Vanstone gives us Bedard by the numbers . . . Rockets’ coach gets vote of confidence . . . Ex-WHLer takes over German national team

Some numbers on Regina Pats F Connor Bedard from Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post:

“By opening the scoring at 9:15 of Sunday’s first period, Bedard extended his Reginagoal-scoring streak to nine games. The Pats’ record of 15 was set by Dale Derkatch during the first 15 games of the 1982-83 season. Over the past nine games, Bedard has 20 goals. He also has 23 goals over his past 11 games.

“The game-opening goal also fattened Bedard’s point-scoring streak to 33. The Pats’ record of 47 was set in 1981-82 by linemates Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber. (The Prince Albert Raiders’ Jeff Nelson set the league record of 56 during the 1990-91 season. Bedard’s ceiling is 52, because the Pats have 19 regular-season games remaining.)”

Vanstone’s complete story, with even more numbers, is right here.

——

The Travelling Bedards take their show into Red Deer where they are to meet the Rebels tonight. This will be the first of four games for them in Alberta this week. . . . Yes, tonight’s game will be played in front of a sellout crowd. The Rebels tweeted Monday that they would be releasing about 300 “seating/standing room tickets” at some point today. . . . The road show moves into Calgary on Wednesday for a game with the Hitmen that is expected to draw about 17,000 fans to the Saddledome. . . . Then it’s on to games against the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Friday and the Medicine Hat Tigers on Sunday, both of which also are expected to draw sellouts. . . . At home, the Pats’ last two games were played in front of sellouts (6,499). They have drawn their five largest crowds of the season to their past five games.


Multi


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, after the 49ers were drubbed by the host Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday: “First of all, 49ers’ fans, be good sports and wish all the best for the Philadelphia Eagles’ fans. Nothing but mad props for a fan base proud of its rep as the most foul-mouthed, drunken bullies in the NFL! Egging the 49ers’ buses arriving before the game? That’s called a Philly Omelet.”

Ostler also wrote: “On TV, Terry Bradshaw reported that (48ers’ QB Brock) Purdy suffered a nerve injury and that his arm would be fine, sensation would return, though not necessarily during the game. Had I been in Philly, I would’ve tracked down Bradshaw to ask him about this painful lump on my knee.”


Kids


Bruce Hamilton, the owner, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, has given head coach Kris Mallette a vote of confidence. . . . “Kris KelownaMallette is going to coach this hockey club,” Hamilton told Regan Bartel, the radio voice of the Rockets on The Lizard. “He is a good, young coach. He has been very lucky coaching here because of lots of talent, and now this is a great challenge for him to make our team better.” . . . The Rockets (15-26-3) are tied with the Victoria Royals (14-28-5) for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot. They are nine points out of seventh place so it would seem that one of those teams will miss the playoffs. . . . Hamilton made no bones about who needs to get things together. “I am standing beside him,” Hamilton said. “We have to make sure the players aren’t running the show. This generation of players at times gets thinking they have more input than they do. This group should just worry about playing right now and less about everything else.” . . . Bartel’s piece is right here. . . .

The Rockets announced on Monday that F Max Graham is out for three to four weeks with an undisclosed injury. Graham, 18, has nine goals and six assists in 40 games. . . . He joins F Andrew Cristall and F Ty Hurley, both of whom are week-to-week, and D John Babcock and D Marek Rocak, both day-to-day, on the Rockets’ injury list. . . . In the meantime, they have added F Scott Cousins, who turned 19 on Jan. 6, from the BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings to their roster. He has played 52 games with the Rockets over three seasons. This season, he has two goals and five assists in 24 games with the Spruce Kings.


Jan Ludvig, the head coach of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay KamStormnewInternational Junior Hockey League, has been suspended for three games after receiving a gross misconduct during a 4-2 loss to the Posse in Princeton on Saturday night. Ludvig was penalized after putting a towel on a stick and waving it at 12:01 of the third period. . . . Ludvig is in his first season as the Storm’s head coach. He played one season (1981-82) with the Kamloops Jr. Oilers, before going on to play in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres. He also was a long-time scout with the Devils and later the Boston Bruins. . . . The Storm, it seems, already is planning a Towel Power promotion.


Harold Kreis, who played 68 games with the WHL’s Calgary Wranglers in 1977-78, is the new head coach of Germany’s national men’s hockey team. . . . Kreis, originally from Winnipeg, played 18 seasons of professional hockey in Germany, always in Mannheim. . . . Kreis, 64, is the head coach of the DEL’s Schwenninger Wild Wings. . . . Martin Merk of iihf.com has 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

——

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.


Tombstone

Pats waste Bedard’s four-pointer . . . KIJHL coach waves white towel . . . Americans complete three-win weekend

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE BEDARD REPORT — F Connor Bedard scored three times and added an assist on Sunday afternoon but it wasn’t enough as his Regina Pats dropped a 6-4 decision to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Bedard gave his guys a 2-0 lead in the first period and a 4-1 edge at 13:47 of the second period. But it all went for naught. . . . The 17-year-old leads the WHL in goals (42) and points (85). . . . Bedard and teammate Stanislav Svozil are tied for the lead in assists (43). . . . Bedard has 20 goals in a nine-game scoring streak; the WHL has a total of 40 20-goal scorers at this point. . . . This was Bedard’s fifth hat trick this season. . . . He is riding a 33-game point streak, having picked up at least one point in all but the first game he played in this season. . . . In 111 regular-season games, he has 213 points, including 105 goals. . . . In six games since returning from the World Junior Championship, Bedard has 21 points, including 15 goals. . . . The Pats now head into Alberta for four games in six days — Red Deer on Tuesday, Calgary on Wednesday, Lethbridge on Friday and Medicine Hat on Sunday. . . . The Pats and Hitmen drew 3,279 fans in Calgary on Oct. 2. This time they’re talking about perhaps 17,000.


Hockey fans in the state of Washington were out in full force on Saturday night . . .


Former NHLer Jan Ludvig now is the head coach of the junior B Kamloops kijhlStorm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He also will be soon to hear from Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL commissioner, if he hasn’t already.

That’s because Ludvig is on the other end of the stick in the below tweet, the one with the white flag on the end of it.

Ludvig was given a gross misconduct at 12:01 of the third period as his Storm was dropping a 4-2 decision to the Posse in Princeton.

The Storm next is scheduled to play Friday against the Grizzlies in Revelstoke with a return match the following night in Kamloops.

——

D Zach Peitsch of the KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs is in Kelowna General Hospital after being injured during a Friday night game against the host Grand Forks Border Bruins. . . . Peitsch, a 17-year-old from Kelowna, was hit in the throat by an opponent’s stick, suffering damage to his windpipe. He was taken by ambulance to KGH where he underwent surgery. . . . On Saturday night, the Chiefs tweeted: “Zach’s surgery was successful, although the damage was worse than the doctors initially believed. He is awake and will remain in ICU for tonight at least.” . . . The Chiefs added: “On behalf of Zach and the Peitsch family, we thank everyone for their comments wishing him well.”


