Scattershooting on Sunday: Here’s to Manitoba . . . Carter and Owens together? Here’s hoping . . . U of Lethbridge has an opening

Scattershooting

Here’s a reminder that Manitoba got it right: The first Monday in August is Terry Fox Day, as it should be, but isn’t, everywhere in Canada.


Headline at BorowitzReport.com: Trump demands that NFL players stand during Russian national anthem.


If you were to look up stubborn in a dictionary, you just might find a picture of a football coach. No one with any power in the sporting world is more stubborn than a man in that position. However, I think it’s safe to say that Chris Jones, who is the vice-president of football operations, general manager and head coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, has raised that bar even higher.

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ICYMI, Jones worked out former NFL receiver Terrell Owens on Sunday in South Pittsburg, Tenn. Here’s hoping that the Roughriders, who are on a bye week, sign Owens, if only for the entertainment that would be provided by having Owens and Duron Carter on the field at the same time.

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A question: Is Regina big enough for Carter and Owens at the same time? . . . Is Saskatchewan?


“San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt and his wife named their newborn son August, in honor of Brandon’s college coach at Texas, the late Augie Garrido,” writes Dwight Perry of the SeattleTimes. “Just be thankful the Longhorns hired Garrido instead of Oil Can Boyd.”



If you spend much time watching the New York Yankees, you also spend a lot of time asking yourself: “How is it that the Yankees jettisoned Joe Girardi and then ended up with Aaron Boone?”


While musing about attempts by Chinese basketball teams to sign aging NBAers, Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, writes: “The reigning champions of the Chinese Basketball Association are the Liaoning Flying Leopards.  Liaoning is the Chinese province that borders North Korea; I have never been there; and if they have flying leopards there, I do not think I would want to visit.”


“What’s better?” asks Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. “To be through the roof or off the charts? Off the grid or under the radar? Underrated or overserved? Over-exposed or half-baked?”

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Here’s Ostler, again: “If you’re wondering: Yes, it is a law that every sports interview be conducted in front of ‘wallpaper,’ those huge backdrops with a rep pattern of the team logo and a key sponsor. And, yes, a wallpaper backdrop can cause hypnotic trance. And, yes, when a coach or manager gets home and his wife asks how his day went, before answering he hauls out a wallpaper.”


“It’s staggering how much airtime TSN and ESPN devoted to Tiger Woods not winning the British Open,” notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “As for the actual winner, what’s the Italian term for chopped liver?”

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Currie again: “Toronto dealt veteran southpaw JA Happ to the Yankees. Which makes the Jays even more Happ-less.”


Two of ESPN’s baseball crews feature three voices in the booth — Jon (Boog) Sciambi with David Ross and Rick Sutcliffe, and Matt Vasgersian with Jessica Mendoza and Alex Rodriguez. I can guarantee that no one involved with either crew has ever heard Simon and Garfunkel’s hit ‘The Sounds of Silence’ or The Tremeloes’ ‘Silence is Golden.’


After quarterback Johnny Manziel was traded by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Alouettes, Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, wrote: “And we thought poutine was Montreal’s biggest hot mess.”


It recently was National Intern Day in the U.S., which caused Hough to note: “I miss the days when that would have been the No. 1 source of jokes about a current U.S. president.”


Your good read for today has Robert Klemko of si.com writing about the bubble in which former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis was placed, something that has allowed him to avoid dealing publicly with a particularly nasty incident from his past. It’s all right here and this is really, really good stuff.


MacBeth

F Tyler Fiddler (Calgary, 2007-11) signed a one-year contract with Rungsted (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, he had 13 goals and 25 assists in 48 games with SønderjyskE Vojens (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . .

F Brody Sutter (Saskatoon, Lethbridge, 2008-12) signed a one-year contract with Sport Vaasa (Finland, Liiga). Last season, he had eight goals and 10 assists in 58 games with the Manitoba Moose (AHL). . . .

F Dwight King (Lethbridge, 2004-09) signed a one-year contract with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, he had six goals and eight assists in 49 games with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg (Russia, KHL). . . .

F Michal Šiška (Kamloops, 2008-09) signed one-year contract with Olofström (Sweden, Division 2). Last season, he was pointless in two games with Nové Zámky B (Slovakia, 1, Liga), and had three goals and eight assists in 15 games with Topoľčany (Slovakia, 1. Liga).


