Who’s favoured as 2020 Memorial Cup host? . . . Tigers add d-men . . . Giants get Ettinger from Wheat Kings


ThisThat

The WHL’s board of governors will gather in Calgary on Wednesday and one of the things on the agenda will be to hear bids from three teams/cities wanting to play host to the 2020 Memorial Cup.

The Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets and Lethbridge Hurricanes will make their presentations in that order.

Each team will be allotted 15 minutes — five to show a video and 10 for a presentation — after which governors will have 15 minutes to ask questions.

Some thoughts as Taking Note sees it . . .

KELOWNA — The Rockets last played host to the four-team tournament in 2004 and they KelownaRocketsput on a tremendous show, icing the cake by winning the whole thing. . . . Who wouldn’t want to spend 10 days in May in Kelowna? . . . Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ president and general manager, is the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors. He is the most-powerful person in the WHL and don’t discount that as a factor. . . . Including standing room, Prospera Place, which opened in 1999, has room for 6,286 fans. . . . The Rockets are off to a slow start (1-4-0) but history shows that they are more likely to be a contender than a pretender come next season. . . . Odds: 1-1.

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LETHBRIDGE — Lethbridge has never been home to the Memorial Cup tournament. . . . LethbridgeThe Hurricanes, under general manager Peter Anholt and Terry Huisman, the general manager of business operations, have made a remarkable turnaround. After the 2014-15 season, the Hurricanes had missed the playoffs for six straight seasons and lost more than $1.25 million. Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, was urging shareholders to sell the franchise to private interests. Today, the Hurricanes have reached two straight Eastern Conference finals and shown more than $1 million in profits over those two seasons. . . . On the ice, the future looks bright, led by forwards Dylan Cozens and Logan Barlage, two of the WHL’s best young players. . . . The ENMAX Centre, which opened in 1974 but has undergone recent upgrades, has a capacity of 5,479. . . . Odds: 2-1.

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KAMLOOPS — The Blazers played host to the 1995 tournament, which they won, giving Kamloops1them three Memorial Cup titles in four years. The 2020 tournament will be the 25th anniversary of the third one. . . . Tom Gaglardi and Co. are into their 11th season as the franchise’s owners and have yet to show they can build a winner. That won’t help their cause with the BoG. Neither will the ham-handed fashion in which the retirement/dismissal of Don Hay was handled in May. . . . The Blazers’ new braintrust — headed up by GM Matt Bardsley and head coach Serge Lajoie — hasn’t had time to prove itself. . . . Kamloops, the Tournament Capital of Canada, has a wonderful history of playing host to events like the Brier, the Canada Games and the IIHF World Women’s Championship, something that should hold the bid in good stead. . . . The Sandman Centre had 5,464 seats before some were removed in order to put loge seating in the upper deck on one side. That new seating, in itself, will be an attraction. Unfortunately, the Sandman Centre doesn’t include an on-site restaurant like Prospera Place and the ENMAX Centre. . . . Odds: 5-1.

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THE INTANGIBLE — At the end of the day, money talks . . . and that could be the case MemCup2020again on Wednesday in Calgary. When the WHL’s board of governors votes on a host team/city for the 2020 Memorial Cup, it could easily decide to go with the bid that includes the highest guaranteed profit — teams all get a cut of the profit. If it comes to that, Kamloops may have an edge because the Gaglardi family has more chips than the Kelowna or Lethbridge owners. . . . Earlier this year, Canadian Business estimated the net worth of the Gaglardi family, through Northland Properties, at $3.92 billion, up 10.4 per cent from 2017. . . . Tom Gaglardi owns the NHL’s Dallas Stars and is the majority owner of the Blazers. Might he be interested in attempting to buy the hosting rights for the 2020 Memorial Cup?


The Medicine Hat Tigers have added two 20-year-olds to their roster after learning Tigers Logo OfficialMonday that they will be getting back defencemen Dylan MacPherson and Linus Nassen. Both players had been in camp with the NHL’s Florida Panthers before being assigned to the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. . . . MacPherson, from Redcliff, Alta., has played two seasons with the Tigers, putting up four goals and 18 assists in 124 regular-season games. . . . Nassen, from Sweden, was a third-round pick by the Panthers in the NHL’s 2016 draft. Last season, his first in the WHL, had had one goal and 25 assists in 44 games. . . . With those two in town, the Tigers have four 20-year-olds on their roster, the other two being F Ryan Jevne and D Dalton Gally. . . . As an import, Nassen would be a two-spotter should the Tigers keep him. His arrival won’t affect the Tigers’ import situation as freshmen G Mads Sogaard is their only other European player.


