Saskatchewan curling teams will be staying home . . . Pats make front-office hire . . . SPHL has five teams opt out


The Ministry of Health for Saskatchewan informed curlers on Tuesday that their travel will be limited this year. “We just received word that our teams are not able to travel outside of Saskatchewan this year,” Ashley Howard, the executive director of CurlSask, told Claire Hanna of CTV News Regina. At the same time, Hanna reported that “teams from outside the province won’t be allowed to come to Saskatchewan for competition.” . . . You are free to wonder what that means, if anything, for the WHL, which includes an East Division comprising four Saskatchewan teams and two from Manitoba. The Swift Current Broncos, a fifth Saskatchewan team, play in the Central Division with five teams from Alberta.


The Regina Pats have hired Evan Daum as their director of media and Patscommunications, a spot that had been filled by Phil Andrews before he announced his resignation. Daum, who is to start work in Regina on Nov. 2, also will handle play-by-play and social media. He has been working as the associate director of communications and marketing with Canada West, which oversees university sports in Western Canada. . . . His father, Rob, is a former WHL coach, having worked with the Prince Albert Raiders, Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes (1989-95). He has spent the past nine seasons coaching in Europe.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

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Mikael Lalancette of TVA Sports reported Tuesday that the public health investigation involving the QMJHL’s Blainville-Boisbriand Armada isn’t complete but “there is said to more than one case of COVID-19 in the locker room. . . . It is unlikely that the team will resume operations soon.” . . . The Armada shut things down on Monday after reporting that one player had tested positive. . . . The Armada played a weekend doubleheader against the Sherbrook Phoenix, who also have been shut down pending testing.

The NHL, which had been looking to start its 2020-21 regular season on Dec. 1, now has adjusted that to Jan. 1. The NHL and NHLPA said Tuesday that dates for training camps will be announced in the future. . . . The NHL’s 2019-20 season ended on Sept. 28 with the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup in the Edmonton bubble. . . .

Steve Yzerman, the Detroit Red Wings’ executive vice-president and general manager, is taking part in the NHL draft from a remote location rather than with team staff. The team explained that he recently was exposed to someone who tested positive. Yzerman has tested negative repeatedly but decided to handle the draft virtually as a precaution. . . .

D Matt Niskanen has retired, leaving the Philadelphia Flyers despite having one year and US$5.75 million left on his contract. It seems that Niskanen, 33, simply grew tired off all the uncertainty involved in hockey these days. . . . Neil Sheehy, his agent, told Ken Campbell of The Hockey News: “He told me he didn’t want to go through it again. He mentioned COVID to me. I don’t think he wanted to get ready for another season by Nov. 15 and then have to go into isolation and be away from his two kids and his wife. I think he always (wanted to) finish his contract and then stop, but I think because of COVID and his experience of the bubble, he decided now is the time. He basically said, ‘With COVID, I just don’t want to do it. I don’t want to prepare anymore.’ ” . . . Niskanen and his family live in northern Minnesota, which is where he grew up. . . . Campbell’s piece is right here. . . .

The Southern Professional Hockey League is planning to open a 42-game regular-season schedule on Dec. 26, but it only has five teams left after five decided not to play in 2020-21. . . . The Birmingham Bulls, Huntsville Havoc, Knoxville Ice Bears, Macon Mayhem and Pensacola Ice Flyers are planning to play, but the Evansville Thunderbolts, Fayetteville Marksmen, Peoria Rivermen, Quad City Storm and Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs have opted out. . . . According to an SPHL news release, the latter five teams are out “due to state and local restrictions related to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic that limit their ability to host spectators and the projected economic impacts.” . . .

Arsenal of soccer’s Premier League has fired its dinosaur mascot, Gunnersaurus, as it works to cut costs because of a shortage of revenue due to not having fans at home games. Arsenal has said it will have to cut 55 jobs and Jerry Quy, the mascot for 27 years, was one of those.


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

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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.


JUST NOTES: Darin Schumacher is the new head coach of the junior B Spokane Braves of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. He replaces Mike Bay, who stepped down, according to the team, in order to spend more time with his family. The Braves won’t be playing in 2020-21 because of the U.S.-Canada border being closed. . . . Hey, Sportsnet, enough with the onslaught of those spots pushing your streaming serve. OK? . . . Wilson Housley has signed on as an assistant coach with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm. Housley, a 28-year-old who was born in Winnipeg, is the son of former NHL D Phil Housley.

Scattershooting on a Saturday night while watching Clooney, Pitt and Co. stealing money . . .