ThisThat

Head coach Spiros Anastas is leaving the U of Lethbridge after four seasons as the head coach of the Pronghorns. According to a news release from the athletic department, Anastas “tendered his resignation to pursue another coaching opportunity.” . . . The Pronghorns were 36-68-8 under Anastas. The Pronghorns are to be the host team for the Canadian university men’s championship in 2019 for the first time in the program’s history. . . . Anastas had joined the Pronghorns after working as an assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.



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


The Everett Silvertips and hockey fans in the Pacific Northwest have been fortunate over the last while as the Everett Herald had Nick Patterson and then Jesse Geleynse on the beat, While Patterson remains on staff as sports columnist, Geleynse is on the move. Perhaps he’ll end up on the Penguins beat.


F Patrick D’Amico is returning for a second go-round with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals. . . . D’Amico, 23, is from Winnipeg. He played 160 WHL games over three seasons (2012-15) with the Regina Pats, putting up 27 goals and 48 assists. . . . Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 10 games with the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, then added 10 goals and 23 assists in 55 games with Norfolk. He also has played in the ECHL with the Colorado Eagles, Atlanta Gladiators and Indy Fuel.


Tweetoftheday

Former WHL exec dies at 56 . . . Warriors sign first-round selection . . . Silvertips ink Slovakian forward


MacBeth

F Jannik Hansen (Portland, 2005-06) signed a one-year contract with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and 12 assists in 46 games with the San Jose Sharks (NHL).


ThisThat

Darryl Porter, who worked in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans, Chilliwack Bruins and Edmonton Oil Kings, died in Edmonton on July 25. He would have turned 57 on Aug. 12. . . . His death came after a long battle with cancer. . . . According to his obituary, a ‘Jeans and Jerseys’ celebration of life is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m., at Connelly-McKinley, 1011—114 St., in Edmonton. . . . That obituary is right here. . . . Porter spent 16 years with Molson Breweries before venturing into the WHL. He worked for three years as president of the Americans, and for five seasons was president and part-owner of the Bruins. The Oil Kings named him vice-president of family brands on May 31, 2011.


The IIHF has released the schedule for the 2019 World Junior Championship that is to be played in Victoria and Vancouver. . . . That schedule is right here, and it includes teams, venues and starting times. . . . The tournament opens on Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 5.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed F Eric Alarie, their first-round selection in the MooseJawWarriorsWHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Alarie was the final pick in that first round. His signing leaves just four of the 22 first-round selections unsigned (see list below). . . . Alarie, from Winnipeg, had 28 goals and 27 assists in 30 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy bantam prep team. He added a goal and six assists in five playoff games.


The WHL teams that have signed 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

1 Edmonton — F Dylan Guenther.

2. Kootenay — D Carson Lambos.

3. Prince Albert — D Nolan Allan.

4. Calgary — F Sean Tschigerl.

5. Kamloops — F Logan Stankoven.

6. Saskatoon — F Colton Dach.

7. Red Deer — F Jayden Grubbe.

8. Lethbridge — F Zack Stringer.

11. Medicine Hat — F Cole Sillinger.

12. Vancouver — F Zack Ostapchuk.

13. Victoria — D Nolan Bentham.

14. Tri-City — D Marc Lajoie.

15. Brandon — F Jake Chiasson.

16. Red Deer — D Kyle Masters.

17. Spokane — D Graham Sward.

19. Portland — F Gabe Klassen.

20. Edmonton — D Keegan Slaney.

22. Moose Jaw — F Eric Alarie.


The WHL teams that have yet to sign their 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

9. Prince George — F Craig Armstrong.

10. Seattle — F Kai Uchacz.

18. Kelowna — F Trevor Wong (committed to U of Denver, 2021-22).

21. Prince George — G Tyler Brennan.


The Everett Silvertips have signed Slovakian F Peter Melcher, 17, who was Everetttheir lone selection in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. . . . Last season, he played with three teams, putting up 17 goals and 15 assists in 15 games with MHC Martin’s U-18 side; three goals and two assists in 12 games with MHC Martin’s U-20 team; and two goals and four assists in 21 games with the Iowa Wild’s U-16 club. He had one assist in four games with the Slovakian U-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament. . . . Melcher joins Slovakian F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who is preparing for his second season, as Everett’s import players.


