Bedard streaks end, as Pats win in Lethbridge . . . Hofer fills hat for Blazers . . . Suchanek, Americans keep on rolling


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT — F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats had his goal and point streaks snapped on Friday night in Lethbridge, but you know that won’t matter to him because his side beat the Hurricanes, 3-2. . . . Bedard now has been blanked in two games this season — the season-opener and Friday’s game. In between, he put up 90 points in 35 games. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (44), assists (46) and points. . . . His goal-scoring streak was halted at 11 games. He scored 22 times in those 11 games. In fact, he also had 14 assists over that stretch. . . . You have to think he now is thinking about starting new streaks on Sunday in Medicine Hat against the Tigers. . . .

The longest ongoing point streak in the WHL now belongs to F Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers. He had one assist in a 6-4 victory over the visiting Prince Albert Raiders on Friday night as he ran that streak to 31 games. He has 68 points, including 26 goals, over that stretch. He has at least one point in all 30 games he has played this season.

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The Travellin’ Bedards packed them into the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge on ReginaFriday night, with 5,378 fans showing up to watch them post a 3-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . According to the Enmax Centre website, it seats 5,479. . . . It was the Hurricanes’ largest crowd this season and came in their 26th home game. The announced attendance on Dec. 9, for a 5-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers, was 5,000. . . . On Tuesday, the Travellin’ Bedards had helped Red Deer set a single-game franchise record — 7,287 — as the Rebels won 6-5 in a shootout. . . . On Wednesday night, the Travellin’ Bedards beat the host Calgary Hitmen, 6-5 in a shootout, before 17,223 fans in the Saddledome, which has a capacity of 19,289. . . .

The Travellin’ Bedards move on to Medicine Hat for a Sunday game with the Tigers in the 7,000-seat Co-op Place. The Tigers are expected to experience their largest crowd since 5,947 showed up on Sept. 26, 2015 for the first game in the new building. The Tigers beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-3, that night. This season, the Tigers’ announced average attendance, through 22 homes games, is 2,207. . . . In anticipation of Sunday’s large gathering, the City of Medicine Hat has added free special bus service to Co-op Place. . . .

If the WHL playoffs started today, the Pats would be up against Red Deer in the first round. However, that could well change before the regular season ends. After Friday’s games, the Pats were seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points behind sixth-place Calgary and two ahead of the Swift Current Broncos.


Minivan


“An audit by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office of the Athletic Department at LSU,” writes Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, “discovered that the university accidentally over-paid head coach Brian Kelly by $1,001,368 in May and June of 2022. The overpayment was discovered in November and confirmed in December and arrangements have been made to recover the overpayments. There is no allegation of any sort of nefarious dooings here; it appears to have been a ‘paperwork error.’

“Here is my take on that situation: Wouldn’t it be great to be in a situation where your boss overpaid you by $1M and that mistaken overpayment did not jump out as a ‘WTF moment’ as you did whatever financial management you do?”


The other day I mentioned here about how former WHL player/GM/head coach Doug Sauter used to joke about having invented the curved goalie stick because it was easier to fish pucks out of the net with it.

Shortly thereafter, a friend sent me an obit for Don (Smokey) McLeod, who died on March 11, 2017. McLeod developed quite a following while with the WHA’s Calgary Cowboys for two seasons (1975-77). He was, according to the obit, “known for being a pioneer at playing the puck as a goaltender and one of the first netminders to use a curved stick.” . . . Mark Howe was an 18-year-old defenceman with the WHA-champion Houston Aeros in 1973-74 while McLeod was the No. 1 goaltender. “Everybody talks about how goalies like Marty Brodeur and Ron Hextall handled the puck,” Howe said, “but back in the ’70s, Smokey was every bit as good as those guys at it, and I don’t think he ever got the credit for it.” . . . McLeod was from Trail, B.C., which is how he got his nickname. He won the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in the spring of 1966.


