You may have heard that New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell has claimed that two girlfriends — yes, two girlfriends — stole $500,000 worth of jewelry from him. Of course, as Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com points out: “Although being a Jet, it’s pretty certain there were no rings missing.”
Found out Sunday evening that the LGIW and I could go to Game 5 of the NBA championship series and tickets would only cost us $120,000. That’s a deal because it’s in Canadian funds. Of course, this being 2019, the tickets cost 100 grand with 20 grand in service fees. . . . Really, that’s 120,000 reasons to watch from the comfort of the recliner.
Muhammad Ali stands over Sonny Liston after knocking him out in the 1st round. One of the most iconic photos ever. pic.twitter.com/TO0An4HcP4
I just finished reading Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times, by Mark Leibovich, and I can’t recommend it enough. Leibovich is a big fan of the New England Patriots, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to pierce The Shield.
The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk is a little more than three months away, but it’s never too soon for Dorothy to start asking folks to join her team. While the rest of B.C. walked on June 2, we in Kamloops chose to keep our walk in September. Thus, we will be walking on Sept. 22, at which time Dorothy will be one day shy of the sixth anniversary of her transplant. This also will be her sixth straight Kidney Walk. . . . If you would like to provide her with some support and be part of Team Dorothy, you are able to do so right here.
This definitely was a weekend highlight . . .
Muncy: “Bumgarner said ‘don’t watch the ball, run’, and I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”
I don’t think this is going to be the Seattle Mariners’ season. I watched a game the other night during which, with a runner on third base, the Seattle shortstop fielded a ground ball and threw home, except the catcher had left to cover first base. . . . In another game, with a runner on first, the second baseman fielded a grounder and flipped to the shortstop covering second for what should have been a routine double play. Except that the shortstop stumbled and fell before completing the throw to first base. . . . Sorry, Seattle fans, but there’s always next year.
Despite Buck Martinez continuing to yell at baseballs, I don’t think this is going to be a season to remember for the Toronto Blue Jays, either.
Sorry, hockey fans in Cranbrook, but you aren’t going to get a junior A or junior B team in time for the 2019-20 season. The leagues in question all are well into the scheduling process for next season, so Western Financial Place, once home to the WHL’s Kootenay Ice, won’t have a main tenant for the upcoming season.
The NHL season will come to an end on Wednesday night in Boston as the Bruins and St. Louis Blues meet in Game 7 of the NHL final. . . . The CFL regular season will open one night later with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Hamilton to meet the Tiger-Cats. . . . Is the NHL season too long, or does the CFL season start too soon?
If you missed it, the Montreal Alouettes fired head coach Mike Sherman over the weekend. He didn’t leave much of a legacy, but . . .
Yes, we spent the weekend recognizing Green Shirt Day(s).
Dorothy, who had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, had her t-shirt on Sunday as we made a trek into the city to do a bit of shopping.
One local highlight of the weekend came from the Kamloops Home Show where Tony Maidment, who went through a liver transplant a couple of years ago, was among those front and centre at a booth promoting organ donation. How’d they do? They had more than 100 new donors sign up.
The highlight of the day, though, came earlier. If only you could have heard the emotion in Dorothy’s voice when she watched the video that is included in this tweet (if you aren’t away of Stephen Gillis’s story, Google is your friend) . . . Watching the video will give you a real feel for the emotion involved in organ transplantation.
It’s #greenshirtday, so I wanted to share the amazing moment of me finding out that my dear old friend, Michael Teigen, will be donating his kidney to me. I HAVE A DONOR GUYS!!!!! I have so much gratitude for Michael, my hero. Be a hero for others & sign up to be an organ donor. pic.twitter.com/oomxObs7k5
It seems there was an error — a rather large one, at that — in a piece here the other day about ticket prices for the 2020 World Junior Championship.
It seems that I should have divided this by that, instead of that by this, before multiplying. As a result, I had the price of a ticket for gold-medal game at Cdn$12, instead of about $26.
Hey, I’m a writer, not a mathematician, and I fly without a copy editor. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Still, Cdn$26 for the gold-medal game would seem to be a good deal. BTW, tickets for quarter-final and semifinal games will set you back about $17 apiece.
The 2020 WJC is to be held in Ostrava and Trinec from Dec. 26, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020.
(A tip of the Taking Note fedora to the reader who emailed to point out the error. Much appreciated.)
OHL playoffs have been enormously uncompetitive. Five sweeps in the first round, other three series went five. Favorites up 2-0 in all second round series and outscored opponents 27-2 in today's games. Not a good look.
