Chiefs make coaching change as Smith replaces Maglio . . . Americans take game outside . . . Ice gets rare taste of home cooking


The Spokane Chiefs became the second of the WHL’s 22 teams to undergo a Spokanemid-season coaching change when they fired Adam Maglio on Thursday. . . . Ryan Smith has moved up from associate coach as the interim head coach and is to finish the season in that position, with part-time assistant Dustin Donaghy now on board as a full-timer. . . . Maglio had been the Chiefs’ head coach since Aug. 27, 2020, when he took over from Manny Viveiros, who had left for the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights. Maglio had been the associate coach under Viveiros. . . . Spokane was 6-10-5 under Maglio in the 2021 development season. . . . This season, the Chiefs (12-26-4) are last in the 10-team Western Conference. . . .

The Chiefs are two games into a five-game series with the Portland Winterhawks, who won the first two, 7-3 and 9-0. Portland scored five first-period goals and added four more in the second in Wednesday’s victory, which turned out to be Maglio’s last game behind the Spokane bench. . . . They’ll conclude the five-game series with three games in Spokane, starting tonight (Friday). . . . Earlier in the season, the Chiefs traded away two of their top forwards — Jack Finley and Luke Toporowski — in obvious moves to spark a rebuild. . . . Smith has been with the Chiefs since September 2020. He has WHL coaching experience as an assistant with the Medicine Hat Tigers and Swift Current Broncos. He was on the Broncos’ staff under Viveiros when they won the WHL’s 2017-18 championship. . . .

The Broncos were the first team to change coaches this season when they announced on Oct. 14 that general manager/head coach Dean Brockman was resigning. Assistant coach Devan Praught took over as interim head coach. The Broncos were 2-3-0 at the time; they are 14-20-5 under Praught. . . . The Chiefs also are looking for a general manager after Scott Carter, citing health and family reasons, announced on Jan. 27 that he will be leaving the organization at season’s end. He has said he will help the team find his replacement. . . . In a story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Dan Thompson quoted team president Mark Miles as saying that the team is “getting close” to ending its search. Taking Note was told by a source on Thursday that Matt Bardsley, now an amateur scout with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers after leaving his position as general manager of the Kamloops Blazers on May 24, is “in the mix.” . . .

The Chiefs’ news release is right here.


Morale


On the day that Major League Baseball announced the DH is coming to the National League this year, Buster Olney of ESPN summed up the state of MLB in one 22-word tweet . . .


If you’re the Tri-City Americans and you’re in Kamloops for a Wednesday-AmericansFriday double-dip, what do you do on your off-day? You head about 45 minutes north of Kamloops to Sun Peaks Resort and get in some shinny on an outdoor rink. . . . On Wednesday night, the Americans scored three third-period goals and beat the Blazers, 4-3. This was one of those games where an empty-net goal turned into the game-winner. F Connor Bouchard broke a 2-2 tie with a PP goal at 12:27 of the third period then added the empty-netter at 18:54. F Daylan Kuefler got the home side to within a goal, on a PP, at 19:59. . . . The Americans (13-25-4) had lost their previous six games; the Blazers (31-12-1) had a nine-game winning streak snapped. . . . They’ll play again tonight (Friday) at the Sandman Centre, although there was speculation that the Americans tried to get the game moved to that outdoor rink at Sun Peaks. . . . Kamloops D Quinn Schmiemann won’t play in the rematch as he serves a one-game suspension for what the WHL terms a “one-man fight.” He was in stir when Bouchard scored his first goal.


In Thursday night’s lone WHL game, the Winnipeg Ice beat the visiting WinnipegIceBrandon Wheat Kings, 6-2, behind three goals from F Connor McClennon. It was Winnipeg’s first home game since Dec. 18. . . . McClennon ran his goal total to 31 as the Ice won its 30th game of the season. . . . Despite not having played at home for more than month, the Ice has gotten in 20 home games. It is 16-3-1 in the Wayne Fleming Arena. . . . The Ice and the Wheat Kings both had a number of home games postponed after government-implemented restrictions limited capacity to 250 fans. That restriction now is 50 per cent, with the Ice announcing an attendance of 1,000 last night. Earlier this month, the U of Manitoba established capacity in the Wayne Fleming Arena at 2,000.


Beatles


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.


Dog

Scattershooting on a Sunday evening while wondering if the virus will leave when cold weather arrives . . .

Scattershooting


With MLB having started exhibition games and with a 60-game regular season soon to begin, Ann Killion, an excellent sports columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle, sums up the situation:

“Who is going to get the coronavirus next? Where is the roulette wheel going to stop? What will the repercussions be for that player’s or coach’s family? Will the games have to abruptly end?

“A welcome distraction?

“Not likely. Not when we know that the baseball players we’re watching are each receiving multiple tests a week so they can play some games that will carry asterisks forever.”

Nail, meet hammer. Killion’s complete column is right here.