Irony


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Winnipeg Ice scored the game’s last two goals to beat the Wheat Kings, 7-6 in OT, in Brandon. . . . F Connor McClennon (27), who scored the game’s first goal, got the winner at 2:01 of OT. . . . F Evan Friesen (7) had pulled the Ice into a 6-6 tie at 17:05 of the third period. . . . Winnipeg (37-6-1) leads the Eastern Conference by five points over the idle Red Deer Rebels. The Ice, which has won four in a row, still holds three games in hand. . . . Brandon (19-21-7) has lost three in a row (0-1-2) and is four points out of a playoff spot. . . .

G Jackson Unger turned aside 42 shots to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to 4-1 victory over the Oil Kings in Edmonton. . . . The Warriors scored the game’s first four goals, taking a 4-0 lead at 2:18 of the second period. . . . D Denton Mateychuk drew an assist on each of the first two goals. . . . Edmonton had a 43-27 edge in shots. . . . Moose Jaw (31-16-3) is third in the Eastern Conference, five points behind Red Deer. . . . The defending-champion Oil Kings (7-37-3) won’t be in the playoffs. . . . The Oil Kings will be in Calgary this afternoon to face the Hitmen, who didn’t play last night. . . .

F Zack Stringer, playing in his first game since Jan. 20, broke a 2-2 tie at 5:44 of the third period to give the visiting Regina Pats a 3-2 victory over his hometown Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Stringer, who didn’t start his season until Dec. 16 because of a torn Achilles tendon, had missed the Pats’ previous four games. . . . His second career game-winner was his third goal this season and came in his 118th regular-season game, the first 79 of which were played with the Hurricanes. . . . Regina (24-21-3) is seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points out of sixth and two from eighth. The Pats have points in three straight (2-0-1). . . . Lethbridge (27-17-5) is in fifth spot. . . .

In Kamloops, the Blazers scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 6-4. . . . The Blazers opened up an early 2-0 lead, but had to overcome 3-2 and 4-3 deficits. . . . F Ryan Hofer led the Blazers with three goals and an assist. His third goal, No. 30 on the season, broke a 4-4 tie at 8:47 of the third period. . . . According to the Blazers, GM/head coach Shaun Clouston now has 527 coaching victories, good for eighth on the all-time list. . . . Kamloops (29-10-6) will finish atop the B.C. Division. It is eight points behind the Western Conference-leading Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . The Raiders (19-26-3) had won four in a row, including three straight in the B.C. Division. They are eight points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets erased an early 2-0 deficit with five straight goals en route to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants. . . . F Gabriel Szturc (13) got the Rockets into a 3-2 lead 57 seconds into the second period. . . . F Carson Golder (20) stretched the lead at 8:35, and D Jackson DeSouza (6) got what proved the winner at 6:53 of the third. . . . The Giants made it interesting with two third-period goals, the last one, a shorthanded effort from F Jaden Lipinski (16), came at 18:38. . . . Kelowna (16-26-3) is eighth in the Western Conference, seven points behind Vancouver (18-23-6) and two ahead of Victoria. . . .

D Hudson Thornton (12), F Riley Heidt (20) and F Chase Wheatcroft (29) each had a goal and two assists as the Prince George Cougars dumped the visiting Victoria Royals, 8-1. . . . They’ll complete the doubleheader tonight in Prince George. . . . The Cougars had a 40-25 edge in shots, including 18-7 in the second period and 10-2 in the third. . . . The Cougars (20-21-4) are sixth in the Western Conference, three points behind Everett. . . . Victoria (14-30-5) is ninth, four points behind Kelowna. . . .

F Brad Lambert scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Seattle Thunderbirds to a 6-5 OT victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . There’ll be a rematch tonight in Everett. . . . Lambert’s second goal of the game and third of the season won it just 54 seconds into OT. He’s got six points in four games with Seattle. . . . D Kevin Korchinski scored his sixth goal and added three assists for Seattle. . . . F Jackson Berezowski scored twice for Everett, giving him a franchise-record 114 career regular-season goals. He had been sharing the record with F Patrick Bajkov (2013-18). . . . Seattle (35-8-2) moved back into first place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Portland. Although it was a foregone conclusion, Seattle became the first WHL team to clinch a playoff spot this season. . . . Everett (23-23-1) is fifth in the conference, three points ahead of Prince George. . . .