The Vancouver Giants, having lost D Bailey Dhaliwal to a shoulder injury and D Matt VancouverBarberis and D Joel Sexsmith to undisclosed injuries, have acquired D Ty Ettinger from the Brandon Wheat Kings for a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft. . . . Steve Ewen of Postmedia reports that Dhaliwal, 19, who has a history of shoulder problems, could be out for six weeks. . . . Ettinger, 18, is from Ardrossan, Alta. He was dropped from Brandon’s roster late last week. The Wheat Kings selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Last season, as a freshman, he had two goals and five assists in 45 games with Brandon. This season, he was pointless in one game. . . . As Ewen tweeted: “You’d think the Giants would have good intel on Ettinger, since scouting director Daryl Anning is the father of Wheat Kings head coach David Anning.” . . . Ettinger skated with the Giants on Monday afternoon and could make his debut with Vancouver on Wednesday against the Rockets in Kelowna.


With F Brad Goethals, 20, having left the Saskatoon Blades of his own accord, the club has room for a 20-year-old to join F Max Gerlach and D Dawson Davidson. . . . Goethals’ departure also leaves the Blades with 13 forwards, when they might prefer to carry 14. . . . Goethals was a prolific scorer during two seasons with the midget AAA Eastman Selects (129 points, including 73 goals, in 83 games), but wasn’t able to replicate that in the WHL. He had three goals and three assists in 23 games with the Everett Silvertips in 2016-17, and followed that up with 15 goals and 17 assists in 69 games with the Blades last season. . . . This season, he had one goal in three games with Saskatoon.


Stan Butler wasn’t behind the bench when the North Bay Battalion dropped a 7-5 OHL ohldecision to the host Oshawa Generals on Sunday night. According to the North Bay Nugget, Butler, the Battalion’s director of hockey operations and head coach since 1998-99, said before the game that he plans to take time “to try to get some things sorted out.” Butler, 62, apparently met with Oshawa’s club doctor before deciding not to go behind the bench on Sunday. . . . Butler was behind the bench on Saturday night for a 6-1 loss to the Niagara IceDogs in St. Catharines. . . . In Butler’s absence, assistant coaches Scott Wray and Adam Dennis ran the bench. . . . Butler is the fourth-winningest head coaching OHL history, his 703 victories trailing Brian Kilrea (1,194), Bert Templeton (907) and Dale Hunter (728). . . . Butler spent one season (1996-97) in the WHL, as the head coach of the Prince George Cougars.



MONDAY NIGHT NOTES:

The Prince Albert Raiders have dropped F Nikita Krivokrasov, who will turn 18 on Dec. 23, from their roster. From Westminster, Colo., he is the son of former NHLer Sergei Krivokrasov. . . . Nikita was pointless in two games with the Raiders in 2016-17, and had three goals in 34 games last season. . . . He didn’t dress for any of the Raiders’ first five games the season.

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The Regina Pats are down to two goaltenders after dropping Matthew Pesenti, 17, from their roster. He is expected to return for a third season with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. . . . The Pats now are left with two 18-year-old goaltenders — returnee Max Paddock and Dean McNabb, who was acquired from the Victoria Royals on Sept. 24. . . . Paddock has started all four games as the Pats have started 0-4-0. McNabb has gotten into one game since joining Regina.

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A pair of WHLers drew three-game suspensions on Monday. . . . F Tristen Nielsen of the Calgary Hitmen was suspended after taking a boarding major and game misconduct during a game against the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Sunday. . . . F Cade McNelly was disciplined after becoming involved in what the WHL refers to as a “one-man fight” during a Saturday night game against the Winterhawks in Portland.

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Hey, Lane Lambert and Ross Mahoney . . . I can see you smiling all the way from Kamloops. Congratulations!

