Report: CHL teams getting medical protocols . . . Liability huge factor in college football decisions . . . SJHL bumps openers back

Turnsignals


Rick Westhead of TSN posted a series of seven tweets on Tuesday afternoon, all of them relating to major junior hockey. Here they are, in text form and separated by dashes . . .

Major junior hockey teams are beginning to receive details of medical protocols for 2020-21 season. (If it happens.)

Some curious terms.

Players coming into Canada must quarantine for 14 days in billet home.

(What’s the point if a player’s billet family isn’t quarantining?)

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Players, team staff will have daily temperature tests upon arrival at rink.  If temp is over 38 degrees, Covid test will be required.

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After games, meetings with people external to the team must be scheduled in accordance with public health regulations. Visits with family will require social distancing.

(Consequences for breaching this rule are not detailed.)

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Body checking, fighting during games are not banned. This will allow players to develop and aspire to pro hockey in addition to offering “a quality show.”

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Teams are being discouraged from eating in restaurants and in case of buffet meals, a person must be designated to serve the food. Teams must be given a private room, or else take food to individual rooms.

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Carpooling allowed. Players/staff must wear masks and there is a limit of 4 people/car. No consuming food/drinks in the vehicles.

On team buses, players and coaches are to receive assigned seats. These must remain same through season & masks on board the buses are mandatory.

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Caveat: There are 3 different major junior leagues in jurisdictions w different levels of Covid infection & the 3 may have different rules.

Also important to note it’s August.

I’d expect these medical protocols will be amended many times by time teams hope to have players report.


I find it interesting that no one in major junior hockey has mentioned the issue of liability, although you have to think there has been discussion on that subject behind closed doors or on Zoom calls or however the pooh-bahs are meeting these days.

ESPN has reported that myocarditis appears to be one of the potential after-effects of COVID-19 and that it is turning up in young, previous healthy athletes.

Two of the NCAA’s five major football conferences postponed their fall seasons on Tuesday and it’s apparent that liability concerns played a major role in the decisions.

The Big Ten and the Pac-12 — two of the Power Five conferences — cancelled their fall athletic seasons, including football.

The ACC, Big 12 and SEC say they are still planning on holding fall football seasons. At least, that was the word as of Tuesday afternoon.

After the Pac-12 decision was announced, Michael Schill, the U of Oregon’s president, told a webinar that “we are science-based, we’re academics. We look at facts, not opinions.”

Paula Lavigne and Mark Schlabach of ESPN reported on Monday that “myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, has been found in at least five Big Ten Conference athletes and among several other athletes in other conferences, according to two sources with knowledge of athletes’ medical care.

“The condition is usually caused by a viral infection, including those that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza or mononucleosis. Left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause heart damage and sudden cardiac arrest, which can be fatal. It is a rare condition, but the COVID-19 virus has been linked with myocarditis with a higher frequency than other viruses, based on limited studies and anecdotal evidence since the start of the pandemic.”

On Tuesday, DeArbea Walker of Deadspin wrote:

“If myocarditis is left undiagnosed or untreated it can lead to cardiac arrest. Heart issues connected to coronavirus have turned up in at least 50 percent of all cases in the U.S. and in 80 percent of hospitalized patients. Twenty-seven year-old Boston Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez was shut down last week after testing positive for COVID-19 and receiving a myocarditis diagnosis that has pushed his MLB future into question.”

The decisions to postpone football seasons are likely to have huge impacts on campuses across the U.S. It is hard to imagine how much money this will cost schools, but football programs at a lot of these places fund so many other sports.

Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that there are other sports than football getting hurt,“but it is mostly focused on football, because football is the revenue driver. The donor magnate, the alpha sport. The financial ramifications of one year without football are going to be enormous.”

On Monday, the Mountain West Conference postponed all fall sports including football. It, too, is considering a spring football season. The conference had announced just eight days earlier that its football teams would play an eight-game schedule starting on Sept. 26.\

Earlier this month, the Mid-American Conference cancelled its fall football season. It was the first FBS conference to pull the plug.


Parrot


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

When the Big Ten announced the postponement of fall sports on Tuesday, its news release didn’t mention hockey. . . . Later in the day, Chris Dilks (@ChrisDilks) tweeted that the U of Michigan had “suspended practices for all sports, including hockey.” . . . No NCAA schools have made a decision on their hockey season, with some observers feeling that is five or six weeks away. . . .

Anthony Lynn, the head coach of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, has said that he tested positive. Lynn made the revelation on the HBO show Hard Knocks. Lynn, who indicated that he had symptoms, didn’t say when he tested positive, but he has recovered. . . .