Demons


SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Medicine Hat Tigers overcame a 4-1 deficit and beat the Pats, 6-4, in front of a sellout crowd (6,499) in Regina. . . . What did John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, think about the outcome? “I’ll call it stupidity,” he said, according to the Regina Leader-Post’s Rob Vanstone. . . . The victory lifted the Tigers (19-21-8) into an eighth-place tie with the Pats (22-21-2) in the Eastern Conference. That is the conference’s final playoff spot. They are one point behind the Swift Current Broncos. . . . Medicine Hat is 5-1-2 in its past eight games as it makes a run for a playoff spot. . . . Regina led 4-2 after the second period; it went into the game with a 19-0-0 record when leading after 40 minutes. . . . The Tigers scored the last five goals, four of them in the third period, with D Bogdans Hodass (9) getting two of them. . . . F Tomas Music (7) broke the 4-4 tie at 16:41 of the third period and F Brayden Boehm (18) added the empty-netter. . . . Regina D Stanislav Svozil had two assists. He has five goals and 43 assists in 33 games, after putting up 41 points, including 31 assists, in 59 games last season. . . . Vanstone’s game story is right here. . . .

G Dante Giannuzzi stoned the Spokane Chiefs on a 3-on-0 break in OT that allowed the Portland Winterhawks to scored a 4-3 victory on home ice. . . . Shortly after Giannuzzi’s save, F Marek Alscher (7) won it at 3:09 of extra time. . . . F Chaz Lucius had pulled Portland into a 3-3 tie at 19:43 of the third period. He also had an assist. . . . Lucius has at least two points in each of the six games he has played since joining Portland. All told, he has five goals and 10 assists. . . . The Chiefs held a 3-1 lead before D Ryan McCleary (11) got Portland to within one at 14:31 of the third. . . . F James Stefan added his 18th goal and two assists for the winners. . . . The Chiefs got 41 saves from Cooper Michaluk. . . . Portland (34-8-3) leads the Western Conference by three points over the Seattle Thunderbirds (33-8-2), who hold two games in hand. . . . The Chiefs (9-32-4) are 11 points from a playoff spot. . . . The Winterhawks were 3-0-0 in a three-game weekend, while the Chiefs were 0-2-1. . . .

F Owen Pederson scored at 2:42 of OT as the Winnipeg Ice beat the Hitmen, 5-4. . . . That was his 21st goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen had forced OT on late third-period PP goals from F Oliver Tulk (19), at 14:25, and F Sean Tschigerl (15), at 15:45. . . . Pederson and Tschigerl each scored twice. Tulk also had two assists. . . . The Ice (35-6-1) now leads the Eastern Conference by three point over the Red Deer Rebels (32-10-4). Winnipeg has four games in hand. . . . The Hitmen (23-17-6) are sixth in the conference. . . . Winnipeg went 2-1-0 in playing three games in fewer than 48 hours in Alberta. . . . Calgary also played three times in fewer than 48 hours, that last two at home. It finished 0-1-2 in those games. . . .

F Hayden Smith scored three times and added an assist as the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 10-2. . . . Smith, 18, went into the game with eight goals in 119 career regular-season games. This season, he has nine goals and four assists in 47 games. He has four goals and two assists in his past two games. . . . F Anton Astashevich (5) and F Jett Jones (17) each had a goal and two assists. . . . Lethbridge had a 51-24 edge in shots. . . . The Oil Kings took 72 of the 104 penalty minutes that were doled out. . . . The Hurricanes (26-16-5) are fifth in the Eastern Conference. . . . The Oil Kings (7-36-3), the WHL’s defending champions, won’t be in the playoffs this time around. . . .

The Tri-City Americans erased a 1-0 deficit with three straight goals and went on to beat the Silvertips, 3-2, in Everett. . . . F Jalen Luypen’s seventh goal, at 15:41 of the second period, proved to be the winner. . . . F Ethan Ernst got No. 25 for the Americans. . . . F Jackson Berezowski (30) scored his 112th career regular-season goal for Everett. That ties him with F Patrick Bajkov (2013-18) for the franchise record for most career goals. . . . Berezowski, who also had an assist, has 207 points in 251 games. . . . Bajkov, who is from Nanaimo, is playing professionally in Sweden. He put up 288 points in 342 games with Everett. . . . The Americans (23-16-5) went 3-0-0 on the weekend, beating Everett twice and Spokane once. G Tomas Suchanek went the distance in all three games. . . . Tri-City, fourth in the Western Conference, now is four points ahead of Everett (23-22-1). The Silvertips had a 1-2-0 weekend.


Idiots


Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette: “Not buying Novak Djokovic’s claim that his father was ambushed into a Down Under photo op by a bunch of pro-Putin Serbs. Everyone in Eastern Europe knows what the ‘Z’ T-shirts are about. Ditto the Wagner Group gear. Srdjan Djokovic knew what he was doing.”

——

Todd, again: “So the dysfunctional Vancouver Canucks organization has followed the awkward mess of the Bruce Boudreau firing by hiring Rick ‘Toxic’ Tocchet, who pleaded guilty in New Jersey in 2007 to charges of promoting gambling and conspiring to promote gambling. What could possibly go wrong?”


Treadmill


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.


Planets

Two WHLers end Friday in hospital . . . Bedard, Stankoven burning it up . . . Rebels move to top of conference


Four quick anecdotes from back in the day . . .

The New Westminster Bruins beat the Portland Winter Hawks, 12-9, at Queen’s Park Arena on Nov. 5, 1978.

Hey, Ken Hodge, what happened?

“We had some bad bounces,” Portland’s head coach said. “The winning goal hit a knot in the boards behind the net and bounced out in front while our goalie as looking the other way. What can you do about that?
Knot much.

——

When you’re talking about the best defencemen in WHL history, Kevin McCarthy has to be in the discussion. He was a tremendous player while spending four seasons (1973-77) with his hometown Winnipeg Clubs/Monarchs.

During his career, McCarthy knew what it was like to have to face the big, bad New Westminster Bruins in their home den, Queen’s Park Arena.

By the early 1980s, McCarthy was in the NHL. And it was while with the Vancouver Canucks that he and some teammates were mugged by a gang of youths near Chicago’s O’Hare International? Airport.

“One guy started it by suckering Jere (Gillis),” McCarthy said. “I thought I was back in Queen’s Park Arena.”

——

Who invented the goalie stick with a curved blade?

Well, there have been times when former WHL goaltender/coach Doug Sauter laid claim to having been first.

As he told New Westminster coach Ernie McLean while both were with the Bruins: “The curved blade makes it easier to fish the pucks out of the net.”

——

The Brandon Wheat Kings lost just five games out of 72 during the regular season of 1978-79. At some point during that season, someone from the U of Manitoba’s athletic department said something about its men’s hockey team being the second-best team in the province.

To which Brandon coach Dunc McCallum responded: “Where does that leave the Jets?”


Craft


Much has been made of F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats and the fact that he is riding a 32-game point streak, having been blanked in only the his first game of the season. But what about F Logan Stankoven of the Kamloops Blazers, who has at least a point in every game in which he has played this season. . . . On Friday night, Stankoven had two goals and an assist in a 7-4 victory over the Royals in Victoria to run his point streak to 28 games. . . . Stankoven and the Blazers will complete a doubleheader in Victoria tonight. He has 64 points, including 25 goals, in 28 games. . . . Bedard and Pats were idle on Friday and won’t play tonight, either. They are to entertain the Medicine Hat Tigers before a sold-out crowd on Sunday afternoon. . . . Bedard goes into the game leading the WHL in goals (39), assists (42) and points (81). . . .Stankoven is third in the points derby.


Two WHL players were receiving medical attention as Friday turned into Saturday. . . .