NOTES: As the weekend came to a close, all four WHL second-round playoff series were at 2-0. Three home teams — the Edmonton Oil Kings, Prince Albert Raiders and Vancouver Giants — held serve, while the Spokane Chiefs went on the road and won twice. . . . There are 12 second-round series underway in the CHL right now, and all but one are 2-0. The exception is in the QMJHL where the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and Rimouski Oceanic are 1-1. . . .
The WHL playoffs take a break today after featuring three games on Sunday. Action is to resume with three games on Tuesday. . . .
The Oil Kings posted a 4-1 victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen to take a 2-0 lead in that series. They’ll resume hostilities in Calgary on Tuesday. . . .
The Chiefs scored a 3-1 victory over the Silvertips in Everett, taking a 2-0 lead in that series. With Cirque de Soleil in Everett’s home arena later this week, the next three games, if needed, will be played in Spokane, starting on Wednesday night. . . .
In Prince Albert, the Raiders erased a 2-0 deficit with three quick goals and went on to beat the Saskatoon Blades, 3-2. That series will resume in Saskatoon on Tuesday with the Raiders ahead, 2-0.
The fourth series, with the Giants holding a 2-0 lead over the Victoria Royals, will continue on Vancouver Island on Tuesday night.
G Bailey Brkin blocked 30 shots to lead the Spokane Chiefs to a 3-1 victory over the Silvertips in Everett. . . . The Chiefs, who posted a 6-3 victory in Everett on Saturday, lead the series, 2-0, with Game 3 in Spokane on Wednesday. . . . Last night, D Wyatt Wylie (1) gave Everett the lead at 16:01 of the first period. . . . Spokane tied it on a goal by F Jake McGrew (1) at 18:01. . . . F Eli Zummack (3) broke the tie, on a PP, at 16:56 of the second period. . . . The Chiefs iced it on an empty-netter by F Luc Smith (4), at 19:28 of the third period. . . . Spokane was 1-2 on the PP; Everett was 0-3. . . . Everett had a 31-17 edge in shots, including 14-5 in the third period. . . . Brkin is 6-1, 2.50, .926 in these playoffs. This comes on the heels of a regular season in which he went 27-11-3, 2.75, .914. . . . G Dustin Wolf stopped 14 shots for Everett. . . . F Dawson Butt, who left Game 1 with an undisclosed injury, was among Everett’s scratches.
G Dylan Myskiw stopped 26 shots to help the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Edmonton, which had won 3-2 in OT at home on Saturday, holds a 2-0 lead. Game 3 is set for Tuesday night in Calgary. . . . Last night, the Oil Kings skated to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Quinn Benjafield (3), at 9:22 of the first period, and F Liam Keeler (2), at 3:05 of the second. . . . F Carson Focht (5) got Calgary to within a goal, on a PP, at 10:31. . . . D Matthew Robertson (2) got that one back for Edmonton at 18:19. . . . F David Kope (1) got Edmonton’s fourth goal, on a PP, at 15:46. . . . Edmonton was 1-7 on the PP; Calgary was 1-2. . . . The Hitmen got 35 saves from G Jack McNaughton.
The Prince Albert Raiders scored three times in two minutes 40 seconds to erase a 2-0 deficit and beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades, 3-2. . . . The Raiders lead the series, 2-0. It will resume with Game 3 in Saskatoon on Tuesday night. . . . Game 3 will be televised by Sportsnet. . . . Last night, Saskatoon took a 1-0 lead on a goal by F Kirby Dach (4) at 8:56 of the first period. Dach’s goal was of the highlight-reel variety; it also was his first goal against the Raiders in 18 combined regular-season and playoff games. . . . The Blades went ahead 2-0 at 4:35 of the second period when F Eric Florchuk (1) scored, on a PP. . . . Raiders D Zack Hayes (1) got the fans back into it with a goal at 19:31 of the second period. The goal came just as Saskatoon F Riley McKay was stepping onto the ice after serving an elbowing minor. . . . The Raiders tied the score, 2-2, when F Dante Hannoun (3) scored at 1:34 of the third period, and F Sean Montgomery (5) gave the home boys their first lead, on a PP, at 2:11. That goal came just nine seconds into the PP. . . . The Blades had a pair of great scoring chances later in the game, but F Ryan Hughes drilled a post on a PP, and F Max Gerlach, off a great pass from Dach, shot just wide from off the left post with about 30 seconds remaining in the game. . . . Saskatoon was 1-4 on the PP; Prince Albert was 1-5. . . . G Ian Scott stopped 24 shots to earn the victory. . . . The Blades got 29 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . The Blades scratched D Reece Harsch with an undisclosed injury. That allowed D Majid Kaddoura to get into his first career WHL playoff game. . . .
