Giants set to name head coach . . . Brockman signs on as Broncos’ tamer . . . Oil Kings add Hill, Lauer to front office

MacBeth

Glen Hanlon (Brandon, 1974-77) signed a one-year plus option year contract as head coach of DVTK Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). This is the club’s first season playing in Slovakia’s Extraliga. Hanlon was GM of the Vancouver Giants the past two seasons.


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants are expected to introduce Michael Dyck as their newest head Vancouvercoach today. Dyck, 49, will take over from Jason McKee, who was fired by incoming general manager Barclay Parneta on June 15. At the time, Parent said he wanted a head coach “I’m more familiar with.” . . . In 2002-03, Parneta was scouting for the Giants, while Dyck was an assistant coach. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia has more on the story right here.


Dean Brockman was introduced Wednesday as the Swift Current Broncos’ director of SCBroncoshockey operations and head coach. Brockman takes over from Manny Viveiros, who guided the Broncos to the WHL championship in May, in his second season in Swift Current, then joined the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers as an assistant coach. . . . Brockman spent the past four seasons with the Saskatoon Blades, the last two as head coach. He was fired when the 2017-18 season ended. Before joining the Blades, Brockman spent 17 seasons with the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. He is a four-time winner of the SJHL’s coach-of-the-year award.


After being away for 11 seasons, Brad Lauer is returning to the WHL, this time as the EdmontonOilKingshead coach of the Edmonton Oil Kings. His signing was announced on Wednesday. Lauer replaces Steve Hamilton, who was fired on May 28. Hamilton had been on the Edmonton coaching staff for eight seasons, the last eight as head coach. . . . Lauer, 51, is a former WHL player and coach. He played three seasons (1983-86) for the Regina Pats, before going on to a pro career that ended after the 2001-02 season. His NHL career comprised 323 regular-season and 34 playoff games. . . . He spent five seasons (2002-07) as an assistant coach with the Kootenay Ice and has NHL coaching experience with the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning. For the past three seasons, he was an assistant coach with the Tampa Bay Lightning. . . . Derek Van Diest of Postmedia has more on the Lauer hiring right here.

The Oil Kings also introduced Kirt Hill, 30, as their president of hockey operations and general manager. He takes over from Randy Hansch after he and the Oil Kings parted company. . . . Terry Jones of Postmedia has more on the Hill hiring and the state of the Oil Kings right here.


Importdraft

The CHL’s 2018 import draft is scheduled to be held today (Thursday), starting at 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT). The QMJHL’s Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first pick, followed, in order, by the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings and the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.

As of late Wednesdsay night, 52 of the 60 CHL teams were poised to pick in the first round, with 27 of them to take part in the second round.

The CHL finally made official on Wednesday what has been widely reported for weeks now. According to a news release: “For the first time since 2013, goaltenders will be eligible for selection in the CHL import draft, in addition to forwards and defencemen.”

Here’s a look at the 22 WHL teams and their import situation . . .

Brandon Wheat Kings — They have released Czech D Daniel Bukac, 19, freeing them to make two selections. The Wheat Kings also hold the CHL rights to Czech F Martin Kaut, who was selected by the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the NHL’s 2018 draft. Because he was a first-round pick, the Wheat Kings are allowed to make that second pick in the import draft.

Calgary Hitmen — D Vladislav Yeryomenko (Belarus) and D Egor Zamula (Russia) both will be back, so the Hitmen will sit out the import draft.

Edmonton Oil Kings — F Andrei Pavlenko (Belarus) is returning, while F Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) has completed his junior eligibility. The Oil Kings will make one selection.

Everett Silvertips — With F Martin Fasko-Rudas (Slovakia) returning, the Silvertips have room for one import. D Ondrej Vala (Czech Republic), who finished with Everett last season, is 20 and is expected to play in the Dallas Stars’ organization.

Kamloops Blazers — They traded Vala to Everett in January and have released F Justin Sigrist (Switzerland), so are expected to pick twice.

Kelowna Rockets — They are bringing back D Libor Zabransky, but have released F Marek Skvrne, so they will make one selection. Both players are from Czech Republic.

Kootenay Ice — With F Martin Bodak (Slovakia) unsure whether he will return, the Ice is expected to make one selection as it looks for an import to join F Gillian Kohler (Switzerland). Bodak, 20, would be a two-spotter should he return, so there’s that, too.

Lethbridge Hurricanes — D Igor Merezhko (Ukraine) is 20, so would be a two-spotter were the Hurricanes to keep him. They have released F Yegor Zudilov (Russia), so will make two selections.

