020, but contains language that allows it to negotiate for a lower rent or even an early termination if it isn’t up to WHL standards.”

Tory, who has never cried wolf or threatened to relocate, also told Culverwell: “If you look around the WHL, our facility is not just the worst facility in the U.S. Division, but it’s probably at the very bottom of the league as far as the quality of the amenities.”

In the regular season, the Americans’ announced average attendance was 3,649, easily the lowest figure among the five U.S. Division teams. The Seattle Thunderbirds were the closest divisional opponent, at 4,950.

The Tri-Cities area of Washington State is home to around 300,000 people.


The MJHL-champion Steinbach Pistons got a goal and two assists from F Bradley Schoonbaert as they dumped the host Nipawin Hawks, the SJHL champs, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series for the ANAVET Cup.  . . . Game 4 is scheduled for tonight (Wednesday) in Nipawin, with Game 5 there on Friday. . . . Last night, the Pistons held period leads of 1-0 and 4-0. . . . F Brandan Arnold had an assist on Nipawin’s goal. He has been in on all six of the Hawks’ scores in the series. . . . G Matthew Thiessen stopped 16 shots for Steinbach. . . . The winner of this series will move on to the Royal Bank Cup in Chilliwack, B.C., later this month.


The BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild is one victory away from a berth in the Royal Bank Cup, the junior A championship tournament that opens in Chilliwack, B.C., on May 12. . . . The Wild beat the host Spruce Grove Saints, the AJHL champions, 4-3 on Tuesday night to take a 3-0 lead in the Doyle Cup series. The Wild is trying to became the first American-based team to win the Doyle Cup. . . . They’ll play Game 4 in Spruce Grove tonight (Wednesday). . . . Last night, goals from F Nathan Iannone and D Cooper Zech gave the Wild a 3-1 lead after two periods. . . . F Sam Hesler upped it to 4-1 at 8:10 of the third period. . . . The Saints made it close as F Parker Seretsky and F Chase Olsen scored at 12:34 and 12:57, respectively. . . . G Austin Park earned the victory with 34 saves.


JUST NOTES:

Tyler Kuntz is the new general manager and head coach of the BCHL’s Powell River Kings. Kuntz, 39, spent this season as the assistant coach of the Daemyung Killer Whales in South Korea. Prior to that, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . Kuntz takes over from Brock Sawyer, an assistant coach who took over as interim head coach when the Kings fired GM/head coach Kent Lewis on Jan. 29. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs have signed Chris Moulton, their assistant general manager, to a contract extension. The length of the deal wasn’t revealed. Moulton has been with the Chiefs since 2005, and has been the assistant GM since November 2016. . . .

D Mark Rubinchik, who turned 19 on March 21, won’t be back for a third season with the Saskatoon Blades. According to The MacBeth Report, Rubinchik, who is from Moscow, has signed a two-year, two-way contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). . . . Rubinchik had 23 assists in 63 games as a freshman in 2016-17. This season, in 67 games, he recorded four goals and 19 assists. . . . The Blades didn’t make the playoffs this season. Rubinchik was their lone import player after the Jan. 10 trade deadline, when they moved Czech D Libor Hajek to the Regina Pats. . . .

F Brad Morrison, 21, who leads the WHL playoff scoring race, has signed a three-year entry-level deal with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Morrison, whose Lethbridge Hurricanes were eliminated from the playoffs on Monday night, was a fourth-round pick by the New York Rangers in the NHL’s 2015 draft but was never signed. . . . In 16 playoff games this spring, he put up 37 points, including 16 goals. He also leads all playoff scorers with 21 assists. . . . In 334 WHL regular-season games, split between the Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants and Lethbridge, Morrison had 263 points, including 112 goals.


MacBeth

G Juha Metsola (Lethbridge, 2007-09) signed a two-year contract with Salevat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). This season, in 52 games with Amur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL), he was 28-17-6, 2.25, .923 with three shutouts and two assists. He twice was named the KHL’s goaltender of the week (Nov. 8 and Jan. 29). . . .

F Jan Eberle (Seattle, 2006-08) signed a one-year contract with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had nine goals and 18 assists in 50 games. . . .

F Daniel Rákos (Swift Current, 2005-07) signed a “multi-year” contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had five goals and 15 assists in 47 games. . . .

D Michal Hlinka (Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, 2010-12) signed a one-year contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, he was pointless in 12 games with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL), and had four goals and five assists in seven games while on loan to Dukla Trenčín (Slovakia, Extraliga). . . .

F Marek Kalus (Spokane, Brandon, 2010-13) signed a one-year contract with Orli Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga). This season, with Havířov (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had 18 goals and 16 assists in 46 games. He led his team in goals and points. . . .

G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) was traded by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk to Spartak Moscow (both Russia, KHL) for cash compensation. This season, in 12 games with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, he was 6-4-0, 2.11, .922 with one shutout. . . .

F Jakub Herman (Moose Jaw, 2009-10) signed a one-year contract with Zlin (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Olomouc (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had nine goals and 11 assists in 39 games. . . .

D Mark Rubinchik (Saskatoon, 2016-18) signed a two-year, two-way contract with Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). This season, he had four goals and 19 assists in 67 games with Saskatoon. . . .

F Filip Ahl (Regina, 2016-17) signed a one-year contract with Tingsryd (Sweden, Allsvenskan). This season, he had seven goals and one assist in five games with Örebro J20 (Sweden, J20 SuperElit), one assist in 15 games with Örebro (Sweden, SHL), and 11 goals and four assists in 29 games while on loan to Karlskoga (Sweden, Allsvenskan). . . .

F Nathan Burns (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Swift Current, 2009-14) signed a one-year contract extension with Halle (Germany, Oberliga). He had seven goals and 31 assists in 37 games, leading his club in assists and points. . . .

F Ladislav Ščurko (Seattle, Tri-City, 2004-07) signed a one-year contract extension with Detva (Slovakia, Extraliga). In 54 games, he had 17 goals and 11 assists. An alternate captain, he led the team in goals. . . .

F Andrej Kudrna (Vancouver, Red Deer, 2008-11) signed a one-year contract extension with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had 14 goals and 13 assists in 52 games. He led his team in goals.


Tweetoftheday