Hitmen get goalie from T-birds . . . Seattle playoff hero off to Calgary . . . Rockets sign Finnish defender


MacBeth

F Radim Valchar (Portland, Lethbridge, 2007-10) signed a one-year extension with Csíkszereda (Romania, Erste Liga). Last season, he had 22 goals and 27 assists in 32 games. He led his team in goals, assists and points, and was third in the league’s points race.


ThisThat

The Seattle Thunderbirds have traded G Carl Stankowski, who shone as they won the 2016-17 WHL championship but then didn’t play in 2017-18, to the Calgary Hitmen.

In return for Stankowski, an 18-year-old who played minor hockey in Calgary, and a Seattleconditional fourth-round selection, year undisclosed, in the WHL’s bantam draft, the Thunderbirds acquired D Mike Koster, 17, an eighth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft and a conditional pick in the 2019 or 2020 bantam draft.

“Carl’s medical needs have become very significant and we felt that being close to his home in Calgary would allow his family to more closely monitor his needs,” Seattle GM Bil La Forge said in a news release.

Stankowski, then in his 16-year-old season, took over from injured starter Rylan Toth late in the 2016-17 regular season and sparkled as Seattle won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. CalgaryStankowski, a second-round pick by Seattle in the 2014 bantam draft, was 3-0-0, 2.18, .910 in seven regular-season appearances, then went 16-4, 2.50, .911 in the playoffs. However, hip problems and health issues kept Stankowski from playing last season.

Andy Side of 710 ESPN Seattle detailed Stankowski’s issues in a February story that is right here. . . .

Koster, from Chaska, Minn., has committed to the U of Minnesota for 2020-21. Last season, he had two goals and eight assists in 21 games with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. He also captained the Chaska High Team, and put up 14 goals and 41 assists in 25 games. Koster is playing for Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup this week.

“Koster is an elite defenseman who is NCAA committed,” La Forge said. “We feel that we will provide him with a very viable option going forward. We look forward to opening the lines of communication with him.”

In Seattle, the trade means that G Liam Hughes, 19, is alone atop the depth chart. Last season, after being acquired from the Edmonton Oil Kings, he was 16-12-6, 3.15, .909. It is likely that Cole Schwebius, 17, and Eric Ward, 17, will battle for the No. 2 spot. Schwebius, from Kelowna, was a 10th-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft; Ward is a list player from Edmonton.

In Calgary, the Hitmen, who didn’t make the playoffs last season, are looking to replace Nick Schneider, who completed his eligibility by making 61 appearances.

The Hitmen acquired G Nick Sanders, 20, who was limited by injuries to four games with the Prince Albert Raiders last season. Interestingly, Sanders, like Stankowski, has had hip-related problems. Also in the hunt will be Matthew Armitage, who turns 19 on Oct. 30. A fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the 2014 bantam draft, he got into 19 games with Calgary last season (4-7-1, 3.55, .890).


There wasn’t anything on the Kelowna Rockets’ website as of Tuesday night, but if Regan Bartel, the team’s radio voice, says they have signed Finnish D Lassi Thomson, well, that’s good enough for me. . . . Thomson will turn 18 on Sept. 24. . . . He is from Tampere. . . . Last season, he had 12 goals and 15 assists in 49 games with Ives U-20 in the Jr. A SM-liiga. He also played six games with the Ives U-18 team, putting up four goals and three assists. On top of that, he played 20 games with the U-18 national team, scoring three goals and adding seven assists. . . . The Rockets selected him in the CHL’s 2018 import draft.



The Calgary Hitmen are looking for an athletic therapist with the news that Kyle Vouriot has signed on with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose as assistant athletic trainer and assistant strength and conditioning trainer. . . . The Winnipeg-based Moose is the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. . . . Vouriot, who is from Winnipeg, was with the Hitmen for three seasons.


Spiros Anastas is the new head coach of the ECHL’s South Carolina Stingrays. He spent the previous four seasons as head coach of the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns. . . . With the Stingrays, Anastas, 33, takes over from Ryan Warsofsky, who now is an assistant coach with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. . . . The Stingrays are coming of the best regular season (48-16-7-1) in franchise history. . . . Anastas was 36-68-8 with the Pronghorns. The school’s athletic department announced his departure on Friday, and now is searching for a replacement.


