The Kamloops Blazers and, indeed, the City of Kamloops were stunned Wednesday by the death of Don Moores, the WHL franchise’s president, chief operating officer and alternate governor. . . . Moores, 65, died at the Kamloops Golf and Country Club. He collapsed on the third hole — he had started on the back nine, so was playing his 12th hole of the day — at around noon. According to Environment Canada, the temperature in Kamloops at noon was 39.1C with a humidex of 42C. . . . Earl Seitz of CFJC-TV in Kamloops reported that Moores died of a heart attack. . . . Alec Hubert, the golf club’s general manager, told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week that he and others got to the third hole with cold water and medical equipment. “We went out there and did the best we could,” Hubert said. . . . He added that Moore had stopped at the clubhouse after nine holes and “grabbed a sandwich” and that all appeared to be fine. . . . A native of Kamloops, Moores played for the WHL’s Kamloops Chiefs (1973-76) and later was an assistant coach with the Blazers (1985-90). . . . Moores was introduced as the club president on June 30, 2016, exactly five years prior to his death. . . . As word of Moore’s death spread, the hockey world and fans flooded social media with messages of condolences for Moores’ family and for the Blazers. . . . Hastings’ complete story is right here. . . . Moores’ death leaves a huge hole atop the Blazers’ organizational tree. The team also is operating without a general manager as Matt Bardsley’s final day was Wednesday after he guided the club through the CHL’s import draft. Bardsley announced on May 25 that he was resigning after three years as GM, even though he had three years left on his contract, in order to move his wife and two children back to the U.S. to be closer to family.
The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets have signed head coach Kris Mallette to a multi-year contract extension. The news release announcing the signing didn’t indicate the length of the extension. . . . Mallette, 42, joined the Rockets as an assistant coach prior to the 2014-15 season. . . . He was named head coach on March 2, 2020, after a short stint as the interim head coach following the firing of Adam Foote. Because of the pandemic, Mallette has on 25 games as a head coach under his belt, going 15-7-3. . . . He is a former WHL defenceman, having played with the Rockets and Moose Jaw Warriors (1997-2000).
The Everett Silvertips were the first WHL team to make a selection in the CHL import draft on Wednesday and they took F Niko Huuhtanen of Finland second overall. Huuhtanen turned 18 on Saturday. . . . A 6-foot-1, 200-pound right winger, he played for Tappara’s U20 team in Finland last season, putting up 20 goals and 14 assists in 37 games. He also played at the IIHF U-18 World championship, scoring two goals and adding three assists in seven games. . . . Huuhtanen is eligible for the NHL’s 2021 draft. NHL Central Scouting rated him 49th among European skaters. . . . Interestingly, Huuhtanen signed a two-year contract with Tappara on May 19. That deal runs through 2022-23. Tappara plays in Liiga, the country’s top pro league. . . . In an Everett news release, Dennis Williams, the Silvertips’ interim general manager and head coach, said: “We’re excited to have him, and he’s excited to become a Silvertip.” . . . The news release didn’t mention Huuhtanen’s contractual status with Tappara. . . . You are able to find the complete import draft right here.
The NHL’s Arizona Coyotes are expected to introduce Andre Tourigny as their new head coach today (Thursday). . . . Tourigny had been the head coach and vice-president of hockey operations with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s for the past four seasons. The move also means that Hockey Canada will have to find a new head coach for the country’s national junior team. Tourigny had been the team’s head coach for two years, including this year. He also is an assistant coach with Canada’s world championship team. . . . The Coyotes parted company with head coach Rick Tocchet after their 2020-21 season came to an end.
JUST NOTES: The OHL’s Owen Sound Attack has signed Greg Walters, 50, to a two-year contract as head coach. He spent the previous two seasons as head coach of the Oshawa Generals. In Owen Sound, Walters takes over from Alan Letting, who left the team in June and later was named head coach of the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. . . . Jerry Keefe is the new head coach of the Northeastern U Huskies. Keefe had been an assistant coach with the Huskies for the past 10 seasons. He takes over from Jim Madigan, who had been the head coach since 2011-12 and recently was named the school’s athletic director.
Blake Wesley, a former WHL player and coach, wants you to know that, if you aren’t already, you need to get serious about your approach to COVID-19. . . . “I’ve had pneumonia, I’ve had bronchitis — you can intensify that by 10 times,” he told rdnewsNOW. . . . Wesley, 61, coaches at a hockey academy in Sankt Pölten, Austria. . . . Wesley played for the Portland Winterhawks (1976-79). He also was an assistant coach with the Tri-City Americans (2001-02) and Portland (2002-04). . . .
In a story written by Josh Hall and Troy Gillard, Wesley said that despite taking all the recommended precautions he started to feel poorly on Oct. 2 and found out on Oct. 7 that he was positive. He can’t be certain, but he may have gotten infected from a colleague who also tested positive but wasn’t hospitalized. . . . Later that day, Wesley got an ambulance ride to a hospital where the medical team did tests and blood work. Doctors there then transferred him to a hospital in Lilienfield, which is about 35 minutes from Sankt Pölten. The hospital there is strictly for COVID-19 patients. . . . He was in that hospital until Oct. 23. . . .
Wesley, whose wife was in Penticton, B.C., through all of this, added: “It was exhaustive and, quite honestly, what drained me the most was when the doctors came in to do the second test and they said ‘Nope, you’re not going home.’ I got pretty weepy and teary-eyed because there’s no one there to comfort you.” . . . Wesley was discharged from hospital on Oct. 23 and feels that he now is ready to get back on the ice.
In a highly emotional Facebook post, Wesley explained the symptoms he felt: “Friday October 2. This was the day I started feeling symptoms (raging headache, heart racing, elevated BP, nausea, fatigue, weariness, respiratory infection, loss of taste, loss of appetite). Honestly, I thought I was having a heart attack, and there was someone squeezing the air out of my lungs. Dry cough, dry scratchy eyes, fever, chills. It was a horrible flu, along with pneumonia and bronchitis symptoms.”
While in that hospital, he wasn’t allowed outside his room.
“I was wheeled into the hospital by the ambulance attendants,” Wesley wrote. “That’s the last time I was outside the hospital room. I felt like a prisoner! . . . That was difficult. I thought there was a remote chance to walk about the floor outside the room. No chance of that!!”
And then things started to get worse.
“Over the next few days my symptoms worsened. . . . It was very hard to breathe, and the oxygen Infusions gave some relief. The coughing was painful. Sore throat couldn’t eat food somedays.”
According to Wesley, his daily regimen included lots of blood work, daily infusions of medication via IVs, blood-thinner injections, oral antibiotics and oxygen infusions three times a day. He said he also was treated with Remdesivir.
“There were some really challenging days — mentally, spiritually and physically,” he wrote. “I had four Corona tests while I was in the hospital. None of them were negative. I was so discouraged and disappointed when the test results came back each time.”
Finally, he was discharged on Oct. 23 and returned home. He said that by this time he didn’t have any symptoms “even though I was still positive.” He quarantined at home through Nov. 2.
On Nov. 1, he wrote that “over these past days, I have improved tremendously.”
But, he added, “I never want to have a reoccurrence of this nightmare!!”
In summing up, he wrote:
“I thought I was immune to this virus!!!
“I wore a mask, I always did my best to take all the necessary precautions. I will be vigilant every day. Good nutrition, sanitizing my hands, wearing a mask, distancing . . . the virus is powerful, and we are mere mortals in its path.
“Wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid physical contact.”
The story by Hall and Gillard is right here. . . . If you’re on Facebook, search for Wesley’s page and read his story in its entirety.
And now it’s the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s turn to deal with COVID-19. The AJHL, which plans on opening its regular season on Nov. 13, revealed Wednesday morning that “a member” of the Whitecourt Wolverines tested positive and that the Alberta Health Services protocols had been activated.
A tweet from the AJHL stated: “For privacy reasons, no further comments will be provided.”
The Wolverines haven’t played since Oct. 17 when they beat the visiting Grande Prairie Storm, 4-2. Whitecourt’s next exhibition game was to have been played on Friday, at the Drayton Valley Thunder, but it has been cancelled. The Thunder was to have visited Whitecourt the following night but that game also has been cancelled.
The WHL has said it will open its next regular season on Jan. 8. If you’re wondering what things might look like inside arenas with limited seating capacities because of the pandemic, there were a few hints in a news release issued by the Swift Current Broncos on Wednesday.
That release deals with what the team refers to as “season-ticket deadline and process.”
Included in the release . . .
“While the comprehensive development of the guidelines and protocols are in progress and subject to change, at this point in time, we are expecting the following key measures to be included in our return-to-play protocols:
“Reduced overall capacity and a seating plan which allows for social distancing between groups of fans that are considered part of a household and/or extended household group. This will require most season-ticket holders to be moved to different seats for the 2020-21 season; however for subsequent seasons when capacities are allowed to return to normal, season-ticket holders will be returned to their regular seats.