Medicine Hat Tigers — D Linus Nassen (Sweden) is preparing for his 20-year-old season, but would be a two-spotter. D Kristians Rubins (Latvia) was a two-spotter last season so has aged out. The Tigers are expected to pick twice.

Moose Jaw Warriors — They had two Russians last season — D Oleg Sosunov and D Dmitri Zaitsev — both of whom now are 20. Neither is expected back and the Warriors are expected to make two selections.

Portland Winterhawks — F Joachim Blichfeld (Denmark) is 20 and should play in the San Jose Sharks organization. D Henri Jokiharju (Finland), 19, was a first-round selection by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2016 NHL draft. The Winterhawks, then, will be making two selections.

Prince Albert Raiders — They will make one selection. D Sergei Sapego (Belarus) will be back, but D Vojtech Budik (Czech Republic) is 20 and won’t be returning.

Prince George Cougars — F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (Belarus) is expected back for his sophomore season, so the Cougars are preparing to make one selection. F Pavel Azhgirei (Belarus) won’t return.

Red Deer Rebels — F Kristian Reichel (Czech Republic) is 20 and his future is up in the air, while D Alex Alexeyev (Russia) will be back after being a first-round selection by the Washington Capitals in the NHL’s 2018 draft. Because of the situation, the Rebels are eligible to make two picks.

Regina Pats — D Libor Hajek (Czech Republic), 20, should play in the New York Rangers organization, while F Emil Oksanen (Finland), 20, has signed to play at home. The Pats are planning on making two selections.

Saskatoon Blades — D Mark Rubinchik (Russia) has signed to play with a KHL team, leaving the Blades to make a pair of picks.

Seattle Thunderbirds — They also will make two selections, having released F Nikita Malukhin (Russia) and with F Sami Moilanen having signed with a pro team in Finland.

Spokane Chiefs — They will select once, having chosen to release Slovakian F Milos Fafrak, who will turn 19 on July 8. Spokane’s other import is Czech D Filip Kral, who will turn 19 on Oct. 20.

Swift Current Broncos — D Artyom Minulin (Russia), 20, will be a two-spotter should they bring him back, while F Aleksi Heponiemi (Finland) has signed to play at home. Thus, the Broncos are expected to make two picks.

Tri-City Americans — They’ll make one selection as they try to find an import to join D Roman Kalinichenko (Russia), who returns for a second season. D Juuso Valimaki (Finland) turns 20 on Oct. 6, but should be in the Calgary Flames organization.

Vancouver Giants — They’ll pass as they plan on going with F Milos Roman (Slovakia) and F Yannik Valenti (Germany), a 2017 import draft pick who signed with them on March 9.

Victoria Royals — The Royals have F Igor Martynov coming back, while they have released F Andrei Grishakov (Russia). Therefore, they will make one selection.


Work is underway at Mosaic Place, the home of the Moose Jaw Warriors, to upgrade the MooseJawWarriorsboards and glass. The Warriors announced Wednesday that they will share the $446,313 cost with the DFFH (Downtown Facility and Field House). . . . “This new CrystalPlex dasher board system is in the best interest of player safety and will benefit not only our WHL players, but all users of the facility,” Alan Millar, the Warriors’ general manager, said in a news release. . . . The upgrades are scheduled to be finished in time for the 2018-19 season.


The Portland Winterhawks are looking for a new broadcast team after announcing PortlandWednesday that Evan Richardson, their play-by-play voice, and analyst Andy Kemper have stepped aside, both of them citing a desire to spend more time with family. . . . Richardson spent one season calling Winterhawks’ games. He has decided to return to his hometown of Toronto. . . . Kemper began his broadcasting career in 2004, alongside the legendary Dean (Scooter) Vrooman. He will continue to be part of the Winterhawks organization as the team historian.


G Connor Ingram, who played with the Kamloops Blazers, spent last season with the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

After the tragedy involving the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, Lukas Favale, the Crunch’s radio voice, pledged $1 to the fundraising attempts for every save made by Ingram from then through the end of the AHL playoffs. Ingram immediately said he would match that total.

Earlier this month, F Kaleb Dahlgren of the Broncos and Ingram took part in a cheque presentation with some folks from STARS Ambulance.


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Hitmen lose their head coach . . . Porter leaving Broncos . . . A team-by-team look at what’s been happening


MacBeth

F Mark Derlago (Brandon, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with Esbjerg (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). Last season, with the Nottingham Panthers (England, UK Elite), he had 18 goals and 33 assists in 54 games. He was second on the Panthers in goals, assists and points. . . . Derlago played for Esbjerg in 2014-15, when he finished third in league scoring. Mark Pederson (Medicine Hat, 1983-88) is Esbjerg’s GM and head coach. . . .

