No offer, Loewen now free agent. . . . 11 other ex-WHLers don’t get signed. . . . NYT with more on Boogaard, concussions

 

MacBeth

F Dustin Boyd (Moose Jaw, 2002-06) has signed a one-year contract extension with Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan, KHL). This season, he had six goals and nine assists in 51 games. He started the season with Dynamo Moscow (Russia, KHL), going pointless in five games. He was released by Dynamo on Sept. 26 and signed with Barys on Sept. 27. . . .

F Ryan Harrison (Prince Albert, Medicine Hat, Everett, 2007-13) has signed a one-year contract extension with Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). This season, he had six goals and 23 assists in 57 games. . . .

F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) has signed a one-year contract with Adendorf (Germany, Regionalliga Nord). This season,  with Harzer Falken Braunlage (Germany, Oberliga), he had one goal in seven games. . . .

G Garret Hughson (Spokane, 2012-16) has signed a one-year contract with Acélbikák Dunaújváros (Hungary, rest Liga). This season, with U of Lethbridge (USports, Canada West), he got into 25 games, going 8-13-1-0, 3.73, .909, with one shutout and one assist. . . .

F Vitali Karamnov (Everett, 2007-08) has signed a one-year contract with Saryarka Karaganda (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya Liga). This season, in 17 games with Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had two goals and eight assists.


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The Dallas Stars selected F Jermaine Loewen from the Kamloops Blazers in the seventh Kamloops1round of the NHL’s 2018 draft and he then attended their development camp.

However, Loewen now is an unrestricted free agent.

Ray Petkau, Loewen’s agent, confirmed to Taking Note on Sunday that the Stars chose not to make an offer to Loewen prior to Saturday’s deadline, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

“We do have AHL offers,” Petkau told Taking Note. “(There is) interest at the NHL level, but not sure yet where it’ll go.”

Loewen, now 21, has been one of the WHL’s best stories in recent years, having come all the way from a Jamaican orphanage to captain the Blazers.

He played five seasons with the Blazers, scoring 36 goals in 2017-18 and adding 28 more this season.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Loewen grew up in Arborg, Man., after being adopted by Tara and Stan Loewen. He didn’t play organized hockey until he was 10.

A true power forward who loves to drive to the opposition’s net off the left wing, Loewen finished his WHL career with 78 goals in 295 regular-season games, which isn’t bad when you consider that he didn’t get No. 1 until Game No. 85.

After not being selected in the NHL’s 2016 draft, he attended the San Jose Shark’s development camp. He also wasn’t picked in the 2017 draft.

——

At least 11 others players with WHL ties weren’t signed prior to June 1 by the NHL teams NHLwho held their rights. . . . Nine of those players were selected in the NHL’s 2017 draft . . .

D Daniel Bukac, a seventh-round pick by the Boston Bruins, played this season with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. Bukac, 20, spent two seasons (2016-18) with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

F Brett Davis of the Red Deer Rebels was a sixth-round pick by the Dallas Stars. Davis also has played with the Lethridge Hurricanes and Kootenay Ice. He turned 20 on Saturday, so is eligible to return to the Rebels.

D Brendan De Jong of the Portland Winterhawks was taken by the Carolina Hurricanes in the sixth round. De Jong, who played five seasons with Portland, completed his junior eligibility this season.

F Zach Fischer, who played with the Medicine Hat Tigers and Spokane Chiefs (2014-18), was selected by the Calgary Flames in the fifth round. Fischer, 21, split this season between the AHL’s Stockton Heat and the ECHL’s Kansas City Mavericks and Rapid City Rush.

G Jordan Hollett of the Medicine Hat Tigers was a fourth-round pick by the Ottawa Senators. Hollett, 20, is eligible to return for a fourth WHL season. The Tigers acquired him from the Regina Pats prior to the 2017-18 season.

F Kyle Olson of the Tri-City Americans was taken by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round. Olson, 20, is eligible to return to the Americans after finishing with 21 goals and 49 assists in 62 games this season.

D Jarret Tyszka of the Seattle Thunderbirds was picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the fifth round. At 20, he is eligible to return for a fifth season with the Thunderbirds.