“A requirement to create separate contained zones in the i-Plex, requiring groups to stay within their assigned zone throughout a game. Each zone will have separate parking, entrances and exits, and will have access to washrooms, concessions, merchandise store or tables, and 50/50 booths. Fans will not be able to enter into any other zone.
“At this time, fans will most likely be required to wear a face mask at all times, except when eating or drinking within their own seat.”
The Broncos also point out that “there will likely be several other guidelines and protocols to adhere to, and these may change prior to and throughout the season.”
In other words, the only sure thing these days is that things likely will change.
COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .
The University of Washington has informed the NFL office that due to an increase in COVID-19 infection rate and indications of increased community spread in the local area, NFL personnel are no longer allowed to attend games at Husky Stadium.
From Oct. 25-31, the NFL had 42,916 tests administered to 7,884 players and team personnel. There were eight positive tests among players and 17 among other personnel. . . . Since Aug. 1, the NFL says more than 550,000 tests have been administered, and there have been positive tests for 63 players and 99 other personnel. . . .
The Detroit Lions place QB Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. It’s his second time on the list, as he was on it in August for what turned out to be a false positive. . . . According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Stafford is considered a “high-risk, close contact” of someone who tested positive. . . . That contact apparently occurred on Monday, so Matthews will be eligible to come off the list on Sunday, in time to play against the host Minnesota Vikings.
The San Francisco 49ers will be without WR Kendrick Bourne when they play host to the Green Bay Packers tonight (Thursday). Bourne, who is into self-quarantine, tested positive so won’t play. Also among San Francisco’s scratches will be LT Trent Williams, WR Brandon Aiyuk and WR Deebo Samuel, who are seen as high-risk contacts to Bourne and went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. . . . San Francisco, which also will be without more than a dozen injured players, including QB Jimmy Garoppolo and TE George Kittle, shut down its facility on Wednesday and held virtual meetings. There are more test results due Thursday. . . . The game is still scheduled to be played, at least until those results are seen. . . . The Packers are without RB AJ Dillon, who came up positive on Monday. RB Jamaal Williams and LB Kamal Martin also won’t play after being designated as “high-risk” contacts. . . .
The Winnipeg Free Press reported Tuesday that one player with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard has tested positive. While the MJHL has yet to confirm the report, it did do some rescheduling of games on Wednesday. That included the postponing of two weekend games in which the Dauphin Kings were to have played the Portage Terriers “due to precautionary public health concerns.” The Kings played host to the Blizzard on Saturday night. . . . Why hasn’t the MJHL commented on the positive test? According to a news release that included scheduling changes, “Public Health (is) the only informed authority to provide public information via daily bulletins on possible exposure, close contact to exposure or the declaration of an outbreak.” . . . That news release is right here. . . .
The Pac-12 football season is scheduled to start on Saturday. Whoops! Guess what? . . . On Wednesday, the U of California, Berkley, athletic department released a statement indicating that “a member of the Cal football program has tested positive . . . marking the first positive test within the program since the start of daily testing” early in October. The statement also said that “several student-athletes were held out of practice Wednesday as a precautionary measure while contact tracing is being completed.” . . . Cal is scheduled to play host to the Washington Huskies on Saturday night, but that game may well be in jeopardy now. . . .
The U of Louisville has paused all football activities after 10 players and five support staff members tested positive. The Cardinals were to have played at the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday, but the game has been postponed to Nov. 14. . . .
Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Wednesday that the five members of Fox Sports’ Big Noon Kickoff show won’t appear this week “due to COVID-19 quarantine protocols.” . . . Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, Urban Meyer, Brady Quinn and host Rob Stone will be held off the network’s college football pregame show on Saturday prior to the USC-Arizona State game. . . . Marchand reported that Fox Sports will have Emmanuel Acho, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and host Charissa Thompson on the program that will be one hour long instead of its normal two. . . .
The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), which has 17 member schools, announced Wednesday that it “has officially cancelled the 2021 extended winter semester of athletics.” . . . According to a news release, “A surge in COVID-19 cases in Alberta has caused the majority of ACAC member institutions to extend on-line academic program delivery into the winter 2021 semester in the interests of protecting the health and safety of students and the broader community.” . . . For most of the schools involved, that takes care of basketball, volleyball and futsal for this season.
UPDATES: GER #PennyDEL – Clubs will decide on 19 November when the season will start. Target date: 18 Dec. Schedule also possible on 19 Nov. FRA #LigueMagnus – Season paused for another week. CZE #TELH – Games to resume Sunday, Monday but pending approval of Corona testing.
It didn’t take long for life in the pandemic to take a nasty turn for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
The 12-team league was cruising along, having gotten in 38 regular-season games since opening on Oct. 9, until the province’s numbers started running wild. By Tuesday, the Winnipeg Free Press was suggesting the MJHL’s season might be in doubt.
Let’s recap . . .
On Monday, Hockey Manitoba announced that it had shut down all hockey activity in the Winnipeg metropolitan region effective immediately, with things to be revisited on Nov. 15. As a result, the MJHL postponed weekend games that were to involve the Selkirk Steelers, Winnipeg Blues and Winnipeg Freeze. At the time, the league said the weekend’s other games would go ahead as scheduled, after which it would shut down until Nov. 20.
On Tuesday, the MJHL announced that “this week’s games involving the OCN Blizzard have been postponed due to a public health concern.”
It wasn’t long before Jason Bell and Mike Sawatzky of the Free Press were reporting that “at least one player with the OCN Blizzard has tested positive for COVID-19, putting the club’s season and perhaps even the MJHL’s 2020-21 campaign into doubt.”
The Blizzard was to have played the Kings in Dauphin on Tuesday night, but that game was postponed. The teams played Sunday in Dauphin, with the Blizzard winning, 7-4. The Blizzard player who tested positive played in that game.
OCN’s lineup on Sunday included two players on loan from the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders — F Justin Nachbaur and F Evan Herman — and F Eric Alarie of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Dauphin’s lineup included F Tyson Kozak of the Portland Winterhawks, F Jakob Brook of the Regina Pats and F Kade Runke of the Warriors.
The parent of an OCN player told the Free Press: “All the details haven’t been released yet. I certainly wouldn’t want to provide any misinformation, so the information has to come from the right channels. (The organization said) just that there’s been possible exposure in the division, so we’re following proper health protocols and going into isolation mode until there’s more information.”
The Free Press also reported it had been told by multiple sources that “OCN players from outside The Pas were being told to return home.”
A parent of a player with a different MJHL team told the Free Press: “Almost close to calling that anonymous line for COVID reporting. Something I think MJHL commissioner should answer questions on. Certainly OCN. But sure the league is done until (Christmas) at least after this.”
Taking Note has been told that at least one of the four on-ice officials who worked Sunday’s game has been told he should self-isolate for 14 days.
According to the MJHL’s schedule, weekend games in Winkler, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Dauphin will be played before the league breaks until Nov. 20.
Brent Gogol holds the WHL record for most penalty minutes in one season — 511 in 1977-78. He started the season with the Victoria Cougars, earning 46 minutes in six games. He was dealt to the Billings Bighorns, where he added another 465 minutes in 61 games. . . . Interestingly, Mel Hewitt, who split his 1977-78 season between the Saskatoon Blades and Calgary Wranglers, finished only three minutes behind Gogol in that same season. . . . In 1990-91, Kerry Toporowski of the Spokane Chiefs got to 505 minutes. You have to wonder if he knew how close he was to Gogol’s record at the time.
Gump Worsley, knocked out cold by a slapshot. Don’t worry, it’s nothing a few cold beers won't cure for the Gumper. pic.twitter.com/sTdzUGNCMl
CB Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens has tested positive. He played every defensive snap on Sunday in the Raven’s 28-24 loss to the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers. . . . The Steelers announced Monday that all of their tests had come back negative. . . . By Tuesday, though, the Ravens had put seven players on the reserve/COVID-19 list — linebackers Tyus Bowser, L.J. Fort, Malik Harrison, Matthew Judon and Patrick Queen, DB DeShon Elliott and practice squad DB Terrell Bonds. Those seven will quarantine for five days but could be activated in time to face the host Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. . . .
RB AJ Dillon of the Green Bay Packers has tested positive and won’t play Thursday against the host San Francisco 49ers. Dillon played on Sunday as the Packers dropped a 28-22 decision to the visiting Minnesota Vikings. He was on the field for 10 offensive snaps and seven plays on special teams. . . . RB Jamaal Williams and LB Kamal Martin, named as high-risk close contacts, also won’t play. . . .
The NFL’s Arizona Cardinals came off their bye week and head coach Cliff Kingsbury revealed a pair of positive tests from the weekend. Kingsbury wouldn’t provide identities of the two players, but LB Devon Kennard later reported on Twitter that he had tested positive. . . . The team also has placed CB Byron Murphy on the reserve/COVID-19 list. . . . The Cardinals are to play the visiting Miami Dolphins on Sunday. . . .