Here’s Prince Albert head coach Marc Habscheid signalling that his run with the Raiders is almost over. He is expected to be named head coach of the WHL’s diving team later this week. . . . Actually, he is offering up his reaction to the game’s first PP-producing penalty, a tripping minor to Raiders F Dante Hannoun at 6:52 of the first period . . .
G Matt Hewitt (Regina, 2010-13) signed a one-year contract with Fassa Canazei (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with University of British Columbia (Canada West, U Sports), he got into 20 games, going 12-5-2, 2.85, .920 with one shutout. . . . This summer, Hewitt played with CBR Brave Canberra (Australia, AIHL). In 26 games, he drew three assists, while going 23-2-0, 1.95, .925 with three shutouts. He led the league in wins, shutouts, GAA and SP. . . . CBR Brave won the AIHL championship, beating the Sydney Bears 4-3 in OT in the league’s Grand Final on Sept. 2 in Melbourne. . . .
F Marcel Noebels (Seattle, Portland, 2010-12) has been released from his PTO with the Boston Bruins (NHL) and will rejoin Eisbären Berlin (Germany, DEL), where he is an alternate captain for this season. Last season, he had 11 goals and 19 assists in 52 games with Eisbären. . . .
F Nikita Popugayev (Moose Jaw, Prince George, 2015-18) has been traded by CSKA Moscow to Amur Khabarovsk (both Russia, KHL) for D Denis Nedilko (1999 born, playing for Amur’s junior team, Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk). Popugayev had two goals and one assist in three games this season with Krasnaya Armiya Moscow (Russia, MHL). . . . Krasnaya Armiya is CSKA’s junior team. MHL is Russia’s junior league.
I’m back after being away for a few days while we put the finishing touches on the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. If you hadn’t guessed, Dorothy and I were among the organizers for the Kidney Walk that was held on Sunday at McDonald Park.
Yes, it was a success! Oh, was it!!
Let me tell you a little bit about it . . .
Dorothy had her kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, after almost four years of doing peritoneal dialysis, so this Kidney Walk marked the fifth anniversary of her new life.
We knew it was going to be special because our granddaughter Kara brought her parents — our son Todd and his wife, Joanna — to the Walk from their home in Burnaby.
Then, as Dorothy and I got out of our car at McDonald Park, a couple came walking in our direction. It turned out to be our best friends from Brandon — Darlene and Alan Silvius, who arrived completely unannounced. They actually had arrived in town on Saturday, but didn’t breathe a word about it. In fact, at one point, Darlene actually had sent a text to Dorothy indicating that they were in Portage la Prairie, Man., visiting with friends.
Back in the day, Darlene was adamant that she would be the person to give a kidney to Dorothy. But it turned out that she wasn’t a match. Still, she refused to give up, and turned to the Kidney Paired Donation program.
So it was that five years ago she donated a kidney to a stranger in order to allow Dorothy to receive a true gift of life from someone else.
These two women have long had a strong relationship, but for the past five years they have grown even closer.
The look on Dorothy’s face when her brain finally recognized what her eyes were trying to tell her was priceless indeed.
All of you who read this blog and have donated on Dorothy’s kidney page were a big part of our day, too. In the end, Dorothy raised $3,250, which left her No. 1 in Kamloops for a fifth straight year.
Thank you all so much for your support. It really does mean a lot.
Now let’s get back to hockey . . . although it’ll be a bit spotty this week because, well, we’ve got some company to tour around.
In the meantime, here are some notes from the past few days. . . .
Old friend Les Lazaruk, who I may (or may not) have owned on the Strat-O-Matic field back in the day, opened the regular season with something of a milestone broadcast . . .
Aside from that milestone, the weekend’s biggest story may have been in Moose Jaw where the 50-50 draw at the Warriors’ home-opener on Saturday night reached $383,450.
There were two unclaimed winning pots from last season, so the carryover to this season was $166,615.
The winning ticket on Saturday was Z423428. As of Sunday morning, the jackpot apparently had yet to be claimed.
Now wouldn’t that be a carryover!
On the eve of the regular season, Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman provided this note on the Kootenay Ice:
“The current season-ticket count rests at 1,670, a drop of 247 from last year. The club had set a goal for 2,500 as part of it’s Drive to 25 campaign that kicked off in May 2017.” . . . The announced attendance at the Ice’s home-opener — a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Hitmen on Saturday — was 2,862. . . . F Connor McClennon, the second overall selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, scored twice for the Ice. A 16-year-old from Wainwright, Alta., he was pointless in five games with the Ice last season.