Matt Thomas is the new head coach of the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones. Thomas, a 42-year-old native of Maple Ridge, B.C., spent 11 seasons (2002-13) coaching in the ECHL, with the Atlantic Boardwalk Bullies, Fresno Falcons and Stockton Thunder. . . . From a news release: “He enters the 2018-19 campaign as the ECHL’s sixth-winningest coach with a career record of 342-225-80, just one win back of fifth place all time. He is also the all-time leader in playoff games coached with 97, and ranks third with 49 playoff wins.” . . . Thomas spent the past five seasons as the head coach of the U of Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. . . . In Cincinnati, Thomas replaces Matt Macdonald, who left after four seasons to join the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins as an assistant coach.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. She will celebrate the fifth anniversary on Sept. 23 by taking part in the Kamloops Kidney Walk. This will be the fifth time she has done the Kidney Walk; she has been the leading fund-raiser in Kamloops in each of the previous four years. . . . If you would like to support her this year, you are able to do so right here.


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Seattle goaltender won’t play this season . . . Warriors back alone on top . . . Pats, Blades earn some breathing room

Dan
An inside look at the Gangneung Hockey Centre, which apparently will be dismantled once the Olympic Winter Games are over. (Photo: Dan Courneyea)

DAN’S DIARY . . .

Dan Courneyea, who is part of the Kamloops Blazers’ off-ice crew of officials, is working men’s hockey games at the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. He has been keeping Taking Note readers up to date, too. . . . He has some notes from Monday, which is OlylogoTuesday over there:

“This building (Gangneung Hockey Centre) was built solely for these Olympics. There never were any games played on the ice until the Olympics started. Once the Olympics and Paralympics have finished, they allegedly are tearing this building down. No call for more ice in South Korea. It’s a nice building.”

In looking ahead to the Canadian men’s team and its next game against OAR, he notes:

“The OAR (Olympic Athletes from Russia) have a talented men’s team, it’s whether or not they can play as a team?”

Courneyea, like most everyone else, also is looking forward to the women’s gold medal game, which will be, yes, a rematch between Canada and the U.S.

“Looks like Team Canada has been built to skate with Team USA,” he writes. “The gold medal game should be a good one. Team Canada has the right group to score, skate, check and win.”

Two years ago, Courneyea was part of the off-ice crew that worked the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Kamloops.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

In one of the notes that Dan Courneyea sent to Taking Note from PyeongChang, he mentioned that the sweaters worn by the men’s hockey players all contain computer chips that are being used to track various statistics. . . . Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press takes a look at all of this in an intriguing story that is right here. . . . It turns out that NHL players aren’t all that enthusiastic about a lot of this stuff.

——

It should come as no surprise to WHL fans to learn that G Carl Stankowski won’t play at Seattleall this season. Stankowski, who took over as Seattle’s No. 1 goaltender and led the Thunderbirds to the 2017-18 WHL championship, hasn’t played, nor will he. What is surprising is what Stankowski has gone through over the last few months. Andy Eide of 710 ESPN Seattle posted an all-encompassing story on Monday that mentions a torn labrum in his right hip, a herniated disc, and a rare autoimmune disease. . . . For more, take a look at Eide’s complete story right here.


If you have a tip or just want to chat, email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com. You are able to follow me on Twitter at @gdrinnan.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Saskatoon at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

MONDAY:

At Brandon, the Moose Jaw Warriors scored three first-period goals and went on to beat the Wheat Kings, 6-3. . . . Moose Jaw (44-11-3) had lost its previous two games. It now MooseJawWarriorsleads the overall standings by two points over Swift Current. The Warriors have two games in hand. . . . Brandon (31-23-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, four points ahead of Saskatoon. . . . Moose Jaw’s first goals came from F Brett Howden (22), at 7:09; F Jayden Halbgewachs (56), at 9:02; and F Justin Almeida, at 13:47. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (16) got Brandon’s first goal, on a PP, at 6:28 of the second period. . . . The Warriors scored twice before the period ended. Almeida (33) scored while shorthanded at 7:50 and F Brayden Burke, back after missing two games, got his 29th, on a PP, at 13:50. . . . D James Shearer (2) and D Braden Schneider (1) scored third-period PP goals for Brandon. . . . F Tristyn DeRoose (3) got Moose Jaw’s final goal. . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of D Josh Brook and Halbgewachs, with Burke adding one. . . . Halbgewachs, the WHL’s leading goal scorer, and Burke have 104 points apiece, seven points behind Swift Current F Glenn Gawdin, who leads the league. . . . F Stelio Mattheos, who had missed four games, returned to Brandon’s lineup and drew two assists. . . . Brandon was 3-4 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 1-3. . . . G Adam Evanoff stopped 21 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Wheat Kings got 33 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . D Jonathon Lambos, who turned 17 on Jan. 14, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings. He was acquired from Victoria in a deadline deal that had F Tanner Kaspick join the Royals. Lambos, from Winnipeg, was a third-round pick by the Royals in the 2016 bantam draft. He has four goals and 20 assists in 33 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy prep team. . . . Moose Jaw lost D Jett Woo to a headshot major and game misconduct at 3:10 of the second period. Brandon F Ty Lewis was helped to the dressing room after the play. . . . The Warriors were without F Barrett Sheen, who drew a TBD suspension, for his part in a brouhaha at the end of Sunday’s 4-2 loss in Regina. Sheen was playing in his second game after serving a five-game suspension. . . . The Warriors are 4-0-0 against the Wheat Kings this season. Moose Jaw has 14 games remaining, while Brandon has 13 yet to play. They will meet four more times. . . . Announced attendance: 4,040.


At Prince Albert, the Regina Pats scored two first-period goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the Raiders. . . . Regina (32-24-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East ReginaPats100Division, three points ahead of Brandon. . . . Prince Albert (23-25-11) has lost two straight. It is eight points out of a playoff spot with 13 games remaining. . . . F Nick Henry gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 7:23 of the opening period, and F Jared Legien (20) added to the lead at 15:17. . . . F Brett Leason (12) got Prince Albert’s goal at 13:54 of the second period. . . . Regina F Matt Bradley (35) got the empty-netter at 19:26 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . The Pats were 0-2 on the PP; the Raiders were 0-3. . . . Regina got a big game from G Max Paddock, with 37 saves. With G Ryan Kubic injured, Paddock made his sixth straight start. . . . G Ian Scott blocked 21 shots for the Raiders. . . . F Kody McDonald of the Raiders left at 8:49 of the first period after taking a hit from Regina D Liam Schioler, who was given a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct. However, McDonald returned in the second period. . . . Raiders D Vojtech Budik took the pregame warmup but didn’t play. . . . Regina was without F Jesse Gabrielle, who drew a TBD suspension for his part in a kerfuffle at the third-period buzzer of the Pats’ 4-2 victory over visiting Moose Jaw on Sunday. . . . “It was an ugly win,” John Paddock, Regina’s general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s not totally unexpected to have the emotional level down (after three straight games against the Moose Jaw Warriors). We played seven games in 11 days so that’s a factor as well. That’s probably a bigger factor than the emotional level dropping down. Max was really good. Sometimes your goalie has to steal a game just like once in a while top players find a way to score enough goals to win. The penalty killing was really good and he was really good along with it.” . . . Harder’s story is right here. . . . Announced attendance: 2,256.


At Edmonton, D Jake Kustra scored in OT to give the Saskatoon Blades a 3-2 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (31-27-3) has won two in a row. It holds down the Eastern SaskatoonConference’s second wild-card spot, but now is only two points behind Brandon. . . . Edmonton (18-34-7) is two points ahead of Calgary in the scrap to avoid the Eastern Conference basement. . . . The Blades held a late 2-0 lead on goals from F Braylon Shmyr (32), at 18:02 of the second period, and F Chase Wouters (16), shorthanded, at 7:20 of the third. . . . The Oil Kings got to within a goal when F Kobe Mohr (8) scored at 11:58. . . . The home team tied it at 16:44 when F Trey Fix-Wolansky (25) scored on a PP. . . . Kustra won it with his fourth goal of the season, at 1:37 of OT. He has six career goals in 149 games, and two of them have been game-winners — both this season. . . . Shmyr and Wouters each had an assist for the Blades. . . . Edmonton was 1-5 on the PP; Saskatoon was 0-4. . . . Saskatoon G Nolan Maier stopped 15 shots as the Oil Kings struggled to generate offence. . . . Edmonton starter Todd Scott stopped 18 of 20 shots in 47:20. He was injured on the play on which Wouters scored and had to leave the game. Josh Dechaine came on to stop two of three shots in 14:17. . . . Announced attendance: 9,913.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Everett at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY

Still no timeline for Seattle goalie . . . Ex-enforcer reaches out to Peat . . . Jette on comeback trail from concussion . . . Toigos involved in mammoth real-estate deal

Scattershooting

A little bit of snow, exactly as was called for by forecasters, and Kamloops turns into smashville. It’s as predictable as the POTUS waking up every day and entertaining us with a tweet or six. Hey, it snowed here on Tuesday and again Thursday, and it was a travelling road show both days.


Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post:

“What is the point of fighting? It is purposeless. On (Dec. 15), for example, the Pats’ Bryce Platt and the Saskatoon Blades’ Evan Fiala squared off. It was a fight for the sake of a fight — a needless spasm of pugilism that was then replayed on the Brandt Centre’s centre-ice scoreboard. Player safety is such an obvious priority that fighting is showcased via the in-house video system. The wrong message is being transmitted.”


Derek Boogaard. Rick Rypien. Wade Belak. Matt Johnson. Steve Montador. Rudy Poeschek. Stephen Peat. Dale Purinton. . . . All were major junior hockey enforcers. All later experienced, or are experiencing, health and lifestyle issues. . . . Yes, it’s time for the WHL to outlaw fighting. Period.


On a different subject, have you flipped through the TV listings lately? Have you noticed all the Christmas moves that are available? No, I’m not referring to Home Alone, Die Hard, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street or any of those. I’m referring to the dozens of movies like Finding Santa, Christmas at Holly Lodge, Switched for Christmas, Christmas in Mississippi, etc. Hey, they’re everywhere. When did the making of such movies become such a large industry?


There’s a WHL angle here, too, because my wife, who knows such things, tells me that Candace Cameron Bure is a big star in the Christmas movie game. Yes, she is married to former WHL star Valeri Bure (Spokane Chiefs, 1991-94).


It’s college football bowl season and that’s always a fun time. Did you get to watch the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday? What about the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday? I’m old enough to remember when the Holiday Bowl was, well, the Holiday Bowl. Now it’s the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. . . . Someone has a lot of fun playing name that bowl game during the offseason.


Former WHLer Peter Soberlak (Kamloops, Swift Current, 1985-89) is in the running to be the next athletic director at Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops. He has been at TRU for 14 years and now is in the school’s phys-ed department. . . . It’s likely that either Soberlak or Curtis Atkinson will be tabbed to replace the retiring Ken Olynyk. Atkinson, the associate director of sport for Canada West, was the interim AD at the U of Regina for about 18 months starting in December 2014. His wife, Heather, is a TRU professor.


Just wondering . . . who had more failures . . . the original Steve McGarrett or Perry Mason?



Look, this is all new to me here, so please bear with me as I stumble around for a while.

But if you enter your email address over there on the right I believe that you will be notified each time I post something new on this site.

I haven’t yet been able to get a DONATE button posted here. But if you care to help the cause, please visit the old site (takingnote.ca), click on the DONATE button and do it there.


MacBeth

F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had two assists in 20 games with the Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He was released from a tryout contract on Dec. 19. . . .

G Ville Kolppanen (Lethbridge, 2009-10) has been assigned by Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SHL) to Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) on a one-game conditioning loan. Kolppanen has been out since just before the start of the season with an injury and only recently resumed training. . . .

D Sebastian Owuya (Medicine Hat, 2010-11) has been assigned on loan by Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) to Kallinge/Ronneby (Sweden, Division 1) for the remainder of this season. He was pointless in 14 games with Södertälje, and had one assist in three games while on loan to Nyköping Grypen (Sweden, Division 1).


