The mystery of Moller’s five-goal game. Why isn’t it recognized as WHL record? . . . Former WHL coach off to Los Angeles

Does Randy Moller hold the WHL record for most goals in one game by a defenceman? If so, why hasn’t the record portion of the WHL Guide credited LethBroncosMoller with a five-goal game?

According to the WHL Guide, the record for most goals in one game by a defenceman is four, and is shared by seven players:

Ron Greschner of the New Westminster Bruins (Dec. 10, 1972, in a 9-4 victory over the host Edmonton Oil Kings);

Deron Quint of the Seattle Thunderbirds (March 2, 1995, in a 6-3 victory over the host Tri-City Americans);

Sergei Klimentiev of the Medicine Hat Tigers (March 12, 1995, in a 4-3 victory over the host Lethbridge Hurricanes);

Justin Kurtz of the Brandon Wheat Kings (Feb. 28, 1997, in a 6-5 loss to the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors);

Nathan Paetsch of Moose Jaw (Jan. 26, 2002, in a 7-1 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos);

Richie Regehr of the Portland Winter Hawks (Nov. 27, 2002, in a 10-2 victory over the visiting Prince George Cougars); and,

Braydon Coburn of Portland (Feb. 4, 2005, in a 7-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds).

However, Mark Weninger, a longtime Lethbridge hockey fan, has discovered that Moller, a defenceman who played two seasons (1980-82) with the Lethbridge Broncos, has a five-goal game to his credit.

Weninger is writing a book on the Broncos, who spent 12 seasons (1974-86) in Lethbridge before being sold and moving to Swift Current.

During his research, Weninger spent a lot of time poring over back issues of the Lethbridge Herald, and he happened upon a story in which writer Randy Jensen detailed a March 7, 1982, game in which the Broncos edged visiting Moose Jaw, 7-6. Moller struck for five of the seven Lethbridge goals.

“Moller scored five times, including the winner,” Jensen wrote, adding that Moller’s brother, Mike, “set him up on four of his goals.”

“I haven’t scored that many goals since peewee,” Randy told Jensen. “From bantam on, I never had more than three goals. I just got the breaks tonight.”

Moller, who had scored four goals in 46 games in 1980-81, finished 1981-82 with 20 goals.

The Quebec Nordiques selected Moller in the first round, 11th overall, of the NHL’s 1981 draft. He went on to play 815 regular-season NHL games, the first seven with Quebec. He also played with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres and Florida Panthers before retiring after the 1994-95 season. Now 58, Moller is on the Panthers’ broadcast crew.

But despite scoring five goals in one game, he isn’t in the WHL Guide as having scored more goals in one game than any defenceman in league history.

Hmmm . . . over to you, WHL.


RabbitEars


It has been interesting watching Major League Baseball teams move players to the restricted list before they depart for Toronto and games with the Blue Jays.

Players need to be vaccinated in order to come into Canada — just like the Blue COVIDJays have to be vaccinated to get into the U.S. — and it seems that most teams have three or four who have consulted with Dr. Google and decided not to bother.

And then there are the Kansas City Royals, who are scheduled to open a four-game series in Toronto today.

A MLB team carries 26 players on its roster; the Royals placed 10 players on the restricted list. Yes, there are 10 players in that locker room who aren’t vaccinated — OF Andrew Benintendi, P Dylan Coleman, 3B Hunter Dozier, C Cam Gallagher, OF Kyle Isbel, P Brad Keller, C MJ Melendez, 2B Whit Merrifield, P Brady Singer and OF Michael A. Taylor.

The Royals also will be missing some coaches for the same reason, although the team hadn’t released their names as of Wednesday night.

At some point prior to Thursday’s game, the Royals will announce the names of the 10 players from the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers who will be added for the games in Toronto.

“It’s an individual choice,” Royals manager Mike Matheny told reporters on Wednesday. “The organization’s done a real good job bringing in professionals and experts to talk guys through tough conversations and then put it in their hands to make the decisions they believe is best for them and their families.”

Merrifield explained his decision: “It was a choice I made talking with my family, talking with my wife. I didn’t think that the risk was worth it, honestly. . . . I don’t feel like COVID is a threat to me.”

Merrifield also claimed to have “had a really dear friend of mine die of COVID-19 . . . It’s something that I’ve taken seriously.”

Of course, he admitted that a trade could change his thought process.

“That might change down the road,” he told The AP. “If something happens and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes. As we sit here right now, I’m comfortable with my decision.”

