Anholt’s coaching days behind him . . . Broncos send Fyten to Oil Kings . . . Hitmen juggling goaltenders

On the second day of our annual Christmas countdown, we bring you the under-rated Brook Benton with All I Want for Christmas is You . . . It’s right here.



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Peter Anholt says his coaching days are behind him and that his regular-season victory total of 466 can be “written in stone for good.”

That means that the Lethbridge general manager won’t be behind the bench on Saturday Lethbridgewhen the Hurricanes entertain the Kamloops Blazers.

Nor was he there on Wednesday when the Hurricanes dumped the visiting Kelowna Rockets, 5-1.

Instead, with head coach Brent Kisio away, assistant coach Jeff Hansen is in charge; in fact, he recorded his first head-coaching victory on Wednesday. He’ll be helped by assistant coach Josh MacNevin, video coach Andrew Doty and Matt Anholt, the skills and development coach.

Kisio is an assistant coach with Canada’s national junior team and won’t be back with the Hurricanes until early January by which time he could miss as many as nine games.

Anholt last coached two years ago when he took over while Kisio was at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge. The Hurricanes went 2-2-1, allowing Anholt to get to 466 regular-season victories.

There had been speculation that Anholt would take over the coaching reins with Kisio away this time, too. However, Anholt told Taking Note on Thursday that “the days of me coaching are long gone.”

Anholt, who has coached the Prince Albert Raiders, Seattle Thunderbirds, Red Deer Rebels, Rockets and Hurricanes, is tied for 10th on the list of regular-season victories. He and Jack Shupe, who coach the Medicine Hat Tigers and Victoria Cougars, each has 466 regular-season victories.


On Wednesday night, F Andrew Fyten scored two goals to lead the Swift Current Broncos to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Regina Pats.

On Thursday morning, he was rewarded by being dealt to the Edmonton Oil Kings.

EdmontonOilKingsIn return, the Broncos received a conditional fifth-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft.

Fyten, 20, is from Sundre, Alta. He had missed two games before returning Wednesday and scoring the Broncos’ first two goals as they erased 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to beat the Pats.

Fyten becomes the third 20-year-old on Edmonton’s roster, joining F Quinn Benjafield and F Vince Loschiavo.

This season, Fyten has eight goals and nine assists in 17 games. In 211 career regular-season games, he has 24 goals and 34 assists.

Andrew Peard, the radio voice of the Oil Kings, pointed out via Twitter (@AndrewPeard) that Fyten’s biggest asset may be in the faceoff circle. “He’s above 50% on faceoffs and has taken 656 draws this season. As a team, the Oil Kings have struggled in the circle, with a winning percentage of 46.9.”

Fyten was a fifth-round selection by the Everett Silvertips in the WHL’s 2013 bantam draft. However, he never got into a game with the Silvertips before they dealt him to the Calgary Hitmen on May 7, 2015, getting back a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft.

Fyten played in 155 games with the Hitmen, scoring 14 goals and adding 25 assists, before being traded to Swift Current on Jan. 9 for D Ethan Martini, who is from Trail, B.C., and a conditional third-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft. Martini, 18, began the season with the USHL’s Central Illinois Flying Aces, and now is with the BCHL’s Powell River Kings.

Fyten had two goals and four assists in 25 playoff games last spring as the Broncos won the Ed Chynoweth Cup.

The Oil Kings are at home to Calgary on Saturday.

Fyten’s departure leaves the Broncos with two 20s — F Tanner Nagel and D Matthew Stanley. They go home-and-home with the Prince Albert Raiders this weekend, meeting tonight in Swift Current and Saturday up north.

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With the WHL heading into the Christmas break after Sunday games, don’t forget that there also will be a trade moratorium in place. There won’t be any trades announced between Saturday at 12:01 a.m., and Dec. 27 at 12:01 a.m.

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COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Thursday’s action:

No. of trades: 1.

Players: 1.

Bantam draft picks: 0.

Conditional draft picks: 1.

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Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 13.

Players: 29.

Bantam draft picks: 21.