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The Calgary Flames revealed Monday that D Juusu Valimaki, 19, will open the NHL season on their roster. Valimaki, from Finland, will turn 20 on Oct. 6. The Flames selected him in the first round, 16th overall, of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Valimaki played the past three seasons with the Tri-City Americans. Last season, he had 14 goals and 31 assists in 43 games. In 159 career regular-season games, he recorded 40 goals and 98 assists. . . . The Flames also have F Dillon Dube, 20, on their roster. Dube, from Golden, B.C., was a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL draft. He spent the past four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets, putting up 232 points, including 101 goals, in 203 regular-season games. Last season, he finished with 38 goals and 46 assists in 43 games. . . .

George Johnson of calgaryflames.com has more right here.


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If you are a WHL fan and are on Twitter, you should be following Geoffrey Brandow (@GeoffreyBrandow). He regularly tweets interesting notes and stats involving WHL teams and players, such as this one from Sunday night:


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Golden boy gets NHL deal . . . Thompson, Wheaties blank ‘Canes . . . Royals stop streaking Chiefs

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

F Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos has signed a three-year entry-level SCBroncoscontract with the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. They selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Steenbergen, who turned 20 on Jan. 7, is from Red Deer. The Broncos selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. . . . Last season, he put up 41 goals and 39 assists in 72 games. He has followed that up with 44 goals and 54 assists in 51 games this season. . . . Steenbergen also scored the winning goal with 1:40 left in the third period as Canada won the 2018 World Junior Championship with a 2-1 victory over Sweden in Buffalo on Jan. 5.


The Regina Pats have signed F Carter Massier and G Matthew Pesenti, both 16, to WHL contracts. . . . Massier, from Peace River, Alta., is a list player who played for the midget AAA Grande Prairie Storm, putting up 20 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. . . . Pesenti, also a list player, will turn 17 on Saturday. He was 9-14-0, 3.35, .900 with the midget AAA Saskatoon Blazers. Pesenti was on the Pats’ bench in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night backing up Max Paddock with Ryan Kubic injured.


JUST NOTES . . .

G Rayce Ramsay, who turned 17 on Jan. 3, is practising with the Kamloops Blazers this week. A list player from Saskatoon, he was 15-14-0, 2.83, .910 with the midge AAA Saskatoon Contacts this season. . . .

The Red Deer Rebels have added F Zak Smith, 16, to their roster. This season, he had 22 points, including 11 goals, in 46 games with the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. . . . Smith, from Austin, Man., played in six games with the Rebels earlier in the season.


TheCoachingGame

The AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder is looking for a head coach after Ryan Rechner posted on Twitter on Monday night that “I regret to inform you I’ve resigned effective immediately.” . . . According to Laine Mitchell of rdnewsnow.com, “There have been five Thunder coaches leave the team since the 2015-16 season.” . . . Rechner took over from Kyle Adams as head coach in November after the Thunder started the season with three wins in 21 games. . . . The Thunder went on to finish 17-40-3. . . . Jason Nicholetts, the team’s director of player development, also has resigned. He also tweeted on Monday night, saying that “I have chosen to resign my position with the organization effective immediately.” . . . There also is speculation that general manager Joey Bouchard also is leaving. However, Mitchell reported that Monte Waronek, the franchise’s president and governor, “was unable to confirm if he was or not.” . . . On Tuesday afternoon, head scout Travis Gibson revealed that he, too, had resigned.

Mitchell’s piece is right here.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

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WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

TUESDAY:

At Brandon, F Ty Lewis and F Stelio Mattheos joined the 40-goal club and G Logan Thompson put up the shutout as the Wheat Kings dumped the Lethbridge Hurricanes, 6-BrandonWKregular0. . . . Brandon (35-26-5) is fourth in the East Division, three points behind Regina. The Wheat Kings hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot, six points ahead of Prince Albert. . . . Lethbridge (32-27-6) has lost two in a row. It is second in the Central Division, six points behind Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes have two games in hand. . . . Mattheos opened the scoring, on a PP, at 6:45 of the first period. . . . F Luka Burzan (12) upped it to 2-0 at 14:14, and Lewis made it 3-0 at 19:33. . . . Mattheos got his 40th goal, on a PP, at 3:35 of the second period, with Lewis getting No. 41, on another PP, at 16:41. . . . D Chase Hartje (3) scored Brandon’s last goal, at 16:42 of the third period. . . . Lewis also had two assists for a four-point night, while Mattheos added one helper. . . . The Wheat Kings also got two assists from each of F Rylan Bettens, F Linden McCorrister and F Cole Reinhardt. . . . Brandon was 3-6 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-8. . . . Thompson stopped 32 shots in recording his third shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. . . . Lethbridge starter Logan Flodell was beaten three times on nine shots in the first period. Reece Klassen played the final 40 minutes, giving up three goals on 24 shots. . . . Announced attendance: 3,312.