Saskatoon lost F Justin Lies at 5:29 of the second period during a game in Red SaskatoonDeer after what Les Lazaruk, the Blades’ veteran play-by-play man, said was a “high hit” from Red Deer F Carson Birnie. . . . Birnie was given an interference major and game misconduct. . . . The Blades tweeted that Lies “was taken off the ice on a stretcher following a hit in tonight’s game and will receive medical attention.” . . . After the game, the Blades tweeted that Lies was “stable and awaiting observation at Red Deer Hospital. He’s alert, in good spirits and thanks everyone for their concern and well wishes.” . . . Lies, 19, is from Flin Flon. He played three seasons with the Vancouver Giants before being acquired by the Blades prior this season. He has seven goals and 13 assists in 42 games this season. . . . The Blades were losing 1-0 when Lies was injured; they surrendered three more goals before the period ended as they dropped a 5-1 decision. . . .

Meanwhile, in Kennewick, Wash., F Parker Bell of the Tri-City Americans left Tri-Cityafter what one observer said was a “blind-side hit to the head” by F Andrew Petruk at 1:13 of the third period of a game with the Everett Silvertips. Petruk was ejected following the play that happened as Tri-City F Jalen Luypen scored for a 2-0 lead. Bell picked up an assist on the goal. . . . The Americans tweeted: “Parker Bell is being assessed by medical personnel. We will provide updates when we can.” . . . Bob Tory, the Americans’ general manager, told Taking Note that Bell was “at hospital” and that “all signs (are) positive . . . but he will be out for a while.” . . . Bell, 19, is from Campbell River, B.C. This season, his fourth with the Americans, he has 21 goals and 30 assists in 40 games. . . . Tri-City won the game, 2-1.


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Blake Swetlikoff broke a 1-1 tie at 10:44 of the third period as the Hurricanes got past the Winnipeg Ice, 2-1, in Lethbridge. . . . Swetlikoff won it with his eighth goal, his third in nine games with the Hurricanes since being acquired from the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Winnipeg F Connor McClennon (23) had tied the game 33 seconds into the third period. . . . F Hayden Smith (6) had a goal and an assists for the winners. . . . With G Daniel Hauser scratched, the Ice had Noah Stenvig backing up starter Mason Beaupit. Stenvig, who turned 17 on Jan. 16, plays for the U18 team at the Delta Hockey Academy. From Campbell River, B.C. he was an eighth-round pick in the 2021 WHL draft. . . . The Ice also had D Chase Bambrick, 16, in their lineup after bringing him in from the U18AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2021 WHL draft. . . .

The host Moose Jaw Warriors scored the game’s last five goals, four of them in the third period, to beat the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-1 . . . F Harper Lolacher (11) and F Ryder Korczak (20) each scored twice for the winners. . . . Korczak, who had 25 goals in 68 games last season, got his 19th and 20th goals in his 28th game this season. . . . The Warriors took two of the game’s three minor penalties, one of which was for too many men. . . . Moose Jaw (29-15-3) moved past the Blades (28-11-4) into third place in the Eastern Conference. Saskatoon has four games in hand. . . .

F Chaz Lucius scored twice and added an assist as the host Portland Winterhawks skated to a 6-3 victory over the Swift Current Broncos, who were opening a U.S. Division swing. . . . Lucius, who starred for Team USA at the World Junior Championship, has four straight multi-point games — three goals and seven assists — since joining the Winterhawks. . . . The Broncos took a 2-1 lead into the middle of the second period but the Winterhawks scored three times before the period ended. . . . F James Stefan had two goals (17) and two assists for the winners, who finished the game by scoring two empty-netters. . . .

G Kolby Hay stopped 43 shots to lead the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 3-0 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Hay, an 18-year-old from Monte Creek, B.C., recorded his first career shutout. It was a reward of sorts for what has been a rough season. After going 16-4-1, 3.11, .885 with the WHL champions last season, he is 5-24-2, 4.26, .886 this season. . . . The Oil Kings scored three unassisted goals — from F Gavin Hodnett (8), F Dawson Seitz (2) and F Noah Boyko (12). . . . Calgary was 0-for-7 on the PP. . . . The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes by inclement weather. . . .

F Kai Uchacz scored two goals to help the host Red Deer Rebels to a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . The victory lifted the Rebels (32-9-4) into first place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the Winnipeg Ice (33-6-1). Winnipeg holds five games in hand. . . . Uchacz, who has 37 goals, had Red Deer’s first and fifth goals as it built a 5-0 lead. He also had an assist. . . . F Frantisek Formanek had three assists. . . . The Rebels, nursing a 1-0 lead, broke it open with three goals in 2:13 just past the midway mark of the second period. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers jumped out to a 3-0 lead — they scored at even strength, on a PP and while shorthanded — en route to a 7-4 victory over the Royals in Victoria. . . . F Matthew Seminoff (16) scored the Blazers’ first two goals and later added two assists. . . . F Fraser Minten (22) also scored twice for the visitors and also had an assist. . . . D Olen Zellweger had three assists for Kamloops. He has four goals and eight assists in six games since moving over from Everett at the trade deadline. . . . The Blazers (27-9-6) lead the B.C. Division by 16 points over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Blazers and Royals will complete their doubleheader tonight in Victoria. . . .

The Tri-City Americans scored the game’s first two goals and went on to a 2-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kennewick, Wash. . . . D Lukas Dragicevic (11), at 16:06 of the second period, and F Jalen Luypen (5), at 1:13 of the third, scored for Tri-City. . . . F Caden Zaplitny (9) got the Silvertips to within one at 8:09 of the third. . . . The Americans (21-16-5) moved into fourth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Silvertips (22-21-1). . . .

F Jared Davidson scored twice and added an assist as his Seattle Thunderbirds dumped the host Spokane Chiefs, 7-2. . . . Davidson now has 25 goals. . . . F Luca Ciona added a goal, his 19th, and three assists for Seattle, with F Kyle Crnkovic scoring his 23rd goal and earning two helpers. . . . F Chase Bertholet (22) scored both Spokane goals. . . . Seattle (33-7-2) continues to lead the Western Conference by one point over the Portland Winterhawks (32-8-3). . . . Portland and Seattle will clash tonight in Kent, Wash. . . .

The Vancouver Giants erased an early 1-0 deficit as they beat the Kelowna Rockets, 3-1, in Langley, B.C. . . . D Tyler Thorpe (2) tied the game at 4:50 of the second period and F Jaden Lipinski (15) pulled the Giants ahead at 14:41. Both goals came via the PP as Vancouver went 2-for-6. . . . The Rockets were 0-for-5. . . . The victory allowed the Giants (18-20-6) to pull into a sixth-place tie with the idle Prince George Cougars (19-20-4) in the Western Conference. They now are 11 points ahead of the Rockets (14-26-3) and Victoria Royals (13-28-5). . . . The Giants and Rockets will do it again tonight, this time in Kelowna.


The U of Calgary Dinos beat the Mount Royal Cougars, 4-2, on Friday night in Calgary, running their winning streak to 18 games. That’s a new Canada West record, breaking the record of 17 that was set by the Alberta Golden Bears in 1978-79. . . . The game was played before 11,083 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome as part of the annual Crowchild Classic.


Bacon


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.


Twitter

The night Ed Chynoweth coached Wranglers to victory . . . Would you pay 13 grand for Bedard sweater? . . . Stankoven, Zellweger spark Blazers

The WHL’s latest available Guide and Record Book, one that was made available last season, shows Dean Chynoweth, now an assistant coach with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, with 272 regular-season head-coaching victories from stints with the Seattle Thunderbirds and Swift Current Broncos.

EdChynoweth3
ED CHYNOWETH

What the WHL’s record book doesn’t show is that his late father, Ed, the godfather of major junior hockey, is 271 victories behind his son.

That’s because, for some reason, the record book doesn’t list Ed in its coaching statistics.

But he should be there. With one victory.