A LITTLE OF THIS . . . SOME OF THAT . . .

Andy Eide, who follows the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle, chatted with general manager Russ Farwell and posted a story on Thursday. . . . In the story, Farwell Seattleaddresses the situation regarding G Carl Stankowski, who, at 16, led them to a WHL championship last spring but has yet to play this season. “He’s had some complications,” Farwell told Eide. “They’re looking, he’s maybe got some other health problems. They think they’ve got it figured out. They’re hoping this week to set the treatment and then we are thinking he’s going to play, which I wasn’t sure about at one point. It’s still up in the air, we don’t know for sure so that’s part of the frustration.” . . . The one thing that is certain is that the Thunderbirds have no idea when Stankowski might return to game action. . . . Farwell also addressed the impending arrival of the NHL in Seattle: “The cost for two people to go to an NHL game you can just about have a season ticket for us. We’re talking two different price points and I think the growth in the sport will be phenomenal. As people get excited about the game, communities start to build rinks and more kids get involved. That’s the key point for us and I think we’ll see the spin off from that.” . . . Eide’s complete story is right here.


Dale Purinton has been on the same road that Stephen Peat now is travelling. Both are former WHL enforcers, with a long history of fights both there and later in the NHL. These days, Peat is believed to be living on the streets of B.C.’s Fraser Valley, and Purinton would like to help him. . . . After the CBC did a story on Peat, Purinton got in touch with folks at the broadcaster. . . . Jeremy Allingham of CBC News has more right here.


In 2015-16, D Tyler Jette of Farmington, Minn., was one of 10 finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award, which goes to the state’s top high school player. He also was nominated for the Reed Larson Award, which goes to the state’s top high school defenceman. On Sept. 26, 2016, Jette, then 18, signed with the Tri-City Americans. . . . He never played even one game with the Americans. So . . . what happened? . . . Jette suffered a concussion in training camp prior to last season and sat out the entire season. In fact, he didn’t play again until earlier this month when he joined the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. He now has played in three games and has one assist. . . . “The only thing that was hampering him at all was his conditioning,” Sherwood Park head coach Adam Manah told Shane Jones of the Sherwood Park News, “which is to be expected after not playing for so long and only skating with us three or four times. He sees the ice well and moves the puck crisp and hard. All we need from him is to be a good shut-down guy. We can see there is some offensive instincts there too, but that will come in due time once he gets comfortable and gets his game rolling again.” . . . Jette no longer is listed among the prospects on the Americans’ website. . . . Jones’ story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice has signed G Gage Alexander, 15, who is from Okotoks, Alta. Alexander Kootenaynewwas a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he is 7-0-1, 1.75, .929 with the minor midget AAA Rockyview Raiders. . . . The Ice now has signed six of its 10 selections in the 2017 bantam draft — F Connor McClennon, who was taken second overall, D Anson McMaster, F James Form, G Will Gurski, F Owen Pederson and Alexander. . . . Left unsigned are D Jake Sanderson, a fourth-round pick from Calgary; D Brett Fogg of Humboldt, Sask., who was taken in the fifth round; D Benjamin Zloty, a sixth-rounder from Calgary; and F Michael Milne, who was taken in the eighth round out of the Yale Hockey Academy.


D Jake Harrison of West Kelowna, B.C., has committed to Michigan Tech for the 2019-20 season. Harrison, who is in his third season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . In 143 regular-season BCHL games, he has 16 goals and 56 assists. This season, he has four goals and 19 assists in 35 games.


A piece of property in downtown Vancouver that is owned by Shato Holdings Ltd., which is run by brothers Peter and Ron Toigo, has sold for “a reported $245 million,” according to the Vancouver Sun. . . . The site is located on West Georgia Street and is presently home to a White Spot restaurant. . . . The property, which also includes a parking lot, was purchased by Carnival International Holdings Ltd., which, the Sun reports, “trades on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.” . . . The Toigos also are the majority owners of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . The Sun’s complete story is right here.


Scoreboard

Dec. 18-Dec. 26:

No Games Scheduled.


Tweet of the day