The Denver Broncos revealed Tuesday that team president Joe Ellis and general manager John Elway have tested positive. Meanwhile, assistant coaches Ed Donatell, Curtis Modkins and Mike Munchak are under COVID-19 protocols, as is OL Graham Glasgow. . . . The Broncos are scheduled to visit the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. . . .
QB Andy Dalton of the Dallas Cowboys had been expected to return on Sunday against the host Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday. . . . Dalton missed the Cowboys’ previous game with a concussion. . . .
The U of Wisconsin Badgers have had a second straight football game cancelled. The Badgers were to have played Purdue on Saturday. Wisconsin has had 27 positives since Oct. 24 — 15 players and 12 staff. . . . Interestingly, there isn’t room in the Big Ten schedule to play games that are affected by the virus, so the games are cancelled. . . .
Following one positive test, the junior B Kimberley Dynamiters of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have nine additional members of the organization self-isolating until Nov. 11. This comes after the Interior Health Authority completed contact tracing. The Dynamiters’ last exhibition game, scheduled for Friday against the visiting Fernie Ghostriders has been cancelled. . . . The KIJHL plans on opening its regular season on Nov. 13. The Dynamiters are scheduled to be at home to Fernie that night. . . .
The Chilliwack Minor Hockey Association has paused for at least two weeks. An outbreak at a Chilliwack dance studio — there are at least 30 positives — resulted in meetings between the CMHA and health authorities, and a decision was made to suspend all hockey activities. . . .
The South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League has delayed the start of its regular season to Nov. 26. The seven-team league hopes to play a 12-game regular season. . . . The original plan was to play the regular 18-game season starting on Nov. 6. . . .
The QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs have lost assistant coach Mathieu Turcotte, who has left the team for personal reasons. According to Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports, Turcotte “has health problems that put him at risk” during these pandemic times. . . . The Voltigeurs are one of the QMJHL teams that has experienced positive tests. . . .
The U of Rhode Island Rams football team has had to put things on hold after a player and a staff member tested positive. All players and staff members have been told to quarantine for two weeks. . . . The Rams have been hold light workouts as they aren’t scheduled to play until Feb. 27 as the Colonial Athletic Association chose not to play in the fall.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, addressed some media folks in a virtual gathering on Oct. 15. When the topic of WHL players moving to junior A during the shutdown arose, Trevor Redden of panow.com reported via Twitter that Robison said that if they were affiliated last (season), they’re eligible to play now, and that general managers were to discuss the subject this week.
That meeting apparently took place at some point this week, because the WHL issued a statement late Friday afternoon, stating that it “has granted temporary transfers for WHL roster players to continue their development by playing competitive hockey at the junior A, junior B and under-18 levels . . . through mid-December.”
That something had happened became apparent on Thursday night when the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers announced that they had signed Everett D Gianni Fairbrother, 20.
Then, on Friday morning, the Estevan Bruins revealed there was an agreement between the SJHL and WHL that will allow major junior players to play in the junior A league until Dec. 20. The Bruins did that as they announced the signing of F Cole Fonstad of the Everett Silvertips. Fonstad, 20, is from Estevan.
Everett also has loaned D Dylan Anderson, 18, to the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals, F Jackson Berezowski, 18, to the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, and F Ethan Regnier, 20, to the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs.
A news release from the Silvertips indicated that players are allowed “full participation in . . . practices, workout activities and games, until a loan expiration of Dec. 20. . . .”
The WHL has said it will start its next regular season on Jan. 8, with players reporting to teams shortly after Christmas.
According to Ryan Flaherty of Global Saskatoon, Blades D Rhett Rhinehart, who turns 19 next month, is with the SJHL’s Flin Flon Bombers. Flaherty added that G Nolan Maier, 19, “will likely play for Yorkton, although that has not been confirmed yet.”
As well, Mike Sawatzky of the Winnipeg Free Press reported F Evan Herman, 18, of the Winnipeg Ice has joined the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard, while Connor Roulette, 17, of the Seattle Thunderbirds is with the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers.
Byron Hackett of the Red Deer Advocate tweeted that Rebels F Jaxsen Wiebe, 18, is to play for the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks.
The Tri-City Americans have loaned F Parker Bell to the junior B Campbell River Storm of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. Bell, 17, is from Campbell River.
Meanwhile, Regan Bartel, the long-time radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets, tweeted that the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors have run out of goaltenders — three of them are injured — so have added veteran goaltenders Roman Basran and Cole Schwebius, both 19, from the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets at least for this weekend.
Questions . . . yes, there are questions about the WHL’s agreement with junior A and junior B leagues about the loaning of players.
For starters, what happens to the transferred players if a WHL regular season doesn’t get started?
Also, some of these leagues have moved to a pay-for-play model. So who is paying for the WHL players to play in these other leagues?
Braden Malsbury, the radio voice of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves via MBC Radio, also has some thoughts in the following tweets:
Certain teams will now have a significant advantage because they have several legit WHL players born in their region. This creates an extremely uneven playing field. (2/4)
Hearing some Ontario Hockey League teams are telling players they don’t expect to open training camps until mid-January at the earliest. Even that’s far from a certainty. OHL has publicly said it hopes to start season Dec. 1.
Hartley Miller, the GOAT at 94.3 The GOAT and the analyst on broadcasts of Prince George Cougars home games, offered up this today:
“Leagues like the BCHL and WHL insist they will play a season even if fans are not allowed to their games.
“The financial commitment from those owners should be applauded, but the question remains how safe is it to play?
“There does not appear to be a clear answer but regardless of whether it is a top-notch junior player or one competing at the rec level, the athlete needs to fully understand there is a health risk, even though we remain in the dark how much risk that is.”
That is from his latest Hartley’s Hart Attack, headlined ‘The risk of competition.’ . . . It’s all right here. . . . And if you aren’t a daily reader, you should be.
COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .
NHL teams have been told they will not be allowed to scout live at the upcoming World Juniors similar to the bubble the NHL had in Edmonton.
Bruce Jenkins, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Among the many thousands who just don’t get the mask thing, there appear to be three options: (1) Wear it under the nose. Perfected by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth on Sunday Night Football. Gives those droplets a fighting chance. (2) Down around the chin. Extremely fashionable. Shows you might have cared at daybreak. (3) None at all. Because, you know, what the hell, it’s a hassle.” . . .
Hearing rumblings that some NE prep schools are looking at going rogue & playing outside their leagues if leagues pull plug (as Founders League has already done). Also hearing talk of top midget programs — think Mid-Fairfield, Jr. Eagles, Whalers — extending seasons. Stay tuned
The Founders League, which comprises 11 prep schools, announced Friday that it has cancelled all interscholastic competition for the 2020-21 season. It includes 10 Connecticut schools and one from eastern New York. . . .
The KHL has postponed Jokerit’s next two games, which were scheduled for Monday and Wednesday, after four positive tests within the organization. Jokerit underwent testing after returning from its latest road trip. . . . Jokerit also had games postponed early in September because of positive tests. . . .
a source close to slava kozlov's family tells me he is out of the hospital and did have a difficult case of COVID-19.#RedWings@georgemalik
Two of U.S. college football’s bowl games are gone, at least for 2020. The Holiday Bowl was to have been held in San Diego, while the Fenway Bowl, which was to have been played for the first time, was scheduled for, yes, Fenway Park in Boston. . . .
Scotty Walden, the interim head coach at Southern Miss, tested positive earlier this week. He has been the head coach since Jay Hopson left after the season’s first game. . . . The Golden Eagles, who haven’t played since Oct. 3, are scheduled to play Liberty today (Saturday). Their game on Oct. 17 against UTEP wasn’t played because they were going through an outbreak. . . .
The U of Toledo has put its men’s basketball team on hold for two weeks because six players and head coach Tod Kowalczyk tested positive. . . . Marquette’s men’s and women’s basketball teams also have been shut down for two weeks after each experienced one positive test.
If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:
JUST NOTES: Some European teams are using the four-team Karjala Cup as a tuneup for the 2021 World Junior Championship that opens in an Edmonton bubble on Dec. 25. Former NHLer Igor Larionov is coaching the Russian team, with Valeri Bragin, normally the team’s head coach, having recently recovered from COVID-19. Also in the Karjala Cup are teams from Czech Republic and Sweden. The tournament, in Helsinki, runs from Nov. 5-8. . . . Former WHL D Connor Hobbs (Medicine Hat, Regina, 2013-17) has retired from pro hockey after playing three seasons with the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Hobbs is back at home in Saskatoon and taking online courses as the U of Saskatchewan. Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has that story right here.
We are halfway through July and the Portland Winterhawks haven’t yet changed hands.
Paul Danzer of the Portland Tribune reported on June 18 that the WHL “is optimistic that the Winterhawks will have a new owner by the end of July.”
In that story, Danzer quoted Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner, as having told reporters: “We’re hopeful that we will be in a position later this month and into July to select a candidate to become the new owner of the Portland Winterhawks. It’s important to have that resolved as quickly as possible. Our target is to have that resolved by sometime in July.”