D Scott Walford of the Victoria Royals was a third-round selection by Montreal. Walford, 20, has played four seasons with the Royals and is eligible for one more.

F Lane Zablocki was a third-round pick by the Detroit Red Wings. He doesn’t turn 21 until Dec. 27, but that means he has used up his junior eligibility. In the WHL, he played with the Regina Pats, Red Deer Rebels, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Victoria Royals and Kelowna Rockets. He finished this season, and his junior career, with the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers.

Fischer and Zablocki now are unrestricted free agents; the others will be eligible for the 2019 NHL draft, which is to be held in Vancouver on June 21 and 22.

Two other players, both of whom were drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015, also have gone unsigned. F Radovan Bondra (Vancouver Giants, Prince George Cougars, 2015-18) had been selected in the fifth round, while F John Dahlstrom (Medicine Hat Tigers, 2016-17) was taken in the seventh round.

Bondra and Dahlstrom, both 22, were drafted from clubs outside North American, so Chicago owned their rights for four years. Both players now are unrestricted free agents.


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The Winnipeg Ice has signed G Daniel Hauser to a WHL contract. Hauser, from Chestermere, Alta., was a sixth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft. . . . This season, he got into 23 regular-season games with the bantam prep team at the Calgary-based Edge School. He was 3.00, .911.


The New York Times story, written by John Branch, carries this headline: The N.F.L. Has Been Consumed by the Concussion Issue. Why Hasn’t the N.H.L.? . . . “With the Stanley Cup finals underway,” Branch writes, “Joanne Boogaard and a growing group of former players worry that people have moved on to a stage of acceptance — that the N.H.L. has emerged from its concussion crisis by steadfastly denying that hockey has any responsibility for the brain damage quietly tormenting players and their families.” . . . Boogaard is the mother of the late Derek Boogaard, whose brain was found to contain chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the disease that is caused by head trauma. . . . Branch is the author of the book Boy On Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard. . . . If you haven’t read the book, you should. . . . Branch’s latest piece on the Boogards, the NHL, concussions and all the rest is right here. You should read that, too.


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More on the Ice and Winnipeg . . . Raiders continue to roll, win 12th game . . . Rockets complete sweep of Royals

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The Kootenay Ice announced on March 28, 2017, that the Chynoweth family had “entered into an agreement to sell the WHL team to Winnipeg entrepreneur Greg Fettes and hockey executive Matt Cockell.”

On April 27, the WHL announced that its board of governors had “voted unanimously” to Kootenaynewapprove the transfer of ownership.

At the time, the new owners stated the franchise would be staying in Cranbrook, B.C., its home since the Chynoweths relocated the Edmonton Ice in time for the 1998-99 season.

Interestingly, it seems that Fettes, on April 20, 2017, registered the domain name ‘winnipegice.com‘ at godaddy.com. The registration is to expire on April 20, 2019.

The registration was made, according to a search, by Greg Fettes, with the address given as Second Floor, 240 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg. That is the business address for 24-7 Intouch, the business of which Fettes is founder and CEO. According to its website, 24-7 “has been providing contact center and BPO solutions for over 18 years, and is consistently recognized as an award-winning global outsourcer.”

We may never find out whether registering winnipegice.com was part of a long-range plan to move the franchise or simply an insurance policy in case things didn’t work out in Cranbrook.

On Friday night, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that, according to its sources, the Ice will move to Winnipeg in time for the 2019-20 WHL season, and will play out of a 1,400-seat arena at the U of Manitoba while awaiting the completion of a 5,000-seat arena that would be built in conjunction with the Rink Hockey Academy.

ICYMI, the Free Press story, written by Mike Sawatzky, is right here.

With Cockell entrenched in the Cranbrook community as president and general manager, the Ice has worked hard to connect with the area’s hockey fans while waiting for the team to become competitive on the ice. The Ice has missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and is 3-4-3 early in this season.

Last season, according to figures compiled by the WHL, the Ice’s announced average attendance for 36 regular-season home games was 2,442, up from 1,754 in 2016-17.