There was a time when Ed, the WHL’s long-time president, left the WHL’s Calgary office for a spot with the Calgary Wranglers as minority owner and general manager.

That brings us to Dec. 5, 1979, with the Wranglers in Medicine Hat to play the Tigers.

The score was 1-1 in the third period when F Brad Kempthorne scored for the Tigers. The Wranglers, however, were of the opinion that referee Ken Wheler shouldn’t have allowed the goal to stand.

Calgary goaltender Warren Skorodenski claimed that Kempthorne knocked the puck into the net with an arm. Doug Sauter, the Calgary head coach, agreed with his goaltender.

By the time the debate was over, Skorodenski had been given a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, Calgary had been hit with a bench minor and Sauter had been ejected.

“Warren said the puck went in off the guy’s arms and it did,” Sauter said. “There were two guys in the crease as well.”

With Sauter gone, Chynoweth moved from the press box to the Calgary bench for what would be the only coaching appearance of his many years in the WHL.

With Chynoweth calling the shots, the Wranglers killed both minor penalties and then got a PP goal from D Jim Crosson at 9:50 for a 2-2 tie. It should be noted that the Wranglers were skating with a two-man advantage when Crosson scored.

And the Wranglers won it in OT on a PP goal from F Dan Bourbonnais, who beat G Kelly Hrudey at 5:37, after the Tigers had been called for too many men.

It may not mean anything, but the Tigers were given the only four minor penalties handed out after Chynoweth moved behind the bench.

The announced attendance was 1,948 and they watched the Wranglers win their sixth in a row and run their record to 20-5, the best in the league at the time.

The WHL book shows Sauter with 417 regular-season victories. Perhaps that figure should be 416, with Chynoweth being given credit for one.


Living


THE BEDARD REPORT: F Connor Bedard ran his point streak to 32 games with a pair of goals as his Regina Pats dumped the visiting Swift Current Broncos, 5-2,

BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

on Saturday night. . . . The announced attendance was 6,499, the Pats’ first sellout in the Brandt Centre this season, as Bedard Fever seems finally to have taken over Regina and area. . . . The Pats now have played 21 home games; their past four games have drawn their four largest crowds of the season. . . . Bedard was kept off the scoresheet in his first game this season — a 5-4 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors on Sept. 23 — but since has been on a tear. . . . He leads the WHL in goals (39), assists (42) and points (81), all in 33 games. . . . In five games since returning from the World Junior Championship, he has 12 goals and five assists. . . . Bedard also has scored in eight straight games, seven off the franchise record set by Dale Derkatch to open the 1982-83 season. Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post also reminds us that the Pats’ record for longest point streak is 47 games and is shared by Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber from 1981-82. . . . The Pats wore SpongeBob SquarePants-themed sweaters for this one, and they were made available via auction. Bedard’s went for $13,025. (Proceeds from the auction are going to Children’s Miracle Network.) . . . The Pats now are off for a week. They next are scheduled to play on Jan. 29 against the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Vanstone’s story from Saturday’s game is right here.



JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Regina Pats (aka the Travelling Bedards) are scheduled to play in Calgary on Feb. 1. Alan Caldwell (@smallatlarge) advises that “the Hitmen have opened the upper bowl. . . . The lower bowl is sold out and looks like about the first 15 rows of the upper bowl as well. Looking at 14,000-15,000 fans at this point I think. Could be a sellout by game time???” . . .

With the Travelling Bedards scheduled to meet the Tigers in Medicine Hat on Feb. 5, James Tubb (@ReporterTubb) of the Medicine Hat News advises: “. . . if you haven’t gotten a ticket . . . you should act fast.” . . . According to WHL figures, the Tigers average announced attendance is 2,211 through 21 games. Co-op Place has a listed capacity of 7,100.


Truckfire


SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Prince Albert Raiders scored the game’s last three goals, all in the third period, as they beat the Saskatoon Blades, 3-1. . . . On Friday night in Saskatoon, the Blades, playing as the Saskatoon Bananas as part of an annual promotion, had beaten the Raiders, 6-1. . . . Last night, the Raiders were 2-for-2 on the PP with D Landon Kosior drawing the primary assist on each of them. . . .

F Alexander Suzdalev had a goal and two assists to help the host Regina Pats to a 5-2 victory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Pats also got three assists from D Stanislav Svozil. . . . Suzdalev, a Russian freshman, has 24 goals and 33 assists in 42 games. . . . Svozil, a sophomore from Czechia, has five goals and 41 assists in 32 games. Last season, he finished with 41 points in 59 games. . . .

F Chase Wheatcroft scored in OT as the visiting Prince George Cougars got past the Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-3. . . . Wheatcroft won it with his 28th goal just 46 seconds into extra time. . . . F Koehn Ziemmer scored twice for the Cougars, giving him 26 goals on the season, including six in his past three games. . . . F Jaxsen Wiebe, who was acquired from Edmonton, drew the primary assist on the winner. . . . F Noah Boyko, who was dealt to Edmonton in the same deal, had a goal (11) and an assist. . . . The Cougars went 2-3-1 in their swing into the Central Division. . . .

F Kalan Lind’s OT goal gave the host Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Lind won it with his 14th goal at 0:39 of OT. . . . He has a goal in five straight games. . . . F Jayden Grubbe (12) pulled Red Deer into a 1-1 tie with a PP goal at 17:51 of the third period. . . .

The Medicine Hat Tigers got two goals from F Shane Smith as they ran their winning streak to three games with a 7-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen. . . . Smith, who turned 18 on Jan. 14, has 16 goals in his freshman season. . . . The Tigers had two players — D Kurtis Smith and D Josh Van Mulligen — score their first goals of the season in the final minute of the third period. . . .

The Kamloops Blazers erased a late 5-3 deficit and beat the visiting Tri-City Americans, 6-5, in OT. . . . F Logan Stankoven scored three times for Kamloops, including the winner at 2:47 of OT. Stankoven, who has 23 goals, forced OT with a goal at 16:47 of the third period. . . . Stankoven also had two assists, for the second five-point game in his past five games. He has four such outings in his career. . . . He also is riding a 27-game point streak. He has at least a point in every game he has played this season, totalling 23 goals and 38 assists. He and F Connor Bedard of the Regina Pats are the only two players averaging more than two points per game; Bedard is at 2.45 with Stankoven at 2.26. . . . D Olen Zellweger scored his 14th goal and added four assists for Kamloops. It was the second five-point game of his WHL career; he had one last season while with the Everett Silvertips. . . . F Ethan Ernst’s second goal of the game and 23rd of the season had given the Americans a 5-3 lead at 14:05 of the third period. . . . The Americans had won, 8-2, in Kamloops on Friday night. . . .

The Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first six goals, the first three in the first period, en route to a 6-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips in Kent, Wash. . . . D Jeremy Hanzel had three assists for the winners, with F Kyle Crnkovic scoring twice (22). . . . The Thunderbirds held a 48-15 edge in shots. . . . Seattle F Brad Lambert missed his second straight home game as he works to get a visa situation straightened out. . . . Seattle is 6-0-0 against Everett this season, with a 31-10 edge in goals. . . .

F Matt Savoie scored the only goal of a shootout as the host Winnipeg Ice beat the Moose Jaw Warriors, 3-2. . . . They’ll play again today in Winnipeg. . . . F Zach Benson (25) had one of Winnipeg’s goals as he ran his point streak to 13 games. He has 11 goals and 17 assists over that stretch. . . . Moose Jaw F Atley Calvert went into this season with 18 goals in 102 career regular-season games; he scored his 26th of this season last night. . . . Ice G Daniel Hauser recorded the victory. He is 23-2-1 this season and 64-5-3 in his career. . . .