Conditional draft picks: 5.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)



The Calgary Hitmen have added G Matt Armitage, 19, to their roster. He had been with Calgarythe BCHL’s Salmon Arm Silverbacks. . . . Armitage was to have been added by the Hitmen a couple of weeks ago, when G Carl Stankowski (ankle) went down. However, Armitage was injured in a game, so Calgary brought in G Brayden Peters instead. . . . Peters has been returned to the midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . The Hitmen will go with Jack McNaughton, a 17-year-old freshman who has been Stankowski’s caddy, and Armitage as they play three games this weekend. . . . Stankowski is expected to be out at least another six weeks.

The Hitmen also revealed on Thursday that F Tye Carriere “is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury.” A 17-year-old freshman from Red Deer, Carrier has three goals and one assist in 18 games.

The Hitmen have three games scheduled this weekend. They are at home to the Kelowna Rockets tonight and then will in Edmonton on Saturday afternoon before returning home to face the Lethbridge Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon.


The Brandon Wheat Kings have added F Nolan Ritchie, 16, to their roster for the second BrandonWKregulartime this season. He has 22 goals and 28 assists in 24 games with the midget AAA Wheat Kings. . . . A third-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft, Ritchie made his WHL debut on Nov. 28 in a 5-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current. . . . His father, Darren, is a former Wheat Kings star who now is the organization’s director of scouting. . . . The Wheat Kings are to play in Saskatoon tonight and then entertain the Blades on Saturday night.

Later Thursday, the Wheat Kings announced that they have signed D Jack Zayat, 16, to a WHL contract. He is expected to be in the lineup tonight and again on Saturday. . . . Zayat was a fourth-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. . . . From Calgary, he has two goals and 14 assists in 20 games with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. He also has one assists in four games with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers.


The Swift Current Broncos have signed F Dawson Springer, 16, to a WHL contract. SCBroncosSpringer, from Yorkton, Sask., was a list player with the Everett Silvertips, who was dealt to the Broncos on Dec. 3, along with a fourth-round pick in the 2020 bantam draft, for F Max Patterson, 19. . . . Springer has 19 goals and nine assists in 26 games with the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. . . . He is expected to play for the Broncos on Saturday when they meet the Raiders in Prince Albert. After that game, he will be returned to the Mintos.


The CHL has announced rosters for the 2019 Top Prospects Game and there are 16 WHLers among the 40 players. The game, which features draft-eligible CHL players, is scheduled to be played in Red Deer on Jan. 23. . . . Those rosters are right here.


If you stop off here and enjoy what you see — or even if you don’t — feel free to click on the DONATE button over there on the right and make a contribution. Thanks in advance.


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You’ll be hearing from Hockey Gives Blood . . . Kamloops’ GM on the job . . . Wheat Kings, Tigers sign draft picks

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F Radek Meidl (Seattle, Tri-City, 2006-08) signed a one-year contract with the Milton Keynes Lightning (England, UK Elite). This season, with Orlik Opole (Poland, PHL), he had 18 goals and 19 assists in 35 games. He led the Lightning in goals and points, and was tied for the team lead in assists. . . .

F Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge, 2005-09) signed a one-year contract with Severstal Cherepovets (Russia, KHL). This season, with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL), he had 11 goals and 13 assists in 35 games. He was the KHL’s forward of the month for November. . . .

F Clarke Breitkreuz (Regina, Prince George, 2008-10) signed a one-year contract with Lausitzer Füchse Weisswasser (Germany, DEL2). This season, with Löwen Frankfurt (Germany, DEL2), he had seven goals and nine assists in 40 games. . . .

D Alexei Platonov (Medicine Hat, 2015-16) signed a try-out contract with Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season, with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had one goal and two assists in 24 games. . . .

F Jaroslav Kristek (Tri-City, 1998-2000) signed a one-year contract with Courchevel-Méribel-Pralognan (France, Division 2). This season, with Brest (France, Division 1), he had seven goals and 12 assists in 22 games. . . .

D Riley Stadel (Kelowna, Edmonton, 2011-17) signed a one-year contract with the Manchester Storm (England, UK Elite). This season, with the Dundee Stars (Scotland, UK Elite), he had 10 goals and 11 assists in 37 games. . . .

F Michal Poletín (Regina, 2009-10) signed a one-year contract with Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, with Piráti Chomutov (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had 10 goals and nine assists in 52 games. . . .

F Taylor Makin (Prince George, Vancouver, 2008-13) signed a one-year contract with Brest (France, Division 1). This season, with Acadia University (Atlantic University Sports), he had four goals and two assists in 12 games. . . .