Tim Speltz, the former general manager of the Spokane Chiefs, now is the head amateur scout with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Speltz left the Chiefs two years ago after having been with the organization since 1990. . . . He joined the Maple Leafs as director of western area scouting. . . . Speltz spent two seasons (1988-90) as GM of the Medicine Hat Tigers before joining the Chiefs.


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


Former WHL coach Rob Daum will be inducted into the U of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame on Sept. 23. Daum was the Golden Bears’ hockey coach from 1995-2005, taking the team to nine straight national championships and winning three of them. He was Canada West’s coach of the year on five occasions and won the national award twice. He went on to coach in the AHL and NHL, and has coached in Europe since 2011-12. . . . Daum, 60, was an assistant coach (1989-90) and head coach (1990-91) with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, then worked for two seasons (1991-93) as an assistant coach with the Swift Current Broncos. He was the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ head coach for two seasons (1993-95) before taking over as head coach of the Golden Bears. . . . He presently is the head coach of the Iserlohn Roosters of the German DEL.


Judging by the above tweet, the Swift Current Broncos, who apparently lost all of their scouts following a regime change, have started filling the vacancies. . . . The Broncos, the reigning WHL champions, never did make an announcement regarding the departed scouts, nor have they added the names of any scouts to their website.


TheCoachingGame

Katie Greenway has been named the head coach of the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s female prep team. Greenway, 26, was an assistant coach with the team last season. . . . In her playing days, she was a goaltender at UBC and Simon Fraser, and also played for the ZSC Lions in Zurich, Switzerland. . . . At OHA, she will be joined on the bench by former NHL defenceman Blake Wesley, 59, who has been on the OHA staff since 2004. Wesley played three WHL seasons (1976-80) with the Portland Winter Hawks. He also worked as an assistant coach with the Tri-City Americans (2001-02) and Portland (2002-04).


The MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders have hired Ryan Bettesworth as an assistant coach. He played two seasons (2005-07) with the Stampeders. . . . He has spent the past eight years in Thompson, Man., working with the Fire Emergency Services. . . . With the Stampeders, he will work with GM/head coach Taurean White.


Tweetoftheday

Cougars release veteran goalie . . . Seattle drops veteran forward . . . Ex-WHLer has court date in Red Deer


MacBeth

F Andrei Grishakov (Calgary, Victoria, 2016-18) signed a one-year, two-way contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). The two-way deal is between Lada and its junior club, Ladia. Last season, he had 11 goals and 15 assists in 37 games with the Calgary Hitmen (WHL), and eight goals and five assists in 32 games with the Victoria Royals (WHL).


ThisThat

The Prince George Cougars have released G Tavin Grant, 20, after he cleared WHL PrinceGeorgewaivers. Grant, from Burnaby, B.C., got into 37 games with the Cougars last season, going 13-17-5, 3.74, .892, with one shutout. . . . He played 18 games with the Cougars in 2014-15 and one in 2015-16. All told, he was 16-23-5, 4.02, .880. . . . Taylor Gauthier, a 17-year-old preparing for his second season, is No. 1 on the Cougar’s depth chart. Last season, the Calgarian got into 32 games, going 8-18-3, 3.96, .885. Gauthier, a first-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft, will play for Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. . . . Gauthier will be pushed by Isaiah DiLaura, 18, from Lakeville, Minn. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. Last season, He was 3-3-2, 3.94, .888 in 14 appearances.


The Seattle Thunderbirds have released F Blake Bargar, 20. From Torrance, Calif., he had Seattle11 goals and 13 assists in 58 games with Seattle last season. Prior to that, he played two seasons with the Moose Jaw Warriors and one with the Victoria Royals. In 238 career regular-season games, he has 19 goals and 23 assists. . . . The move leaves Seattle with four 20-year-olds on its roster — F Zack Andrusiak, F Mike MacLean, F Noah Philp and F Nolan Volcan.