The Swift Current Broncos opened a 3-0 lead and went on to a 3-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane. . . . The visitors took control with PP goals from F Connor Hvidston (12) and F Ty Coupland (1) in the first period. . . . Coupland, from North Vancouver, was playing in his second WHL game. He was a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . . The Broncos were 2-for-8 on the PP. . . . Swift Current (23-21-3) is eighth in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Regina and three ahead of Medicine Hat. The Broncos had lost their previous four games (0-3-1). . . . Spokane (9-33-4) has lost five in a row (0-4-1) and is 13 points from a playoff spot. . . .

The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last six goals, four of them in the third period, in beating the Portland Winterhawks, 6-1, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . They’ll stage a rematch tonight in Portland. . . . Tri-City G Tomas Suchanek stopped 28 shots in winning his 20th game this season. His last 12 decisions have all been victories. . . . The Americans got a goal and two assists from each of F Jordan Gavin (14) and F Jake Sloan (18). . . . The Winterhawks were without F Chaz Lucius for a second straight game. . . . The Americans (25-16-5) have points in 13 straight (10-0-3). They are a comfortable fourth in the Western Conference. . . . Portland (34-10-3) is one point behind conference-leading Seattle.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers have added F Gavin McKenna to their roster for weekend games against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes tonight and the visiting Regina Pats on Sunday. McKenna, who turned 15 on Dec. 20, is from Whitehorse. He was the first overall selection in the WHL’s 2022 draft. McKenna has played nine games with the Tigers this season and has earned six assist, four of them coming in his first WHL game. . . . This season, he has 69 points, including 34 goals in 24 games with the SAHA U18 prep team. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels revealed Friday that F Kalan Lind will be out “week-to-week” with an undisclosed injury. Lind, who turned 18 on Jan. 25, is from Shaunavon, Sask. He has 42 points, 15 of them goals, in 41 games, after finishing last season with 38 points, including 20 goals, in 61 games. He was the sixth pick in the WHL’s 2020 draft. . . . The Rebels being a U.S. Division tour tonight in Spokane.


AirSpace


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.


WendyCity

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

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.

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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

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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

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


Muppet

Ex-WHLer Henderson set to retire from scouting game . . . Remembering the night he met a future CFLer . . . Those were the days, my friends!


Archie Henderson, a legendary figure from the WHL’s past, will retire from his role as the Edmonton Oilers’ director of pro scouting after the NHL draft that is to be held in Montreal on Thursday and Friday. Henderson, 65, has been with the Oilers through three seasons. He had been with Detroit but moved to Edmonton when Ken Holland left the Red Wings to join the Oilers as their general manager. . . . The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Henderson played 23 NHL games after being a 10th-round selection by the Washington Capitals in the 1977 draft. . . . A native of Calgary, he played three seasons (1974-77) in the WHL — 86 games with the Lethbridge Broncos and 78 with the Victoria Cougars. In those 164 games, he totalled 26 goals, 29 assists and 700 — yes, 700! — penalty minutes. . . .

On Nov. 19, 1974, Henderson was involved in one of the most memorable scraps in WHL history. The Broncos were in Regina to play the Pats, who had a guy named Bob Poley in their lineup. At the time, the 6-foot-4, 244-pound Poley was a defensive end with the junior Regina Rams, but was still four years from starting his CFL career with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. On this day, he was four days past his 19th birthday, while Henderson was two years younger. . . . Regina was leading 5-2 at 14:20 of the second period when Henderson and Poley came together. . . . Gyle Konotopetz, then of the Regina Leader-Post, wrote that Henderson “picked a fight” with Poley, who had never fought while wearing skates. “When Henderson dropped his gloves, Poley was caught off-guard,” Konotopetz wrote. “But, after taking a couple of punches, Poley tackled Henderson as if he were playing defensive end for the Rams and returned a few of his own punches.” . . . Later, Henderson said: “The second time I hit him I thought I knocked him out, but then he just nailed me. Where’d they get him anyway? Boy, is he strong.” . . . Yes, the fans booed Henderson, who said: “I think the fans are a little unreal here. He can’t even skate. At least I can play hockey.” . . . Earl Ingarfield, then the Broncos’ head coach, said Regina coach Bob Turner had put Foley on the ice “for a reason. That took the sting out of us. . . . It’s a good thing (Henderson) fell. (Poley) would have beaten the (bleep) out of Archie.” . . . Turner felt Poley, who hadn’t gotten even one shift as the Pats had lost their previous three games, had given his club “the shot in the arm we needed.” . . . The Pats went on to win the game, 9-3, to move within one point of the second-place Broncos in the Eastern Division. The starting goaltenders were a couple of guys who would go on to become rather well-known— Ed Staniowski of the Pats and Lorne Molleken of the Broncos.