The Ice ran a Drive for 25 campaign during the off-season, hoping to sell 2,500 season tickets. On Aug. 20, the team revealed that it had sold 1,598, a decrease of 319 from the previous season.

This season, after six home games, the announced average attendance is 2,351. Four of the six crowds have been smaller than that. On Oct. 14, the most-recent home game, the announced attendance was 2,117 as the Ice dropped a 2-1 OT decision to the Prince George Cougars.

The Ice also has closed off three sections in one end of 4,264-seat Western Financial Place in an attempt to make things a bit cozier.


F Connor Dewar of the Everett Silvertips drew a ‘TBD’ suspension on Saturday after taking a cross-checking major and game misconduct during a 5-2 loss to the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Friday night. . . . Dewar, who has eight goals and seven assists in 10 games, scored Everett’s second goal in that game. . . . He won’t play today when the Silvertips play Game 2 of their East Division swing in Regina against the Pats.


F Eric Fawkes of the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers has committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), starting with the 2020-21 season. . . . Fawkes had one goal and three assists in his first 11 games with Winkler this season. Last season, he finished with 37 goals and 37 assists in 47 games with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild. . . . From Winnipeg, Fawkes, 17, was a second-round selection by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. He was dealt to the Kootenay Ice on Oct. 8. Kootenay dealt D Loeden Schaufler, 18, a ninth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft and future considerations.


The BCIHL’s Trinity Western Spartans went 1-1-0 in a pair of exhibition games in TWUMinnesota on the weekend. . . . The Spartans lost 7-1 to the Minnesota Gophers, the sixth-ranked team in the NCAA Div. 1, on Saturday night. That came one night after they beat Hamline U, a Div. III team, 2-1 in OT in St. Paul. . . . Last night, the Spartans and Gophers played through a scoreless first period. The hosts took a 3-0 lead into the third. . . . D Travis Verveda, who played in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazers, scored a second-period PP goal for the Spartans. . . . TWU G Jacob Mills blocked 43 shots. The three Minnesota goaltenders combined for 20 saves. . . . On Friday night, F Brandon Potomak, who played in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors, scored at 2:38 of OT to give the Spartans the victory. . . . F Spencer Gerth, who played in the WHL with the Everett Silvertips and Victoria Royals, had TWU’s other goal. Verveda drew two assists. . . . Mills made 26 saves.


SATURDAY NIGHT NOTES:

F Mark Kastelic scored a PP goal just 45 seconds into OT to give the visiting Calgary Hitmen a 4-3 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . The Hitmen (4-6-2), who have won three straight, were 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . Brandon now is 6-2-2. . . . The Wheat Kings overcame a 3-1 deficit on third-period goals from F Baron Thompson (1), at 8:31, and F Chad Nychuk (1), at 12:03. . . . Kastelic won it with his second goal of the game, his 10th of the season.


The Lethbridge Hurricanes scored the game’s last six goals, all of them in the third period, and beat the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers, 8-3. . . . The Tigers had opened the weekend set at home on Friday with a 4-3 victory in OT. . . . Lethbridge (5-4-3) has points in four straight (2-0-2). . . . The Tigers (6-6-1) had won their previous three games. . . . F Ty Kolle, recently acquired from the Portland Winterhawks, had a goal, his third, and two assists for Lethbridge. . . . The winners were 3-for-4 on the PP. . . . G Reece Klassen stopped 39 shots to earn the victory.


The Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s first five goals en route to an 8-2 victory PrinceAlbertover the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Prince Albert (12-1-0) has won five in a row and is atop the overall standings. . . . According to Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com, the Raiders, who have been in the WHL since 1982-83, have never won 12 of their first 13 games. . . . The Raiders also have scored eight goals in two straight games. . . .  Spokane (6-3-3) had points in its previous three games (2-0-1). It went 3-2-1 on its East Division trip. . . . The Raiders got a goal, his fifth, and two assists from F Sean Montgomery, who has goals in four straight games. . . . Prince Albert F Brett Leason ran his point streak to 13 games with an assist. . . . D Konrad Belcourt, playing in his first game since being brought back from the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons, scored the Raiders’ second goal. He was pointless in three earlier games with the Raiders. Belcourt was brought back to help out with D Max Martin having started a three-game suspension last night. . . . Spokane F Bobby Russell took a headshot major and game misconduct as the game ended.