Scattershooting


The XFL kicked off its first season on Saturday and you need to know that sportsbettingdime.com has the Dallas Renegades as 3-1 favourites to win the inaugural championship. The New York Guardians are next at 4-1, with the Los Angeles Wildcats and Tampa Bay Vipers at 5-1. . . . You’re wondering about the Seattle Dragons? They’re eighth in the eight-team league, at 10-1. . . . I’m betting on the St. Louis Battlehawks (also 10-1), if only because Missouri seems to be home to titles these days.

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Former WHL coach Rob Daum received a phone call on Tuesday, and he left Wednesday for Europe and his latest head-coaching assignment, this one with EC Panaceo VSV of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga. His latest club plays out of Villach, Austria. . . . Daum, 62, agreed to a deal that runs through the end of this season. . . . He replaces Jyrki Aho of Finland, who was fired by the team’s board of directors on Monday. He had been hired in July. . . . VSV is sixth in the 11-team league, at 17-15-8. . . . Daum is quite familiar with the league, having spent six seasons (2011-17) as the head coach of the Black Wings Linz. In fact, he has 237 EBHL victories to his credit, and no one has more. . . . He also spent two seasons (2017-19) with the DEL’s Iserlohn Roosters. . . . In the WHL, Daum has coached with the Prince Albert Raiders, Swift Current Broncos and Lethbridge Hurricanes (1989-95).


Scarecrow


The WHL playoffs must be getting close. How do I know that? Because, judging from the clip in the tweet below, cross-checking has been removed from the rule book as often seems to happen as spring nears. . . .


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, after the Super Bowl: “The halftime show seems to be trying too hard. I remember the good old simple days when it was just Michael Jackson moonwalking and groping for his car keys.”

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Ostler, looking back at a few days in Miami: “Miami is not a foreign country, it’s a different planet. Back yards are fenced in to keep out mosquitoes the size of bald eagles. Here’s an actual billboard I saw: ‘Got iguanas?’ It was an ad for an iguana-control company. And I thought squirrels in the crawl space were annoying.”


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Twenty-four hours before the Super Bowl, comedy writer Alex Kaseberg had tweeted this gem:


BigBird



Golf


Joe Judge, the new head coach of the NFL’s New York Giants, has filled out his coaching staff. OK, are you ready for this? How many assistant coaches do you think are on the staff? . . . Would you believe 15? No. How about 19? . . . Yes, there are 19 assistants. . . . There are three co-ordinators (offence, defence, special teams). . . . There are nine offensive assistants — quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive line, assistant offensive line, senior offensive assistant, offensive assistant, offensive quality control. . . . There are seven defensive assistants — defensive line, inside linebackers, outside linebackers/senior assistant, defensive backs, assistant defensive backs, defensive assistant, defensive quality control. . . . Seriously!



Former WHL star F Emerson Etem is getting into the coaching game in a bigger way. He has signed on as the general manager and head coach of the Missoula, Mont., Jr. Bruins, who play in the NA3HL. . . . Etem, from Long Beach, Calif., will take over from Cliff Cook to begin next season. Cook is moving on to an as-yet-unnamed collegiate team. . . . The NHL’s Anaheim Ducks selected Etem with the 29th pick of the 2010 draft. He spent three seasons (2009-12) with the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. He spent eight seasons playing professionally before a knee injury took him into retirement. Of late, he has been coaching at the South Alberta Hockey Academy, where he helps out Tigers GM/head coach Willie Desjardins.



Bob Molinaro, in the Hampton Roads Virginia-Pilot: “I guess something’s wrong with me. Otherwise, I’d have a stronger reaction to the Super Bowl halftime show put on by two middle-aged women. But I don’t. For me, it was neither great nor controversial, perhaps because I was barely paying attention. But so many things media and people find spectacular or objectionable just aren’t. It’s tiresome.”


Bored

Former WHL exec dies at 56 . . . Warriors sign first-round selection . . . Silvertips ink Slovakian forward


MacBeth

F Jannik Hansen (Portland, 2005-06) signed a one-year contract with CSKA Moscow (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had two goals and 12 assists in 46 games with the San Jose Sharks (NHL).


ThisThat

Darryl Porter, who worked in the WHL with the Tri-City Americans, Chilliwack Bruins and Edmonton Oil Kings, died in Edmonton on July 25. He would have turned 57 on Aug. 12. . . . His death came after a long battle with cancer. . . . According to his obituary, a ‘Jeans and Jerseys’ celebration of life is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 13, 2 p.m., at Connelly-McKinley, 1011—114 St., in Edmonton. . . . That obituary is right here. . . . Porter spent 16 years with Molson Breweries before venturing into the WHL. He worked for three years as president of the Americans, and for five seasons was president and part-owner of the Bruins. The Oil Kings named him vice-president of family brands on May 31, 2011.