The Brandon Wheat Kings opened by sweeping a home-and-home series with the Moose Jaw Warriors, winning 2-1 in the Wheat City and 4-2 on the road. . . . G Jiri Patera, a 19-year-old rookie from Praha, Czech Republic, recorded both victories. A sixth-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in the NHL’s 2017 draft, Patera stopped 56 of 59 shots in the two victories. . . . Patera is the first European goaltender to play for the Wheat Kings in the franchise’s 52-year history. . . . The Wheat Kings have had at least one American-born goaltender in their history — Scott Olson, from Bloomington, Minn., got into 63 games over three seasons and was a part of the 1978-79 championship team that lost only five regular-season games.
A couple of WHLers signed three-year entry-level NHL deals on the weekend. . . . D Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Brook, 19, is from Roblin, Man. He was picked in the second round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. Brook scored both Moose Jaw goals as the Warriors dropped a 4-2 decision to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday night. . . . F Jake McGrew, a 19-year-old from Orange, Calif., signed with the San Jose Sharks after being a sixth-round pick in the 2017 NHL draft. McGrew has been with the Spokane Chiefs for two seasons, although knee problems kept him from playing in 2016-17.
.@ShoWareCenter Zamboni Driver and Ice Guru Dennis Stewart is working his last T-Birds game tonight. He's off on a new challenge. We wish you the best Dennis and thanks for being awesome. We'll miss you! pic.twitter.com/klgB9710TT
The Red Deer Rebels released D Colin Paradis on Saturday in order to get down to the maximum of three 20-year-olds. . . . Releasing Paradis left them with F Brandon Hagel, F Reese Johnson, who is the team captain, and F Jeff de Wit as their 20-year-olds. . . . Paradis, from Sherwood Park, Alta., has played 194 regular-season games — the first 165 with the Moose Jaw Warriors — over four seasons.
Good news in regard to Hurricanes forward Owen Blocker, who fell into the boards in the first period and was taken off on a stretcher and taken to hospital. The results were negative and he's back at the arena in Medicine Hat. #yql
F Owen Blocker of the Lethbridge Hurricanes left the ice on a stretcher in the first period of Saturday’s 4-2 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat.
According to Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News, Blocker “targeted Dalton Gally for a hit in the corner and went awkwardly into the boards. Blocker was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a lengthy delay and did not return.” . . . However, after being checked out at hospital and released, Blocker returned to the arena and returned to Lethbridge with his teammates after the game.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes added G Akira Schmid to their roster on the weekend, after he was assigned by the NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Schmid, 18, is from Nesslau, Switzerland, and was a fifth-round selection by the Devils in the NHL’s 2018 draft.
He joins Reece Klassen, a 19-year-old from Cloverdale, B.C., and Carl Tetachuk, 17, from Lethbridge, as goaltenders on the Hurricanes’ roster. Klassen went the distance in the Hurricanes’ first two games as they split a home-and-home with Medicine Hat. The Tigers won 5-2 in Lethbridge on Friday.
The Portland Winterhawks got Danish F Joachim Blichfeld, 20, back from the NHL’s San Jose Sharks as the WHL regular-season opened. Blichfeld, a seventh-round pick by the Sharks in the NHL’s 2016 draft, has signed a pro contract so is eligible to play with the San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks’ AHL affiliate. . . . Blichfeld’s arrival left the Winterhawks with four 20-year-olds and three imports on their roster. . . . Blichfeld joined F Conor MacEachern, D Brendan De Jong and D Jared Freadrich as the 20-year-olds. . . . MacEachern didn’t play in a 5-3 loss to the host Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday, while MacEachern sat out Sunday’s 3-1 loss to the Silvertips in Everett. . . .
WHL teams have until mid-October to declare a maximum of three 20-year-olds. . . . Should the Winterhawks choose to keep Blichfeld, they would have to release either Czech F Michael Kvasnica, 18, or Swiss F Dean Schwenninger. . . . Kvasnica and Schwenninger are first-year players, but teams are allowed to trade freshman imports only between Dec. 15 and the Jan. 10 trading deadline. Prior to this season, teams were permitted to trade first-year imports. . . . Schwenninger didn’t play in either of the two weekend games. . . .
D Henri Jokiharju, a 19-year-old from Finland, is in camp with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. He was named to the WHL-Western Conference’s second all-star team last season, and may still end up back in Portland.
Should that happen . . . well, I’m sure the Winterhawks won’t concern themselves with that until it actually does happen.