Jordan Hale, a former WHL player, is facing two charges — possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 — after the RCMP drug unit recently exercised search warrants in Red Deer. . . . He was among six people arrested and charged. . . . According to rdnewsNOW, the drug unit “conducted a series of search warrants and drug arrests over the past month, which resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, cocaine, GHB and fentanyl.” . . . Hale, 28, is from Lacombe, Alta. He played three seasons (2007-10) with the Brandon Wheat Kings, who selected him in the second round of the WHL’s 2005 bantam draft. . . . Hale is scheduled to be in court in Red Deer on Aug. 23. . . . The complete rdnewsNOW story is right here.


Troy Hickman is the new director of scouting with the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines, who play out of Russell, Man. Hickman also scouts for the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders and will continue in that role as he also works with the Wolverines. . . . Hickman, 37, played with the Wolverines as a 20-year-old. He is from Russell.


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


TheCoachingGame

Daren Machesney is the new goaltending coach with the OHL’s London Knights. He has spent the past four seasons as a goaltending scout with the Knights. . . . He takes over from Dave Rook, who is the goalie development coach with the NHL’s Nashville Predators.


The QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs have added Stefan Legein to their front office as an assistant coach. . . . He will work alongside head coach Josh Dixon. . . . Last season, Legein worked with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads an an assistant/video coach.


Tweetoftheday

Blazers, Hurricanes swap forwards . . . Ice, The Drive cut radio deal . . . Ex-WHLers sign on as coaches


MacBeth

D Colton Jobke (Kelowna, Regina, 2009-13) signed a tryout contract with Ingolstadt (Germany, DEL). The contract runs through the end of November. Last season, he had one goal and seven assists in 47 games with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL). Jobke has dual German-Canadian citizenship. . . .

D Shaone Morrisonn (Kamloops, 1999-02) signed a one-year contract with the Oji Eagles Tomakomai (Japan, Asia HL). Last season, he had one goal and six assists in 29 games with Admiral Vladivostok (Russia, KHL). . . .

D Cody Corbett (Edmonton, 2011-14) signed a one-year contract with Pusteral/Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had three goals and 18 assists in 35 games with the Idaho Steelheads (ECHL), and two goals and two assists in 12 games with Orly Znojmo (Czech Republic, Erste Bank Liga).


ThisThat

The Lethbridge Hurricanes have acquired F Jackson Shepard, 18, from the Kamloops Blazers in exchange for F Zane Franklin, 19, and a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s Lethbridge2020 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Shepard, who is from West Vancouver, had nine goals and 13 assists in 72 games. In 115 career games, all with Kamloops, he has 12 goals and 22 assists. The Blazers selected him in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . .

Franklin, from Marwayne, Alta., had 14 goals and 24 assists in 67 games with Lethbridge last season. In 137 regular-season games, he has 20 goals and 34 assists. Lethbridge sKamloops1elected him in the second round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . .

This is an interesting deal if only because both teams are putting together bids on the 2020 Memorial Cup tournament. That would be Shepard’s 19-year-old season, while Franklin would be 20. . . .

The Hurricanes feel they have acquired a top-nine forward who will provide them with a lot of energy and some offence. . . . The Blazers are thrilled with the fact that Franklin also has 30 games of playoff experience. On the subject of that experience, Kamloops general manager Matt Bardsley told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week: “That’s real valuable to a team. We don’t just want to make the playoffs. We want to be in the playoffs and make a bit of a run.” . . . The Blazers have missed the playoffs three of the past five seasons, including last season. . . . Hastings’ story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice announced Tuesday that it and The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group has Kootenaynewagreed to a three-year contract extension involving play-by-play rights. . . . According to a news release, all games, “including select pre-season, all regular-season and playoff games will continue to be heard exclusively on 102.9 FM The Drive and through their website www.thedrivefm.ca.” . . . The Drive has carried Ice games since the franchise arrived in Cranbrook for the 1998-99 season. . . . Brant Hilton will be back as the radio voice of the Ice.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2018. She will celebrate the fifth anniversary on Sept. 23 by taking part in the Kamloops Kidney Walk. This will be the fifth time she has done the Kidney Walk; she has been the leading fund-raiser in Kamloops in each of the previous four years. . . . If you would like to support her this year, you are able to do so right here.