Dozier, meanwhile, had COVID-19 during the 2020 season and even missed some games. He said Wednesday that he “doesn’t do any vaccines,” but added that he’s “not against vaccines.”

Dozier explained: “I live a healthy lifestyle. I work out. I want my body to naturally fight stuff off.”

A player on the restricted list doesn’t get paid and isn’t credited with service time.


THINKING OUT LOUD: With John Schneider now managing the Toronto Blue Jays, perhaps the players will start to act like the professionals they are supposed to be. Get rid of the home run jacket and forget about those dumb post-game water/Gatorade showers. That stuff got old more than a few weeks ago. . . . You know what is a lot of fun these days? Watching the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners make some noise in MLB’s wild-card races after being down and out seemingly forever. . . . According to the gang at capfriendly.com, the first day of NHL free agency included 153 player signings valued at a total of US$919,175,000 and covering 314 years. F Ondrej Palat signed with the New Jersey Devils to begin Day 2 and that $30-million deal pushed the total of $949,175,000. Yes, it seems some of the teams in Gary Bettman’s league are rolling in dough.


GIJoe


THE COACHING GAME:

Jim Hiller, a former WHL coach, has joined the Los Angeles Kings as an assistant coach, filling the vacancy created when Marco Sturm was named head coach of the NHL’s teams AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. . . . Hiller, 53, has been an assistant coach with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and, for the past three seasons, the New York Islanders. . . . He has coached in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans and Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?). . . . Hiller, a defenceman, was selected by the Kings in the 10th round of the NHL’s 1989 draft and went on to play 40 games with them in 1992-93. . . . He played three games with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders in 1986-87 before going on to Northern Michigan U. . . .

The BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks have added Josh Dubinsky to their staff as an assistant coach. He had been an assistant coach with the USHL’s Omaha Lancers after also working with the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Tri-City Americans have hired Aaron Hoffmeyer as their equipment manager. He has experience with the U.S. National Team Development Program and most recently was head equipment manager with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals for two seasons.


Perfect


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Parking

Oil Kings work OT to win in Red Deer . . . Neighbours gives Edmonton 3-0 edge . . . Ice, Blazers can follow suit tonight

One WHL team went up 3-0 in its best-of-seven conference finally by winning WHLplayoffs2022on the road in Monday’s lone playoff game. Two others have the same opportunity tonight. . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings went into Red Deer last night and beat the Rebels, 5-4 in OT, to take a 3-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. . . . Tonight, the Winnipeg Ice takes a 2-0 lead into Moose Jaw for Game 3 with the Warriors, while the Kamloops Blazers are up 2-0 and in Langley, B.C., to face the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Blazers are likely to be without F Luke Toporowski for a second straight game, while the Giants aren’t likely to have D Mazden Leslie or F Colton Langkow available. Head coach Michael Dyck told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that both players are “doubtful.” All three of those players were injured in Game 1 of this series.

——

MONDAY IN THE WHL:

Eastern Conference

In Red Deer, F Jake Neighbours scored in OT to give the No. 2 Edmonton Oil EdmontonKings a 5-4 victory over the No. 3 Rebels. . . . The Oil Kings hold a 3-0 lead in the conference semifinal and get their first opportunity to wrap it up on Wednesday night in Red Deer. . . . D Luke Prokop (2) put the visitors out front at 1:55 of the first period. . . . F Liam Keeler (2) scored the Rebels’ first goal of the series — they had been blanked 4-0 and 5-0 in Edmonton — at 9:44, on a PP. . . . The Oil Kings went ahead 3-1 on second-period goals from F Dylan Guenther (7), at 6:32, and F Carter Souch (4), on a PP, at 15:56. . . . Guenther has a goal in each of Edmonton’s seven playoff games. . . . Red Deer got back to within a goal at 18:22 when F Kalan Lind (1) scored. . . . F Justin Sourdif (2) scored while shorthanded, at 7:38 of the third period, to give the visitors a 4-2 lead and really put the home side in a hole. . . . But the Rebels climbed out of it with two goals 36 seconds apart — F Arshdeep Bains (4) scored at 12:50 and F Jhett Larson (2) tied the game at 13:26. . . . Neighbours won it with his first goal of the playoffs, at 7:17 of OT. . . . G Connor Ungar blocked 47 shots for the Rebels, 29 more than Edmonton’s Sebastian Cossa, who drew an assist on Neighbours’ winner. . . . The Rebels went without D Jackson van de Leest who served a one-game suspension under supplemental discipline from Game 2. Also out: G Chase Coward and D Christoffer Sedoff, both with undisclosed injuries.