——

Poley

By now, perhaps you’re wondering how it was that Bob Poley ended up wearing a Regina Pats’ uniform.

Well, in 1974-75, the legendary Norm Fong, who would go on to a lengthy career as the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ equipment manager, was the Pats’ trainer/equipment manager; one person did both jobs back in the day. Fong also Reginaplayed some Friday night hockey, as did Poley and Roger Aldag, another aspiring football player.

Bob Turner, the Pats’ coach, was in the market for some size and toughness. One night he asked Fong if any of “those Rams kids . . . do any of them skate?”

So . . . Fong spoke with both of them.

“Roger didn’t want to have anything to do with it,” Fong recalled, “but Poley jumped at the chance.”

Poley dressed for his first game on Nov. 15, 1974 — a 6-6 tie with the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings — but didn’t see even one shift.

That led to the encounter with Lethbridge’s Archie Henderson on Nov. 19. Then, on March 11, the New Westminster Bruins went into Regina and came out with a 5-5 tie. The Bruins wound up in a post-game altercation with a Regina broadcaster after that one and coach Ernie (Punch) McLean ended up with a five-game suspension.

“It almost has reached the point where you have to go out and recruit some big stupid guy who can beat up everybody else,” Turner said after that one.

Ten days later, the Pats were in New Westminster. The Bruins won, 6-1, on March 21. The Pats beat the Cougars, 4-2, in Victoria the next night, then returned to New Westminster for a rematch on March 23 in McLean’s first game back from his suspension.

“We were playing in New West and Kerry Fraser was the ref,” Fong recalled. “They always pulled that crap where they’d have one of their guys shoot a puck in your end and then they’d come get the puck and challenge everybody. Poley shot a puck into the New West end and went and got it . . . and nobody touched him.”

Poley didn’t get a lot of ice time; in fact, his first shift came late in the game.

“With just over four minutes remaining in the game,” wrote Lyndon Little of the Vancouver Sun, “Turner sent 6-foot-5, 235-pound Bob Poley lurching off the bench to line up against Harold Phillipoff, one of the biggest of the Bruins. A former member of the Regina Rams . . . Poley — known affectionately as the Hulk from Hudson’s Bay — was along on the road trip, Turner candidly admits, to straighten out the Bruins.”

Turner told Little: ““I sent him out there to kick the bleep out of Phillipoff. I didn’t like the way he was picking on Mike McCann.”

“But,” Little wrote, “with the fans pleading for what they felt would be a classic matchup, McLean prudently replaced Phillipoff. And so the jockeying continued for the remainder of the game. Whenever Poley came on, Phillipoff would withdraw, despite the fact the Regina player was pointedly challenging the New Westminster bench.”

McLean explained his thought process: “I’m not going to risk having one of my best players break his hand on that guy’s skull. If I tried a crazy stunt like that I’d be suspended for life.”

At the time, Philipoff had 26 goals and 31 assists. Poley played 25 games with zero points and five penalty minutes to show for it. Then, in 11 playoff games, he had 10 PiMs.

But wait . . . there’s more . . .

“At the end of the game, they were lipping off and Poley went over to their bench,” Fong said. “All our guys are crapping themselves on their way to the dressing room and Poley’s out there . . . the whole New West team is in their bench and he’s chasing them into their locker room. Kerry Fraser comes over and says, ‘Bob (Turner), you’ve got to come out here and get this . . . monster off the ice. He’s chasing those guys into their dressing room.’ But nobody would fight him.”