The Kelowna Rockets went 8-0-0 against the Kamloops Blazers last season. The Blazers showed on opening weekend that things are different now. Kamloops swept a home-and-home series, winning 4-1 at home on Friday and 3-1 in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . Serge Lajoie, the Blazers’ first-year head coach, picked up his first WHL victory on Friday and his family — wife Kelly and their children (Isabelle, 17, and Marc, 15) were there to witness it, having made the trip from their home in St. Albert, Alta. . . . “Up until (Thursday) night, I was texting with my daughter and my son and they made me believe they were both getting ready for bed and they were going to get up to go to school this morning,” Lajoie told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “It’s nice to be able to share this with them. I’m not here if it isn’t for them. I don’t lose sight of that.”
The Prince Albert Raiders opened with a two-game sweep of Regina, snapping a 15-game losing skid to the Pats with the first victory. The Raiders got started with a 7-2 victory on home ice on Friday, then travelled to Regina and beat the Pats 3-1 on Saturday. . . . The Raiders last beat the Pats on Sept. 23, 2016, when they posted a 4-3 OT victor in Regina on a goal by F Simon Stransky.
The Saskatoon Blades opened with a two-game sweep of the defending-champion Swift Current Broncos, winning 2-1 on the road and 8-0 at home, behind 17 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . F Kirby Dach put up seven points in the two games, including three goals and two assists in Saturday’s shutout victory. . . . Only time will tell if this is a sign of things to come for the Blades, who have missed the playoffs for five straight seasons, and the Broncos, who went all-in last season in putting together the team that would win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
In 2016-17, the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ announced average attendance for 36 home regular-season games was 3,709. In 10 home playoff games, the average was 4,730.
In 2017-18, the Hurricanes’ announced average attendance for 36 home regular-season games was 3,773, an increase of 64 from the previous season. For nine home playoff games, the number was 4,316, a decrease of 414.
For 2016-17, the community-owned Hurricanes announced a profit of $737,710.
For 2017-18, the Hurricanes revealed a profit of $422,443, after a payment of $167,000 to the City of Lethbridge to help pay for arena improvements.
A few interesting notes as we compare the two seasons, using figures from the Statement of Operations that the Hurricanes presented to shareholders on Monday night.
As you can see from the above photo of that statement, most of the revenues were up. (Keep in mind that the financials are unaudited.)
Regular-season ticket sales were up more than $29,000, but were almost $50,000 under budget. At the same time, inventory sales were up $20,000; fund-raising, including that from the Hockey Hounds booster club, showed an increase of almost $63,000; and the sales of advertising was up more than $20,000 and was almost $70,000 over budget.
However, there was quite a difference in playoff-related revenues, despite the fact the Hurricanes reached the Eastern Conference final in each season. As noted earlier, the announced attendance was down 414 per game, leading to a season-over-season decrease of more than $250,000.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the ledger, the hockey operations’ expenses were up more than $210,000 over the previous season. In total, the organization’s expenses showed an increase of $307,503, and that was more than $550,000 over budget.
Still, the Hurricanes were able to put more than $400,000 in the bank, and hand $167,000 to the city.
All-in-all, it was another good season for a franchise that not too long ago was hanging on by its fingernails.
The Swift Current Broncos, who eliminated the Hurricanes and went on to win the WHL championship last season, are up next, with their AGM scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 25.
The Everett Silvertips have acquired F Jalen Price, 17, from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2021 bantam draft. . . . From Campbell River, B.C., Price was selected by the Tigers in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he had 18 goals and 23 assists in 44 games with the junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. He added seven goals and nine assists in 16 playoff games as the Storm won the VIJHL title. . . . Price got into four exhibition games with the Tigers this time around, recording three assists.
The WHL’s first weekly roster report is right here. Released each Tuesday during the regular season, it includes roster moves and injury information, as provided by each team.
You are able to find updated news about WHL suspensions right here.
Bruce Luebke, who was the radio voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings for more than 20 years, has entered the world of civic politics. Luebke will run for city council in a ward in Brandon’s South Centre ward. . . . The election is scheduled to be held on Oct. 24. . . . Luebke started as the play-by-play man for Wheat Kings games in 1993 and stayed at it until he and radio station CKLQ parted company in July 2016.
Harvey Roy, a longtime WHL executive, died Friday in Moose Jaw from complications due to diabetes. He had been on dialysis for more than nine years. . . . At various times, during his long hockey career, Roy was involved with the Swift Current Broncos, Edmonton Oil Kings, Kamloops Chiefs, New Westminster Bruins, Kamloops Junior Oilers, Kamloops Blazers and Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . There is an obituary right here.
If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. Thank you!
