Warriors’ GM pays price for getting tossed . . . Stankoven lighting it up for Blazers . . . Huskies howl for Houlder

——

MacBeth

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.

——

ThisThat

Ch-ch-ch-ching!

Alan Millar, the general manager of the Moose Jaw Warriors, is a little lighter in the MooseJawWarriorswallet 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 KelownaRocketscaptain 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 thompsonblazersby 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.

——

Tweetoftheday

‘Tips looking at bizarre schedule . . . Ex-Raiders forward Edmonton’s top cop . . . OHL’s Firebirds get first victory


MacBeth

D Nolan Yonkman (Kelowna, Brandon, 1996-2001) has signed a contract through Jan. 20 with JYP Jyväskylä (Finland, Liiga). Last season, with JYP, he had two goals and an assist in 52 games. . . .

D Austin Madaisky (Calgary, Kamloops, 2008-12) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Kölner Haie Cologne (Germany, DEL) after a successful tryout in which he had one goal and two assists in 16 games. . . .

F Geordie Wudrick (Swift Current, Kelowna, 2005-11) has been released by Harzer Falken Braunlage (Germany, Oberliga) after an unsuccessful tryout in which he scored once in seven games.


ThisThat

The Everett Silvertips and Kamloops Blazers will play a doubleheader this weekend.

They will meet in Kamloops on Friday, 7 p.m, and they’ll do it all over again in the EverettSandman Centre on Sunday, 5 p.m.

Nothing unusual about that. The WHL schedule often has teams play two games in a row in the same arena, although it mostly happens on back-to-back nights in places like Prince George and Victoria.

But what if I told you that the WHL has the Silvertips playing a Saturday night game, too? What if I told you that game is scheduled for Kent, Wash., against their arch-rival, the Seattle Thunderbirds?

Would you believe me? Well . . . you should.

The Silvertips will ride the bus to Kamloops today. They will challenge the Blazers on Friday night, then get back on the bus and head for home, then play the Thunderbirds in Kent on Saturday night. After that, it will be back on the bus and back to Kamloops for the Sunday game.

As one interested observer asked Taking Note on Wednesday: “Who signed off on this?”

And you thought the WHL’s wild weekends would go away when the WHL cut back from 72 to 68 games.

But wait . . .

This is just the start of a horrendous bit of scheduling for the Silvertips, who also will play three games in fewer than 48 hours the following weekend, too.

In fact, by the time they get through with playing the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Nov. 18, they will have played seven games in 10 nights. Throw in a visit by the Calgary Hitmen on Nov. 20 and it’s eight games in 12 nights.

When that part of the schedule is over, the Silvertips will have played 11.8 per cent of their schedule in only 12 days.

Maybe the players could be given a bonus when it’s over, like, say, a pay raise to the minimum wage, at least for the 12 days.

——

BTW, the Silvertips have another bizarre stretch of schedule to deal with in February. . . . They are to play the visiting Red Deer Rebels on Feb. 13, then travel to Kelowna for a game with the Rockets on Feb. 15. On Feb. 16, they have to be in Kent, Wash., for a game with the Seattle Thunderbirds. That’s a Saturday night. It’ll be on the bus right after that game because they’ll be playing the Cougars in Prince George on Monday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. . . . They’ll stay in Prince George for a game the next night, too, before returning home to play on Feb. 22 (Seattle) and Feb. 23 (Prince George). . . . At some point in time the Silvertips obviously did something to offend the WHL’s scheduling guru, whoever/whatever that is.



The Kootenay Ice has added D Ben Zloty, a 16-year-old from Calgary, to its roster. He was a sixth-round selection by the Ice in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he has three goals and 10 assists in 12 games with the midget AAA Calgary Royals.


Dale McFee, a former player with the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named Edmonton’s PrinceAlbertchief of police. He will begin his new duties early in the new year. . . . McFee, 53, is from St. Albert, Alta. He spent four seasons (1982-86) with the Raiders, totalling 270 points, including 118 goals, and 535 penalty minutes in 269 games. . . . McFee also did a stint as the police chief in Prince Albert and has been the president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. He has been Saskatchewan’s deputy minister of justice for six years. . . . McFee was an assistant coach with the Raiders in 1993-94, and served as team president for nine years (2008-17). He remains a member of their board of directors.



The OHL’s Flint Firebirds won their first game of the season on Wednesday afternoon, beating the visiting Sarnia Sting, 7-4, in front of an announced crowd of 3,534 in what was billed as a ‘School Day Game.’ . . . F Jake Durham had three goals for the Firebirds, who now are 1-16-1, having scored 45 goals and allowed 108.



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.


Tweetoftheday