D Alex Alexeyev scored in OT to give the host Red Deer Rebels a 4-3 victory over the Red DeerKootenay Ice. . . . The Rebels (7-3-1) have won two in a row. . . . The Ice (3-4-3) has lost five straight (0-2-3). . . . The Rebels scored the game’s first two goals, only to have the Ice tie it early in the second period with two PP goals. . . . F Oleg Zaytsev (5) put the Rebels out front at 17:39 of the third period, but F Jaeger White (6) pulled Kootenay even at 18:15 with his second goal of the game. . . . Alexeyev’s fourth goal won it at 1:15 of extra time. . . . Zaytsev, a freshman from Moscow, had an interesting night, with a goal and two assists. He drew an assist on F Brandon Hagel’s shorthanded goal, scored an even-strength goal and had the lone assist on Alexeyev’s winner. . . . Zaytsev has five goals and six assists in 11 games.


F Tristin Langan broke a 2-2 tie at 12:39 of the third period as the Moose Jaw Warriors beat the Pats, 3-2, in Regina. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn (5) gave the Pats a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 17:43 of the second period. . . . F Ryan Peckford (2) pulled the Warriors even, on a PP, at 4:05 of the third. . . . Langan won it with his eighth goal of the season. . . . According to the online scoresheet, the Pats won 45 of the game’s 63 faceoffs. . . . The Warriors (5-3-2) got 31 stops from G Adam Evanoff. . . . The Pats fell to 3-8-0.


F Sasha Mutala’s goal at 1:46 of OT gave the Tri-City Americans a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . . The Americans improved to 6-4-0, with the Thunderbirds now 6-2-2. . . . On Friday, the Americans beat the Thunderbirds, 4-2, in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Last night, the Thunderbirds erased a 2-0 deficit on goals from F Andrej Kukuca (4) and F Matthew Wedman (3), the latter at 16:06 of the third period. . . . Mutala, who also had an assist, won it with his second goal of the season. . . . This was Game 1 of an 11-game road trip for the Americans.


D Brendan De Jong lifted his own rebound into the net to give the Portland Winterhawks Portlanda 2-1 OT victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Winterhawks began the weekend doubleheader with a 5-3 victory over the Giants in Portland on Friday. . . . Last night, the Winterhawks (7-3-1) had a 33-19 edge in shots. . . . The Giants slipped to 9-3-1. . . . F Reece Newkirk (8) gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 13:08 of the first period. . . . Vancouver F Yannik Valenti (1), a German freshman, tied it at 7:11 of the second period. . . . De Jong won it with his third goal of the season, at 1:16 of OT. . . . Newkirk drew the only assist on the winner. . . . Shane Farkas, the only goaltender the Winterhawks have used this season, is 7-3-1, 2.72, .899. . . . Vancouver F Jared Dmytriw (ill) sat this one out. . . . The Giants lost F James Malm to an undisclosed injury in the second period. He leads the with nine goals, but likely won’t play against the visiting Kelowna Rockets today. It will be Vancouver’s third game in fewer than 48 hours.


The Kelowna Rockets broke a 1-1 tie with four unanswered goals as they beat the Royals, KelownaRockets5-1, in Victoria. . . . The Rockets (4-9-0) have won two in a row. They beat the host Royals, 8-2, on Friday night. . . . With the victory, Kelowna moved out of the Western Conference basement and now is one point ahead of the idle Kamloops Blazers (3-6-1), who have played three fewer games. . . . Victoria (8-3-0) now is 6-3-0 at home. . . . F Conner Bruggen-Cate (3) gave the Rockets a 2-1 lead at 15:57 of the first period, just 53 seconds after F Kaid Oliver had scored for Victoria. . . . The Royals scratched G Griffen Outhouse, their 20-year-old workhorse, from a second straight game. . . . The Rockets scratched F Lane Zablocki one night after he made his Kelowna debut by playing in his first game this season. . . . The Rockets will play their third game in fewer than 48 hours when they meet the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C., this afternoon.


