F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Blackburn Hawks (England, National). He started the season with Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga), and had five assists in eight games. . . . He was released by mutual agreement on Dec. 27. . . .
F Jan Eberle (Seattle, 2006-08) has signed a two-year contract extension with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He has nine goals and seven assists in 32 games. . . .
D Nolan Yonkman (Kelowna, Brandon, 1996-2001) has signed a contract extension for the rest of this season with JYP Jyväskylä (Finland, Liiga). Yonkman had signed a two-month contract on Nov. 7 that took effect on Nov. 14. He has one assist in 12 games. . . .
F Björn Svensson (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, 2003-06) has been released by Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga). He had five goals and 15 assists in 35 games. . . . No reason was given for the release, however Medveščak Zagreb is in financial difficulties and has been releasing players for financial reasons over the past month.
Alan Millar, the general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors, is a little lighter in the wallet today after being fined $1,500 on Monday.
According to the WHL website, Millar was fined “for receiving a game misconduct” during Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.
On the online scoresheet from that game there is this line: “GM Alan Millar issued game misconduct at second intermission.”
That penalty may have had something to do with a Brandon goal and a minor penalty, as described at discovermoosejaw.com by James Gallo, who also is the Warriors’ play-by-play voice:
“Brandon scored a controversial goal with just over three minutes left in the (second) period to make it 3-1.
“While on the power play, (Brandon’s) Ben McCartney took a shot from the bottom of the Warriors’ left circle. As the rebound came between the circles, Brandon’s Ridly Greig crashed the Warriors’ net and was on top of goalie Adam Evanoff. The play was allowed to continue and Baron Thompson scored.
“Brandon’s goal was allowed to stand even though Greig was issued a penalty for goalie interference on the play.”
Thompson’s goal gave Brandon a 3-1 lead and ended up being the game-winner.
Millar is the first GM to be fined since Stu MacGregor, then the GM of the Kamloops Blazers, was touched up for $500 for “actions following game versus Spokane” on Jan. 9, 2018.
The Warriors open a seven-game road swing tonight against the Kamloops Blazers. It could be that Millar will have a little less spending money than usual on this trek.
The Kelowna Rockets played host to a news conference on Monday at which former captain Josh Gorges announced his retirement as a player.
Gorges, who is from Kelowna, was a list player who went on to play four seasons (2000-04) with the Rockets. An intelligent, puck-moving defenceman, he was the team captain in 2003-04, when he also played for Canada at the World Junior Championship, helping win silver in Helsinki, Finland.
Gorges, now 34, went on to a pro career that included 783 regular-season NHL games split among the San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres. He played 34 games with the Sabres last season.
There has been speculation that the Rockets would be adding Gorges to head coach Adam Foote’s staff. The Rockets have had a vacancy since parting company with Travis Crickard on Dec. 8.
There was no such announcement Monday, however, as the spotlight was strictly on Gorges and his retirement. The Rockets will honour Gorges on Saturday prior to a game against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders.
Could there be an announcement made at that time?
There is more on Gorges’ retirement right here.
During the news conference at which former WHL/NHL D Josh Gorges announced his retirement, Bruce Hamilton, the owner, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, said he wasn’t about to have any comment on a proposed class-action suit that has been filed by James McEwan. Like Gorges, McEwan is a former Rockets captain.
“This press conference has nothing to do (with) nor will we have any statement with regards to the legal issue that (was) brought forward this weekend,” Hamilton said.
Megan Turcato of Global News in Kelowna has more right here.
You can hardly blame fans of the Kamloops Blazers if they are licking their lips at the thought of watching F Logan Stankoven over the next three or four WHL seasons.
Stankoven, who will turn 16 on Feb. 26, is from Kamloops, and was selected fifth overall by the Blazers in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft.
Last season, he put up 90 points, including 57 goals, in 30 games with the Yale Hockey Academy bantam prep team in Abbotsford, B.C.
This season, he is lighting up the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League with his hometown Thompson Blazers.
Stankoven set a franchise record for points in a season on the weekend. He leads the league with 63 points, including 36 goals, in 26 games. The Blazers’ previous record (59) was set by F Riley Nash in 2005-06. Nash has played 443 NHL regular-season games and now is with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Stankoven also leads the league in goals and is tied for the lead in assists, with 27.
The league record for goals in a season (44) was set by F Tyson Jost of the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets in 2013-14. He did it in 36 games.
The record for points in one season is held by F Alex Kerfoot, who put up 108 in 38 games with the Vancouver NW Giants in 2010-11. F Mathew Barzal had 103 in 34 games with the Vancouver NE Chiefs in 2012-13, and F Jordan Weal got to an even 100 points in 40 games with the Vancouver NW Hawks in 2007-08.
Of course, Jost and Kerfoot now are with the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, while Barzal is with the New York Islanders and Weal is with the Arizona Coyotes.
Stankoven has played one game with the WHL’s Blazers this season, picking up an assist in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Oct. 19. He may have been the best of the Kamloops forwards on that night, too.
The Grimshaw Huskies of the North Peace Hockey League honoured F Terry Houlder by retiring his number on Saturday night. According to NPHL stats guru Chris Clegg, Houlder put up 1,763 points in 669 regular-season games, plus 382 in 176 playoff games. He finally retired after turning 50. . . . Houlder, now 52, played three seasons (1984-87) in the WHL, the first two with the Lethbridge Broncos and the last one with the Calgary Wranglers. He enjoyed seasons of 88, 105 and 105 points. . . . Please read the thread on the above tweet for a whole lot more about Houlder and the game of senior hockey.
One day after completing parent’s weekend, the junior B Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League tweeted on Monday that “as of today, Mark Chase has been relieved of his duties” as the team’s general manager and head coach. . . . The Coyotes are 13-21 with two ties and one OTL. They are third in the five-team Okanagan Division. . . . Chase was in his first season with the Coyotes after spending two seasons as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. . . . Chase is from Kamloops, where he was the GM/head coach of the major midget Thompson Blazers from 2013-15. . . . The Coyotes are expected to announce an interim head coach today.