If you aren’t aware, the Portland franchise has been in receivership since May 7 after owner Bill Gallacher ran into some financial difficulties. The Winterhawks had been used as part of the collateral for a Cdn $20-million loan for which a repayment deadline was missed.
However, things have changed in Portland.
Of course, there is the pandemic. Also, the city has been through seven weeks of protests and demonstrations against the treatment of Black Americans by police. There’s a lot more right here on what transpired in Portland on Thursday night.
On Friday, Oregon Public Broadcasting, in a piece that is right here, reported:
“Federal law enforcement officers have been using unmarked vehicles to drive around downtown Portland and detain protesters since at least July 14. Personal accounts and multiple videos posted online show the officers driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation of why they are being arrested, and driving off.”
A WHL fan who lives in Portland emailed me . . .
“The Oregon Health Authority reported a record-high 437 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Thursday. It’s the third consecutive week that state officials reported a record-breaking daily total, according to Oregon Live. . . .
“A headline from oregonlive.com: Federal officers respond to Portland protests with gas, munitions Thursday amid growing attention from Trump administration . . .”
Then he added: “Gregg, it is an absolute mess and disaster in Portland . . . and in Oregon. . . . Oregon — record number of COVID cases . . . hospitalizations are on their way up — it’s very sad.
“I have just gotten numb to the protests . . . downtown businesses are being crippled. No sane person wants to go down to the city after about 5 p.m.
“NOBODY would want to go near the Rose Quarter for a game these days.”
The Winterhawks play out of Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the Moda Center, both of which are in the Rose Quarter.
Perhaps there might be better times to try to sell a WHL franchise in the Rose City.
The BCHL began its 2019-20 season on Sept. 6. On Friday, it announced that it “is planning to start the 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 1, pending approval from the Provincial Health Office (PHO).” . . . Here’s Chris Hebb, the BCHL commissioner, from a news release: “We’ve been having discussions with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture since March around a safe return to play. The PHO has indicated to us that waiting until December gives us the best chance at ensuring we have an uninterrupted season, while also maximizing the amount of regular-season games we’ll be able to play.” . . . Teams will be allowed to open on-ice sessions on Sept. 8 — yes, almost three months before they hope to open the season. . . . The BCHL news release is right here. . . . The Nanaimo Clippers announced that “all players will be reporting” as of Sept. 8 and that teams in the Island Division will hold a tournament in October. . . .
Brian Wiebe, who covers the BCHL like fog atop the Coquihalla, posted a Q&A with Hebb.
Asked if he is “convinced that B.C. and Canada will be healthy enough for the BCHL to return to play in December,” Hebb told Wiebe: “We’re going to give the health authorities a chance to ascertain that. The problem that all of us have is that we’re not medical doctors. One of the things we’ve done a good job with at the BCHL is listening. Starting December 1 gives you a much better chance of not getting shut down because if the health authorities allow you to play in December, it’s probably a pretty good sign that they think things are under control.”
Hebb also explains how the BCHL arrived at the Dec. 1 date, how many games each team may play in the regular season, if the season could start earlier than Dec. 1, how many fans might be allowed in arenas, what teams might do with training camps that could run to three months, the possibility of the Wenatchee Wild operating out of Canada, and a whole lot more.
The MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders reported a loss of $80,906 at their annual general meeting on Thursday night. “The Stampeders reported a substantial loss this year, mainly due to a decrease in ticket sales, the inability to hold a spring camp, loss of playoff revenue, and fundraising falling short thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a news release on the team’s website. . . . There is more right here. . . . Earlier this month, Danielle Gordon-Broome of the Swan Valley Star and Times reported that the Stampeders “went into last season carrying nearly $200,000 in debt.”
Calgary's Stampede Corral – former home of the WHL's Centennials, Wranglers & Hitmen, the WHA's Cowboys, and the NHL's Flames – is being torn down over next few months. https://t.co/tJx6DbZf12
The last WHL game there was game 4 of the Hitmen/Rebels playoff series in 2015-16.
In the interest of having everyone on the same page in terms of what we know and don’t know at this time, here are a few things I’ve learned being on four NFLPA calls in the last two weeks with hundreds of other players.
The NFL Players Association revealed on Thursday that 72 players had tested positive as of July 10. . . . Some teams will be having rookies report to training camp this weekend. . . . Nate Davis wrote in Thursday’s USA TODAY: “The league and players union still have widespread issues to resolve, including opt-out scenarios for players and numerous workplace protocols as well as COVID-19 testing procedures and even the actual number of preseason games, before football resumes in any form or fashion.” . . .
Dan Graziano of ESPN tweeted a number of the NFL’s travel rules that will be in place for this season, including no use of public or private transportation to or in other cities; no leaving hotel to go to restaurants open to public; no room visits by anyone outside the traveling party; no use of shared hotel facilities (pool, gym, etc.); masks required while traveling; buses at no more than 50 percent capacity; and at least one open seat between passengers on the plane. . . .
NCAA president Mark Emmert had this to say on Thursday: “Today, sadly, the data point in the wrong direction. If there is to be college sports in the fall, we need to get a much better handle on the pandemic.” . . .
“There will be no college football crowds of the usual size. There might not be college football, period. Pessimism percolates as the time for solutions dwindles. We are speeding in the wrong direction as a nation in terms of combating the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the cultural casualties of American casualness is an endeavor millions of us want and every college athletic department needs.
“If the season dies, we know who had the biggest hand in killing any chance of it happening: Donald Trump.” . . . The complete column is right here. . . .
The Great Northwest Athletic Conference has suspended all intercollegiate athletics through Nov. 30, a move that affects 17 sports. A decision on the status of competition after Nov. 30 is expected to be made by Oct. 15. Simon Fraser U of Burnaby, B.C., is a member of the GNAC. . . .
The U of New Hampshire has cancelled all fall sports for its athletics teams in football, men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey and women’s volleyball. . . . A decision on winter sports, including hockey and basketball, is to be made at some point “in early fall,” according to the school. . . .
The West Coast Conference has shut down most of its sports until at least Sept. 24. Sports impacted are men’s and women’s cross-country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball. Not impacted, at least not yet, are men’s and women’s basketball and football. . . .
The Oregon-based four-team Wild West League, a wood-bat college-level baseball circuit in its infancy, is on hiatus for at least seven days after two players tested positive. The WWL made the announcement on Wednesday, just four days after beginning its first season. The Gresham Grey Wolves, Portland Gherkins, Portland Pickles ad West Linn Knights are the four teams in the league. . . .
The Canada West conference announced on Wednesday that it will hold championships in golf and swimming, but the cross-country championship won’t go ahead. . . . The golf championship tournament is scheduled for the Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna, Oct. 2-4, with the swimming championship to be held at the U of Calgary sometime early in 2021 rather than in November. . . .
MLB announced nine players and one staff member tested positive in the week that ended on Thursday. MLB now has had 93 positive tests — 80 players and 13 staff members since late last month. . . . OF Austin Meadows, an all-star with the Tampa Bay Rays, is one of the players to have tested positive. . . . OF Yasiel Puig, a free agent, revealed on Friday that he has tested positive. He reportedly was on the verge of signing with the Atlanta Braves, but the positive test short-circuited that deal. . . . Twenty-eight of MLB’s 30 teams have had at least one positive test in their organization. . . .
D Caleb Jones of the Edmonton Oilers skated with the team’s first group on Friday, then told reporters that he had tested positive, which is why had missed the first few days of training camp. He doesn’t know how or where he contracted the virus, but tested positive after arriving in Edmonton from Dallas and being tested two weeks ago. . . . Jones is one of only three NHLers whose positive tests have been made public, the others being F Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and F Jayce Hawryluk of the Ottawa Senators. . . .
Well… U are prob gonna hear about, so i’ll just confirm (and say nothing more 😉)… I am not going back to the Kunlun Redstar in the @khl_eng
The KHL team Kunlun Red Star will play its entire 2020-21 season out of Russia. It is moving its operation to Mytishchi, about 20 km northeast of Moscow. . . . Mattias Forsblom of svenski.yle.fi reported that Kunlun and Dinamo Riga, from Latvia, were told by the KHL that they had to move to Russia because borders are closed and there aren’t any plans to open them. . . . Dinamo Minsk (Belarus), Jokerit (Finland) and Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) also operate from outside of Russia, but there haven’t yet been announcements concerning their relocation. . . . The KHL plans on starting its regular season on Sept. 2. . . .
The Central Okanagan Minor Baseball Association suspended play on Friday because “a player within the organization has come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.” There aren’t any confirmed cases with players or coaches, but the association has suspended activities as a precaution. . . . The association, which is based in Kelowna, covers girls’ and boys’ teams from ages five to 18.
Headline at The Onion: Jerry Jones Changes Team’s Name To Redskins Now That It’s Available.
Billy Keane is the new general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. . . . He spent three seasons as the head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues before being replaced by Gord Burnett prior to last season. Burnett signed on as an assistant coach with the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors earlier this month. . . . Keane is a brother to former WHL/NHL F Mike Keane.