TheCoachingGame

Brett Parker, a former WHL player, has signed on as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. . . . Parker, who is from Melville, Sask., joins head coach Brayden Klimosko in Battlefords. . . . Parker, 33, played thee seasons (2002-05) with the Prince George Cougars, then played five games with the Vancouver Giants in 2005-06. He also played four seasons with the U of Saskatchewan Huskies.


The MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues have added Josh Green to their staff as an assistant coach. . . . Green, 40, played five seasons (1993-98) in the WHL, and had stints with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Swift Current Broncos and Portland Winter Hawks. In 282 regular-season games, he put up 142 goals and 136 assists. He went on to a pro career that included 341 NHL games. He has retired as a player after spending the past four seasons in Finland.


Sometimes the life of a hockey coach goes like this . . . Mark Dennehy had been the head coach at Merrimack College for 13 seasons when he was fired in March, following the 2017-18 season. . . . He wasn’t out of work too long, though, as he signed on May 30 as the head coach of the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers, who are hooked up with the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins. . . . However, he won’t coach even one game with the Nailers because he now is the head coach the Binghamton Devils, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. They received permission from the Penguins to speak with Dennehy and ended up hiring him. . . . Rick Kowalsky had been the head coach of New Jersey’s AHL affiliate for eight seasons before moving up to the parent club as an assistant coach.


Misko Antisin has joined the Wichita Falls Force as its director of player personnel and head coach. The Force is one of the franchises in the USA-Central Hockey League, which bills itself as a junior A circuit. . . . Antisin, 54, worked with league president Troy Mick with the BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks and the now-defunct Steamboat Wranglers in Colorado. . . . Antisin played two seasons (1983-85) with the WHL’s Victoria Cougars before going on to a lengthy pro career in Europe.


Tweetoftheday

Dorothy has reason to celebrate . . . It’s fifth anniversary of transplant . . . She invites you to join her team

It is almost impossible to believe but it soon will be the fifth anniversary of Dorothy’s kidney transplant.

If you’re a regular here, you will have followed my wife’s incredible journey and will know full well why family and friends often refer to her as Wonder Woman, with

Karablog
That’s Dorothy and granddaughter Kara preparing for a newscast at Kidtropolis in Richmond, B.C. The lead story? Kara’s second birthday. (Todd Drinnan photo)

apologies, of course, to Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot.

It was on Sept. 23, 2013, when Dorothy underwent the transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

How has she done since then?

Well, if you know Dorothy you know that she continues to stroll and chat her way through life, always with a smile on her face. Since undergoing the transplant, she has co-founded the Kamloops Kidney Support Group, something that allows her to share her experiences with other people and family members who are having to deal with kidney disease, be it dialysis, pre- or post-transplant situations, and anything else that might accompany it. She also helps put together a Christmas luncheon for kidney patients and their families.

Through all of this she continues to be a terrific wife, mother and grandmother. Oh, how she loves being a grandmother, something the transplant has allowed her to thoroughly enjoy.

So how will Dorothy spend the fifth anniversary of her transplant? By taking part in the 2018 Kamloops Kidney Walk, of course. It is scheduled for Sept. 23 at McDonald Park in Kamloops.

This will be the fifth straight year in which she has been part of the Kamloops Kidney Walk, and once again she is asking friends, acquaintances and Taking Note readers to be part of her team and allow her to walk for them.

Dorothy already has been joined by old friend Norm Weseen. We stopped off to visit with Norm this weekend while on the Lower Mainland and, as usual, he couldn’t wait to climb on the bus.

You can join Team Dorothy by making a donation, something that can be done by clicking right here, then clicking on the ‘Donate’ button in the upper right corner of Dorothy’s personal page.

Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.

Scattershooting on a quiet Thursday . . . Organ donors front and centre . . . Four teams with special games this weekend

Scattershooting

Firstly, a huge thank you to the WHL and its 17 Canadian teams for all they have done and are doing in helping to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

If you’re a regular here, you know how much this means to me because of my wife, Dorothy, having received a kidney more than four years ago. She helped out with the selling of 200 mini-helmets on Friday when the Kamloops Blazers did their part and wore the Don Cherry-themed sweaters. It’s worth noting that while there Dorothy was approached by three different women who have been kidney donors. As Dorothy says, “Donors are the real heroes.”