D Jesse Dudas (Lethbridge, Prince George, Swift Current, Regina, 2003-09) signed a one-year extension with MAC Budapest (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). Last season, he had five goals and 15 assists in 30 games with Budapest in Erste Bank Liga. The club is moving to Slovakia’s Extraliga for this season. . . .

D Dylan Yeo (Prince George, Calgary, 2003-07) signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Straubing Tigers (Germany, DEL), he had 11 goals and 12 assists in 51 games. An alternate captain, he led DEL defencemen in goals.


ThisThat

There were two more — that we know of — departures from the front offices of WHL teams on Tuesday.

The Calgary Hitmen announced that head coach Dallas Ferguson has resigned after one season “due to family reasons.”

General manager Jeff Chynoweth is quoted in a news release saying: “Dallas approached Calgaryme last week, stating his wife is unable to continue to work her current job in Alaska while moving to Calgary as originally planned. As a father to two young girls he does not want to live apart from his family again this (season). We respect this decision, supporting that family comes first and wish Dallas all the best in the future.”

Ferguson joined the Hitmen last summer after 13 seasons with the U of Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks, the last nine as head coach.

In his lone season in Calgary, the Hitmen, who were in rebuilding mode, went 24-37-11, finished fifth in the six-team Central Division and missed the playoffs.

Chynoweth, the former long-time GM of the Kootenay Ice, just completed his first season with the Hitmen, and now he’ll have to hire his second Calgary head coach.

When Chynoweth starts sorting through resumes, assistant coaches Jason LaBarbera, Trent Cassan and Joel Otto will get consideration.

“If one of these guys is the best candidate,” Chynoweth told Calgary freelancer Rita Mingo, who covered the story for Postmedia, “we’ll definitely look at him. In my past in Kootenay, we promoted a couple of assistant coaches.”

As for when a replacement might be named, Chynoweth told Mingo: “No timeline. I remember one year in Cranbrook, we didn’t hire someone until I think Aug. 6, three weeks before training camp. Ideally, the sooner the better for everyone involved. We’ve had a lot of resumes already and we’ll get more. It’s something that will play out, we’ll get lots of good candidates and we’ll definitely hire the right guy.”

Mingo’s story is right here.

Meanwhile, the Swift Current Broncos announced that Jamie Porter, their director of SCBroncoshockey operations, is leaving the organization “at the end of July.”

Porter had been with the Broncos since 2002 and had been the top dog in the scouting department since 2005.

The terse three-paragraph news release from the Broncos concluded with: “There will be no further comments from the organization.”

That leads one to believe that, in this instance, perhaps parting won’t be such sweet sorrow.


With the Kamloops Blazers and Swift Current Broncos having introduced, or about to introduce, new head coaches this week, let’s take a team-by-team look at what has been happening . . .

EASTERN CONFERENCE

East Division

Brandon Wheat Kings — All is quiet on the WHL’s eastern front.

Moose Jaw Warriors — Things are quiet in Moose Jaw, too.

Prince Albert Raiders — Associate coach Dave Manson now is an assistant coach with the Bakersfield Condors, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. General manager Curtis Hunt and head coach Marc Habscheid will be looking for a replacement.

Regina Pats — There is speculation that general manager/head coach John Paddock will leave the bench, turning the head-coaching duties over to Dave Struch, the assistant GM and assistant coach. That move is expected to happen; it just hasn’t happened yet.

Saskatoon Blades — They have hired Mitch Love as head coach to replace Dean Brockman, who was fired when last season ended. Brockman had been with the Blades for four seasons, the last two as head coach. Love joins the Blades from the Everett Silvertips, where he was an assistant coach for seven seasons. . . . The Blades also hired Ryan Marsh as an assistant coach, to replace Bryce Thoma, who was dismissed shortly after Brockman. Marsh was fired by the Edmonton Oil Kings following the season. He had been there for four seasons.

Swift Current — The Broncos have hired Dean Brockman as their director of hockey operations and head coach, replacing Manny Viveiros, now an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Jamie Porter, who had been the director of hockey operations, will leave the organization at the end of July.

——

Central Division

Calgary Hitmen — Head coach Dallas Ferguson is leaving after one season, citing family reasons for his departure. Ferguson had taken over from Mark French, who spent three seasons with the Hitmen before leaving to become head coach of HC Fribourg-Gottéron in the Swiss National League.