F Robbie Fromm-Delorme had two goals and an assist to help the Winterhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Portland. . . . Fromm-Delorme, 20, had 15 goals and 19 assists in 38 games last season; this season, he’s got 25 goals and 29 assists in 40 outings. . . . F Gabe Klassen helped out with his 25th goal and an assist. . . . F Chaz Lucius, playing his second game with Portland, scored his first goal and added an assist. He’s got a goal and three assists in those two games. . . . The Hurricanes went 0-1-2 on a quick trip into the U.S. Division. . . .

The Spokane Chiefs scored three third-period goals and beat the visiting Victoria Royals, 6-3. . . . D Mac Gross (6) broke a 3-3 tie at 1:41 of the third period and F Cade Hayes added insurance with his eighth and ninth goals at 9:36 and 16:18. . . . F Jake Poole had a goal (24) and an assist for Victoria. He has put together a run of six straight multi-point games — one three-pointer and five deuces. . . . The Royals went 0-2-1 in a U.S. Division trip. . . .

The Vancouver Giants erased a 1-0 deficit with three goals and hung on to beat the Rockets, 4-3, in Kelowna. . . . G Brett Mirwald stopped 25 shots for the Giants, who scored two PP goals. . . . F Adam Kidd (13) scored twice for the Rockets, the second one getting them to within one at 13:20 of the third period.



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.


Donate

Remembering the night Oil Kings’ owner coached Calgary team . . . Hodgson finally gets hockey card . . . Dinos tie Canada West record

In going through some files the other night, I stumbled on a few interesting episodes from the WHL’s past, back when there were a whole lot of colourful characters who called it home. Here is one tale from the past. . . .

It was November of 1966 and the WHL, then called the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, was in its first season when one team’s owner and general manger ended up coaching another team, a team on whose board of directors he happened to sit.

BillHunter
BILL HUNTER

Yes, the gentleman in question was Bill Hunter, who was the Edmonton Oil Kings’ owner, president, chief executive offer, general manager and coach whenever he wanted to be. He also sat on the board of directors of the Calgary Buffaloes. Oh, he also was the chairman of the CMJHL’s board of governors.

The Buffaloes, under coach John Kell, were struggling at 1-9-0. As October turned into November, Kell stepped down amidst rumours that Hunter would put his Oil Kings’ stock in trust and move south to run the Buffs. Hunter, naturally, denied all of that, although he was in Calgary on Oct. 31 to run the Buffaloes through a practice session. With Hunter back in Edmonton, Jim Finney handled practices for the next four days.

On Nov. 4, Hunter and CMJHL commissioner Frank Boucher actually held separate news conferences on the same day in different cities during all of this. Hunter, speaking in Calgary, told the gathered newshounds that the Buffs would sign a coach “in three or four days” and then added that he couldn’t reveal the name just yet. Meanwhile, down the highway in Regina, Boucher was announcing that Alf Pike would coach the Buffaloes but that Pike wouldn’t be available for a few days.

The very next night the Buffaloes met the Regina Pats in Calgary. And guess who was behind the Calgary bench? Yes, it was Wild Bill Hunter, live and in person. The Pats ruined it all by winning, 3-1.

“I’m more convinced than ever the Buffs have the makings of a fine junior club,” Hunter said after the game. “When Alf gets here and implements a system, they’ll start winning their share of games.”

The Buffaloes, who were 1-11-0 after Hunter’s one game behind the bench, finished the season at 4-47-5.


Bored


When the subject turns to the greatest WHL players of all-time, the name Dan PrinceAlbertHodgson isn’t mentioned nearly enough. Hodgson played three seasons (1982-85) with the Prince Albert Raiders, putting up 493 points, including 305 assists, in 202 games. He also played two games with the Spokane Flyers in 1980-81 but didn’t record any points. . . . Hodgson won a Memorial Cup (1985) with the Raiders and played for Canada at two Wold Junior Championships. . . . He was a fifth-round selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL’s 1983 draft. . . . Hodgson, now 57, went on to play 114 games over four NHL seasons, picking up 29 goals and 45 assists. He then went on to a lengthy career in Europe. . . . And through it all he never once had a hockey card. But, as Abdulhamid Ibrahim of The Canadian Press points out, that has all changed with Upper Deck having issued its First Peoples Rookie Cards set. . . . This is a great story and it’s all right here.


ICYMI, Jan. 20 was the 20th anniversary of one of the great moments in NHL history. . . .


JUST NOTES:

The Regina Pats, aka the Travelling Bedards, are to face the Wheat Kings in Brandon on Feb. 24. The Wheat Kings announced on Friday morning that only standing room tickets are available for that one. . . . Those tickets were to go on sale later in the morning, so the SOLD OUT sign may well be up by now. . . .

The U of Calgary Dinos tied a Canada West record on Friday night as they ran their winnings streak to 17 games with an 8-2 victory over the Cougars in Regina. The Dinos now share the record with the1978-79 Albrerta Golden Bears. F Jake Gricius had a goal and two assists for Calgary, giving him six points in a two-game sweep of the Cougars. G Carl Tetachuk stopped 20 shots to post his CW-leading 14th victory.


Sewing


FRIDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The host Swift Current Broncos scored three times in the last seven minutes of the third period and beat the Regina Pats, 4-2. . . . F Drew Englot’s first goal with the Broncos since being acquired from the Kamloops Blazers at the trade deadline, at 13:18 of the third, stood up as the winner. Englot, 20, began is WHL career with the Pats. . . . Regina F Connor Bedard gave his guys a 1-0 lead with his WHL-leading 37th goal at 8:57 of the first period. It was his 100th career regular-season goal and ran his point streak to 31 games. . . . Announced attendance was 2,890 in a building that has a listed capacity of 2,879. . . . The Broncos are scheduled to visit Regina tonight. . . . The Broncos and Pats are tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but Swift Current has three games in hand. . . .

F Misha Volotovskii scored twice to lead the Saskatoon Blades — there were the Saskatoon Bananas in a second annual promotion — dumped the visiting Prince Albert Raiders, 6-1. . . . Volotofskii, a 17-year-old sophomore from Saskatoon, has three goals in 38 games. Last season, he scored twice in 53 games. . . . The Blades are 5-0-0 against the Raiders this season, having outscored them 24-5. . . . D Landon Kosior was back in the Raiders’ lineup for the first time since Jan. 4. . . . They’ll do it all over again tonight, this time in Prince Albert. . . .

F Nolan Flamand had a goal (6) and two assists to help the Brandon Wheat Kings to a 4-2 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . D Quinn Mantei (2) broke a 2-2 tie at 17:10 of the third period. . . . The Wheat Kings, who are four points out of a playoff spot, welcomed back two injured players. D Andrei Malyavin last played on Dec. 18, while F Caleb Hadland had been out since Oct. 29. . . .

F Kyle Chyzowski scored at 2:30 of OT to give the host Portland Winterhawks a wild 7-6 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . F Jake Poole’s 23rd goal, at 14:20 of the third period, had given the visitors a 6-4 lead. . . . F Gabe Klassen (24) got Portland to within one at 16:50 and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (23) tied it at 18:41, both with G Dante Giannuzzi on the bench for an extra attacker. Chyzowski won it with his 11th goal. . . . Klassen and Fromm-Delorme each scored twice, as did teammate James Stefan (15). . . . F Chaz Lucius made his Portland debut on a line with fellow Americans Jack O’Brien and Stefan, who scored 13 seconds into the first period. . . . O’Brien had three assists, Stefan two goals and an assist, and Lucius two assists. . . . The game included only four minor penalties, the last one to the Royals at 2:30 of OT. . . . The Royals are 0-2 on a three-game swing into the U.S. Division that ends tonight Spokane. . . .