Ahh, yes, those were the days, weren’t they?


On the day the CHL held its 2023 import draft, there were reports in the Russian media that G Ivan Fedotov of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers had been detained in Russia.

According to Joshua Manning of euroweeklynews.com, Fedotov “has been detained over suspicions of ‘dodging the Russian Army.’ ” He apparently was taken to a military registration and enlistment office.

Fedotov, 25, played this season in the KHL with CSKA Moscow. The team won the Gagarin Cup as KHL champions.

In April, Fedotov said he would be playing with the Flyers next season.

Of course, news like this makes one wonder if there might be more Russian players in this same situation. That also likely is why some players, like Flyers D Ivan Provorov, who played with the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings, chose not to return to Russia this offseason.


Two Russian players and one from Belarus were among 64 selected by teams in the CHL’s 2022 import draft on Friday.

Wait a minute, you’re saying. Didn’t the CHL announce in April that Russians CHLand Belarusians were ineligible for the draft, thanks to the invasion of Ukraine?

Well, as the CHL news release wrapping up the draft pointed out: “All non-(20-year-old), import players that were previously drafted in the CHL import draft but were deleted by a CHL team before the 2022 cut-down date were eligible to be re-drafted by another CHL club in the 2022 import draft.”

The Brandon Wheat Kings used their first-round selection on Russian D Andrei Malyavin, 18, who played last season with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. He had two goals and 11 assists in 44 games.

JUST NOTES: Nine of the CHL’s 60 teams didn’t participate in the 31st import draft. All told, six goaltenders, 18 defencemen and 40 forwards were selected. . . . Of the 64 players taken, 23 were from Czech Republic. . . . Of the WHL’s 22 teams, only the Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders and Winnipeg Ice sat out. . . . The WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers held the first overall selection and took Slovakian F Adam Sýkora, who will turn 18 on Sept. 7. He had 10 goals and seven assists in 46 games with HK Nitra of the Slovakian League last season. He also had two goals and an assist in six games with the Slovakian national team at the IIHF World Championship. Sýkora’s father, Roman, had one assist in eight games with the Tri-City Americans in 1997-98 before going on to play two seasons with the BCHL’s Trail Smoke Eaters. . . F Nikita Zozulia, 17, was the lone Ukrainian player to be selected, going to the OHL’s Flint Firebirds in the first round. He played last season with the U-16 Anaheim Jr. Ice Dogs. . . . BTW, 47 of the CHL’s 60 teams didn’t take part in the draft’s second round. Of the WHL teams, only the Vancouver Giants, Regina Pats, Kamloops Blazers and Everett made second-round selections.


Osprey
An osprey couple mind the nest along the South Thompson River on Friday morning. I got close enough to overhear them. He was talking about how the temperature might get to 30 C, and she told him to quit his whining and to remember that one year ago, on June 30, it got to 46.6. That shut him up. BTW, this photo is for K.C., who likes the wildlife photos I sometimes post here.

The WHL rights to F Brad Lambert, a high-profile Finnish player who might be a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft, have been traded by the Saskatoon SaskatoonBlades to the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . In return, the Blades received fourth- and sixth-round selections in the WHL’s 2023 draft, a conditional first-round selection in 2023 and a conditional second-rounder in 2024. The 2023 fourth-rounder originated with the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Saskatoon had selected Lambert, whose father, Ross, is a former Blades player, in the 2020 CHL import draft. Brad also is a nephew to former WHL player/coach Lane Lambert, now the head coach of the NHL’s New York Islanders. . . . With the 2022 CHL import draft having been held Friday, days before the NHL draft, the Blades had to make a decision on whether to Seattlekeep Lambert’s rights or give them up in order to make a selection. With that pick they took Czech D Tomas Ziska, 17, who had one goal and 13 assists in 31 games with a junior team this season. . . . Their other import slot belongs to sophomore Belarusian F Egor Sidorov, 18. . . . NHL Central Scouting had Lambert rated No. 10 among European skaters going into the NHL’s 2022 draft. . . . “This was definitely a unique situation all-around,” said Saskatoon general manager Colin Priestner in a statement, “given he’s a high-profile player with family connections to Saskatoon, but we’ve had his rights for over two full years and we felt the odds of him ever playing junior hockey in Canada were quite low and this way we get three good assets guaranteed up front plus two more really high picks if he ever plays in Seattle. We felt after two years of communications we’d exhausted all our options in recruiting him since he’s been playing pro hockey in Finland since he was 16-years-old.” . . . According to the Blades, they will get the conditional draft picks should Lambert sign with Seattle. . . . That likely will be a tall task for the Thunderbirds, who are looking to fill vacancies created by two of their leading scorers — Henrik Rybinski and Lukas Svejkovsky. Because Lambert, who will turn 19 on Dec. 19, will be drafted off a European roster, he will be eligible to play in the NHL, AHL or with Seattle next season.


