WHL to restrict trading of youngest players . . . Royals, Pats make deal . . . Pedersen service set for Friday


MacBeth

F Brock Montgomery (Kootenay, 2009-13) signed a one-year extension with the Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands, Germany Oberliga Nord). Last season, he had 26 goals and 25 assists in 40 games. He led the league in PIM, with 134. . . .

D Richard Nedomlel (Swift Current, 2010-13) signed a tryout contract with Hradec Králové (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had two assists in 34 games with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He also was pointless in four games while on loan to Mladá Bloeslav (Czech Republic, Extraliga). . . .

F Peter Quenneville (Brandon, 2013-15) signed a one-year contract with Sparta Sarpsborg (Norway, GET-Ligaen). Last season, he had two goals and an assist in 13 games with Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga); three goals and one assist in nine games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga); and six goals and four assists in 12 games with the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). . . .

F Dylan Hood (Kelowna, Moose Jaw, 2006-11) signed a one-year contract with Cergy (France, Division 1). Last season, he had five goals and three assists in 13 games with the Huntsville Havoc (SPHL).


ThisThat

Taking Note has been told that the WHL has acted in an attempt to put a halt to the number of young players who get traded within the league.

The move is a reaction to the number of deals that were made in the period leading up to last season’s Jan. 10 trade deadline.

To refresh your memory, from Nov. 13 through Jan. 10, the WHL’s 22 teams combined to whlmake 58 trades that involved 110 players, 77 bantam draft picks and 12 conditional bantam draft picks. (I started counting on Nov. 13 because that was when the Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, made the first big deal, acquiring D Cale Fleury from the Kootenay Ice.)

You may recall that many observers commented in the deadline’s aftermath.

There obviously was concern at the league level. In May, WHL commissioner Ron Robison told Brandon Rivers of dubnetwork.ca:

“We are looking at that very seriously. We were concerned about the level of trade activity this year. We will be coming out soon with a decision. We want to make sure that these players are not concerned about that at that age and we are focusing on restricting moving players at a younger age.”

Taking Note has been told that the league has decided that its teams won’t be allowed to trade any 15- or 16-year-old players who have signed WHL contracts. On top of that, the only time the trading of a 17-year-old player will be allowed is if that player has requested a trade.

The 17-year-old player will have had to approach the team’s general manager to ask for a trade; a team won’t be able to make the first move, asking said player to waive his no-trade clause. Taking Note was told that the WHL will approach a 17-year-old player’s parents to make sure the procedure was followed.

“It’s going to be interesting to see teams that have top-end players to sell . . . when they can’t get another team’s stud prospects or 16-year-olds,” one WHL insider told Taking Note. “All you’ll be able to trade for really is (bantam draft) picks and unsigned players.”

Had these rules been in place prior to the Jan. 10 deadline, you have to wonder if the Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes would have combined on perhaps the biggest deal of the season.

In that one, the Hurricanes landed F Logan Barlage, F Owen Blocker, D Matthew Stanley, G Logan Flodell, a 2020 first-round bantam draft pick, a third-rounder in 2020 and a conditional second-rounder in 2021, with the Broncos getting F Giorgio Estephan, F Tanner Nagel and G Stuart Skinner.

Barlage was the key component from Lethbridge’s perspective, but he was 16 years of age. Blocker, meanwhile, was 17.

How much might something like this change the face of the WHL? Well, if that Lethbridge-Swift Current trade isn’t made, do the Broncos win the Memorial Cup? At the very least, it’s food for thought.

Up until now, there always have been teams wanting to trade short-term players — rentals, if you will — to teams that are going all-in, and take back young prospects in return. Now, it seems, they won’t be able to make those moves.

Under these new rules it will be interesting to see how those teams who become “sellers” at the deadline choose to go through the rebuilding process.

For example, the Regina Pats spurred a rebuild by acquiring F Jake Leschyshyn, then 15, from the Red Deer Rebels on Jan. 5, 2015, and F Nick Henry, then 17, from the Everett Silvertips at the 2016 bantam draft. Under these new rules, the Pats would have been able to deal for Henry, who hadn’t signed with Everett, but couldn’t have had Leschyshyn, who had signed with the Rebels.

This means, of course, that a team’s bantam draft picks will take on added significance, meaning there will be more pressure on the scouting staffs to make the right selections.

As one WHL scout told Taking Note on Tuesday: “Good . . . make us more accountable.”


The Victoria Royals have acquired F Tanner Sidaway, 19, from the Regina Pats for an VictoriaRoyalseighth-round selection in the 2019 WHL bantam draft. . . . Sidaway, who is from Victoria, split last season between the Kootenay Ice and Regina. He had a goal and an assist in five games with Kootenay, then recorded three assists in 58 games with the Pats. In 2016-17, he had two goals and six assists in 65 games with the Ice. An undrafted player, he originally was listed by the Red Deer Rebels. . . . On Jan. 3, 2016, the Ice acquired Sidaway, F Presten Kopeck, 20, D Ryan Pouliot, 17, and second- and third-round picks in the 2016 bantam draft from Red Deer for F Luke Philp, 20. . . . On Oct. 10, the Ice dealt Sidaway and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft to Regina for F Jeff de Wit, 19.