Edmonton Oil Kings — They need a head coach, having fired Steve Hamilton, and an assistant after dismissing Ryan Marsh, who landed on his feet with the Saskatoon Blades. The Oil Kings also need a general manager after they and Randy Hansch chose to go in different directions. It has been speculated for almost two months that former WHLer Kirt Hill will be named director of hockey operations.

Kootenay Ice — Things have been quiet in Cranbrook, although the Ice did add Tyler MacDonald of Winnipeg to its scouting staff. According to the team website, he is the organization’s lone scout so it could be that more additions are soon to be made.

Lethbridge Hurricanes — The winds of change have left the Hurricanes alone.

Medicine Hat Tigers — They parted company with Carter Sears after one season as director of player personnel. Bobby Fox has moved from behind the bench as an assistant coach to replace Sears. Shaun Clouston, the GM and head coach, says he will hire an assistant coach if he finds a good fit.

Red Deer Rebels — The Rebels and Jeff Truitt, their veteran associate coach, went in separate directions after last season. Red Deer later hired Brad Flynn and Ryan Colville as assistant coaches, and is quietly looking for another assistant. Flynn had been the director of hockey operations and head coach for the NAHL’s Corpus Christi IceRays. Most recently, Colville was the president, GM and head coach of the NAHL’s Cincinnati Thunder. . . . The Rebels also hired former WHL G Kraymer Barnstable as their goaltending coach after Taylor Dakers left for the Prince George Cougars.

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

B.C. Division

Kamloops Blazers — They moved out general manager Stu MacGregor, head coach Don Hay, assistant coach Mike Needham and Matt Recchi, the director of player personnel. . . . Matt Bardsley is the new GM, after being in the Portland Winterhawks’ front office since 1999. He has hired Serge Lajoie as head coach. Lajoie is fresh off three seasons as head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears — they won the Canadian university title last season. . . . Still to come — at least one assistant coach and a move atop the scouting department.

Kelowna Rockets — All quiet, although assistant coach Travis Crickard has been keeping busy in New Zealand, which is a long way from Flin Flon.

Prince George Cougars — The Cougars hired Mark Lamb as their general manager, replacing Todd Harkins, who was dismissed at season’s end. They also have added their first full-time goaltending coach, that being Taylor Dakers.

Vancouver Giants — Glen Hanlon left the club after two seasons as general manager, and that spot has been filled by Barclay Parneta, who had been the assistant GM with the Tri-City Americans. Parneta then dismissed head coach Jason McKee, who had been there for two seasons. There is speculation that former WHL D Michael Dyck could be the next head coach. . . . Dyck is a former WHL player and coach, who has worked with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Giants. He spent three seasons (2002-05) as an assistant coach with Vancouver and was Lethbridge’s head coach for four seasons (2005-09). Of late, he has been coaching minor hockey in Lethbridge. He was the head coach of the midget AAA Hurricanes last season.

Victoria Royals — Things are quiet on Vancouver Island.

——

U.S. Division

Everett Silvertips — They lost Bil La Forge, their director of player personnel, to the Seattle Thunderbirds, who hired him as general manager, so will be looking to fill that spot.

Portland Winterhawks — Matt Bardsley, who had been in the Portland front office since 1999, signed on with the Kamloops Blazers as general manager. He had been the Winterhawks’ since 1999.

Seattle Thunderbirds — Russ Farwell, the Thunderbirds’ general manager for 23 seasons, now is the vice president of hockey operations. Bil La Forge, who had been Everett’s director of player personnel, is the Thunderbirds’ new GM.

Spokane Chiefs — Things are quiet here, too.

Tri-City Americans — Bob Tory, the co-owner and general manager, needs to find an assistant GM to replace Barclay Parneta, now the GM with the Vancouver Giants. As well, head coach Mike Williamson is leaving after four seasons. Brian Pellerin, the associate coach for the past four seasons, may be the favourite to replace Williamson.


TheCoachingGame

Gilles Bouchard has left the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to join the Syracuse Crunch, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, as an assistant coach. Bouchard, 47, had been the Huskies’ general manager and head coach. . . . In Syracuse, he’ll work alongside head coach Benoit Groulx. . . . Bouchard also was the head coach of the Canadian U-18 entry for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup that is to be played in Edmonton and Red Deer, Aug. 6-11. Obviously, he will have to be replaced by Hockey Canada. . . . Mitch Love, the head coach of the Saskatoon Blades, and Ryan Oulahen, the head coach of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds, are the assistant coaches.


