Toigo: TV deal “terrible” for WHL. . . . ACC to honour Wheat Kings’ owner. . . . ECHL loses Monarchs


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F Juraj Bezúch (Lethbridge, 2011-12) has signed a one-year contract with Košice (Slovakia, Extraliga). This season, with Hradec Králove (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had three goals and four assists in 30 games. On loan to Slavia Prague (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had two goals and two assists in three games, and on loan to Dukla Jihlava (Czech Republic, 1. Liga), he had one goal and two assists in seven games. . . .

F Curtis Valk (Medicine Hat, 2009-14) has signed a two-year contract extension with Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan, KHL). This season, he had nine goals and 18 assists in 50 games. He averaged 19:17 time on ice, the most of all forwards on the team. . . .

G Juha Metsola (Lethbridge, 2007-09) has signed a three-year contract extension with Salavat Yulaev Ufa (Russia, KHL). This season, in 48 games, he was 25-20-1, 2.02, .934, with four shutouts and one assist. He was the KHL’s goaltender of the month for October and April. He also was the KHL’s goaltender of the week in during the quarterfinals and semifinals. . . .

F Chris Collins (Chilliwack, Saskatoon, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). This season, with the Kalamazoo Wings (ECHL), he had 28 goals and 37 assists in 60 games. He led the Wings in goals and points. On loan to the Manitoba Moose (AHL), he had two goals in nine games. . . . Collins was named the ECHL’s rookie of the year and to the ECHL’s all-rookie team. . . .

D Neil Manning (Vancouver, 2006-12) has signed a one-year contract with Angers (France, Ligue Magnus). This season, with the Rockford Ice Hogs (AHL), he was pointless in three games. He had two goals and 15 assists in 30 games with the Indy Fuel (ECHL), and seven assists in 13 games with the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2). . . . Angers’ head coach is Brennan Sonne (Everett, Red Deer, Edmonton, 2005-08), who will be entering his third season as head coach after three years as an assistant coach with Everett. . . .

F Marcin Kolusz (Vancouver, 2003-04) has signed a one-year contract extension with Podhale Nowy Targ (Poland, PHL). He had three goals and 13 assists in 16 games. . . .

F Alexander Kuvayev (Lethbridge, Vancouver, 2010-12) has signed a one-year contract with Buran Voronezh (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). This season,  with Yermak Angarsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), he had one goal and one assist in eight games; two goals and two assists in 17 games with Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk (Kazakhstan, Vysshaya Liga); and no points in three games with Lada Togliatti (Russia, Vysshaya Liga).


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Jeff Pearlman is a prominent writer who has produced some terrific football- and baseball-based books. His most-recent work, Football for a Buck, was subtitled The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL. In a word, it is awesome. If you have ever wondered about the role a guy named Donald Trump played in the death of the USFL, well, Pearlman’s book has it all.

But the best thing Pearlman has ever written appeared Wednesday on his blog and carried this headline: My wife donated one of her kidneys to a stranger this morning.

If you have ever wondered what a person’s thought process is as they begin to think about being a kidney donor, or if you have ever wondered what someone goes through along the way to being a donor, you will want to read this.

Heck, even if you have never wondered about either of those things take the time to give this a read.

In the end, it’s about life and the gift of life.

The story is right here.


If you were wondering why Rogers Sportsnet, which owns the television rights to all CHL games, didn’t show any games in the WHL final, it seems you aren’t alone.

Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, isn’t at all enamoured with VancouverSportsnet, either.

The Giants just finished playing in the WHL final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup. They took the Prince Albert Raiders to Game 7 before dropping a 3-2 OT decision in the Saskatchewan city on Monday night.

However, Sportsnet, which holds the rights through the 2025-26 season, didn’t televise any games in the final. In fact, Sportsnet didn’t show any games after bringing us the first three games of a second-round series between the Raiders and Saskatoon Blades.

On Tuesday, Toigo appeared with Donnie and The Moj on TSN 1040 Radio in Vancouver.

“It was terrible. Absolutely terrible,” Toigo said of Game 7 not being televised. “Sportsnet . . . it’s a terrible deal for the league. We should have gone with TSN.”

At the time Sportsnet landed the CHL rights, it also cut a long-term deal for the NHL rights.