Jim Pedersen, a long-time hockey scout, died on Saturday. He was 81. . . . “He was always very helpful, even though he worked for a different team,” Ross Mahoney, the Washington Capitals’ Regina-based assistant general manager told the Regina Leader-Post. “I know he was an extremely hard worker because every time I went to a game, there was Jim Pedersen. I thought that maybe there were four or five Jim Pedersens, but there was only one.” . . . A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, 2 p.m., at the Memorial Centre in Milestone, Sask. . . . The Leader-Post’s story is right here.



Tweetoftheday

Broncos sign 2016 first-rounder … Honour for Ice’s new logo … Ex-WHL coach out in Nanaimo shakeup

MacBeth

F Kris Foucault (Swift Current, Kootenay, Calgary, 2006-11) has signed a one-year extension with the Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). In 32 games, he has 16 goals and 13 assists, and he leads the team in goals and points. He is tied for third in the league in goals. . . .

F Zdeněk Bahenský (Saskatoon, 2004-06) has been released by Sterzing/Vipiteno (Italy, Alps HL) by mutual agreement due to a shoulder injury suffered on Dec. 16. He had seven goals and 13 assists in 23 games. He is expected to return to Prague for treatment. . . .

F Peter Quenneville (Brandon, 2013-15) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Aalborg Pirates (Denmark, Metal Ligaen). He played for Aalborg last season, putting up 30 goals and 19 assists in 45 games. He led the league in goals and was fourth in the points race. . . . This season, with Dynamo Pardubice (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had two goals and an assist in 12 games, and he had three goals and an assist in nine games with SaiPa Lappeenranta (Finland, Liiga). He was released from a tryout contract with SaiPa on Dec. 12.


A LITTLE OF THIS . . . SOME OF THAT . . .

The Swift Current Broncos have signed D Jacson Alexander, 16, who was one of their two first-round selections in the WHL’s 2016 bantam draft. Alexander, from Victoria, was taken with the 16th overall pick.

Alexander, who will turn 17 on Feb. 1, was in his first season with the BCHL’s Victoria SCBroncosGrizzlies — he put up three goals and seven assists in 29 games — but will join the Broncos after Christmas.

He committed to the U of Denver on Dec. 7, 2016, for the 2019-20 season, while playing for the Shawnigan Lake, B.C., School prep team in the CSSHL.

This season, the 5-foot-10 Alexander also played for Hockey Canada’s Team Black at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge last month in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C. He had one assist in five games.

Alexander could make his WHL debut on Dec. 27 when the Broncos return to play against the visiting Moose Jaw Warriors.

Alexander’s arrival will give the Broncos seven defencemen and may take some of the pressure off Manny Viveiros, the director of player personnel and head coach, with the trade deadline approaching on Jan. 10. Observers were watching closely to see if Viveiros would go to the marketplace to land a seventh defenceman, something that may not be necessary now.

BTW, in that 2016 bantam draft, the Broncos used the fourth overall selection to take F Logan Barlage, who was playing for the bantam AA Humboldt, Sask., Broncos. This season, the 6-foot-4 Barlage, a freshman, has a goal and six assists in 30 games with the Broncos.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have the WHL rights to the only unsigned first-round selection from the 2017 bantam draft. They took D Joel Sexsmith of Edmonton with the ninth overall pick. He now is playing at the Edge School in Calgary.

Meanwhile, F Massimo Rizzo now is the lone first-round selection from the 2016 bantam draft not to have committed to the WHL.

The Kamloops Blazers selected Rizzo with the 15th overall pick, but he chose to sign with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees.

From Burnaby, B.C., Rizzo has six goals and 11 assists in 28 games with the Vees this season. He had a goal and three assists in five games as a teammate of Alexander’s on Team Black at the U-17 WHC.

Rizzo has yet to make an NCAA commitment, nor has he told the Blazers that he definitely won’t sign with them at some point.


If you enter your email address over there on the right you will be notified each time I post something new on this site.

I haven’t yet been able to get a DONATE button posted here. But if you care to help the cause, please visit the old site (takingnote.ca), click on the DONATE button and do it there. Thank you.


When it comes to sports logos, Chris Creamer is the man. You are able to find him at sportslogos.net, or on Twitter at @sportslogosnet.

On Friday, he announced the 2017 Creamer Award winners for best new sports logos.

KootenaynewThe 14-person judging panel considered logos that “made their in-game debut in 2017.”

The WHL’s Kootenay Ice placed third in the Primary Logo of the Year Award, behind baseball’s Memphis Redbirds and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

Of the Ice’s new logo, which is pictured on the left, Creamer wrote: “Love the hidden ICE in this logo, designed by Bill Frederick’s team at Fanbrandz, who gave this junior hockey team the identity update it so desperately needed. Well done!”

The top 50 in that category and whole lot more, including a mention of the Brandon Wheat Kings’ 50th anniversary logo, can be found right here.