Trini Lopez, who took If I Had a Hammer to the top of the charts in 1963, died from COVID-19 on Tuesday. He was 83. . . . Lopez also was in the movie The Dirty Dozen. . . . Rolling Stone has more right here. . . .

Curling’s 2020 Canada Cup has been postponed indefinitely. It was to have been held in Fredericton, Nov. 24-29. Curling Canada hopes to hold it early in 2021 as it is a qualifier for the 2021 Roar of the Rings Olympics trials. . . . At the same time, Curling Canada has cancelled the Canadian Mixed, which was set for Canmore, Alta., Nov. 7-15, and the Canadian Curling Club Championships (Ottawa, Nov. 22-28).


The Alberta-based Heritage Junior B Hockey League is hoping to start its 24-game season on Oct. 28. It includes teams in Airdrie, Olds, Ponoka, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler and Sylvan Lake in the Northern Division, with a Southern Division comprising teams in Coaldale, Cochrane, High River, Lomond, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, Standoff and Strathmore. . . .

There were reports Tuesday afternoon that the SJHL has pushed back its opening date. It had said that it hoped to open on Sept. 25. . . . Clark Stork, the play-by-play voice of the Nipawin Hawks, tweeted that the league had sent an email to teams “saying the start date of the season has been pushed back by two weeks.” . . . That would take it to Oct. 9.


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604.875.5182 or 1.855.875.5182

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

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Or, for more information, visit right here.


The SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds have promoted Brett Pilkington from assistant coach to Houndsgeneral manager and head coach. He takes over from Phil Roy, who has moved on to the QMJHL’s Shawinigan Cataractes as an assistant coach. . . . Pilkington, 36, is from Calgary. He was a second-round selection by the Saskatoon Blades in the WHL’s 1999 bantam draft, but chose to go the NCAA route and played four seasons at Bowling Green. . . . Last season was his first with the Hounds. . . . Roy, who is from St. Leonard, Que., spent two seasons with the Hounds.



Ralph Klassen, who played five seasons (1970-75) with the Saskatoon Blades, died on Aug. 3 after a battle with cancer. He was 64. . . . Klassen, a rugged two-way player from Humboldt, put up 275 points, including 194 assists, in 300 regular-season games with Saskatoon. He added 45 points, 11 of them goals, in 50 playoff games. . . . He won silver with Canada’s national junior team in 1975. . . . The California Golden Seals selected him with the third pick of the NHL’s 1975 draft. He went on to score 52 goals and add 93 assists in 497 regular-season games, split among the Golden Seals, Cleveland Barons, Colorado Rockets and St. Louis Blues. He retired in November 1983. . . . There is a complete obituary right here.


Ship

Three players hospitalized with burns after something goes wrong . . . Giants need head coach . . . Wheaties mourn death of Borotsik

MacBeth

F Roman Horák (Chilliwack, 2009-11) signed a one-year contract with the Växjö Lakers (Sweden, SHL). Last season, with Vityaz Podolsk (Russia, KHL), he had 10 goals and 16 assists in 54 games, while averaging 19:13 TOI per game. . . .

F Levi Nelson (Swift Current, 2004-08) announced his retirement through an interview in The Sheffield Star. Last season, with the Sheffield Steelers (England, UK Elite), he had 16 goals and 26 assists in 55 games.


ThisThat

Two members of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and a former teammate are being treated in hospital for burns received on Saturday night.

Matt Alfaro, Jordy Bellerive and Ryan Vandervlis were injured when something went awry involving a bonfire.

Lisa MacGregor of Global News reported that “sources tell Global News they were hurt in a fire in Calgary . . . and one of the players is in critical condition.”

According to a news release issued late Saturday by the Hurricanes:

“All three players are currently being treated in hospital for various injuries sustained in the incident. . . . The Hurricanes’ focus and priority is on the health of the players injured and will have no further comments at this time. More information will be provided as it becomes available.”

Alfaro, from Calgary, was acquired by the Hurricanes from the Kootenay Ice during the 2016-17 season. He completed his junior eligibility by scoring 12 goals and adding nine assists in 20 games with the Hurricanes. In 263 regular-season games, 243 of them with the Ice, he had 62 goals and 93 assists. Last season, he had three goals and nine assists in 26 games with the U of Calgary Dinos.

Bellerive, a 19-year-old from North Vancouver, B.C., is the Hurricanes’ captain. Last season, he had 46 goals and 46 assists in 71 games, and was named to the Eastern Conference’s second all-star team. In 206 regular-season games, he has 84 goals and 100 assists.

Bellerive, who wasn’t selected in an NHL draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract with Pittsburgh after attending training camp with the Penguins prior to last season.