The WHL’s board of governors is scheduled to talk today (Tuesday) for the first time since the league suspended its season on Thursday.
Right now, all signs point to the WHL not being able to resume play before mid-May at the earliest, so there likely will be a lot of discussion about whether to call the whole thing off right now. That, of course, would include the Memorial that is scheduled for Kelowna, May 21-31.
On Monday, Bob Tory, co-owner and general manager of the Tri-City Americans tweeted: “To all our players. Have a good off season. Be safe and we will c u in August.”
That would indicate that the Americans’ players are on their way home and won’t be returning. When the season was suspended, the Americans, who didn’t qualify for the playoffs, had five games remaining. It wouldn’t make sense to bring all the players back at some point down the road to play five games for a non-playoff team.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and officials from all 30 teams held a conference call on Monday, during which it was decided to push opening day back until at least mid-May. . . . Opening day had been scheduled for March 26. . . .
A tweet from @matttomic:
“1918: Toronto wins its first Stanley Cup
“1919: Stanley Cup canceled
“1992-93: Toronto wins its first World Series
“1994: World Series canceled
“2019: Toronto wins its first NBA championship
“2020: NBA championship potentially canceled
“What the (#$%&#@) did Toronto do?”
Is it just me, or does it seem at least a little bit bizarre to have the NFL handing out contracts worth multi-millions and swapping players all over the place — in other words, carrying on as though it’s business as usual — while the rest of the sporting world has been brought to its knees? . . . I mean, a $66-million extension to QB Kirk Cousins? . . .
Here’s Ann Killion in the San Francisco Chronicle:
“This is not about what the league can do. It’s about what it should do.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m going to hear from the NFL’s army of faithful followers. ‘But we want to be entertained! We want a distraction! We love the NFL!’
“That’s what the NFL is banking on. It believes it is Teflon. The rules that apply to other businesses and other parts of society don’t apply to the shield. Roger Goodell has gotten very rich by being amazingly obtuse.”
NCAA MIGHT use final polls to identify a national champion after canceling tournament. Kansas coach Bill Self said he'd gladly accept trophy, though he admits "there'd be a huge asterisk on our side." Except not for long as NCAA would then take same trophy away for violations.
The Kentucky Derby, held annually on the first Saturday in May, has been moved to Sept. 5, that month’s first Saturday. The last time the Derby didn’t run in May was in 1945 when it was postponed to June. . . .
Hope you all out there are making it through okay. Remember to turn off and check out if you need to. I know there is a lot of information flowing out there and it comes so fast that you don't want to miss anything important. But you also need to take time for yourself.
The AHL announced Monday that “the indefinite suspension of play won’t be lifted before May.” . . . With that, the AHL gave its teams the OK to have players return to their “primary residences.” . . .
The 23-team NAHL brought an end to its regular season on Monday, but still hopes to declare a champion at some point. The regular season was to end on April 4. . . . In a statement, commissioner Mark Frankenfeld said: “We understand that this is a very difficult time for our hockey community and we are working on all options in order to conclude the season with a Robertson Cup Championship. We are are actively and continuously monitoring a very difficult situation in order make the right decision everyone involved.”
Donald was head coach of Woodstock of the Maritime Junior Hockey League from 2013-15 and assistant coach (briefly) with the Trail Smoke Eaters during the 2015 off-season before joining Yale.#BCHLhttps://t.co/HnF8TWdTIi
Chris Perchaluk has taken over as the general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. He had been the head coach since November, when he moved up from associate coach. . . . The Blizzard now is looking for an assistant coach and a director of marketing. If you’re interested, there’s more info right here. . . .
The MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers have signed Hudson Friesen as their new head coach. He also is the assistant director of player personnel. This season, Friesen was the Steelers’ assistant coach and business manager. . . . Tim Schick, the head scout, has been named director of player personnel. . . . As head coach, Friesen replaces Nick Lubimiv, whose contract wasn’t renewed. . . . Earlier this month, the Steelers brought back Al Hares as senior advisor and associate coach. Hares is a former Steelers head coach who is a member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
Ken Plaquin is the new general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers. From Calgary, he had been coaching the midget AAA Okotoks Oilers. . . . In Kindersley, Plaquin takes over from Larry Wintoneak, the GM who stepped in on an interim basis late in September when head coach Garry Childerhose left because of health issues. . . .
oh my god, the chicago aquarium closed due to coronavirus, so they let the penguins run around and check out the other exhibits. (staff was present.) pic.twitter.com/YGa8CugymE
F Jesse Gabrielle (Brandon, Regina, Prince George, 2012-18) has signed a one-season contract with CBR Brave Canberra (Australia, AIHL). This season, with the Atlanta Gladiators (ECHL), he had five goals and 10 assists in 25 games. He also had four goals and two assists in 11 games with the Wichita Thunder (ECHL). . . .
F Petr Dvorak (Regina, 2002-03) has signed a one-year contract extension with Valašské Meziříčí (Czech Republic, 2 Liga). This season, he had 18 goals and 31 assists in 38 games. He led the team in points.
#MemorialCup: There will not be representation from a / the Ontario Hockey League team in the Grand Final in consecutive years for the first time since 2006 (QUE / MON – which was the last all "Q" Final) and 2007 (VAN / MH – the last all "Dub" Final).
The QMJHL-champion Rouyn-Noranda Huskies erased a 2-0 deficit and beat the host Halifax Mooseheads, 4-2, on Sunday to win their first Memorial Cup title. . . . The Huskies entered the QMJHL for the 1996-97 season. . . . This was the eighth meeting in the last while between these teams and the Huskies won six of them, including four in a six-game QMJHL championship final. . . . The Mooseheads led 2-0 on goals from F Samuel Asselin, on a PP at 19:16 of the first period, and F Raphael Lavoie, at 5:26 of the second. . . . F Felix Bibeau got the Huskies started with his fifth goal of the tournament, at 10:27 of the second period. . . . F Joel Teasdale, the tournament’s MVP, tied it at 15:11. . . . F Peter Abbandonato’s goal at 3:02 of the third period stood up as the winner. . . . F Vincent Marleau added insurance at 5:03. . . . The game had a WHL flavour to it, too, with two of its officials working the game — referee Chris Crich and linesman Tarrington Wyonzek. Also working were two QMJHL officials — referee Mario Maillet and linesman Maxime Chaput. . . . This was the second time in Memorial Cup history that two QMJHL teams met in the final. In 2006, the Quebec Remparts beat the host Moncton Wildcats, 6-2. . . . Huskies head coach Mario Pouliot is the first head coach to win back-to-back Memorial Cup championships with different teams. Last season, he was the head coach of the Acadia-Bathurst Titan, who won the QMJHL title and then won the Memorial Cup in Regina. . . . Willy Palov of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald has a game story right here. . . . The 2020 Memorial Cup is scheduled for Kelowna with the Rockets as the host team.
#MemorialCup: Tonight's clash between the Huskies and Mooseheads will be the 8th all-time meeting between two teams in the same League in the championship game; '84: OTT/KIT '89: SC/SAS '90: OSH/KIT '93: SSM/PBO '06: QUE/MON '07: VAN/MH '17: WSR/ER '19: ROU/HAL
The ECHL’s Fort Wayne Komets are closing in on a new head coach and Richard Matvichuk, who was fired this season as the head coach of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars, is believed to be a candidate. . . . Justin A. Cohn of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported Saturday that an announcement could come in the next few days. . . . Cohn has Ben Boudreau, the son of Bruce Boudreau, the head coach of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, as the leading candidate. . . . Matvichuk joined the Cougars for the 2016-17 season after spending two seasons as director of hockey operations and head coach with the ECHL’s Missouri Mavericks. He was the ECHL’s coach of the year for the 2015-16 season. . . . The Cougars fired Matvichuk late in what was his third season as head coach. . . . The Komets’ previous head coach, Gary Graham, was fired on May 13 after going 251-130-51 in six seasons. . . . Cohn’s complete story is right here.
The Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash., the home of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans, will have a new ice plant and two large LED screens in place before another season arrives. . . . These improvements come after the lighting was revamped prior to this season. . . . Each screen will be eight feet high and 41 feet wide. . . . As Wendy Culverwell writes in the Tri-City Herald: “The ice plant and video boards were key to keeping the Americans as tenants after the WHL set the 2019-20 season as the deadline to comply with its new standards for player safety and fan amenities.” . . . When all the work is finished, the cost will be about US$4 million. . . . The Americans’ lease expires after the 2019-20 season. . . . Culverwell’s story is right here.
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The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed F Cayden Glover to a WHL contract. He was a second-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft. From Brandon, Glover had 47 goals and 19 assists in 36 games with the midget AAA Wheat Kings this season.