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Hanlon leaving Giants . . . Blazers’ top pick gives them the word . . . Thunderbirds’ import will stay home

MacBeth

F Adam Kambeitz (Red Deer, Saskatoon, Seattle, 2008-13) a signed one-year contract with Gap (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with the U of Calgary (Canada West), he had two goals and eight assists in 28 games. . . .

F Dominik Uher (Spokane, 2009-12) signed a two-year contract with the Fischtown Pinguins Bremerhaven (Germany, DEL). This season, with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had three goals and three assists in 48 games. . . .

F Dustin Johner (Seattle, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). He had three goals and seven assists in 19 games. . . .

D Tomáš Kundrátek (Medicine Hat, 2008-10) signed a one-year contract with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). This season, with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (Russia, KHL), he had two goals and 11 assists in 53 games. . . .

D Zack Yuen (Tri-City, 2008-13) signed a one-year two-way contract extension with Kunlun Red Star Beijing (China, KHL). He had two goals and one assist in 21 games this season. He also was pointless in eight games with KRS Heilongjiang Harbin (China, Russia Vysshaya Liga).


ThisThat

The Vancouver Giants became the third B.C. Division team searching for a general manager when they revealed on Monday that Glen Hanlon is leaving after two seasons in that role. . . . The Prince George Cougars, who didn’t bring back Todd Harkins, and Kamloops Blazers, who dumped Stu MacGregor, also are looking to hire general managers. . . . According to a Giants news release, Hanlon “has decided to pursue other opportunities.” . . . Hanlon, 61, spent two seasons (2011-13) with the Giants as an assistant coach under Don Hay before spending a couple of seasons coaching in Belarus and Switzerland. . . . Dean Chynoweth, the Giants’ associate coach, may be the leading candidate to replace Hanlon. Chynoweth, 49, spent five seasons (2004-09) as the general manager and head coach of the Swift Current Broncos. He just completed his first season with the Giants, working alongside head coach Jason McKee.


The Hamilton Bulldogs won the OHL championship on Sunday night. Here are a few paragraphs written earlier in the week by Scott Radley of the Hamilton Spectator:

When the Canadian Hockey League awarded the Memorial Cup to Regina, it cited the failings of FirstOntario Centre as the main reason why.

“At the end of the day, it was the facility that would not allow Hamilton to stay in the race,” CHL president David Branch said back then.

That may be true. Then again, the yellow-T-shirt-wearing, noise-making, atmosphere-creating, lower-bowl-filling crowd — which was 2,100 people bigger than will be at any of the Memorial Cup games at the Brandt Centre (capacity 6,500) — sure looked good and suggested the tournament really should’ve been here.

Not to mention the fact that Hamilton has a championship-calibre team that’s playing the country’s best outfit to a standstill right now. The host Regina Pats? They were eliminated from their playoffs 40 days ago.”


Here’s more from Radley:

Sure, most teams’ TV and radio announcers are homers to one degree or another. Many are employees of the team, so it’s hardly a surprise. Most keep it reasonably in check, however.

That said, is there any call in sports more finger-nails-on-a-chalkboard grating than Buck Martinez yelling “Get up, ball!” every time a Blue Jay hits a home run? It’s just one step short of running onto the field and hugging the guy as he rounds third base.


It seems that Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, didn’t give us all of the organization’s bad news when he announced the departure of four people from Kamloops1the front office on Thursday.

Jon Keen, the radio voice of the Blazers, reported Tuesday that the Blazers were told before the May 3 bantam draft that F Massimo Rizzo is “pursuing an NCAA scholarship and will not be coming to training camp in the fall.”

The Blazers selected Rizzo with the 15th overall selection of the 2016 bantam draft. This season, Rizzo had 13 goals and 25 assists in 50 games with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He will be back with the Vees in 2018-19.

On Thursday, Gaglardi announced the departures of general manager Stu MacGregor, head coach Don Hay, assistant coach Mike Needham and director of player personnel Matt Recchi.


The NHL’s Edmonton Oilers signed G Stuart Skinner of the Swift Current Broncos to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday. Skinner, who is from Edmonton, was a third-round selection by the Oilers in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . He posted a record-tying six shutouts in helping the Broncos to the WHL championship.


So . . . if you’re Eli Manning, the New York Giants’ starting quarterback, what’s it like playing in Philadelphia?

“Philly, you just gotta get used to,” Manning tells Steiner Sports. “. . . because you’re not used to seeing a nine-year-old cursing at you and talking about my mom and stuff. Once you get used to it, it’s fine. It just takes a year or two. Now (15 years later) he’s 24 and training his four-year-old to curse at me.”


