‘Canes to Calgary for 2019 playoffs? . . . Tigers hope to get back veterans . . . Spike becomes a Hall-of-Famer

A LITTLE OF THIS . . .

It turns out that the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes aren’t completely pleased about having to turn their home arena — the ENMAX Centre — over to the 2019 World men’s Lethbridgecurling championship.

That event runs from March 30 through April 7, 2019, meaning the Hurricanes will have to be out of their facility for perhaps as long as two weeks, including time needed for set up and teardown.

The Hurricanes, of course, expect to be in the early days of the WHL playoffs at that time.

Doug Paisley, the Hurricanes’ president, told CJOC-FM in Lethbridge that the Hurricanes found out about the Worlds “after the fact.”

“We’re not thrilled with this (situation), but we’re dealing with it,” Paisley told CJOC-FM.

At the same time, Paisley said the Hurricanes are working with the City of Lethbridge to find another venue in which to play hockey games.

Paisley also admitted that the Hurricanes “have a blueprint to show what it will cost us to not be (in the ENMAX Centre).”

In other words, the Hurricanes are going to be wanting some financial compensation as they will have to move from their 5,479-seat home arena to a smaller venue. It also seems that should they be in the playoffs, the Hurricanes will be playing home games in another community.

“There’s nowhere else to play in Lethbridge,” Paisley told Patrick Burles of lethbridgenewsnow.com. “I mean, I just don’t think you can do that to your fans and say, ‘We’re holding a draw and only a thousand of you get to come and watch us at Nicholas Sheran (Arena).’

“Are we going to try to move to Calgary to play, would we have to go into Medicine Hat, Kootenay, depending on their schedules? There’s nowhere in (southwestern) Alberta that can accommodate even our season-ticket holders . . . there’s no rink that holds 2,200, and honestly, we need room for over 5,000.”

Last spring, the Hurricanes averaged 4,730 fans for 10 playoff games.

Burles’ story is right here.


The Medicine Hat Tigers are getting ready to — they hope— get a pair of veterans back into their lineup. . . . F Mason Shaw (knee), who has yet to play this season, is awaiting Tigers Logo Officialclearance from the medical staff of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Shaw was injured on Sept. 10 while playing for a team of Wild prospects and subsequently underwent surgery. He has been skating for about a month. Last season, Shaw had 27 goals and 67 assists in 71 games, so having him healthy and in the lineup would be a huge boost for the Tigers as the playoffs being. . . . Meanwhile, G Jordan Hollett, who last played on Feb. 3, has been cleared by the Ottawa Senators’ medical staff to return from an undisclosed injury and may play this weekend. . . . There’s more right here from chatnewstoday.ca.


Spike Wallace, one of the most popular figures in the recent history of the Kamloops Kamloops1Blazers, will be inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame on April 28. . . . Wallace was a long-time trainer and equipment manager with the Blazers. In his latter years with the team, he was the community and sponsorship co-ordinator. . . . Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, presented Wallace with a Distinguished Service Award on March 7, 2012. The next morning, the Blazers announced that “by mutual agreement Spike will be leaving the team to pursue other initiatives.” . . . These days, he is a cashier in a Kamloops grocery store, and also works part time at Dolson’s Source for Sports. . . . Wallace was shown on the big screen at a recent Blazers game and the crowd responded with one of the loudest ovations heard in the Sandman Centre this season.


You will remember earlier this season when a man named Mike Gould said he would Dynamitersgive $7.5 million to the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League and the Kimberley Minor Hockey Association. Gould claimed to have won a whack of money in a Euro Millions Lottery draw. . . . The Dynamiters and KMHA have yet to see any of that pledged money. . . . After making the pledge, Gould played host to a party at a Cranbrook restaurant, then paid for it with $8,000 worth of cheques that bounced due to insufficient founds. On Thursday, Gould was sentenced in a Cranbrook courtroom for fraud. He was fined $4,000, placed on probation for six months, and ordered to do 60 hours of community service. . . . Trevor Crawley of the Cranbrook Townsman has more right here.


JUST NOTES . . .

Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week tweeted Thursday afternoon that Blazers D Joe Gatenby, 20, will join the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators once his WHL season ends with a game against the host Prince George Cougars on Saturday. . . . Despite the Blazers not qualifying for the playoffs, Gatenby is having a marvellous season. In 70 games, he has careers highs in goals (13), assists (46) and points (59) with one of the WHL’s lowest-scoring teams. He also is plus-16 on a team that has allowed 24 goals more than it has scored. . . .

The Prince George Cougars have had two players suspended for penalties they incurred during a 6-3 loss to the host Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday. . . . D Joel Lakusta drew a three-game sentence for a headshot major and game misconduct. The Cougars have two games remaining in their season, meaning he will sit out the first game of the 2018-19 season. . . . D Cam MacPhee got a one-game suspension after being hit with a match penalty for attempt to injure. He won’t play in Kamloops on Friday, but will be eligible to dress for the rematch in Prince George on Saturday. . . .