In Red Deer, the Rebels scored four third-period goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 8-5. . . . F Kai Uchacz scored twice (36) and added three assists for the winners, giving him his first career five-point game. . . . The Rebels were 5-for-7 on the PP. . . . F Ben King, who led the WHL with 52 goals last season, scored once (6) as he returned to the Rebels lineup for the first time since Oct. 22. . . . The victory lifted the Rebels into first place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of the idle Winnipeg Ice, which holds five games in hand. . . .

Kelowna F Carson Golder, playing after a four-game absence, scored on his first shift back and later added a second goal to lead the Rockets to a 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Rockets had lost their previous six road games. . . . Golder has 16 goals. . . . The Giants were 0-for-8 on the PP. . . . The Twitter account New Westminster Bruins (@NewWestBruins) pointed out Friday afternoon that the Giants played the Rockets “just once in their first 41 games and now play EIGHT times in their final 27.” . . . Kelowna F Andrew Cristall, who has 62 points in 36 games, missed his fourth straight game. . . . These same teams are to meet again tonight, this time in Kelowna. . . . The eighth-place Rockets are seven points behind the Giants with two games in hand. . . .

F Parker Bell enjoyed his first three-goal game to spark the Tri-City Americans to an 8-2 victory over the Blazers in Kamloops. . . . Bell, who scored all three goals on the PP, now has 21 goals. . . . The Americans, who trailed 2-1 after a period, were 4-for-4 on the PP. . . . Interestingly, Tri-City’s Lukas Dragicevic, who leads WHL defencemen in points, only had one assist, while D Marc Lajoie drew four helpers. . . . Tri-City G Tomas Suchanek finished up with 48 stops. . . . With the Americans leading 6-2 in the third period, Kamloops G Dylan Ernst stopped his older brother, Ethan, on a penalty shot. . . . The same teams will play again tonight in Kamloops. . . .

F Reid Schaefer counted on a penalty shot in OT as the Seattle Thunderbirds got past the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 3-2, in Kent, Wash. . . . The Hurricanes were in OT for the fourth time in five games. They have won one of those games. . . . Schaefer, who has 18 goals, won it at 1:18 of extra time after tying the score, 2-2, at 6:58 of the third period. . . . Lethbridge is 0-0-2 on its three-game U.S. Division trek that concludes tonight in Portland. . . .

G Tyler Palmer turned aside 25 shots to help the host Everett Silvertips to a 5-2 victory over the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Spokane led 2-1 after the first period, but Everett scored the game’s last four goals. . . . The comeback was sparked by F Kyan Grouette’s first goal of the season in his 30th game. Grouette, who turned 18 on Jan. 7, is from Dauphin, Man. He tied the score, 2-2, at 6:22 of the second period.



Here’s Ken Campbell of Hockey Unfiltered:

“By my count there are 14 Russian Orthodox churches in Philadelphia and another 10 in Cherry Hill, N.J., where most of the Philadelphia Flyers live. I wonder how many of them Ivan Provorov has attended since he started playing for the Flyers six-plus years ago. I really want to believe that hockey doesn’t hate the LGTBQ+ community. I really do. But then I see that Provorov’s sweater (not a jersey) sold out after he opted out of the warm-up on the Flyers’ Pride Night and it depresses me.”


THINKING OUT LOUD: It has to be awfully hard to be a fan of the Vancouver Canucks these days what with the way ownership/management is treating head coach Bruce Boudreau. . . . The QMJHL’s 2022-23 Media Guide was available for download when the season got started. I’m told the OHL’s was ready sometime in November. The WHL’s isn’t available and the regular season is half over. Too bad, because its arrival once was a highlight of the season. . . . If you missed it, Boudreau, at the close of his post-game media availablity, said: “See you tomorrow . . . I hope.” The Canucks are at home to the Edmonton Oilers tonight, so this saga will get more play, this time on Hockey Night in Canada’s national stage. Unless a change is made early today. Oh, and the game will bring a conclusion to Hockey Day in Canada. . . . Bruce, there it is!


Lost


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.


Homeless

Bedard, Pats keep on rolling . . . Rockets face interesting schedule . . . Look back at WHL’s weekend


BEDARD
CONNOR BEDARD

THE LEGEND CONTINUES TO GROW: F Connor Bedard scored Regina’s last two goals as the Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3, on Saturday night. . . . Bedard has 36 goals this season and is on a 30-game point streak. . . . The Pats have won three in a row since Bedard returned from his dominating performance with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. In those three victories, Bedard has nine goals and four assists — a six-point game, a five-pointer and Saturday’s deuce. . . . Despite missing 11 games while at the WJC, Bedard leads the WHL in goals (36), assists (41) and points (77). He holds a 15-point lead over F Andrew Cristall of the Kelowna Rockets in the points derby. Cristall has missed Kelowna’s last three games with an undisclosed injury. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post tells us that Bedard’s 30-game point streak is “17 short of the team record, set by Jock Callander and Wally Schreiber during the 1981-82 season.” . . . Vanstone also informs us that Bedard “is on pace to become the first Pat to score 50 goals in 50 or fewer games since Dale Derkatch in 1983-84.” Derkatch scored Nos. 50 and 51 in his 49th game that season. . . . The Pats are off until the weekend when they go home-and-home with the Swift Current Broncos, playing Friday on the road and Saturday in Regina. . . . The Broncos (20-17-1) are eighth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Regina. The Broncos hold four games in hand.


From the Department of Read It and Weep, a piece that hits the nail squarely on the head . . .


The Kelowna Rockets, who are fighting for their playoff lives, are two games into an eight-game stretch during which they will play only two teams — the Victoria Royals and Vancouver Giants.

Going into this week, it really is looking as though one of the Rockets or Royals Kelownawill finish eighth in the Western Conference, with the other team left out of the playoffs. The Rockets (13-23-3) are eighth now, one point ahead of the Royals (12-25-4). The Prince George Cougars (17-18-4) and the Giants (16-19-6) are tied for sixth, nine points ahead of the Rockets.

Five of the Rockets’ next eight games are against the Giants, so one would have to think Kelowna needs to beat Vancouver at least four times to have a chance at moving up in the standings.

As for the Royals, well, they are 7-2-1 in their past 10 games after sweeping a weekend series from the visiting Rockets, winning 4-0 on Friday and 6-3 on Saturday.

Next up for the Rockets is a home-and-home with the Giants, playing Friday in Langley, B.C., and Saturday in Kelowna. The Royals, who are to play the Winterhawks in Portland on Friday and the Chiefs in Spokane on Saturday, will be in Kelowna on Sunday as each team plays its third game in fewer than 48 hours.

The Rockets and Giants then will play three in a row — Jan. 27 in Langley, and Jan. 28 and Feb. 3 in Kelowna.

One positive for the Rockets is that they won’t play any mid-week games during that stretch, so head coach Kris Mallette and his staff will have lots of practice time, something coaches really treasure.


THEDAD


Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette, with a few words on the Montreal Canadiens’ baby blues:

“Supposedly a nod to the late, great Montreal Expos, the reverse-retro jerseys are a bland, boring, soulless cash grab, a blue-on-blue nightmare that is more reminiscent of the Toronto Argonauts than Nos Amours. Canadiens fans agree on something once a century, and this is it: everyone hates those kiddie pyjamas.”