The MJHL’s OCN Blizzard will have two men running its bench in 2019-20. The team announced Sunday that Ryan Wood and Chris Perchaluk will be associate head coaches. Wood also will be assistant general manager, under GM Greg Hunter. . . . The Blizzard also has signed Nick Rusak as assistant coach. . . . Wood spent the past two seasons as the GM/head coach of the Kirkland Miners of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. . . . Perchaluk played two seasons with the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs and one with the Blizzard. He has been coaching minor hockey in The Pas, Man., since 2005. . . . Rusak, from Cranberry Portage, Man., has been an assistant coach with the Thompson-based bantam AAA Norman Wolves.
One of my favourite moments in 20 years covering sports. Benefit game for the rink in #MontmartreSK tonight, all proceeds being donated in Adam Herold's name. Minutes after Adam's Ice Dogs jersey was retired, his dad @RussHerold12, scores on the first shot/first shift of the game pic.twitter.com/QP6DHdf2Ff
F Ivan Roháč (Kamloops, 2006-08) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Sande (Germany, Regionalliga). Roháč last played with Humenné (Slovakia, 1. Liga) in 2015-16 when he had one assist in one game. In 2014-2015 with Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia, Extraliga), he had nine goals and 16 assists in 35 games. . . .
F Ondřej Najman (Spokane, 2016-17) a signed one-year contract extension with Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). In 31 games, he has one goal and three assists in 31 games. In eight games while on loan to Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had three goals and one assist. . . .
F Pavel Kousal (Spokane, 2016-17) signed a one-year contract extension with Mladá Boleslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He has four assists in 28 games. On loan to Slovan Ústí nad Labem (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had four goals in eight games. . . .
F Dávid Šoltés (Prince George, 2013-15) has been traded by Košice to Banská Bystrica (both Slovakia, Extraliga) for Ján Sýkora. With Košice, Šoltés had seven goals and eight assists in 31 games. . . .
D Stefan Warg (Seattle, Prince Albert, 2008-10) has been traded by Malmö to Örebro (both Sweden, SHL) for Marcus Björk. After the trade, Warg signed a contract extension through the 2021-22 season wth Örebro. With Malmö, he had six assists in 33 games. . . .
D Tomáš Slovák (Kelowna, 2001-03) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga) after requesting and receiving his release from Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Slovakia Extraliga). He had one goal and three assists in 39 games.
F Koby Morrisseau of the Regina Pats has had a second season end because of concussion-related issues. Morrisseau last played on Oct. 28 when he was injured in a game against the Swift Current Broncos. . . . John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post: “He’s symptom-free but there have just been too many times. He needs to take a break. He needs to take the risk out of the equation.” . . . In 2016-17, his freshman season in the WHL, Morrisseau, then with the Spokane Chiefs, twice was diagnosed with two concussions and didn’t play after Dec. 13. . . . Spokane had selected him with the ninth-overall pick of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Harder’s story is right here.
We are heartbroken at the passing of Nakehko Lamothe, a member of the Griffins men’s hockey team. We have lost an exceptional leader and role model, both on and off the ice. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and all those who knew him. https://t.co/R7LMwPMJyV
Nakehko Lamothe, a player with the MacEwan U Griffins, died in Calgary following a Friday night game against the SAIT Trojans. Lamothe wasn’t feeling well after the game and was taken to Foothills Hospital where he died. He was 23. . . . A cause of death hasn’t been released. . . . Lamothe, from the Bigstone Cree Nation in Alberta, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2010 bantam draft. However, he never played with the Chiefs. . . . He was in his third season with the Griffins. . . . There is more on this story right here.
A former Dauphin Kings defenceman comes home . . .
Jamie Corbett is the new general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. Corbett, from Headingley, Man., replaces Matt Summers. According to a news release from the team, “There were multiple reasons Summers couldn’t continue, among them the inability to legally work in Canada and failure to acquire basic certifications . . .” Corbett is a former assistant coach with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders, who most recently was coaching the midget AAA Interlake Lightning. . . . Summers, 32, is from Savage, Minn. He was in his first season with the Blizzard. He also played for the Blizzard (2003-06).
The host Brandon Wheat Kings scored twice in a shootout to beat the Regina Pats, 3-2. . . . Brandon (20-19-6) is two points behind the Calgary Hitmen, who hold down the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot. . . . Regina (13-33-3) had beaten the visiting Wheat Kings, 4-0, on Friday night. . . . D Kyle Walker gave Regina a 1-0 lead at 3:53 of the first period. . . . F Connor Gutenberg (11) tied it, on a PP, at 6:02. . . . F Cole Reinhardt (15) put Brandon ahead at 4:11 of the second period. . . . Walker tied it with his second goal of the game, at 16:35 of the third period. Walker’s first two goals of the season came in his 46th game of the season — 32 with Regina after 14 with the Everett Silvertips. Last season, he had one goal in 50 games with the Silvertips. . . . Brandon won it when its first two shooters — F Ben McCartney and F Stelio Mattheos — both scored. . . . G Dean McNabb stopped 26 shots for the Pats, five fewer than Brandon’s Ethan Kruger. . . . The Wheat Kings scratched G Jiri Patera, who left Friday’s game with an apparent leg injury. They didn’t list a backup goaltender.
The Swift Current Broncos erased a 4-2 third-period deficit and beat the host Saskatoon Blades, 5-4 in OT. . . . Swift Current (10-34-3) had lost its previous four games. . . . Saskatoon (29-13-7) had won three in a row. It is second in the East Division, three points ahead of the Moose Jaw Warriors, who hold three games in hand. . . . One night earlier, the Blades posted a 5-2 victory in Swift Current. . . . The Blades are 5-0-1 in the season series. . . . F Gary Haden, who scored four times on Friday, opened the scoring for Saskatoon with his 21st of the season at 0:38 of the first period. . . . F Tanner Nagel tied it at 3:27. . . . D Dawson Davidson (9), on a PP, gave the home side the lead at 19:01. . . . F Ethan O’Rourke (8) ran his goal streak to four games with the Broncos’ first shorthanded goal of the season, at 6:04 of the second period. . . . The Blades went ahead 4-2 on second-period goals from F Eric Florchuk (15), on a PP, at 9:44, and F Cyle McNabb (5), at 17:12. McNabb has four goals in six games with the Blades since being acquired from the Kootenay Ice. . . . Nagel (10) got the Broncos to within a goal, on a PP, at 15:21 of the third. . . . F Owen Blocker tied it with his third goal of the season, at 18:25. . . . The Broncos won it when F Joona Kiviniemi (12) scored with 3.4 seconds left in OT. . . . Swift Current got 48 saves out of G Riley Lamb, including 16 in the third period five in OT. . . . McNabb had one goal and two assists in 34 games with Vancouver, when the Giants dealthim to Kootenay. He had one assists in three games with the Ice when he was moved to Saskatoon. . . . The Broncos scratched D Matthew Stanley and F Carter Chorney, both of whom were ill.
Brodan Salmond (@Brods_1) made 26 saves in a 3-1 win in Medicine Hat and was the Warrior of the Game.
F Justin Almeida scored twice and added an assist to lead the Moose Jaw Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Moose Jaw (27-11-8) has points in seven straight games, as it completed its road trip at 6-0-1. It is third in the East Divison, three points behind the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Medicine Hat had points in each of its previous six games (5-0-1). It now is tied for the second in the Central Division, along with the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Almeida gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 7:46 of the first period, and F Brayden Tracey (19) made it 2-0, on a PP, at 16:45 of the second. . . . The Tigers got to within a goal at 7:35 of the third period as F Baxter Anderson (3) scored. . . . Almeida, who has 18 goals, iced it with an empty-netter at 19:06. . . . The Warriors got 26 saves from G Brodan Salmond, while Medicine Hat’s Jordan Hollett stopped 25 shots.
The host Red Deer Rebels scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Prince George Cougars, 5-1. . . . Red Deer (28-15-3) now is atop the Central Division by one point. . . . Prince George (16-26-2) has lost six in a row (0-4-2) and is four points out of a playoff spot. . . . F Arshdeep Bains (5) put Red Deer ahead at 4:23 of the first period, only to have Prince George’s Josh Curtis (8) tie it at 11:14. . . . F Brandon Hagel broke the tie at 13:12 of the second period, and F Cam Hausinger (16), who also had two assists,made it 3-1 at 18:35. . . . The Rebels put it away with third-period goals from Hagel (30) and F Brett Davis (15). . . . Hagelhas 74 points in 45 games. He is one shy of his career high in goals from 2016-17 when he scored 31 times in 65 games. . . . Hagel also had a penalty shot in the second period but was unsuccessful. . . . F Josh Maser of the Cougars sat out the second of a three-game suspension.
It looks like we scored, but the goal is reversed. Makaj had lost a skate blade, but it was not caught.