G Andrei Makarov (Saskatoon, 2011-13) has cleared KHL waivers and been assigned by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) to CSK VVS Samara (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Nizhnekamsk, he got into one game playing 33 minutes and allowing three goals on 14 shots, for a 5.36 GAA and a.786 SP.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes reported to shareholders on Monday that they made a profit of $422,443 in 2017-18. . . . That was down from the $737,710 profit the previous season. However, the 2017-18 financials included a payment of $167,000 to the City of Lethbridge that was due after improvements were made to their home arena. . . . The Hurricanes lost out in the Eastern Conference final in each of the past two seasons. . . . There was other interesting item to come out of the annual meeting. The Hurricanes will be out of their arena early in the playoffs next spring, what with the World men’s curling championship in the ENMAX Centre from March 30 through April 7. General manager Peter Anholt told shareholders that the tentative plan is for the team to play early home playoff games, if necessary, in the Nicolas Sheran Arena. . . . According to the City of Lethbridge’s website, the Nicolas Sheran Ice Centre has a seating capacity of 978. It is home to the U of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s and men’s hockey teams. . . . “We’ve talked to a lot of other teams that have moved from their venue to another venue outside of their city, and it doesn’t work,” Anholt said. “We’ve got the Nicolas Sheran. It’s not perfect, there’s going to be some unhappy fans and unhappy advertisers, but we’ll deal with it.” . . . Aaron Mahoney of lethbridgenewsnow.com has more right here. . . . Interestingly, Mahoney reported that the Hurricanes didn’t make as much in 2017-18 as the previous season, despite “an increase in ticket sales by $30,000.”
The Portland Winterhawks appear to have gotten down to three 20-year-olds by releasing F Connor Barley, who no longer appears on their roster. Barley, from St. Andrews, Man., played last season with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers, putting up 35 goals and 32 assists in 58 games. . . . His departure leaves the Winterhawks with D Brendan De Jong, just back from a stint in camp with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, F Conor MacEachern and D Jared Freadrich as the three 20s. . . . The Winterhawks also got down to two goaltenders — sophomore Shane Farkas, who turns 19 on Dec. 1, and freshman Dante Giannuzzi, 16 — by releasing Evan Fradette, a 17-year-old from St. Albert, Alta., who was a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Giannuzzi, from Winnipeg, was a fifth-round selection in the 2017 draft.
The Kootenay Ice dropped three veteran skaters from their roster on Monday, leaving it with 26 players on its roster, including two goaltenders and 10 defencemen. . . . F Gunnar Wegleitner, 20, F Sebastian Streu, who turns 19 on Nov. 22, and F Eli Lieffers, 18, all were released. . . . The Ice had acquired Wegleitner from the Brandon Wheat Kings on July 20 for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. From Vancouver, he has also played for the Everett Silvertips and Victoria royals. In 112 regular-season games, he has 11 goals and nine assists. . . . From Neuwied, Germany, Streu had nine goals and three assists in 54 games as a freshman last season. He has dual Canadian/German citizenship so wasn’t classified as an import. . . . From Saskatoon, Lieffers was fourth-round pick by the Ice in the 2015 bantam draft. He had one goal and one assist in 11 games over three seasons with the Ice. Lieffers was pointless in two games with the Ice last season. . . . Two of the 10 defenceman on Kootenay’s roster are imports — veteran Martin Bodak, a Slovakian who will turn 20 on Nov. 28, and Finnish freshman Valtteri Kakkonen. The Ice also has sophomore F Gilian Kohler, who is from Biel, Switzerland, on its roster.
The Saskatoon Blades are down to two goaltenders after returning G Koen MacInnes, 16, to the Burnaby Winter Club where he is expected to play for the Burnaby Winter Club’s midget prep team. A second-round pick in the 2017 WHL bantam draft, MacInnes started three exhibition games and went 3-0-0, 2.27, .929. . . . His departure leaves the Blades, as expected, with Nolan Maier, 17, atop the depth chart and Dorrin Luding, 19, as the backup, at least to open the regular season. . . . The Blades also dropped F Braden Plaschewsky, 16, from their roster. A second-round pick in that 2017 bantam draft, he is expected to play for the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. He had two goals in six exhibition games with the Blades. . . . Saskatoon is carrying 26 players, including two goaltenders and nine defencemen.
Among the players making their way back to WHL teams from NHL camps on Monday — D Vladislav Yeryomenko to the Calgary Hitmen from the Nashville Predators; G Liam Hughes to the Seattle Thunderbirds from the Philadelphia Flyers; F Brett Davis to the Kootenay Ice from the Dallas Stars; and D Wyatte Wylie to the Everett Silvertips from Philadelphia. . . . Yeryomenko was a fifth-round pick by Nashville in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Hughes was on an amateur tryout with the Flyers. . . . Dallas selected Davis in the sixth round of the 2017 NHL draft. . . . The Flyers grabbed Wylie in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL draft.