Todd also points out that the Canadiens have worn the baby blues four times and are 0-4, so perhaps they won’t last long. They are next scheduled to be worn on Thursday for a visit by the Florida Panthers.

——

Here’s Todd, again, with something that I can get behind: “We’re 100 per cent behind Connor McDavid. The shootout is a farce, while 3-on-3 overtime is the most exciting thing since skate sharpeners. Ten minutes of 3-on-3, then in the unlikely event no one has scored, it’s a tie.”



JUNIOR JOTTINGS: F Jack Bakker, whose WHL rights moved from Kamloops to the Everett Silvertips in the Jan. 8 deal in which D Olen Zellweger and F Ryan Hofer went to the Blazers, has committed to the BCHL’s Penticton Vees for 2023-24. Bakker, 15, is from White Rock, B.C., and plays on the U18 prep team at the Delta Hockey Academy. Kamloops selected him in the third round of the WHL’s 2022 draft. . . .

F Ozzy Wiesblatt, 20, played for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on Saturday night, meaning he won’t be joining the Portland Winterhawks, who had acquired his rights from the Prince Albert Raiders on Tuesday. Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, explained to Joshua Critzer (@jjcritzer) that Wiesblatt could only end up in Portland if he didn’t play another AHL game after Jan. 10. . . . Wiesblatt was a first-round selection by the San Jose Sharks in the NHL’s 2020 draft. . . . Had Wiesblatt ended up in Portland, the Raiders would have receive three draft picks from the Winterhawks — a first in 2025 and two seconds in 2026. . . .

The BCHL’s Penticton Vees ran their home record to 16-0-0 on Saturday with a 5-3 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals before an announced crowd of 3,628. . . . Also on Saturday, the Wenatchee Wild drew an announced crowd of 3,521 as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Prince George Spruce Kings. . . .

The SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars suffered their first regulation-time loss of the season on Saturday night as they were beaten, 5-0, by the Bruins in Estevan. That left the North Stars’ record at 33-1-3. . . . G Jackson Miller stopped 30 shots to earn the shutout, while F Keagon Little scored twice.


Callback


SUNDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

F Cole Shepard scored two goals 70 seconds apart in the first period to lead the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Hitmen in Calgary. . . . Lethbridge was playing its third game in fewer than 48 hours; it picked up five points by going 2-0-1 in those games. . . . Shepard, who sat out Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Red Deer Rebels with a one-game suspension, has 15 goals. . . . G Bryan Thomson blocked 38 shots to earn the victory. Thomson, who made 50 appearances last season, was playing in his fifth game this season. The start of his season was delayed by surgery to repair an undisclosed injury. . . .

In Langley, B.C., the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s first seven goals, five of them in the second period, en route to a 7-3 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . F Jalen Luypen had a goal (4) and two assists for the Americans. . . . G Tomas Suchanek stopped 18 shots in his first appearance with the Americans since returning from the World Junior Championship where he backstopped Czechia to a silver medal.

——

SATURDAY’S WHL HIGHLIGHTS:

The Moose Jaw Warriors scored four second-period goals and got 39 saves from G Connor Ungar as they beat the host Brandon Wheat Kings, 4-3. Ungar is 21-5-2, 2.64, .924 this season. . . . In Edmonton, D Terrell Goldsmith’s third goal of the season, at 2:16 of OT, gave the Prince Albert Raiders a 4-3 victory over the Oil Kings. The offensively challenged Oil Kings were held to three, six, five and two shots, by period. . . .

F Jackson Berezowski had two goals and an assist as the hometown Everett Silvertips got past the Tri-City Americans, 3-2, in OT. . . . F Austin Roest’s 25th goal, at 1:39 of extra time won it. . . . Roest has three goals and seven assists over his past three games. . . . Berezowski, the team captain, has 28 goals. In his past three games, he has put up eight goals and four assists, surpassing the 200-point career mark in the process. He now has 204 points, 110 of them goals, in 245 regular-season games. . . . D Hunter Mayo (14) scored at 4:55 of OT to give the Red Deer Rebels a 2-1 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . .

F Alexander Suzdalev scored once (23) and added an assist as the Regina Pats beat the visiting Portland Winterhawks, 4-3. . . . Portland finished its East Division swing at 2-4-0. . . . Suzdalev has 53 points in 40 games. . . . Could it be that Regina and area has caught Bedard Fever? The Pats have drawn their three largest crowds of the season to their past three games — 4,761, 5,651 and 5,403. In 20 home games, only one other crowd has been more than 4,000, and that was 4,336 on opening night. . . . The Winterhawks thought they had tied the game late in the third period, but the goal was disallowed by the on-ice officials. Portland fans were upset that the play didn’t go to video review, but goaltender interference isn’t something that can go upstairs for review in the WHL. . . . From Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post: “With (G Dante) Giannuzzi pulled for an extra attacker, Portland appeared to score the game-tying goal with 17 seconds left. But, after lengthy deliberations, the goal was disallowed when the ruling was made that Portland’s Kyle Chyzowski interfered with Pats netminder Drew Sim. Chyzowski received at least a nudge from Pats defenceman Luke Bateman before colliding with Sim, but the goal was waved off.”

F Egor Sidorov scored three times and linemate Trevor Wong had a goal and two assists as the Saskatoon Blades beat the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds, 4-2. Sidorov, a sophomore from Belarus, has four career hat-tricks, three of them this season. He has 22 goals; Wong has 15. . . . Seattle went 3-3-0 on its East Division swing. . . . G Reid Dyck stopped 29 shots, including a third-period penalty shot, to help the Broncos to a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars in Swift Current. . . .

F Matthew Hodson scored twice and added an assist as the host Victoria Royals doubled the Kelowna Rockets, 6-3, to sweep their weekend series. The Royals had won, 4-0, on Friday. The Rockets have lost six in a row on the road. Hodson, who scored three goals in 39 games last season, has 11 in 38 outings this season. . . . The Royals scratched D Gannon Laroque, who played Friday, and F Brayden Schuurman, who left Friday’s game after the first period. F Alex Thacker, who last played on Dec. 17, took the warmup but didn’t dress. . . . The sweep allowed the ninth-place Royals (12-25-4) to close to within one point of the Rockets (13-23-3), who hold down the Western Conference’s last playoff spot. . . .

In Winnipeg, F Connor McClennon scored three times, giving him 19, to lead the Ice to an 8-3 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The visitors led 2-0 before the game was five minutes old. . . . F Ryan Hofer scored twice (26) and F Logan Stankoven drew three assists as the Kamloops Blazers beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs, 5-2. Hofer has three goals in two games with the Blazers since being acquired from Everett. G Matthew Kieper stopped 22 shots in his first appearance for Kamloops since being acquired from Regina on Jan. 3.



THINKING OUT LOUD: Just a reminder that Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow) is a must follow on Twitter for major junior hockey fans. . . . You watch QB Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers and you realize how important it can be to be in the right place at the right time to find success. . . . It wasn’t long after the Los Angeles Chargers had coughed up a 27-0 lead and lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday that their fans had Sean Payton replacing Brandon Staley as head coach. And how many jobs will Payton be rumoured for before he finally picks one? . . . There is a lot of chatter that has the Vancouver Canucks on the verge of firing head coach Bruce Boudreau and replacing him with Rick Tocchet. Just a thought, but maybe the Canucks should try doing things right for a change — let Boudreau finish out the season and then see who’s available. And maybe, just maybe, think about handing a blank cheque to Barry Krotz. Or maybe call Sean Payton. . . . ICYMI, QB Nathan Rourke, who lit up the CFL with the B.C. Lions before suffering a foot injury last season, says he is going to sign with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. What an exciting time this must be for him as he gets the opportunity to live out his dream . . . You don’t like Tom Brady and you despise the Dallas Cowboys. So what are you going to do tonight?