Less than a week after staging a father/son trip with his BCHL team, Mike Vandekamp is out of work.

Wes Mussio, a Vancouver-based lawyer who is the majority owner of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers, revealed on Thursday, at 11:43 p.m., via Twitter that he had fired Vandekamp, the team’s general manager and head coach, “due to irreconcilable differences with the management team.”

Vandekamp’s contract would have expired at season’s end.

Late Friday night, the Clippers’ website continued to list Dustin Donaghy as the team’s

Clippers
On Nov. 10, Penny and Wes Mussio (second and third from left) were introduced as the new majority owners of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers. Darren Naylor (left) was named director of hockey operations, while team president David LeNeveu (fourth from left) retained five per cent. Mike Vandekamp (far right), then the general manager and head coach, was fired Thursday night and replaced by Naylor. (Photo: Greg Sakaki/Nanaimo News Bulletin)

head coach. However, a BCHL insider told Taking Note that Donaghy had been “fired by the Clippers.” Donaghy, from Cranbrook, played three seasons in the WHL (Spokane, Lethbridge, 2007-10).

Darren Naylor, who was part of that management team as the director of hockey operations, is the new GM and head coach.

Mussio and his wife, Penny, purchased 95 per cent of the Clippers last month and installed Naylor as director of hockey ops. Naylor also has been working as GM/head coach of the junior B Delta Ice Hawks, who are 26-2-1 in the Pacific Junior Hockey League. Mussio had been the majority owner of the Ice Hawks but is believed to have sold his shares when he purchased the Clippers.

On Friday, Mussio told Greg Sakaki of the Nanaimo News Bulletin that he and Naylor were tired of butting heads with Vandekamp. (Sakaki’s complete story is right here.)

“The previous owner gave Mike a carte-blanche ability to do anything he wants and I wanted some input and I wanted Darren Naylor to have some input and sadly that didn’t seem like something Mr. Vandekamp was prepared to accept,” Mussio told Sakaki.

Mussio added: “We brought in a few key players and they were hit with resistance and we also tried to bring on some (affiliate players) and that was hit with resistance. So in order to move forward to the next (season), we need to have a look at players and recruit. Without any support from the coach, it’s pretty hard to do.”

Mussio also told Sakaki that Vandekamp had been given until Dec. 22 to commit to the new situation.

“He didn’t think it was in his personality . . . to do so, so that the end of it,” Mussio said.

Vandekamp, who has yet to comment, is a veteran junior coach who was in his seventh season with the Clippers. This season, the Clippers are 18-13-3-2 (that’s two ties), leaving them one point behind the Powell River Kings (18-10-3-3), who lead the BCHL’s Island Division.

The Clippers’ next game is Dec. 29 when they are scheduled to visit Powell River.

Vandekamp’s resume includes a season and a half as head coach of the WHL’s Prince George Cougars. In the BCHL, he also has worked with the Merritt Centennials and Vernon Vipers. He joined the Clippers after four seasons with the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm.

As for the father/son trip . . . the Clippers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters, 7-2, on Friday, then got past the Penticton Vees, 4-2, on Saturday. Nanaimo ended the trip by dropping a 4-2 decision to the Merritt Centennials on Sunday afternoon.

Dominic Abassi is the news director for Island Radio and @NanaimoNewsNOW.


It was rather interesting on Friday when F Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who has missed his NHL team’s past six games, discussed with reporters why he has been out of the lineup.

Matthews practised for the first time in almost two weeks and later talked about having symptoms of a concussion after colliding with Toronto D Morgan Reilly during a game against the host Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 9.

While Matthews didn’t go into great detail on the symptoms, he did say that he “went MapleLeafsthrough all that return to play, and all the protocols and everything and obviously, you know, they take it pretty seriously and they deemed me out so I went through all that stuff and I feel great now.”

Toronto next is scheduled to play today (Saturday) in New York against the Rangers, but it’s not yet known if Matthews will play.

Matthews’ conversation with reporters on Friday just may be another sign that NHL teams are loosening up when it comes to detailing injuries.

A couple of weeks ago, head coach Ken Hitchcock of the Dallas Stars explained why he no longer plays the “upper-body or lower-body” game.

“I think we collectively hate playing that game,” said Hitchcock, who posted his 800th victory as an NHL head coach on Thursday. “What I mean by that is we say upper-body, then you go on the phone, and then you look up things or you go to the doctors, find out what part of the upper body . . . We try to make your work easier, quite frankly, and so we just don’t like going through the dance.

“It’s easy to tell you what it is and let’s move forward. It’s just the whole game. It’s an injury and within two hours after we tell you it’s upper-body you know exactly what it is, so why not just tell you? And the players don’t go out and say: ‘He has a broken left pinkie and we’re going to go after that pinkie.’ Nobody thinks like that.

“Our feeling is just tell them what the injury is and move it forward and let’s stop the dance.”

But, then again, it could be that the Toronto braintrust wasn’t at all pleased with the way Matthews handled things on Friday. David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail takes a look at the situation right here.


Scoreboard

Dec. 18-Dec. 26:

No Games Scheduled.


Tweet of the day