Logan Proulx, who played two-plus seasons in the WHL, has joined the junior B Fairview, Alta., Flyers of the North West Junior Hockey League as an assistant coach. A defenceman, Proulx, who is from Trail, B.C., played 137 games over three seasons (2007-10) with the Edmonton Oil Kings, putting up nine goals and 13 assists.
You will recall mention here late last week of the junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League after they incurred a one-year suspension to owner Barry Dewar, a 20-game suspension to a head coach who wasn’t really the head coach, and a $10,000 fine, all for tampering. . . . Now comes word that Jassi Sangha, the club’s real head coach, has been suspended for a game after playing an ineligible player in a 4-3 loss to the visiting Princeton Posse on Saturday. . . . Larry Martel, the KIJHL’s first-year president, told Kamloops This Week that it was a clerical era. . . . KTW’s piece is right here.
If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. You might even be the person to push her total over $3,000. Thank you!
I was remiss in posting the above tweet here Saturday night without an explanation, especially for those readers who may not be familiar with the CFL.
The gent in the photo is Chris Jones, who is the vice-president of football operations, general manager, head coach and defensive co-ordinator for the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Until recently, he also was the CFL’s Man in Black. However, when the CFL unveiled this season’s Diversity Is Strength campaign, Jones donned the green t-shirt pictured in the tweet. The Roughriders promptly won four straight games, with him wearing green in each of them.
That streak came to an unceremonious end on Saturday night when the visiting Ottawa Redblacks beat the Roughriders, 30-25.
Thus the tweet from the Redblacks.
This Rams-Raiders game on ESPN is without question the greatest broadcast ever with an announcer named Booger.
Are you old enough to remember when ABC-TV, sparked by Howard Cosell, turned Monday Night Football into a real event, one that carried with it an overwhelming feeling of excitement? Maybe it’s just me, but these days MNF seems to be just another game.
We all are aware that the Toronto Blue Jays have had something of an abysmal season. Right? No matter. There was Sportsnet on Thursday morning showing Red Sox-Blue Jays from the previous night on four channels. On Thursday evening, the Angels-Mariners, in something of a meaningless game, were on five Sportsnet channels.
Texas A&M now is U.S. college football’s MVP — most valuable program — with an average annual revenue of US$148 million. As Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot noted: “Still, universities can’t possibly afford to pay their athletes. Uncanny how that works.”
WHL players have started to find their way back from NHL camps. On Sunday, the Spokane Chiefs got back F Eli Zummack, 18, and D Filip Kral, who will turn 19 on Oct. 20, both from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Kral was a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft. . . . D Brendan De Jong, 20, was returned to the Portland Winterhawks by the Carolina Hurricanes, who picked him in the sixth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. The Winterhawks now have four 20s on their roster — De Jong, F Conor MacEachern, F Connor Barley and D Jared Freadrich. . . . The Maple Leafs also returned G Ian Scott, 19, to the Prince Albert Raiders and F Riley Stotts, 18, to the Calgary Hitmen. Toronto took Scott in the fourth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft, and picked Stotts in the third round in 2018. . . . The Hurricanes also returned F Stelio Mattheos, 19, to the Brandon Wheat Kings. He was a third-round selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft.
ICYMI, Al Maki of The Globe and Mail wrote an intriguing piece about the late Zarley Zalapski and the work his sister, Kyla, did in an attempt to learn as much as she could about his cause of death. That piece is right here.
An anecdote as related by Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times . . .
Back when NCAA rules allowed it, Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden took movie star Burt Reynolds — an ex-FSU player and a huge Seminoles booster — on a recruiting trip to Ohio to better his chances of sealing the deal. I’ll pitch FSU to the player, Bowden told Reynolds, while you sweet-talk the kid’s single mother.
“Well, the kid ended up going to Notre Dame,” Bowden quipped, “and the mother came to Florida State.”
When he was at Florida State, the late Burt Reynolds was roommates with Lee Corso, who now is a popular analyst on ESPN’s College GameDay program. A few years ago, he told Florida State boosters about his relationship with Reynolds: “I was famous for one thing at Florida State: I was Burt Reynolds’ roommate. . . . With his looks and my car, we’d kill ‘em in Tallahassee.”
All is in readiness for the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk. It’s set for Sunday, Sept. 23, at McDonald Park. My wife, Dorothy, will celebrate the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part. Oh yes, she also is on the organizing committee. She is the top fund-raiser in Kamloops for a fifth straight year, thanks to more than a handful of you who stop by here on a regular basis. Thank you so much because this cause really means a lot to her. . . . How did she spend part of Saturday? Down the highway in Chase, providing support to a kidney support group that is getting started in that community. . . . Yes, we think she’s rather special. . . . If you would like to support her with a donation, you are able to do that right here.