The Everett Silvertips have added G Blake Lyda, 15, to their roster. Lyda, a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, played this season for the midget AAA Edmonton Canadian Athletic Club. In three earlier appearances with the Silvertips, he is 0-1-1, 3.29, .896. With the Canadians, he was 13-6-5, 2.46, .931. . . . Lyda joins Carter Hart and Dustin Wolf as goaltenders on Everett’s roster. . . .

Noah Geekie, a pitcher/outfielder from Strathclair, Man., has committed to attend Barton Community College in Great Bend, Kansas, and play baseball for the Cougars. Geekie, 17, is from Strathclair, Man., and has been playing baseball at the Okotoks Dawgs Baseball Academy. His father, Craig, is a former WHL player, while his brother, Morgan, plays for the Tri-City Americans. . . . Noah knows his way around a hockey rink, too — the Calgary Hitmen selected him in the second round of the 2015 WHL bantam draft.


IF THE PLAYOFFS OPENED TODAY …

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Prince Albert at Moose Jaw

Brandon at Medicine Hat

Regina at Swift Current

Red Deer at Lethbridge

——

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Seattle at Everett

Tri-City at Kelowna

Spokane at Portland

Vancouver at Victoria


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


FRIDAY (all times local):

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


TWEET OF THE DAY

Whatever happened to Luby? . . . Vanstone: MC-format flawed . . . Dynamiters’ would-be gift horse faces charges


A LITTLE OF THIS, SOME OF THAT . . .

When I was working at the Regina Leader-Post, I always looked forward to a visit by the Saskatoon Blades when Daryl Lubiniecki was with them. Now there’s a story teller! . . . We used to joke that his Regina office — a bar called The Pump — was across Victoria Street from the paper and visible from a window beside what was then my desk. . . . So what is Lubiniecki up to these days. Darren Zary of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix caught up with him right here.


With the 2018 Memorial Cup and all that goes with it ticketed for Regina, Leader-Post columnist Rob Vanstone points out in this piece right here just how flawed the present system is. Yes, the present host-team, tournament-style system is as flawed as a piece of glass pretending to be a diamond. But, hey, it makes money and in today’s world that’s what matters.


You may recall hearing in October about a man named Mike Gould who was in the headlines after pledging a donation of $7.5 million to the junior B Kimberley, B.C., Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. . . . You may also have heard that the Dynamiters are no richer today than they were on that day in October. Well, if you missed it, Douglas Quan of Postmedia did a terrific story on the situation earlier this month. That story, which is about as bizarre as you might expect, is right here.

Meanwhile, Gould now is facing fraud- and forgery-related charges, as Karen Larsen of CBC News reports right here.


Dave Robinson, who played four seasons (1973-77) with the Kamloops Chiefs of the Western Canada Hockey League, died on Sunday. Robinson, 60, died in Kamloops after fighting cancer. . . . Robinson played more games with the Chiefs (247) than anyone in the team’s brief history. He had 15 goals and 71 assists, along with 573 penalty minutes. . . . Robinson and his wife, Ernestamarie, had three sons — Ryan, Danny and Darcy. . . . Darcy played five seasons in the WHL (Saskatoon, Red Deer, 1997-2001). He went on to play with Asiago in Italy, where he died of a heart attack during the opening game of the 2007-08 Serie A season. He was 26.


J.F. Best, who is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Victoria Royals, will be at the World Junior Championship with Team Denmark. Best will be working as a consultant in performance analysis. . . . The tournament is scheduled to open on Dec. 26 in Buffalo, N.Y. . . . Best has worked in the area of performance analysis with the Danish Ice Hockey Federation since 2015. He was with Team Denmark at the 2017 WHC in Montreal and Toronto, and worked with Denmark’s men’s team at the 2017 World Championship in Paris, France, and Cologne, Germany.


The Kootenay Ice has signed F Holden Kodak, 16, to a WHL contract. Kodak, from Cloverdale, B.C., put up 59 points, including 35 goals, in 25 games this season with the Yale Hockey Academy’s midget prep team in the CSSHL. . . . Kodak was selected by Portland in the 11th round of the 2016 bantam but something didn’t click and he didn’t sign with the Winterhawks. The Ice placed him on its protected list in October.


In the QMJHL, the defending-champion Saint John Sea Dogs have traded F Joe Veleno, 17, to the Drummondville Voltigeurs for three first-round draft picks and a pair of second-rounders. . . . The Sea Dogs acquired first-round selections that originally belonged to the Gatineau Olympiques (2018), Blainville-Boisbriand Armada(2019) and Drummondville (2020). . . . Velono, who is from Kirkland, Que., is the only player in QMJHL history to have been granted exceptional player status, meaning he was allowed to play regularly at 15 years of age. The Sea Dogs selected him with the first overall pick in the QMJHL’s 2015 draft. . . . This season, Velono has six goals and 25 assists in 31 games. In 138 regular-season games over three seasons, he has 32 goals and 82 assists. . . . Velono is a potential first-round pick in the NHL’s 2018 draft. . . . Drummondville (20-9-2) is fourth in the QMJHL standings. . . . The Sea Dogs (8-17-6) are struggling — they have the league’s second-poorest record — after losing in the Memorial Cup semifinal last spring.


WHL SCOREBOARD:

Dec. 18-Dec. 26:

No Games Scheduled.