With rookies for the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs reporting to training camp today (Monday), a number of NFL stars took to Twitter on Sunday to question what is going on concerning safety procedures. . . . Russell Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback, tweeted: “My wife is pregnant. Training camp is about to start. And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety.” . . . Nicholas Reimann of Forbes has more right here.


Cats


So . . . Sidney Crosby, one of the NHL’s few true superstars, leaves a Saturday scrimmage early and doesn’t return. Mike Sullivan, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ head coach, says: “We’re to permitted to comment.” . . . There isn’t a league anywhere in the world that does a better job of suppressing information than the GBHL — Gary Bettman Hockey League. . . . And the women and men who cover the GBHL better get used to this because I’m thinking it will be the new norm whenever the virus chooses to leave us.


It’s my understanding that the virus will go away once the weather turns cold.


The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported: “Lindsay Whalen, the Minnesota women’s basketball coach, says she’ll buy hot dogs for the first 500 fans at the Gophers’ home opener this season.” . . . To which Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times responded: “In a related story, Joey Chestnut just bought 75 tickets.”

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Danica Patrick’s mouthpiece says that the former race-car driver and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers have visited Splitsville. Here are the aforementioned Perry’s thoughts: “Rodgers apologists claim he called an audible; her spinmeisters say they hit the skids.”


The QMJHL announced on Saturday that its plan right now is for each of its 18 teams to qmjhlnewplay 60 games in a regular season that will open on Oct. 1. Training camps will open on Aug. 26 with teams bringing in a maximum of 34 players, down from around 60 in previous times. . . . The league also will be split into three divisions and teams will play only within their own divisions, meaning 12 games against each opponent. . . . The QMJHL hasn’t yet announced a playoff format, nor does it know whether fans will be allowed to attend games. . . . The QMJHL features six teams in the Maritimes, who would play in one division, with the other two divisions comprising the 12 Quebec teams. . . . If you were wondering, the Quebec Midget AAA League says it will start its regular season on Sept. 11.


Curtis Toneff, an assistant coach with the Humboldt Broncos, has been suspended by the SJHL team, which said he “will have no further association” with the team until further notice. Toneff is facing an undisclosed criminal charge by the RCMP and is looking at a court date somewhere down the road. . . . Toneff, 27, is from Nanaimo, B.C. He joined the Broncos’ staff prior to last season after spending two seasons as the general manager and head coach of the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.


Knife


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, with his Thought for the Day, this one from Will Rogers: “The taxpayers are sending Congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it, but they keep coming back.”


Headline at fark.com: Astros owner wants fans in the stands wo he can sell overpriced, watered down cold beer.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) has trimmed its Baltimore Orioles broadcast crew because of the pandemic, meaning play-by-play man Gary Thorne and analyst Jim Palmer won’t be on the air when things get restarted. Rick Dempsey, Brian Roberts and Gregg Olsen also won’t be taking part. . . .

Former MLB P Bob Walk, now a broadcaster with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is recovering after testing positive.

1B/DH Jose Martinez was on the field with the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. He had been out while quarantining following a positive test. . . .

P Collin McHugh of the Boston Red Sox, who has had elbow issues of late, has opted out of the season. He likely was headed to the injury list, but will spend time with his family. . . .

Golfing great Jack Nicklaus said Sunday that he and his wife Barbara, both of whom are 80, tested positive in March. Jack had some symptoms into late April, while Barbara was asymptomatic. . . .

Brandon Banks, the CFL’s most outstanding player in 2019, said via Twitter on Sunday that he won’t play in 2020 if there is a season. A wide receiver and kick returner, Banks tweeted that “Idk what they gonna do but I won’t put on a helmet til 2021.”



Gregor Chisholm, a baseball columnist with the Toronto Star, after the Canadian government refused the Blue Jays’ request to play home games in Toronto: “This was never about the sport itself. The Jays got caught up in something much bigger than a game. This is about Canada wanting to continue to distance itself from a dysfunctional neighbour who seems to have lost touch with reality.”

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So . . . why didn’t Jason Kenney, Alberta’s premier, invite the Blue Jays to play their home games out of Edmonton’s RE/MAX Field? It seats 9,200, but who cares because fans wouldn’t be allowed. Imagine the smile on Kenney’s face if he had the NHL and MLB in Alberta’s capital at the same time.

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With the Blue Jays on the move, apparently to Buffalo or Dunedin, Fla., let’s check out the standings in the Strat-O-Matic simulation league. . . . The Blue Jays were shelled 12-1 by the visiting Cleveland Indians on Sunday, falling to 46-54 and leaving them 13 games behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays (59-41). The New York Yankees (52-46) are six games back in second place. . . . The other MLB division leaders — Cleveland (61-39), Houston Astros (65-33), Washington Nationals (58-42), Milwaukee Brewers (53-45) and Los Angeles Dodgers (64-36).


After organizers cancelled the 2021 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, wondered: “If the Rose Parade is a public-health risk not worth taking, would a Rose Bowl game played in the same venue make sense?”



Hook

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