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Scattershooting late on a Sunday . . . Will CFL’s Man in Black return? . . . Check out Henri Richard’s first deal . . . WHLers trickling back from NHL camps

Scattershooting

I was remiss in posting the above tweet here Saturday night without an explanation, especially for those readers who may not be familiar with the CFL.

The gent in the photo is Chris Jones, who is the vice-president of football operations, general manager, head coach and defensive co-ordinator for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Until recently, he also was the CFL’s Man in Black. However, when the CFL unveiled this season’s Diversity Is Strength campaign, Jones donned the green t-shirt pictured in the tweet. The Roughriders promptly won four straight games, with him wearing green in each of them.

That streak came to an unceremonious end on Saturday night when the visiting Ottawa Redblacks beat the Roughriders, 30-25.

Thus the tweet from the Redblacks.


Are you old enough to remember when ABC-TV, sparked by Howard Cosell, turned Monday Night Football into a real event, one that carried with it an overwhelming feeling of excitement? Maybe it’s just me, but these days MNF seems to be just another game.


We all are aware that the Toronto Blue Jays have had something of an abysmal season. Right? No matter. There was Sportsnet on Thursday morning showing Red Sox-Blue Jays from the previous night on four channels. On Thursday evening, the Angels-Mariners, in something of a meaningless game, were on five Sportsnet channels.


Texas A&M now is U.S. college football’s MVP — most valuable program — with an average annual revenue of US$148 million. As Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot noted: “Still, universities can’t possibly afford to pay their athletes. Uncanny how that works.”



WHL players have started to find their way back from NHL camps. On Sunday, the Spokane Chiefs got back F Eli Zummack, 18, and D Filip Kral, who will turn 19 on Oct. 20, both from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kral was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft. . . . D Brendan De Jong, 20, was returned to the Portland Winterhawks by the Carolina Hurricanes, who picked him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. The Winterhawks now have four 20s on their roster — De Jong, F Conor MacEachern, F Connor Barley and D Jared Freadrich. . . . The Maple Leafs also returned G Ian Scott, 19, to the Prince Albert Raiders and F Riley Stotts, 18, to the Calgary Hitmen. Toronto took Scott in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft, and picked Stotts in the third round in 2018. . . . The Hurricanes also returned F Stelio Mattheos, 19, to the Brandon Wheat Kings. He was a third-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft.


ICYMI, Al Maki of The Globe and Mail wrote an intriguing piece about the late Zarley Zalapski and the work his sister, Kyla, did in an attempt to learn as much as she could about his cause of death. That piece is right here.



An anecdote as related by Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times . . .

Back when NCAA rules allowed it, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden took movie star Burt Reynolds — an ex-FSU player and  a huge Seminoles booster   — on a recruiting trip to Ohio to better his chances of sealing the deal. I’ll pitch FSU to the player, Bowden told Reynolds, while you sweet-talk the kid’s single mother.

“Well, the kid ended up going to Notre Dame,” Bowden quipped, “and the mother came to Florida State.”


When he was at Florida State, the late Burt Reynolds was roommates with Lee Corso, who now is a popular analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay program. A few years ago, he told Florida State boosters about his relationship with Reynolds: “I was famous for one thing at Florida State: I was Burt Reynolds’ roommate. . . . With his looks and my car, we’d kill ‘em in Tallahassee.”


All is in readiness for the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. It’s set for Sunday, Sept. 23, at McDonald Park. My wife, Dorothy, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part. Oh yes, she also is on the organizing committee. She is the top fund-raiser in Kamloops for a fifth straight year, thanks to more than a handful of you who stop by here on a regular basis. Thank you so much because this cause really means a lot to her. . . . How did she spend part of Saturday? Down the highway in Chase, providing support to a kidney support group that is getting started in that community. . . . Yes, we think she’s rather special. . . . If you would like to support her with a donation, you are able to do that right here.


And finally . . . I think this won the Internet on Saturday . . .