“(Sportsnet) had all that NHL content . . . the capacity to promote our games wasn’t there,” Toigo continued. “We should have realized that.

“TSN didn’t have any NHL content. What they’ve done with the World Juniors, they would have just folded us into that kind of presentation. It would have been a better way to go.

“But it is what it is.”

As for Game 7, Toigo said: “The ratings for Sportsnet to have this game in a market this size would have been off the charts. I don’t know who’s making those decisions but they certainly aren’t very good.”

Bruce Hamilton, the owner of the Kelowna Rockets and the chairman of the WHL’s board of governors, wasn’t nearly as critical.

“They make their decisions,” Hamilton told David Trifunov, writing for the Kelowna Daily Courier.


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Kelly McCrimmon, the owner of the Brandon Wheat Kings, will be presented with an BrandonWKregularhonourary diploma in Business Administration by Assiniboine Community College. The Brandon-based college will make the presentation during its graduation ceremony on June 13. . . . McCrimmon has been a player, coach and general manager with the Wheat Kings, as well as the franchise’s owner. He also spent four years at the U of Michigan — yes, he played hockey for the Wolverines after playing in the WHL — and later, while working with the Wheat Kings, earned an MBA from Queen’s U in Kingston, Ont. . . . He now is the assistant GM with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights; he will take over as GM on Sept. 1. . . . McCrimmon also will be inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame this year.


The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Jonah Bevington, who will turn 16 on Sept. 7. The Winterhawks selected him in the fifth round of the WHL’s 2018 bantam draft. . . . This season, Bevington had 13 goals and 13 assists in 29 games with the OHA Edmonton Elite 15s. . . . A native of Yellowknife, NWT, Bevington now is an Edmonton resident.


Former WHLer Giffen Nyren, 30, has been granted bail and has returned to Kelowna from a psychiatric facility in Port Coquitlam. . . . While in Kelowna, doctors will continue to do a mental assessment on Nyren, a defenceman who played in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors, Kamloops Blazers and Calgary Hitmen. . . . Nyren was arrested in Kelowna on April 28 after a baby was grabbed from its mother in a downtown Kelowna park. The man eventually let the baby go, then shed his clothes and jumped into Okanagan Lake. Shortly after, he was arrested. . . . Nyren also has been charged with wilfully resisting or obstructing a police officer. . . . His next court appearance has been scheduled for June 13 in Kelowna.


The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks have signed Brad Moran to a three-year contract extension as general manager and he’d coach. Moran has been the Canucks’ head coach since Nov. 27 when he replaced Darryl Olsen. Moran had been in his first season as an assistant coach when he stepped up to head coach. . . . Moran, 40, is a native of Abbotsford, B.C. He played five seasons (1995-2000) with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen, putting up 450 points, including 204 goals, in 357 regular-season games.


The Manchester, N.H., Monarchs, an ECHL team affiliated with the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, are finished. The Monarchs had been in Manchester, in the AHL or ECHL, for 18 years. . . . “It’s just clear to us minor league is not viable in Manchester at the ECHL level,” Brian Cheek, the Monarchs’ chief executive, told Mark Hayward of the New Hampshire Union Leader. . . . The Monarchs were the Kings’ AHL affiliate until NHL teams began putting those teams in California. The Kings’ AHL affiliate now is the Ontario Reign. . . . Hayward’s story is right here.

Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com has lots more right here.


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All quiet on the Kootenay front . . . Raiders roll to another victory . . . ‘Tips win battle of U.S. Division leaders


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D Jonathon Blum (Vancouver, 2005-09) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Dinamo Minsk (Belarus, KHL). Last season, as an alternate captain with Admiral Vladivostok (Russia, KHL), he had one goal and 10 assists in 43 games. He also had three assists in 10 games with Sochi (Russia, KHL). . . .

F Zach Boychuk (Lethbridge, 2005-09) has been released by mutual agreement by Severstal Cherepovets (Russia, KHL). He had two goals and two assists in 25 games. . . .

F Marek Tvrdoň (Vancouver, Kelowna, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of the season with the Nottingham Panthers (England, UK Elite). He had been released by Klagenfurt II (Austria, Alps HL) after the end of a tryout contract on Nov. 11. He had three goals and three assists in six games. . . . Tvrdoň started the season with Saryarka Karaganda (Kazakhstan, Russia Vysshaya Liga), scoring once in four games.