F Noah Gregor scored three times to lead the Prince Albert Raiders to a 7-3 victory over the Kootenay Ice in Cranbrook, B.C. . . . Prince Albert (41-6-2) went 4-1-1 on a road swing into B.C. It leads the overall standings by 12 points over the Everett Silvertips. . . . Kootenay (10-31-8) has lost three in a row (0-2-1). . . . Gregor, 20, has 30 goals for the first time in his WHL career. . . . This season, Gregor has 30 goals and 33 assists in 44 games. In 238 career regular-season games, he has 268 points, including 116 goals. . . . The Raiders took a quick 2-0 lead on goals from F Dante Hannoun, at 0:58, and F Parker Kelly (23), shorthanded, at 4:02. . . . F Brad Ginnell (11) pulled the Ice to within a goal at 9:32. . . . Gregor got that one back 12 seconds into the second period. . . . F Jakin Smallwood (8) scored, shorthanded, for the ice at 7:30, but the Raiders blew it open with the next four goals — with Gregor getting two, one of them shorthanded. The others came from F Spencer Moe (7), who also had two assists, and Hannoun (24), who had one assist. . . . F Connor McClennon (6) had the Ice’s last goal. . . . Kelly added three assists for his second career four-point game. . . . Interestingly, Kootenay was 0-3 on the PP and Prince Albert was 0-2, but the Raiders scored twice while shorthanded and the Ice did it once. . . . Ice F Jaeger White, 20, played in his 200th regular-season game — 68 with Lethbridge, 13 with Brandon, three with Everett, 68 with Medicine Hat and 48 with Kootenay.
The Kamloops Blazers scored two shootout goals to beat the visiting Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Kamloops (19-24-3) has won four in a row. It now is in possession of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot, but also is just one point behind the third-place Kelowna Rockets in the B.C. Division. . . . Victoria (24-20-2) is second in the B.C. Division, eight points ahead of Kelowna. . . . Should Kamloops finish third in the division, it likely would set up a first-round series with Victoria, which leads the season series, 5-1-1. . . . F Jermaine Loewen gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead at 1:15 of the first period. . . . The Royals took a 2-1 lead on goals from D Scott Walford (7), on a PP at 17:40 of the second period, and D Ralph Jarratt (4), at 0:32 of the third. . . . Loewen tied it with 45.3 seconds left in the third period, tapping in a loose puck that was in the crease after a shot by F Zane Franklin. . . . The Blazers got shootout goals from F Connor Zary and Franklin to win it. . . . Kamloops G Dylan Ferguson, who was terrific in a 3-0 victory over the visiting Spokane Chiefs on Friday, was sharp again, this time with 33 saves. . . . BTW, Friday’s shutout was the first on home ice in Ferguson’s career. . . . Victoria G Brock Gould stopped 30 shots. . . . The Blazers remain without D Luke Zazula (shutout) and D Quinn Schmiemann (concussion).
D Bowen Byram broke a 1-1 tie at 14:00 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants beat the Rockets, 2-1, in Kelowna. . . . Vancouver (31-12-2) has won eight in a row. It leads the B.C. Division by 14 points over Victoria. . . . Kelowna (19-24-4) has lost two straight. It is third in the B.C. Division, now just one point ahead of Kamloops, which has a game in hand. . . . The Giants are 4-0-0 against the Rockets this season, including 3-0-0 in Kelowna. . . . D Dallas Hines (6) gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead at 3:14 of the first period. . . . F Nolan Foote (25) got Kelowna into a tie 15 seconds into the second period. . . . Byram’s 17th goal, on a PP, stood up as the winner. . . . Vancouver G Trent Miner stopped 18 shots and earned the secondary assist on the winning goal. . . . Kelowna got 37 stops from G Roman Basran. . . . F Brayden Watts (ill) was among Vancouver’s scratches. . . . The two teams will play again today in Langley, B.C.
F Seth Jarvis scored on a penalty shot in OT to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . Portland (29-13-5) has won two in a row. It leads the season series, 5-2-0; Seattle is 2-4-1. . . . Portland is a comfortable second in the U.S. Division, nine points behind Everett and 10 in front of Tri-City and Spokane. . . . Seattle (17-22-6) has lost two straight (0-1-1) and now is one point out of a wild-card spot. . . . Both teams lost key forwards to injury. Seattle F Nolan Volcan left in the second period with an apparent arm or wrist injury, while Portland F Cody Glass was helped off the ice in the third period, unable to put any weight on his left leg. . . . The Winterhawks had taken a 2-0 lead on goals from F Lane Gilliss (10), at 16:48 of the first period, and F Robbie Fromm-Delorme (3), at 16:41 of the second. . . . Seattle tied it with two goals in the last 20 seconds of the third period, D Simon Kubicek (8) scoring at 19:40 and F Matthew Wedman (19) at 19:58. . . . Jarvis won it with his 13th goal, on a penalty shot, at 2:19 of OT. . . . According to Andy Kemper, the Winterhawks’ historian, the last Portland player to win an OT game on a penalty shot was D Caleb Jones on Dec. 27, 2015 against the Tri-City Americans. The host Winterhawks won that one, 5-4, when Jones scored at 2:19 of OT. Yes, Jarvis also scored at 2:19. . . . Portland had a 41-23 edge in shots. It was 35-11 after two periods. . . . Seattle G Cole Schwebius finished with 38 saves, 17 more than Portland’s Joel Hofer.
Portland's Seth Jarvis was tripped driving the net in OT. He was awarded a penalty shot and buried it for the win. pic.twitter.com/0EBVmO1hTc
G Beck Warm stopped 47 shots to lead the Tri-City Americans to a 3-1 victory over the Spokane Chiefs in Kennewick, Wash. . . . Tri-City (25-18-3) had lost two in a row. It moved into a tie for third with Spokane in the U.S. Division. . . . Spokane (24-17-5) has lost five in a row (0-4-1). It had been beaten 3-0 by the Blazers in Kamloops on Friday night. . . . The Chiefs got the game’s first goal, from F Adam Beckman (19), at 15:59 of the first period. . . . F Sasha Mutala (12) tied it at 6:45 of the second period, and F Riley Sawchuk (15) broke the tie at 17:09. . . . Tri-City F Kyle Olson (15) added insurance at 16:03 of the third. . . . Spokane had a 48-31 edge in shots, including 19-8 in the first period and 17-6 in the third.
The Everett Silvertips set a franchise record with six second-period goals en route to a 9-1 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Everett (35-12-2) has won two straight and now leads the U.S. Division by 11 points over Portland. . . . Lethbridge (25-14-8) had won its previous two games. The Hurricanes are tied for second in the Central Division, with Medicine and Edmonton, one point behind Red Deer. . . . Lethbridge completes its three-game U.S. tour with a game today in Portland, its third game in fewer than 48 hours. . . . The Silvertips jumped into a 5-0 lead before the second period was half over, as they got two goals from F Zack Andrusiak and singles from D Artyom Minulin (1), F Connor Dewar (31) and F Reece Vitelli (6). . . . F Justin Hall (3) scored for Lethbridge at 9:38 of the second. . . . Andrusiak, who has 34 goals, completed his sixth career hat trick — his fourth this season — at 12:47. It was his first three-goal game with Everett, which acquired him from the Seattle Thunderbirds on Jan. 1. . . . F Bryce Kindopp and D Gianni Fairbrother (7) also scored before the period ended, giving the Silvertips a franchise record for the most goals in one period. The Silvertips had scored five goals in a period on four occasions, most recently on Dec. 27, 2017, in an 11-0 victory over the Giants in Victoria. . . . Kindopp completed the scoring with his 25th goal at 0:14 of the third period. . . . Everett was 5-9 on the PP; Lethbridge was 0-3. . . . Everett tied the franchise record for most PP goals in one game. . . . Andrusiak also had an assist, for a four-point night, while Kindopp added an assist to his two goals, Dewar also had two assists as well as the goal, and D Jake Christiansen had three assists. . . . G Bryan Thomson got the start for Lethbridge, his first since being added to the roster after Liam Hughes left the Hurricanes earlier in the week. Thomson, a 16-year-old from Moose Jaw, had been playing for the midget AAA Notre Dame Hounds in Wilcox, Sask. . . . Thomson finished with 28 saves on 32 shots, with Carl Tetachuk playing most of the second period and stopping 14 of 19. . . . Everett got 25 saves from G Dustin Wolf.
According to Ice Tech. Frankie, the Fanboni has made a full recovery and is expected to return for tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/B0ixJZKjfS
F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) requested and was granted his release for personal reasons by the Blackburn Hawks (England, National). He had signed a one-year contract in June. . . . Kovář, on the Hawks’ website: “I was really looking forward to playing for the Hawks next season and moving to the Altrincham area to continue my work as (a) personal trainer. Unfortunately, due to a family illness, I will now be staying in Kazakhstan for the foreseeable future.” . . . Kovář played for Ertis Pavlodar (Kazakhstan, Kazakh Vysshaya Liga) last season, putting up five goals and eight assists in 28 games. He had played the previous four seasons in England.