At Saskatoon, the Blades gave up a 3-0 lead before coming back to beat the Edmonton Oil Kings, 6-5. . . . Saskatoon (32-31-3) had lost its previous four games. It is two points behind SaskatoonPrince Albert, which holds down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. The Raiders have a game in hand. . . . Edmonton (19-39-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The Blades got that 3-0 lead on goals from F Michael Darren (9), on a PP, at 6:17 of the first period; F Eric Florchuk (15), on another PP, at 15:00; and D Dawson Davidson (10), who also had three assists, at 0:56 of the second period. . . . Edmonton tied it by scoring three times in 3:37 in the second period. . . . F Kobe Mohr (11) got it started at 5:36. F Carter Souch (4) got the visitors to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:59. F Brett Kemp (15) tied it at 9:13. . . . However, the Blades scored twice before the period ended, with F Max Gerlach (28) counting, on a PP, at 15:37, and F Josh Paterson getting his 39th at 17:44. . . . D Conner McDonald (7) scored for Edmonton at 9:54 of the third period, but Saskatoon F Braylon Shmyr (35) got that one back, on another PP, at 12:39. . . . F Colton Kehler (28) of the Oil Kings closed out the scoring at 19:43. . . . The Blades got three assists from F Kirby Dach, two from Gerlach, and one each from Shmyr and Farren. . . . Soustal had two assists for Edmonton, giving him 100 for his career, and Kemp had one. . . . Saskatoon was 4-7 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-5. . . . The Blades got 26 stops from G Nolan Maier. . . . G Boston Bilous stopped 30 shots for Edmonton. . . . Announced attendance: 3,379.

At Medicine Hat, the Regina Pats scored the game’s last three goals to beat the Tigers, 6-3. . . . Regina (36-25-6) has won three in a row. It is third in the East Division, three points ReginaPats100ahead of Brandon. . . . Medicine Hat (34-25-8) had points in each of its previous seven games (6-0-1). It leads the Central Division, by six points over Lethbridge. . . . F Jesse Gabrielle (12) opened the scoring for Regina at 2:05 of the first period. If you’re wondering, the Pats had 89 entrants in their contest and each person is eligible for a cap. . . . Medicine Hat went ahead 2-1 on goals from F Tyler Preziuso (14), at 7:00, and F Henry Rybinski (3) just 56 seconds later. . . . F Koby Morrisseau pulled Regina even at 19:45. . . . F Emil Oksanen (16) gave Regina a 3-2 lead, on a PP, at 4:12 of the second period. . . . F Mark Rassell (49) tied it again at 17:43. . . . Regina won it with three late third-period goals, from D Libor Hajek (12), on a PP, at 15:17; Morrisseau (5), at 15:52; and D Josh Mahura (22), on a PP, at 17:18. . . . Gabrielle, Oksanen, Mahura and Hajek each had an assist for Regina. . . . The Pats were 3-3 on the PP; the Tigers were 0-2. . . . G Max Paddock earned the victory with 24 saves. . . . G Michael Bullion stopped 23 shots for Medicine Hat. . . . Phil Andrews, the radio voice of the Pats, called his 500th WHL game. . . . Announced attendance: 2,878.