The Prince Albert Raiders have signed D Nolan Allan, the third overall selection in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Allan, from Davidson, Sask., had 12 goals and 32 assists in 26 games with the bantam AA Humboldt Broncos.


Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times notes that Kiyaunta Goodwin of Louisville, Ky., “is six-feet-seven, weighs 370 pounds, wears size-18 shoes, leg presses 1,000 pounds, bench presses 315, displays uncanny agility, likes art music and robotics, and has a football offer from Georgia in his pocket, according to Bleacher Report.” . . . Perry then adds: “Oh and did we mention that he’s only 14 years old and an eighth-grader?”


It appears that F Sami Moilanen won’t be back with the Seattle Thunderbirds for what Seattlewould have been his 19-year-old season. From Sipoo, Finland, Moilanen played two seasons with Seattle. He had 43 points, including 21 goals, in 70 games as a freshman, adding 16 points, seven of them goals, in 20 playoff games as the Thunderbirds won the Ed Chynoweth Cup. This season, he had 22 goals and 23 assists in 50 games as he was hampered by injuries. . . . Seattle’s second import, Russian F Nikita Malukhin, had five goals and four assists in 52 games as a freshman this season.


Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, is a hockey fan, and as he writes: “A difference between Canadian and U.S. hockey fans — at least Canadian fans can find Winnipeg on a map?”


“Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning should both do well with playoff ticket sales,” Hough notes. “As we get into mid- May, I’m guessing people in both cities will pay well for a chance to spend three hours inside out of 30-plus degree weather.”


“So the Leafs are bounced in the first round,” pens Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette, “the Raptors pull an epic choke after Drake makes an ass of himself, and the Jays get no-hit the night Stroman pitches. This Toronto 24/7 thing is entertaining.”


A note from RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Reuters reports a Paris museum is offering special viewing hours to ‘naturists.’ Nudes taking in nudes? Busts before busts? Art-wise I’m not sure how to frame it.”


Currie, again: “The Toronto Raptors fired coach Dwane Casey two days after he was named NBA coach of the year.  It’s the fastest fall from grace for a Casey since the Mudville nine.”

Historic night for Warriors . . . Tigers win Central Division again . . . Raiders get last playoff spot


A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

The Vancouver Giants are almost certain to finish third in the B.C. Division and likely will meet the Victoria Royals in the first round.

Vancouver is third in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Royals. The Giants have Vancouverthree games remaining, but appear likely to finish the regular season without G David Tendeck.

Glen Hanlon, the Giants’ general manager, told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that Tendeck will miss at least two games with an undisclosed injury. The Giants have three games remaining — they are at home to the Kelowna Rockets and Friday and finish up in the Little Apple on Saturday.

I would bet that Tendeck misses all three games, as the Giants try to get him ready for their playoff opener, likely on March 23 in Victoria.

That means the Giants will ride G Trent Miner, who turned 17 on Feb. 5, to the finish line. From Brandon, he was a first-round pick in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. In six games with the Giants, he is 2-2-0, 4.10, .888.


The Spokane Chiefs have added G Bailey Brkin, 18, to their roster. They acquired his SpokaneChiefsWHL rights from the Kootenay Ice on Jan. 8, giving up an eight-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. He finished this season with the AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats, getting into 11 games and going 5-4-1 (the 1 was a tie), 2.68, .929. In four games with the Chiefs, he was 3-1-0, 2.51, .921. . . .

Meanwhile, the Chiefs have signed F Sean Gulka, 18, to a WHL contract and have added him to their roster for the remainder of the season. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is from Langley, B.C. He had 12 goals and 13 assists in 50 games with the BCHL’s Langley Rivermen this season. . . . Gulka was a ninth-round pick by the Victoria Royals in the WHL’s 2015 bantam draft. The Chiefs acquired him from the Royals on Nov. 22 for a sixth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.


JUST NOTES . . .

The Portland Winterhawks have said that F Lukus McKenzie will be out day-to-day after leaving a game on Sunday with an apparent injury to his right arm or wrist. The Winterhawks next are scheduled to play on Friday against visiting Seattle. . . .

F Tanner Nagel of the Swift Current Broncos has been suspended for three games for something that occurred in a game at Moose Jaw on Saturday — Warriors D Dmitri Zaitsev was injured on the play in question and didn’t return to the game. Nagel, who wasn’t penalized on the play in question, was suspended under supplemental discipline so won’t play again in the regular season as the Broncos have only three games remaining. . . .