The Swift Current Broncos have announced the hiring of two assistant coaches — Brandin Cote and Scott Dutertre. . . . Cote, who is from Swift Current, was the associate coach at Red Deer College last season. Prior to that, he spent one season (2016-17) as an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders and two seasons as the head coach of the midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs. He played five seasons (1997-2002) with the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Dutertre, from Dinsmore, Sask., has been an assistant coach with the U of Saskatchewan Huskies, both men’s and women’s teams, for four seasons. He also is the national skating and skills coach for Ice Hockey Australia. . . . Cote and Dutertre fill the voids created by the departures of Ryan Smith, who now is with the Medicine Hat Tigers, and Jamie Heward, who has joined the Vancouver Giants.
Bil La Forge, who is into his first year as the general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, has more than a bit of hockey in his background. And, yes, he paid his dues before signing on as the Thunderbirds’ GM. . . . Jason Gregor of oilersnation.com has more right here in a good read on La Forge and the road he travelled to get to where he is today.
The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed their two selections from the 2018 CHL import draft — Daniil Stepanov and Yegor Buyalsky, both 17-year-old forwards from Belarus. . . . Stepanov had three goals and 17 assists in 31 games with the U-18 Team Belarus. . . . Buyalsky had 19 goals and 29 assists in 49 games with the U-17 Team Belarus. He played at the 2018 Mac’s tournament in Calgary, putting up five goals and an assist in six games. . . . Both players already are in Moose Jaw as they prepare for the opening of training camp on Aug. 22. . . . The Warriors finished last season with two import defenceman — Oleg Sosunov and Dmitri Zaitsev. Neither is expected back as a 20-year-old. Sosunov will play in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization; Zaitsev signed with Melallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.
Rob Kerr has been named assistant general manager, business operations by the Calgary Hitmen. He takes over from Melissa Blades, who now is manager, business operations with lacrosse’s Calgary Roughnecks. . . . Both organizations are owned by the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which also owns the NHL’s Calgary Flames. . . . Kerr spent the past 15 years at Sportsnet and for 12 of those was an on-air host at Calgary radio station Sportsnet 960—The Fan.
Alex Dixon is the Seattle Thunderbirds’ new equipment manager, replacing Trevor Heinzerling, who left to sign on the assistant equipment manager with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. . . . Dixon spent last season as the equipment manager with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. . . . Prior to that, he was with the USA National Team Development Program for two seasons and, before that, spent two seasons with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers.
Todd Harkins has joined the West Van Hockey Academy as the director of program development and head coach of the bantam varsity side. Harkins spent the previous six seasons with the Prince George Cougars, the last four as general manager. Prior to that, he was the hockey director at the North Shore Winter Club for 12 years. . . . At the same time, the West Van academy revealed that Yashar Farmanara is leaving “operational and ownership rules” in order to pursue “interests outside of hockey.” A co-founder of the academy, he coached the Elite 15 team for the past two seasons. . . . Farmanara split five WHL seasons (2003-08) among the Seattle Thunderbirds, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers.
We in the Kamloops area have been well aware of F Jermaine Loewen of the Blazers and his startlingly good story for a few years now. But now that he has been selected by the Dallas Stars in the NHL draft, more people are being introduced to Loewen, a 20-year-old power forward with the perpetual smile. Jeff Miller of nhl.com has a piece on Loewen right here.
Mitch Topinka has signed on as an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. Last season, he was on staff with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. Doug Hedley, who was the general manager and head coach with the Blizzard last season, now fills both those roles with the Kings. . . . Topinka, who is from Whitewood, Sask., also scouted for the Blizzard while coaching a junior B team in Regina. . . . According to a Kings’ news release, Topinka was a stick boy with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks when Hedley was coaching there “in the early 2000s.”
The junior B Fernie Ghostriders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have added Jered Neufeld as an assistant coach. He spent the past two seasons as coach/assistant general manager with the Esterhazy Flyers of the Triangle Hockey League. . . . Neufeld also spent time on the coaching staff of the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s Red Deer Vipers. . . . Neufeld now is the general manager of Legacy Ford Fernie.
I honestly can’t make this up it I tried, me, my girlfriend and buddy wearing a Sens hat we’re driving thru Tim’s last night in Orillia.. buddy in a lifted white truck behind us in line notices my friends Sens hat, gets out of his truck in the drive thru while we’re waiting (1/2)
F Marek Viedenský (Prince George, Saskatoon, 2008-11) signed a one-year contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had 11 goals and 10 assists in 42 games with Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL). . . .
F David Rutherford (Vancouver, Spokane, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract extension with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). Last season, he had 17 goals and 23 assists in 31 games. . . .
F Jamie Crooks (Saskatoon, Chilliwack/Victoria, 2008-13) signed a one-year contract with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). Last season, he had 16 goals and nine assists in 28 games with the University of Alberta (Canada West, USports).
If you are here looking for coverage of the Summer Showcase, I’m sorry but . . .
It’s July, and soon to be August. The temperature in B.C.’s Interior is sizzling . . .
Teenage hockey players should be waterskiing, fishing, golfing, playing beach volleyball . . . anything but playing hockey, especially with their junior teams about three weeks away from opening training camps . . .
I’m retired and there is no way that I am going to spend part of my summer in an arena watching hockey. Not when I don’t have to . . . not a chance.
So if you’re looking for Summer Showcase coverage, I’m sorry, but you’re in the wrong neighbourhood.
The Swift Current Broncos have acquired F Ethan O’Rourke, 19, and a third-round selection in the WHL’s 2020 bantam draft from the Everett Silvertips in exchange for D Sahvan Khaira, 20. . . . O’Rourke split last season between the Prince George Cougars and Everett, totalling six goals and 12 assists in 66 games. He was a third-round pick by the Cougars in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . The 6-foot-4 Khaira has played four WHL seasons after being selected by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the ninth round of the 2013 bantam draft. In 77 games with Seattle over two seasons, he had one goal and six assists. . . . In 168 regular-season games with the Broncos, he totalled eight goals and 42 assists. . . . Last season, he had career bests in goals (6), assists (20) and points. He added two goals and five assists in 26 games as the Broncos won the WHL title. . . . Khaira’s older brother, Jujhar, played one season (2013-14) with Everett and now is with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Sahvan has attended NHL camps with the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton. . . . The Broncos’ then-braintrust emptied the cupboard last season in building the championship team, so the acquisition of draft picks is important these days.
The Silvertips now have two 20-year-olds on their roster — Khaira and F Sean Richards. . . . F Spencer Gerth, 20, also had been on Everett’s roster but has chosen to leave the WHL and attend Trinity Western U in his hometown of Langley, B.C., and play for the Spartans. . . .
The Broncos still have six 20-year-olds on their roster — F Kaden Elder, F Andrew Fyten, F Kole Gable, Russian D Artyom Minulin, F Tanner Nagel and D Ryan Pouliot, who was claimed on waivers from the Kootenay Ice last week.
Meanwhile, the Broncos also announced that they have signed D Roope Pynnonen, who is from Finland and was one of their two selections in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. . . . Pynnonen, 17, had two assists in 16 games with HPK’s U-18 team last season. . . . Last week, the Broncos signed their other 2018 import draft selection, Finnish F Joona Kiviniemi. . . . Swift Current also has Minulin on its roster. Minulin, 20, would count as a two-spotter should he return.
The Prince Albert Raiders have signed Belarusian F Alexei Protas, their only selection in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. Protas, 17, and the Raiders other import, D Sergei Sapego, are from Vitebsk, Belarus. . . . Last season, Protas had nine goals and 11 assists in 48 games with the U-17 Team Belarus. . . . Sapego, who will turn 19 on Oct. 9, will be returning for a second WHL season, after being acquired from the Tri-City Americans early last season. He had two assists in three games with the Americans, then put up four goals and 13 assists in 41 games with the Raiders. Injuries limited his playing time with the Raiders, who obviously are hoping he is in for a healthy season. . . . Trevor Redden of paNOW.com has more right here.
Excited to be joining the @MJWARRIORS scouting staff for the upcoming season. I am thankful for this great opportunity as well as the support of my family and friends in the hockey community that made it possible.
As you can see by the above tweet, Zenon Herasymiuk now is working for the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . He had been with the Kootenay Ice, but they split in May.
Matt Summers is the new head coach of the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. Summers, who is from Savage, Minn., played three seasons (2003-06) with the Blizzard. He spent last season in Bay City, Mich., as head coach of the Tri City Ice Hawks, who play in the Premier Division of the U.S. Premier Hockey League. . . . With the Blizzard, Summers takes over from Doug Hedley, who left after last season and now is the GM/head coach of the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings.
Darren Reid has joined the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder as an assistant coach. Reid, 35, played two-plus seasons (2001-04) with the Medicine Hat Tigers before going on to a pro career that included 21 games in the NHL and 259 in the AHL. . . . Before joining the Tigers, he played three seasons with the Thunder, helping them to the 2002 AJHL championship. . . . In Drayton Valley, he will work alongside GM/head coach Eric Thurston.
WHL schedule matrix for 2018-2019. Read across for home games, read down for away games. Division games are color-filled: Red-East, Yellow-Central, Blue-BC, Green-US. (Previous version was missing a colored square.) pic.twitter.com/oUFcxraTb6