At Prince George, F Ty Kolle broke a 3-3 tie late in the third period as the Portland Winterhawks beat the Cougars, 4-3. . . . Portland (41-20-5) has points in seven straight Portlandgames (6-0-1). It is second in the U.S. Division, six points behind Everett. . . . Prince George (23-35-8) has lost two in a row. . . . The visitors got out to a 2-0 lead on goals from F Joachim Blichfeld (23), at 13:53 of the first period, and F Reece Newkirk (7), at 19:03. . . . The Cougars got even on two quick second-period goals from F Josh Maser (27), at 17:13, and F Ethan Browne (1), at 17:31. . . . F Skyler McKenzie (42) gave the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead at 2:19 of the third period. . . . The Cougars tied it at 3:10 when former Portland F Ilijah Colina (11) scored. . . . Kolle won it with his seventh goal of the season, at 16:53. . . . D Dennis Cholowski, who was acquired from the Cougars in January, had two assists for Portland and was named the game’s first star. . . . Browne added an assist to his first WHL goal for the Cougars. . . . Each team was 0-3 on the PP. . . . The Winterhawks got 20 stops from G Cole Kehler. . . . G Taylor Gauthier made 39 saves for the Cougars. . . . They’ll play again tonight in Prince George. . . . Announced attendance: 2,278.


At Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the game’s first four goals and then hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Seattle (31-25-10) had lost its previous Seattletwo games (0-1-1). It holds down the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, nine points ahead of Kamloops, which has five games remaining. Seattle also is fifth in the U.S. Division, one point behind Tri-City. . . . Tri-City (32-24-9) has lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . D Austin Strand (21) scored Seattle’s first goal, at 5:19 of the first period. . . . F Zack Andrusiak (31) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 4:31 of the second period, and F Nolan Volcan (30) upped it to 3-0, on a PP, at 9:15. . . . F Matthew Wedman (16) scored Seattle’s fourth goal at 1:00 of the third period. . . . Tri-City’s first goal came from F Morgan Geekie (26), on a PP, at 5:25. . . . F Michael Rasmussen (25) got the Americans to within two goals, on a PP, at 6:19, and F Sasha Mutala (9) made it a one-goal game at 15:31. . . . Volcan added an assist to his goal. . . . The Americans got two assists from each of F Jordan Topping and D Dylan Coghlan. . . . Tri-City was 2-5 on the PP; Seattle was 2-7. . . . Seattle got a big game from G Liam Hughes, who made 40 saves. . . . G Patrick Tea stopped 29 shots for the Americans. . . . Announced attendance: 4,353.


At Victoria, the Royals broke a 3-3 tie with four third-period goals and beat the Spokane Chiefs, 7-3. . . . Victoria (37-24-6) has points in three straight (2-0-1). It is second in the B.C. VictoriaRoyalsDivision, two points behind Kelowna, which has a game in hand. . . . Spokane (38-22-5) had a five-game winning streak snapped. It is third in the U. S. Division, six points behind Portland and eight ahead of Tri-City. . . . The Royals scored the only goals of the first period, from F Braydon Buziak (5), at 3:14, and F Dante Hannoun (23), on a PP, at 6:54. . . . F Hudson Elynuik (28) got Spokane’s first goal, at 11:48 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (28) restored Victoria’s two-goal edge at 16:08. . . . The Chiefs pulled even on goals from F Jaret Anderson-Dolan (36), at 19:39 of the second, and F Kailer Yamamoto (20), at 4:22 of the third period. . . . D Scott Walford gave Victoria a 4-3 lead at 4:46, and F Matthew Phillips (45) added insurance, on a PP, at 10:05. . . . The Royals got an empty-netter from F Tanner Kaspick (23), at 17:29. . . . F Jeff de Wit (11) finished the scoring at 18:48. . . . De Wit, who also had an assist, was playing in his first game since Feb. 7. . . . Kaspick and F Tanner Soy had two assists each for the winners, with Phillips, Hannoun and Gregor adding one each. . . . Yamamoto and Anderson-Dolan each had an assist for Spokane. . . . Victoria was 2-5 on the PP; Spokane was 0-4. . . . G Griffen Outhouse stopped 28 shots for the Royals. In the process, he took over top spot on the franchise list for career victories. He now has 85, one more than Coleman Vollrath (2012-16). . . . The Chiefs got 16 saves from G Dawson Weatherill. . . . They’ll do it all over again tonight in Victoria. . . . Announced attendance: 3,651.


WEDNESDAY (all times local):

Lethbridge at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.

Calgary at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Portland at Prince George, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Spokane at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.


TWEET OF THE DAY