Vandervlis, 20, is from Red Deer. In 162 regular-season games, all with the Hurricanes, he has 30 goals and 37 assists. Last season, he was limited by injuries to 19 games, and he finished with 11 goals and eight assists. He underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in early December and was hoping to be completely for his final junior season.


The Vancouver Giants fired head coach Jason McKee on Friday, making the announcement in a late-day three-paragraph news release.

McKee spent two seasons with the Giants, missing the playoffs in 2016-17, with a 20-46-6 record, and making the playoffs in 2017-18, at 36-27-9, good for third in the B.C. Division, Vancouver12 points behind the Kelowna Rockets and three behind the Victoria Royals. The Giants lost a seven-game series to the Royals in the first round of the playoffs.

Barclay Parneta, who is into his first year as the Giants’ general manager, pulled the trigger on McKee, who had one year left on his contract.

According to Steve Ewen of Postmedia, Parneta said: “For me, I’d like someone I’m more familiar with. I don’t want to be starting a (season) with someone I’m just getting to know.”

A couple of free-agent coaches with whom Parneta has at least some familiarity are Serge Lajoie and Brian Pellerin.

Lajoie just finished a three-year stint as head coach of the U of Alberta Golden Bears, guiding them to the 2017-18 Canadian championship. He took over the Golden Bears when Ian Herbers took a sabbatical to work as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. They chose to release Herbers after last season, and he has returned to the Golden Bears.

Parneta was the Tri-City Americans’ assistant general manager before signing with the Giants. The Americans selected Lajoie’s son, Marc, a defenceman, in the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft and also signed him, all on Parneta’s watch.

Pellerin, who played four seasons (1987-91) with the Prince Albert Raiders, has been the associate coach with the Americans for four seasons. He also spent four seasons (2004-08) as an assistant coach with the Portland Winterhawks.

In between Portland and Tri-City, he coach with the Central league’s Amarillo Gorillas, the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage and the Okanagan Hockey Academy.

The Giants join the Kamloops Blazers, Edmonton Oil Kings and Swift Current Broncos as teams in search of a head coach.

You would think McKee, 39, would be of interest to the Oil Kings. From Lloydminster, Alta., he spent 10 seasons with the AJHL’s Spruce Grove Saints, the last six as general manager and head coach, before joining the Giants. Under McKee, the Saints won three AJHL titles in six seasons and he twice was the league’s coach of the year

The Oil Kings are looking for a head coach after firing head coach Steve Hamilton after four seasons on May 29. Hamilton had been an assistant coach for four seasons before moving up to head coach.

Of course, the Oil Kings also need a general manager, having parted company with Randy Hansch at the same time.

Ewen’s complete piece on McKee’s firing by the Giants is right here.


Jack Borotsik, who played two season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, died on June 8 at BrandonWKregularthe Brandon Regional Health Centre. He was 68. . . . Borotsik, who was from Brandon, played two seasons (1967-69) with the Wheat Kings when the WHL was the Western Canada Hockey League. He totalled 60 goals and 98 assists in 119 regular-season games. He got into one NHL game, that with the St. Louis Blues in 1974-75. . . . The family has asked that donations in his memory be made to a charity of one’s own choice. . . . In November 2016, Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun featured Borotsik in one of his stories on past Wheat Kings. That story is right here.


Myles Cathcart has resigned as general manager of the MJHL’s Neepawa Natives. Cathcart, who had been in the position for seven seasons, left after the organization decided to charge each of its players a “travel fee” of $267 per month. “It’s just my philosophical view that junior hockey should be different than AAA (midget),” Cathcart told Perry Bergson of the Brandon Sun. “I’m not mad, I just decided that it would be a good time for somebody to put their stamp on whatever they wanted to do. I’m not leaving on bad terms, I just didn’t want to do it.” . . . Bergson’s complete story is right here.


TheCoachingGame

Phil Roy is the new general manager and head coach of the junior A Notre Dame Hounds, an SJHL team that plays out of Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask. . . . Roy had been an assistant coach with the Clarkson U Golden Knights since 2011. From St. Leonard, Que., Roy takes over from Clint Mylymok, who resigned in order to sign on as GM/head coach of the NAHL’s Maryland Blackbears, an expansion team. Mylymok had been with the Hounds for four seasons.


The junior B 100 Mile House Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have signed Dale Hladun, their general manager and head coach, to a three-year extension. Hladun is preparing for his fourth season with the Wranglers. Under Hladun, the Wranglers won the 2015-16 KIJHL championship, as well as the Cyclone Taylor Cup and the Keystone Cup.