Loon
Hey, K.C., here’s another one for you. A loon stops by the South Thompson River for a visit that ended up being short-lived because of the appearance of a couple of noisy boats.

Meanwhile, three teams from the WHL’s U.S. Divisions selected players in Friday’s import draft after losing 19-year-olds to pro contracts back home. . . . The Everett Silvertips took Czech F Dominik Rymon, 18, and Swiss G Tim Metzger, 17, after F Niko Huuhtanen signed with Jukurit of Liiga. He put up 37 goals and 40 assists in 65 games as a freshman with Everett last season after being the second-overall selection in the 2021 import draft. . . . The Silvertips still have Czech F Michal Gut on their roster, but, as a 20-year-old, he would be a two-spotter should he return. Still, he put up 18 goals and 53 assists in 53 games last season. . . .

As mentioned here the other day, Czech F Petr Moravec has left the Tri-City Americans to sign a junior contract at home with Mountfield. He had 16 goals and 19 assists in 68 games as a freshman in Tri-City last season. . . . The Americans had the fourth-overall pick and took Czech F Adam Mechura, 19. . . . Czech G Tomas Suchanek, who is heading into his second season, is the Americans’ other import. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs dropped F Yannick Proske and D Timafey Kovgoreniya prior to the draft, while retaining the rights to Czech D David Jiricek, who is the fourth-ranked European skater by NHL Central Scouting going into the NHL draft that is scheduled for July 7 and 8. The Chiefs selected Jiricek, now 18, in the 2020 import draft, but he has stayed at home to play for HC Plzen and the Czechia national team. . . . Proske, 19, had 12 goals and 18 assists in 58 games with the Chiefs last season and is returning to the German DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters, who chose not let him return to Spokane. . . . On Friday, the Chiefs took Italian F Tommaso De Luca, who will turn 18 on Dec. 19, then passed in the second round.



A former WHLer who knows his way around the movie/television scene and who once owned a chunk of an NHL team checks in. . . . What? You don’t know the name? You never SAW him play? Google is your friend. . . . 



Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton): Anti-vaxxer demands you produce a single study showing mRNA vaccines are safe — no not that one.


ShoppingCarts


THE COACHING GAME: The SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks have signed Levi Stuart as an assistant coach. Stuart, 26, spent the previous three seasons with his hometown team — the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials. In Nipawin, he’ll work alongside general manager and head coach Tad Kozun, who signed a two-year deal on March 29. Before joining Merritt, Stuart worked with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants as a video coach. . . .

The junior B Sicamous Eagles of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have signed Connor McLuckie as an assistant coach. From Cranbrook, he played in the KIJHL with the Fernie Ghostriders and Golden Rockets in 2011-12, then had his playing career ended by injuries in 2012. He spent the past three seasons on the coaching staff of the East Kootenay Tier 1 Avalanche, last season as head coach. . . .

The QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs have signed head coach Maxime Desruisseaux to a contract extension, the length of which wasn’t revealed. Desruisseaux is preparing for his second season as the club’s head coach. . . .

Jeremy Colliton is the new head coach of the Abbotsford Canucks, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. He takes over from Trent Cull, who now is an assistant coach with the parent club. . . . Colliton spent most of the past four seasons as the head coach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. He was fired last season. . . . Colliton, 37, played four seasons (2001-05) with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders.


Obama


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6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

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Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

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Math

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