There will be pro hockey in St. John’s, Nfld., again next season with the news that the ECHL has granted an expansion franchise to Dean MacDonald. The team, which doesn’t yet have a nickname, will be affiliated with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. . . . The ECHL also is losing two teams — the Quad City Mallards are folding, while the Colorado Eagles are moving up to the AHL. . . . Robin Short of the St. John’s Telegram has lots more right here. . . .

F Ryan McBeath of the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs was killed in a car accident on Tuesday morning. McBeath, 17, died just south east of Red Deer when McBeath’s vehicle hit a tanker trunk. McBeath, from Olds, Alta., was the lone occupant of his vehicle. . . . According to rdnewsnow.com, “Cpl. Curtis Peters (of Three Hills RCMP) said there was thick fog in the area at the time of the crash which may have contributed to the cause of the accident. Environment Canada issued a fog advisory for the area earlier in the morning.” . . . McBeath had 16 goals and 15 assists in 35 games with the Chiefs this season. He also got into two games with the AJHL’s Drumheller Dragons, scoring twice and adding an assist.


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

TUESDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors clinched their first Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . MooseJawWarriorsMoose Jaw (52-15-3) has won three in a row. It also wrapped up its fourth East Division title. . . . Prince Albert (32-25-12) had won its previous nine games. It is in the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, and clinched a playoff berth when Saskatoon lost in Brandon. That was the final playoff spot that had yet to be decided. . . . The Raiders now are five points behind Brandon, which is in possession of the first wild-card spot. Prince Albert has three games remaining. . . . Should the standings remain as they are, the Warriors and Raiders would meet in the first round of the playoffs, a series that likely would open in Moose Jaw on March 23. . . . The Warriors won the season series, 5-2-1; the Raiders were 3-4-1. . . . F Nikita Krivokrasov (3) gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead at 3:21 of the first period. . . . F Vince Loschiavo got the Warriors into a tie with his 19th goal, just 34 seconds later. . . . There wasn’t any further scoring until the shootout. F Brett Howden and F Jayden Halbgewachs, Moose Jaw’s first shooters, both scored, while Prince Albert’s first two were blanked. . . . Each team was 0-4 on the PP. . . . G Brody Willms earned his 37th victory of the season with 27 saves. He now holds the franchise’s single-season record for victories, one more than Thomas Heemskerk (2010-11). . . . The Raiders got 36 saves from G Ian Scott. . . . The Warriors were without three injured players — F Brayden Burke, who has missed five games, and D Brandon Schuldaus and D Dmitri Zaitsev, both of whom sat out a second straight game after being injured on Saturday. . . . Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen’s suspension for a Saturday night charging major and game misconduct — he hit Swift Current F Tyler Steenbergen — was set at four games by the WHL on Tuesday. He served the first game on Sunday, so won’t play again in the regular season, but will be eligible to return for the first game of the playoffs. . . . The Raiders continue to play without F Brett Leason. . . . Announced attendance: 3,349.


At Brandon, the Wheat Kings posted a 5-3 victory over Saskatoon, a loss that eliminated the Blades from the playoff picture for a fifth straight season. . . . Brandon (38-27-5) holds BrandonWKregulardown the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. It is fourth in the East Division, one point behind Regina. . . . Saskatoon (32-33-4) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . The Wheat Kings won the season series, 6-2-0. . . . D Logan Christensen (5) gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at 7:38 of the first period. . . . Brandon took a 2-1 lead on goals from F Linden McCorrister (19), at 9:09, and F Marcus Sekundiak (4), at 5:50 of the second period. . . . The Blades tied it at 11:26 as F Max Gerlach got No. 29. . . . But the Wheat Kings scored the next two goals, as D Schael Higson (5) counted at 13:44, then F Ty Lewis (43) scored at 6:59 of the third period. . . . The Blades got back to within a goal at 12:39, courtesy of F Eric Florchuk (16). . . . Brandon got an insurance goal from F Evan Weinger (30) at 14:07. . . . Higson, Lewis and Weinger each had an assist for Brandon. . . . The Blades got two assists from F Kirby Dach, and one apiece from Florchuk and Gerlach. . . . Saskatoon was 0-1 on the PP; Brandon was 0-4. . . . With G Logan Thompson still out, Brandon started G Dylan Myskiw, and he stopped 40 shots. . . . The Blades got 23 saves from G Nolan Maier. . . . Announced attendance: 4,715.