F Jacob Doty (Seattle, Medicine Hat, 2009-14) signed a one-year contract with the Nottingham Panthers (England, UK Elite). This season, with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite), he had 16 goals and 19 assists in 56 games.


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What follows was written earlier today (Sunday) but a four-hour power outage on the east side of Kamloops meant that its posting was delayed. So without further ado . . .

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I actually took a couple of days away from the laptop in order to paint our deck. It was supposed to have been done last summer, but the smoke from the forest fires limited the amount of time a person could spend outside.

This time I only had to battle the mosquitoes. I haven’t seen them this bad since we left Regina in the spring of 2000. This spring, in the Kamloops area, we had a sudden turn to 30 C temperatures and a quick snow melt from the higher areas, all of which combined for a perfect mosquito-hatching season.

Having sat on our deck and enjoyed many a mosquito-free evening over the last few years, I had forgotten that the only thing mosquitoes like more than heat and water is human flesh.

But, hey, I toughed it out and the painting is finished.


I did take time out late last week to have a cup of coffee with Stu Middleton, the man behind Hockey Gives Blood.

He is a busy man these days. But, oh boy, has he accomplished a lot in less than two HockeyGivesBloodmonths.

Hockey Gives Blood, the project he started following the April 6 crash involving the Humboldt Broncos’ bus, has partnered with Canada Blood Services, as it reads on its website, “to promote blood donation as an integral component of hockey programs . . .”

With that in mind, Hockey Gives Blood was front and centre at the Royal Bank Cup in Chilliwack and at the Memorial Cup in Regina last month.

Yes, Middleton says, Hockey Gives Blood has made some inroads, but it has a long, long way to go.

Middleton has big plans for the non-profit organization, most of which are still in the planning stage. But you can count on hearing a lot from Hockey Gives Blood in the near future.

In the meantime, watch for representatives at events like annual golf tournaments held by the Kamloops Blazers and Kelowna Rockets, and the Humboldt Broncos Memorial tournament at the Humboldt Golf Club on Aug. 18.

You are able to check out Hockey Gives Blood right here.

If you haven’t seen it, Pam Cowan of the Regina Leader-Post wrote about Middleton and Hockey Gives Blood in April, and that story is right here.


As expected, the Kamloops Blazers introduced Matt Bardsley as their new general manager at a news conference on Friday morning.

Bardsley, 46, had been with the Portland Winterhawks since 1999, working his way up Kamloops1from scout to assistant general manager.

In Kamloops, Bardsley takes over from Stu MacGregor, who now is on the scouting staff of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. The Stars are owned by Tom Gaglardi, who is the majority owner of the Blazers.

Bardsley steps into a Kamloops organization that needs a head coach, at least one assistant coach, and a director of player personnel.

Don Hay, the head coach for the past four seasons, has been moved to an advisory role, although he has made it apparent that he still wants to coach and that his phone line is open.

Assistant coach Mike Needham, who had been with the Blazers since 2010, and director of player personnel Matt Recchi, who had been in his position for 10 years, were told their contracts couldn’t be renewed.

Bardsley’s first job will be to hire a head coach, with Kyle Gustafson, who has been on the Winterhawks’ coaching staff since 2003-04, definitely in the running.

According to Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV, Bardsley said: “Kyle is a a good friend of mine. I have a long list of names, and he’s certainly a person who is on my list. He’s certainly qualified to have an opportunity, and he’ll be a head coach — soon.”

Meanwhile, the Blazers have scheduled a news conference for this afternoon (Monday) at which they are expected to announce the signing of F Logan Stankoven, who is from Kamloops.

Stankoven was the fifth overall selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. This season, he had 57 goals and 33 assists in 30 games with the Yale Hockey Academy bantam prep team in Abbotsford, B.C.

The Kamloops-based Thompson Blazers of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League and Stankoven announced Sunday that he will play for them in 2018-19.

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The Brandon Wheat Kings have signed D Vincent Iorio, a highly touted second-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. Iorio was widely believed to be going the BrandonWKregularNCAA route before signing with the Wheat Kings. From Port Coquitlam, B.C., he has a late birthday, so won’t turn 16 until Nov. 14. . . . This season, he had four goals and 19 assists in 52 games with the U16 midget team at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn. The previous season, he had eight goals and 24 assists in 39 games with the bantam T1 team at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.