The IIHF has released the schedule for the 2019 World Junior Championship that is to be played in Victoria and Vancouver. . . . That schedule is right here, and it includes teams, venues and starting times. . . . The tournament opens on Dec. 26 and runs through Jan. 5.


The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed F Eric Alarie, their first-round selection in the MooseJawWarriorsWHL’s 2018 bantam draft. Alarie was the final pick in that first round. His signing leaves just four of the 22 first-round selections unsigned (see list below). . . . Alarie, from Winnipeg, had 28 goals and 27 assists in 30 games with the Winnipeg-based Rink Hockey Academy bantam prep team. He added a goal and six assists in five playoff games.


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

1 Edmonton — F Dylan Guenther.

2. Kootenay — D Carson Lambos.

3. Prince Albert — D Nolan Allan.

4. Calgary — F Sean Tschigerl.

5. Kamloops — F Logan Stankoven.

6. Saskatoon — F Colton Dach.

7. Red Deer — F Jayden Grubbe.

8. Lethbridge — F Zack Stringer.

11. Medicine Hat — F Cole Sillinger.

12. Vancouver — F Zack Ostapchuk.

13. Victoria — D Nolan Bentham.

14. Tri-City — D Marc Lajoie.

15. Brandon — F Jake Chiasson.

16. Red Deer — D Kyle Masters.

17. Spokane — D Graham Sward.

19. Portland — F Gabe Klassen.

20. Edmonton — D Keegan Slaney.

22. Moose Jaw — F Eric Alarie.


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

9. Prince George — F Craig Armstrong.

10. Seattle — F Kai Uchacz.

18. Kelowna — F Trevor Wong (committed to U of Denver, 2021-22).

21. Prince George — G Tyler Brennan.


The Everett Silvertips have signed Slovakian F Peter Melcher, 17, who was Everetttheir lone selection in the CHL’s 2018 import draft. . . . Last season, he played with three teams, putting up 17 goals and 15 assists in 15 games with MHC Martin’s U-18 side; three goals and two assists in 12 games with MHC Martin’s U-20 team; and two goals and four assists in 21 games with the Iowa Wild’s U-16 club. He had one assist in four games with the Slovakian U-18 team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament. . . . Melcher joins Slovakian F Martin Fasko-Rudas, who is preparing for his second season, as Everett’s import players.


Tim Speltz, the former general manager of the Spokane Chiefs, now is the head amateur scout with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs. Speltz left the Chiefs two years ago after having been with the organization since 1990. . . . He joined the Maple Leafs as director of western area scouting. . . . Speltz spent two seasons (1988-90) as GM of the Medicine Hat Tigers before joining the Chiefs.


Dorothy, my wife of 46 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. She will celebrate the fifth anniversary on Sept. 23 by taking part in the Kamloops Kidney Walk. This will be the fifth time she has done the Kidney Walk; she has been the leading fund-raiser in Kamloops in each of the previous four years. . . . If you would like to support her this year, you are able to do so right here.


Former WHL coach Rob Daum will be inducted into the U of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame on Sept. 23. Daum was the Golden Bears’ hockey coach from 1995-2005, taking the team to nine straight national championships and winning three of them. He was Canada West’s coach of the year on five occasions and won the national award twice. He went on to coach in the AHL and NHL, and has coached in Europe since 2011-12. . . . Daum, 60, was an assistant coach (1989-90) and head coach (1990-91) with the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders, then worked for two seasons (1991-93) as an assistant coach with the Swift Current Broncos. He was the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ head coach for two seasons (1993-95) before taking over as head coach of the Golden Bears. . . . He presently is the head coach of the Iserlohn Roosters of the German DEL.


Judging by the above tweet, the Swift Current Broncos, who apparently lost all of their scouts following a regime change, have started filling the vacancies. . . . The Broncos, the reigning WHL champions, never did make an announcement regarding the departed scouts, nor have they added the names of any scouts to their website.


TheCoachingGame

Katie Greenway has been named the head coach of the Okanagan Hockey Academy’s female prep team. Greenway, 26, was an assistant coach with the team last season. . . . In her playing days, she was a goaltender at UBC and Simon Fraser, and also played for the ZSC Lions in Zurich, Switzerland. . . . At OHA, she will be joined on the bench by former NHL defenceman Blake Wesley, 59, who has been on the OHA staff since 2004. Wesley played three WHL seasons (1976-80) with the Portland Winter Hawks. He also worked as an assistant coach with the Tri-City Americans (2001-02) and Portland (2002-04).


The MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders have hired Ryan Bettesworth as an assistant coach. He played two seasons (2005-07) with the Stampeders. . . . He has spent the past eight years in Thompson, Man., working with the Fire Emergency Services. . . . With the Stampeders, he will work with GM/head coach Taurean White.


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