COVID


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.


Missing

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

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.

——


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.’ ”

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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.

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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

Paddock: (Bedard) has a no-trade clause . . . Stankoven sparks Blazers past Pats . . . Korczak, Firkus stun Giants

John Paddock will be glad to get home to Regina where he (likely) won’t have to answer any more questions about the possibility of trading away F Connor Bedard.

But before Paddock and his Regina Pats head east, there was a stop in Kamloops Reginaon Wednesday. And, yes, he met with the media and, yes, he was asked . . .

“He has a no-trade clause,” stated Paddock, the Pats’ senior vice-president of hockey operations, general manager and head coach. That conversation is right here, with Paddock having an interesting exchange with Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “He does not want to be traded. He’s not going anywhere. We don’t want to trade him and he doesn’t want to be traded. It’s simple.”

So that takes care of that. OK?

If you are wondering about the WHL’s 22 teams and no-trade clauses, here’s what Kirt Hill of the Edmonton Oil Kings told Postmedia after he dealt D Luke Prokop to the Seattle Thunderbirds.

“When teams are trying to win (championships), it’s tough to get players off their rosters and with the rules in our league now, you can’t trade 15- or 16-year-olds and the majority of high-end 17-year-olds have no-trade clauses.”

With the WHL, sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same.

Here’s part of a piece I posted here on July 24, 2018 . . .

“Taking Note has been told that the WHL has acted in an attempt to put a halt WHLto the number of young players who get traded within the league.

“The move is a reaction to the number of deals that were made in the period leading up to last season’s Jan. 10 trade deadline. . . .

“Taking Note has been told that the league has decided that its teams won’t be allowed to trade any 15- or 16-year-old players who have signed WHL contracts. On top of that, the only time the trading of a 17-year-old player will be allowed is if that player has requested a trade.

“The 17-year-old player will have had to approach the team’s general manager to ask for a trade; a team won’t be able to make the first move, asking said player to waive his no-trade clause. Taking Note was told that the WHL will approach a 17-year-old player’s parents to make sure the procedure was followed.”

A month later, I added this . . .

“It is most unfortunate that the WHL has such an uncomfortable relationship with transparency. It really would be nice if the league would let parents, players, fans, observers and anyone else who might be interested in on the particulars.

“You will recall that the Edmonton Oil Kings and Swift Current Broncos made a deal this week that involved four players and three draft picks. After the deal was announced, there was speculation on social media as to which players had signed and which players hadn’t, and also wondering about the presence of no-trade clauses.

As one observer wrote in an email after that deal was made: ‘So the rules appear to be in effect. Nice of the league to publicize everything so we all know how things work.’ “


Meanwhile, Regina F Connor Bedard told the Kamloops media that he was looking forward to matching up with Blazers F Logan Stankoven last night. In fact, Bedard referred to Stankoven as “probably the best player in the league.”

What? And tou thought Bedard was the best player in the league, didn’t you?

“He’s nuts, what he’s doing,” Bedard said. “I try to watch him a lot. What he’s done in this league is crazy, so I wouldn’t say I’m better than him, but it’s going to be a fun game.”

Bedard and Stankoven were teammates on the Canadian team that won the World Junior Championship in Edmonton in August. And they’ll be teammates again on Team Canada at the WJC that opens in Halifax and Moncton on Dec. 26.

It’s safe to say that Stankoven won the showdown last night.


WEDNESDAY IN THE WHL:

F Connor Bedard’s I Can Sell Out the B.C. Division Arenas Tour stopped in Kamloops and his Regina Pats dropped a 9-3 decision to the Blazers, who Kamloopsexploded for seven second-period goals. . . . Kamloops (12-5-4) has won two in a row and now leads the B.C. Division by two points over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Pats (12-12-2) had won their previous three games, all in B.C. . . . The announced attendance in the 5,464-seat Sandman Centre was 5,544. . . . The Pats conclude their B.C. Division swing against the Prince George Cougars on Friday. The Cougars announced Wednesday afternoon that the game in the 5,871-seat CN Centre is sold out. . . . Last night in Kamloops, Blazers F Logan Stankoven won the battle with Bedard. Stankoven put up a goal (15) and three assists as his points streak reached 17 games. He is averaging more than two points per game (2.18) with 37 in 17 outings. . . . Bedard scored twice and drew an assist; his point streak hit 25. He now has 57 points, including 24 goals, in 26 games (2.19 per game). . . . The Blazers also got two goals and an assist from each of F Fraser Minten (9) and Caedan Bankier (17), and three assists from D Logan Bairos. . . .

In Edmonton, F Vaughn Watterodt scored twice to help the Saskatoon Blades to Saskatoona 5-1 victory over the Oil Kings. . . . Saskatoon (17-5-0) has won two in a row. . . . Edmonton (4-21-1) has lost four straight. . . . An 18-year-old from Rosetown, Sask. Watterodt went into this season with six goals in 64 career regular-season games. He was scoreless in 18 games with Kamloops before landing in Saskatoon. This season, he has seven goals in 22 games, with six of them coming in his past six games. . . . The Blades held a 24-11 edge in shots, including 8-1 in the third period. . . .

In Portland, the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first three goals as they Seattleskated to a 3-1 victory over the Winterhawks. . . . Seattle (16-4-1) closed to within three points of the U.S. Division-leading Winterhawks (17-4-2), who have lost three in a row. . . . F Kyle Crnkovic’s 11th goal, at 7:38 of the third period, proved the winner. . . . D Kyle Korchinski drew two assists for Seattle. . . . F Jack O’Brien (6) scored for Portland at 16:56 of the third period. . . . Seattle got 35 saves from G Thomas Milic. . . .

F Ryder Korczak scored in OT to give the Moose Jaw Warriors a 5-4 victory over WarriorsNewthe Vancouver Giants in Langley, B.C. . . . The Warriors (17-9-0) have won four in a row, all in B.C. . . . The Giants are 9-10-5. . . . Moose Jaw erased a 4-2 deficit by scoring the game’s last three goals. . . . F Jagger Firkus (16), who extended his point streak to 19 games, pulled Moose Jaw into a tie when he scored at 19:06 of the third period with an extra attacker on the ice. . . . Korczak (4) won it at 2:41 of OT. . . . Firkus, who also had two assists, was in on each of those last three goals. . . . The Giants got a goal (5) and two assists from D Mazden Leslie, with F Samuel Honzek adding three assists. . . . The announced attendance in the Langley Events Centre was 810 with the Tuesday storm that smashed into the Lower Mainland obviously figuring in that number.


Hearing


THINKING OUT LOUD — It seems that John Paddock, the Regina Pats’ senior vice-president of hockey operations, general manager and head coach, isn’t enamoured with any line of questioning that involves the possible trading away of F Connor Bedard. Well, perhaps Paddock will go to the next WHL meeting of the pooh-bahs and suggest that they might want to inject some transparency into the proceedings by explaining — officially — who gets no-trade clauses, who doesn’t and how/if said clauses might be circumvented. . . . That person wearing a mask and standing in front of you in the lineup at the grocery store? Might be immunocompromised, so back up a bit and give them some room. Thank you. . . . There is a truckstop on the Trans-Canada Highway not far from where we live. Today, the price of one litre of diesel was 72 cents more than a litre of regular. Just in case you think prices are going to come down one of these days.


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.


Lottery

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