Brandon also signed F Nolan Ritchie, 16, who was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. His father, Darren, is a former Wheat Kings player who now scouts for the organization. . . . This season, Nolan had 40 goals and 44 assists in 45 games with the midget AAA Brandon Wheat Kings. His 84 points left him second in the Manitoba Midget AAA Hockey League scoring race. In his draft season, he won the Winnipeg Bantam AAA League’s scoring derby with 89 points, 51 of them goals, with the Wheat Kings.

The Wheat Kings also have signed F Jake Chiasson and F Brett Hyland to WHL contracts. . . . Chiasson was a first-round selection, 15th overall, in the 2018 bantam draft, while Hyland was taken in the second round. . . . Chiasson, from Abbotsford, stayed at home this season and played at the Yale Hockey Academy. He had 20 goals and 48 assists in 30 games with the bantam prep team. . . . Hyland, from Edmonton, had 10 goals and 25 assists in 17 games with the Northern Alberta Xtreme bantam prep team this season.

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WHL teams that have signed 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

1 Edmonton — F Dylan Guenther.

2. Kootenay — D Carson Lambos.

3. Prince Albert — D Nolan Allan.

4. Calgary — F Sean Tschigerl.

6. Saskatoon — F Colton Dach.

8. Lethbridge — F Zack Stringer.

11. Medicine Hat — F Cole Sillinger.

12. Vancouver — F Zack Ostapchuk.

14. Tri-City — D Marc Lajoie.

15. Brandon — F Jake Chiasson.

17. Spokane — D Graham Sward.

20. Edmonton — D Keegan Slaney.

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The WHL teams that have yet to sign their 2018 first-round bantam draft selections:

5. Kamloops — F Logan Stankoven.

7. Red Deer — F Jayden Grubbe.

9. Prince George — F Craig Armstrong.

10. Seattle — F Kai Uchacz.

13. Victoria — D Nolan Bentham.

16. Red Deer — D Kyle Masters.

18. Kelowna — F Trevor Wong.

19. Portland — F Gabe Klassen.

21. Prince George — G Tyler Brennan.

22. Moose Jaw — F Eric Alarie.


The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed F Cole Sillinger, who was a first-round selection, 11th overall, in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. This season, he had 46 goals and 37 assists Tigers Logo Officialin 30 games with the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s bantam prep team. From Regina, his father, Mike, starred for the Regina Pats (1987-91) before going to a lengthy pro career that included 1,049 regular-season NHL games.

The Tigers also signed D Dru Krebs, who was taken in the second-round of the 2018 bantam draft. From Okotoks, Krebs had seven goals and 10 assists in 35 games with the bantam AAA Okotoks Oilers. . . . Krebs has two brothers playing in the WHL — Peyton is with the Kootenay Ice, while Dakota plays for the Calgary Hitmen. Yes, all three brothers are with teams in the Central Division, although Dru, at 15, isn’t eligible for full-time play until the 2019-20 season.


The City of Kennewick is going to make improvements to the 30-year-old Toyota Center tri-citythat is home to the WHL’s Tri-City Americans. Annie Fowler and Wendy Culverwell of the Tri-City Herald report that “visitors will soon see improvements . . . under an agreement that will keep the Americans for the foreseeable future.” . . . The major project this summer will be the installation of LED lighting. . . . In time, it is expected that a new ice plant and video board will be installed, and improvements will be made to the visiting team dressing room. . . . Taking Note has been told that improvements also will be made to the foyer and there will changes to the concessions. . . . The WHL had implemented a deadline of September 2019 for improvements to be made in order that the facility met league standards. . . . The Americans’ lease expires in 2020. . . . The Herald’s story is right here.


The Prince George Cougars and Vista Radio, owners of 94.3 the Goat, have agreed on a deal covering play-by-play rights for the 2018-19 season. Fraser Roger will call the play for a second straight season, with Hartley Miller back for a sixth season as the analyst.


Mark Chase has signed on as the general manager and head coach of the junior B Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. From Kamloops, Chase, 31, spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. . . . In Osoyoos, Chase takes over from Ken Law, who was dropped after being the only head coach in the team’s eight-year existence. Under Law, the Coyotes won one KIJHL title and six regular-season division titles. . . . Andrew Stuckey of Osoyoos Today has more right here.


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