Mars


ICYMI, Lou Lamoriello, the general manager of the NHL’s New York Islanders, fired head coach Barry Trotz on Monday morning. Trotz, the pride of Dauphin, nhl2Man., has one year left on a five-year deal worth US$20 million, so don’t be weeping too long for him. He also is the NHL’s third-winningest regular-season coach of all-time, with 914 victories. Under his guidance, the Islanders reached the NHL’s Final Four twice — in 2020 and 2021. But the Islanders didn’t make the playoffs this season, so Lamoriello pulled the plug on Trotz. . . . “I’d rather not get into any of the reasons because that’s my job upon the information that I have and I experienced to make these type of decisions,” Lamoriello, 79, said during a conference call. . . . Trotz, who played three seasons (1979-82) with the Regina Pats, was the head coach when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup in the spring of 2018. The Capitals later let him go rather than extend his contract. That’s how he ended up with the Islanders. . . .

The Islanders’ coaching staff includes two former WHL head coaches in Lane Lambert, their associate coach and long-time Trotz lieutenant, and Jim Hiller. . . . Lambert, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars for a season and a half (2003-05), is seen by some observers as the leading candidate to replace Trotz. . . . Hiller, the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins and Tri-City Americans (2006-14), just completed his third season with the Islanders after spending four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. . . .

The Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Winnipeg Jets, along with the Islanders, are NHL teams presently in the market for a head coach.


Congratulations to Shell for the terrific start to 2022. Well done! . . . Oh, and congratulations to the Shell gas station on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Valleyview area of Kamloops. The price of a litre of unleaded hit $2.04 there sometime Monday, to the best of my knowledge the first gas station in Kamloops to smash through the $2.00 barrier. Again, well done! . . . Can hardly wait to see what you have in store for us before Christmas.


Steve Kerr, the head coach of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, wasn’t able to work Monday night’s playoff game against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. You guessed it! He tested positive earlier in the day. . . . In his absence, associate head coach Mike Brown served as the acting head coach. Interestingly, Brown already has signed on for next season — as the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.


Camo


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The NHL’s Minnesota Wild has signed F Pavel Novak of the Kelowna Rockets to a three-year entry-level contract that is to begin next season. Novak, who turned 20 on April 16, is from Czech Republic. He had 72 points, including 29 goals, in 62 games with the Rockets this season. . . . The Wild selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2020 draft. . . .

Craig Didmon is out as the GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies. He has held both positions for the past seven-plus seasons. . . . Didmon has been coaching in Victoria since 2002, either with the junior B Cougars, the WHL’s Royals or the Grizzlies. . . . Taking Note was told last week that Rylan Ferster, a former GM/head coach with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, will be the Grizzlies’ next head coach. . . .

Chris Lynn is the new head coach of the junior B Victoria Cougars of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Lynn, a veteran of the coaching game, is a member of a real hockey family. He takes over from Brady Coulter, who has chosen to step aside. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Times-Colonist has more right here.


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.

——

If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Painting

Czech goalie appears headed to Chiefs. . . . ‘Canes’ Cozens suffers thumb injury. . . . Campbell staying in Portland


MacBeth

F Brandon McMillan (Kelowna, 2006-10) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). Last season, in 47 games, he had seven goals and 12 assists. An alternate captain he averaged 19:04 TOI. . . .

D Anatoli Yelizarov (Edmonton, 2015-17) has been traded by Salavat Yulaev Ufa to Sochi (both Russia, KHL) for monetary compensation. Last season, with Salavat Yulaev, he was pointless in 40 games. He also had one assist in 16 games with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), and had one assist in two games with Tolpas Ufa (Russia, MHL). . . . MHL (Molodyozhnaya Hokkeinaya Liga) is Russia’s national junior league.


ThisThat

Allan Walsh is a prominent player agent and the co-managing director at Octagon-Hockey. One of his clients would seem to be Czech G Lukas Pařík, 18, who was selected by the Spokane Chiefs in Thursday’s CHL import draft and it would seem that he is bound for the WHL. . . . A few days earlier, Pařík had been selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the NHL draft, then spent a few days in the Kings’ development camp. . . . At this point in time, he joins three other goaltenders on the Chiefs’ depth chart — veterans Bailey Brkin and Reece Klassen, both of whom are prepping for their 20-year-old seasons, and Campbell Arnold, a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft who played last season with the junior B Spokane Braves.


F Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes suffered an injury to his left thumb on Saturday while in the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp. It appears that the thumb was hurt as he put his hand down in the hopes of easing a fall as he tried to absorb a hip check from D Brandon Hickey. . . . Cozens, who is to see a specialist on Monday, later told reporters: “It’s good. I saw the videos and stuff. I think it looked a lot worse than it really was. . . . but right when it happened I wanted to get right back out there, so I’m feeling good.” . . . Cozens told reporters that the thumb isn’t broken. He also kept his left hand in the pouch of his hoodie as he spoke with reporters. . . . The Sabres selected Cozens with the seventh pick of the NHL’s 2019 draft.


You may recall that the Prince George Cougars’ 2018-19 schedule included an 11-game road trip that began in early December and ran into Christmas, all but ruined their season and may well have cost head coach Richard Matvichuk his job. . . . So what kind of schedule are the Cougars looking at for 2019-20? . . . Hartley Miller of 94.3 the GOAT and the analyst on Cougars’ home broadcasts, takes a look right here.


There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping here, why not consider donating to the cause? All that’s involved is clicking on the DONATE button over there on the right and following the instructions. Thank you very much.


An interesting item from Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, who is a must read whenever she posts a smorgasbord of thoughts and opinions, which usually is a couple of times a week

“Can it really be true that parents are required to pony up $12,000 for their 17- and 18-year-old kids to skate with Winnipeg Blues in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League? That, according to an article by Taylor Allen in the Drab Slab, is up from $3,000 last season. I don’t make a habit of telling folks how to spend their money, but in this case I will: Are you people nuts? That’s a lot of coin for a handful of hope. I mean, if the goal for your boy is the National Hockey League, you might be better off buying $12,000 worth of lottery tickets. I don’t blame parents for dreaming, though. The bad guys here are the mucky-mucks at 50 Below Sports + Entertainment. That $12,000 price tag is just wrong.”

The “Drab Slab” is the Winnipeg Free Press, in which Allen wrote:

“To suit up for the Blues this (season), it will cost $12,000 for players between the ages of 17 and 18, and $6,000 for 19- and 20-year-olds. Last (season), players had to pay roughly $3,000, with some of the cost offset by fundraising. The price has gone way up, as the Blues, who are owned by the same ownership group as the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice, are now a club whose main intention is to develop players in hopes of getting them ready to play in the WHL.”

Are the Blues the only junior A team in all of Canada whose goal is to groom players for the WHL rather than try to get them hockey scholarships with NCAA teams?

Swansson’s complete piece is right here.



The Portland Winterhawks have re-signed Rich Campbell, their athletic trainer/strength Portlandand conditioning coach, to a contract extension, the length of which wasn’t revealed. . . . Campbell is prepping for his 12th season with the Winterhawks. . . . “Rich Campbell is the longest serving member of our current staff, and we are pleased to announce that he will be returning for several more seasons,” Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, said in a news release. “One of the key reasons we are able to develop players for the National Hockey League is because of the work Rich does off the ice.” . . . Campbell’s resume includes a stint with the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team that played in the Beijing Games, and working as the head trainer for the NHL’s New York Islanders from 1997 to 2006.


JUST NOTES:

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Dave Hakstol as an assistant coach under head coach Mike Babcock. Hakstol, the former U of North Dakota head coach, was fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 17. . . . The Leafs had an opening on their staff after Jim Hiller, a former WHL player and coach, left after four seasons to join the staff of the New York Islanders. Hiller was the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins for three seasons (2006-09) and the Tri-City Americans for five (2009-14). . . .

Mike Vellucci, who was the head coach of the AHL-champion Charlotte Checkers for two seasons, now is the head coach of that league’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. . . . The announcement was made on Friday, one day after Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli resigned for personals reasons. . . . Vellucci is the AHL’s reigning coach of the year. . . . He spent five seasons (2014-19) with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes as assistant general manager and director of hockey operations. For the past two seasons, he also was Charlotte’s head coach. Before joining Carolina, he spent 14 seasons (2001-14) as the GM/head coach of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. . . .

The junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League have named Clayton Robinson their general manager and head coach, with Jesse Hammill coming on board as associate coach. . . . Robinson has owned the franchise since May 1, 2018. . . . Curtis Toneff, the team’s GM/head coach for two seasons, left to join the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as an assistant coach.

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