At Edmonton, the Oil Kings exploded for five goals in the third period and went to beat the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 5-1. . . . Edmonton (21-41-8) has won two in a row. . . . EdmontonOilKingsLethbridge (32-31-6) has lost six straight. It will finish second in the Central Division and meet Red Deer in the first round of the playoffs. Home-ice advantage has yet to be decided. Lethbridge, which entertains Red Deer tonight, is five points ahead of the Rebels with each team having three games remaining. . . . Lethbridge went 3-2-1 in the season series with Edmonton, which finished 3-3-0. . . . F Jadon Joseph (9) gave Lethbridge a 1-0 lead at 5:48 of the first period. . . . F Colton Kehler (31) got Edmonton into a 1-1 tie, on a PP, at 2:09 of the second period, and F Nick Bowman (6) put it in front at 7:23. . . . D Conner McDonald upped the lead to 3-1, on a PP, at 14:50, and F Tomas Soustal (20) added another PP score at 16:08. . . . F Trey Fix-Wolansky (31), who also had three assists, put a cap on the five-goal outburst at 18:48. . . . Edmonton was 3-4 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-5. . . . The Oil Kings got 26 stops from G Josh Dechaine. . . . G Logan Flodell turned aside 30 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . Announced attendance: 6,468.


At Medicine Hat, the Calgary Hitmen scored three times in the third period and beat the CalgaryTigers, 3-1. . . . Calgary (22-36-11) has points in three straight games (2-0-1). . . . Despite the loss, Medicine Hat (35-27-8), which has lost two straight, clinched the Central Division pennant for a second straight season as second-place Lethbridge lost in Edmonton. . . . Calgary and Medicine Hat each was 3-2-1 in the season series. . . . The Tigers took a 1-0 lead when D Dylan MacPherson (4) scored 12 seconds into the third period. . . . F Tristen Nielsen (19) got Calgary into a tie at 6:41, and F Riley Stotts (17) put it in front, on a PP, at 13:01. . . . F Conner Chaulk (16) added the empty-netter at 19:29. . . . F Carson Focht had two assists for Calgary, as did D Vladislav Yeryomenko. . . . Calgary was 1-4 on the PP; Medicine Hat was 0-5. . . . Calgary G Nick Schneider stopped 36 shots, 14 more than Michael Bullion of the Tigers. . . . Announced attendance: 2,899.


At Kennewick, Wash., the Tri-City Americans erased a 2-1 deficit with the game’s last three goals and beat the Everett Silvertips, 4-2. . . . Tri-City (36-24-9) has won four in a TriCity30row. It holds down the Western Conference’s first wild-card spot, seven points ahead of Seattle, which has four games remaining. The Americans are fourth in the U.S. Division, three points behind Spokane. . . . Everett (45-20-5) has lost two straight. It leads the Western Conference by four points over Portland, which has three games left. . . . Everett is 5-2-1 in the season series; Tri-City is 3-5-0. . . . D Jake Bean (11) gave Tri-City a 1-0 lead at 18:23 of the first period. . . . F Matt Fonteyne (34) tied it, on a PP, at 2:52, and F Garrett Pilon (33) gave the visitors the lead, on another PP, at 9:03. . . . The Americans tied it at 10:45 as F Michael Rasmussen got No. 29, and took a 3-2 lead at 15:10 on F Morgan Geekie’s 29th goal. . . . F Riley Sawchuk (15) made it 4-2 at 18:46 of the third period. . . . The Americans got two assists from F Sasha Mutala, with Bean and Geekie each getting one. . . . D Kevin Davis had two assists for Everett. . . . The Silvertips were 2-2 on the PP; the Americans were 0-1. . . . The Americans got 33 saves from G Patrick Dea. . . . G Carter Hart stopped 20 shots for Everett. . . . F Patrick Bajkov drew an assist on Everett’s second goal, setting a club record for most points in a season (94) in the process. He had been sharing the mark with F Zach Hamill (2006-07) and F Josh Winquist (2013-14). . . . Everett was without D Ondrej Vala, who completed a two-game suspension for a cross-checking major and game misconduct during a game against Seattle in Kent, Wash., on Saturday. . . . Announced attendance: 2,799.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

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

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.


THURSDAY (all times local):

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Swift Current at Regina, 7 p.m.

Saskatoon at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Seattle at Portland, 7 p.m.

Prince George at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.

Kelowna vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7:30 p.m.

Victoria at Everett, 7:35 p.m.


SATURDAY (all times local):

Regina at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Brandon, 7:30 p.m.

Calgary at Edmonton, 7 p.m.

Red Deer at Kootenay, 7 p.m.

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

Kamloops at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Portland vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 6:05 p.m.

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

Everett at Victoria 7:05 p.m.


SUNDAY (all times local):

Edmonton at Calgary, 2 p.m.

Spokane at Portland, 5 p.m.

Seattle vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 5:05 p.m

END OF REGULAR SEASON


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