And finally . . . I think this won the Internet on Saturday . . .
Last season, according to the WHL website, the Department of Discipline handed out 75 different suspensions. One of those was for six games; none were for more.
D Parker Gavlas of the Regina Pats began serving a six-game suspension on Friday night after he took a checking-to-the-head major and game misconduct late in a 3-2 loss to the host Saskatoon Blades on Thursday night. Gavlas also will miss the first five games of the regular season.
It could be that players in the WHL need to sit up and pay attention to this suspension.
Because there’s anew sheriff in town and perhaps — just perhaps — this was his way of sending a message.
During the off-season, the WHL named Kevin Acheson its director of player safety, moving him from assistant director of officiating. Acheson, from Edmonton, was a long-time referee before moving into the off-ice position.
As the director of player safety, he will handle all on-ice and supplemental discipline, taking on that responsibility from Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president of hockey, who had handled discipline for a long, long time.
After its annual meeting in June, when the WHL revealed that Acheson would be handling discipline, the WHL also announced that it had taken “further measures to address player safety by introducing new supplemental discipline regulations and raising its standard on illegal checks to the head.”
Unfortunately, the WHL has yet to enlighten its fans with any specifics as to the new regulations and standards. So we don’t know if this suspension was in answer to that, or if it really was a message from Acheson to the players.
On the hit in question, Gavlas appeared to strike Saskatoon F Josh Paterson on the back of his head with an elbow.
Paterson was scratched from the Blades’ final exhibition game against the host Prince Albert Raiders on Saturday night. (The Blades finished with a 6-1-0 record after losing 5-2 in Prince Albert.)
If Paterson isn’t able to play in the Blades’ regular-season opener against the Broncos in Swift Current on Friday, it will end a stretch of 145 consecutive regular-season games for the 19-year-old from Edmonton. Last season, he had career highs of 31 goals and 22 assists in 72 games.
The Seattle Thunderbirds have released F Holden Katzalay, 18, who had two assists in 59 games as a freshman last season. Katzalay is from Vancouver, B.C. . . .
The Swift Current Broncos have released F Logan Foster, who had two goals and one assist in 23 games last season. Foster, 19, is from Kamsack, Sask. He also played 21 games with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires last season, recording eight goals and 11 assists.
If you would like to support my wife, Dorothy, as she celebrates the fifth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk — a walk, I should point out, that she is helping to organize — you may do so right here. Thank you!
Wade MacLeod isn’t playing hockey this season; instead, he’s preparing for what will be the fourth brain surgery in five years.
MacLeod, 31, is from Coquitlam, B.C. He played two seasons (2005-07) with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials, then went on to spend four seasons at Northeastern U. He played last season in Germany, with Lowen Frankfurt of the DEL2.
MacLeod also is the son of Scott MacLeod, who played two seasons (1977-79) in the WHL, splitting 138 regular-season games between the Brandon Wheat Kings, Calgary Wranglers and New Westminster Bruins.
I received an email from a friend of Wade’s, all of which you also can read on a GoFundMe site . . .
“Wade has spent his entire life dreaming of being a husband and father while playing in the NHL. This dream almost came true five years ago, but while playing for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, Wade suffered a grand mal seizure on the ice, which led to the discovery of the first tumour.
“Wade returned to the game a year later, after undergoing brain surgery to remove the tumour. Following surgery, Wade lost the ability of speech and spent three months undergoing speech therapy.
“His dream of being a husband and father has come true with a beautiful wife, Karly, and their 11-month-old baby girl, sweet Ava James. Wade’s courage and unwavering determination to be a loving husband and father and still play the game he loves so much has been an inspiration to us all.
“Since then, Wade’s tumour has relentlessly grown back three times. Each time, Wade returned to the game but his dream of playing in the NHL was over.
“Wade was going to return to playing hockey in Dresden, Germany, last month, but that dream was dashed as he now is preparing for his fourth brain surgery in less than five years. He has a Grade 3 Glioblastoma tumour and it has come back, once again, with a vengeance, this after he went through surgery only two months ago.
“What this means for Wade and his family is that they have to incur all prescription costs that he will have to take his entire lifetime as well as any treatments outside of his basic medical services plan, which is weighing heavily on their finances. They won’t be able to sustain the strain with no income.
“Wade’s recovery would be so much easier without the financial strain as he no longer is able to provide for his family.
“Thank you for taking time to read this and consider funding to this cause.”
Friends have started a GoFundMe page that is right here.