On Thursday, she volunteered at a World Kidney Day function that was arranged by nursing students from Thompson Rivers University.

If you are interested in how she is doing, there’s more right here, including video that appeared on CFJC-TV today.

Don’t forget that four WHL teams — the Kelowna Rockets, Red Deer Rebels, Saskatoon Blades and Victoria Royals — will hold their Organ Donor Awareness Nights this weekend.


You are aware that the WHL season is into its final 11 days, but are you aware there hasn’t been an in-season coaching change for a second straight season? In fact, the last in-season coaching change occurred in 2015-16 when Lorne Molleken was dismissed as the head coach of the Vancouver Giants. Of course, that happened with just two games left in the season so likely shouldn’t count.


When you pay attention to a television event like the Super Bowl or the Oscars while also keeping an eye on a computer, you are left to wonder what all the closet comedians did before Twitter.


Hey, Ichiro is going to be back with the Seattle Mariners this season. What better place for him to finish up his hall-of-fame career.


Next season’s WHL schedule will have each team play 68 games, down four from recent seasons. That means each team will play two fewer home games. . . . There are 22 teams in the WHL. With season-ticket renewals on the way to fans, what is the over-under for the number of teams that will have lowered their prices?


Oh, here’s a note that just arrived from a fan who has received his renewal offer from his favourite team:

“ ‘More money for less product’ is not a good marketing tool. I’m not sure what they’re thinking, charging more money for fewer games when attendance is down in nearly all WHL markets this season. I still maintain it’s a great deal for the price you pay vs. the quality of the hockey, but I’m much more than a casual fan and they’re obviously having challenges getting people to games.”


If you are on Twitter and haven’t seen it, I would suggest you visit Slava Malamud’s account at @SlavaMalamud and read his 21-take analysis of the KHL and how this season’s championship has been pre-determined. The whole explanation is gold. . . . None of that will be news to The MacBeth Report, who has been keeping me filled in on Putin’s pals and their roles in the KHL for a while now.


Whenever I watch curling on TSN, I am left thinking that Russ Howard may be the best analyst on TV today. Any sport. Any channel. Any stream. The chemistry between Cheryl Bernard, Vic Rauter and Howard is rarely heard in a three-person broadcast team.


Watching Brendan Leipsic score in OT and draw two assists for Vancouver on Monday night had me wondering: How long before the Canucks acquire Ty Rattie from the Edmonton Oilers? Rattie was a pure sniper when he was with the Portland Winterhawks, but really hasn’t been able to find an NHL home. Vancouver head coach Travis Green had Rattie in Portland and knows what he can do, just like he knows all about Leipsic, another Portland product.


If the WHL playoffs started today, one first-round series would feature the Portland Winterhawks and Spokane Chiefs. On Thursday, Dylan Bumbarger (@dylandb) tweeted: “Series starts in Portland even if the Winterhawks don’t have home ice because Spokane is hosting NCAA regional women’s basketball.”


If you aren’t a fan of the Boston Bruins, don’t ever watch one of their games on NESN on a full stomach. Why not? Well, there are broadcasters who leave you wondering what game they’re watching, and then there is Jack Edwards, whose work is slanted beyond comprehension. How slanted? If he has a vote for the Lady Byng Trophy, you can bet he’s writing in Brad Marchand’s name.



TheCoachingGame

The MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines have signed Taylor Harnett, their general manager and head coach, to what the club called a “multi-year contract extension.” . . . Harnett joined the team in November after first-year coach Arnie Caplan was dismissed following a 1-16-1 start. The Wolverines finished the season with an 8-48-4 record. They didn’t make the playoffs as they had the 11-team league’s poorest record.


The AJHL’s Olds Grizzlys have released Adam Redmond, their general manager and head coach, and Doug Hergenhein, who was the head scout and director of player personnel. . . . Redmond was an associate coach with the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks before signing with Olds prior to this season. . . . The Grizzlys finished 18-37-5, placing eighth in the eight-team Viterra South Division. . . . Hergenhein was in his first season with Olds.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Moose Jaw at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Regina vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Medicine Hat, 7:30 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Vancouver vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

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

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.