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As readers stopped by here late Tuesday night and on through Wednesday, they learned that the Green Bay Committee had shut it down in Cranbrook, B.C., having started to whlbelieve that the Kootenay Ice, the WHL franchise its members had been working to save, is in its final season there.

The committee had been selling tickets and raising money through sponsorships for the Ice in the hopes of keeping the team in the 4,264-seat Western Financial Place.

With all signs pointing to a departure at season’s end, readers started to suggest possible landing spots, other than Winnipeg. Among those mentioned, in no particular order, were New Westminster, Billings, Chilliwack, Anchorage, Wenatchee, Penticton and Vernon.

None of those will be a destination, of course, as it seems the Ice is destined to end up in Winnipeg playing out of the East Division, while the Swift Current Broncos would slide back into the Central Division.

When that happens, Cranbrook will be home to an arena that meets WHL standards — including new lighting, boards and glass, and with plans for a new scoreboard with video boards to be installed in time for 2019-20.

Perhaps the one thing missing would be a team.

But there already are people in Cranbrook who are wondering if there might be another WHL team interested in relocating.

For starters, you can forget about the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders and Swift Current Broncos. These are the four remaining community-owned franchises and they aren’t going anywhere.

But . . .

New owners took over the Prince George Cougars in time for the 2014-15 season and admit that they have been bleeding money. This season, the announced average attendance in Prince George is 2,521 through 11 games. Last season, the final figure was 3,024.

Might the Cougars’ ownership be interested in at least kicking some tires?

Meanwhile, the Tri-City Americans averaged 3,053 fans for seven playoff games last spring after a regular season in which that figure was 3,649. But the Toyota Center, which opened in 1988, needs help

A year ago, the Tri-City Herald published a story that centred on the needed improvements and included this:

“Neither (WHL commissioner Ron) Robison nor (Americans general manager Bob) Tory suggested the Americans might leave Kennewick. But they didn’t deny the possibility either.

“Tory said team expenses have doubled under current ownership while revenue has been flat.

“ ‘There comes a time when that doesn’t make sense any more,’ Tory said.”

Voters in Kennewick, Wash., have twice rejected a sales tax that would have had money directed to Toyota Center improvements.

A year ago, there really wasn’t another option for teams like the Cougars or Americans. That changes if/when the Ice heads for the Manitoba capital.

Interestingly, Tory is quite familiar with Cranbrook, having worked as Kootenay’s general manager for two seasons (1998-2000).


All was quiet on the Kootenay Ice front on Wednesday, the day after a local committee that was working towards ensuring that the WHL franchise stays in Cranbrook, B.C., chose to cease operations.

In a letter to Matt Cockell, the Ice’s president and general manager, as well as one of its Kootenaynewtwo owners, the Green Bay Committee cited a lack of support from the Ice’s owners, Greg Fettes and Cockell, in its decision.

Fettes and Cockell, both with ties to Winnipeg, purchased the franchise prior to last season. This season has been loaded with speculation that the franchise will be relocated to Winnipeg before another season arrives.

Of late, however, there has only been silence from the Ice.

“The silence is deafening,” John Hudak, the committee’s marketing director, told the Cranbrook Daily Townsman. “I can’t speak for the owners of the team, I’m not a mind-reader and I don’t know what they are planning on doing, but it’s just highly unusual that people who have been in town for a very short period of time are not making that comment. If they have attendance problems (and) then they aren’t making any comments here to us and (aren’t) willing to engage with us . . . It’s disturbing.”

Hudak’s committee had invited Cockell to attend meetings. Hudak told Taking Note on Wednesday that Cockell’s refusal to attend “surprised” the committee.

Hudak said there was a “representative of the Ice, but not a decision-maker” at the committee’s first meeting on Oct. 25.

Hudak told Global News-Winnipeg on Wednesday that the Ice’s lack of engagement is “probably the single biggest thing that has impacted our ability to lock up some ticket sales.

“Why should we support this if these people aren’t going to remain in the community.

“(We) haven’t heard from the Ice ownership if it will remain . . . their silence on the subject has become deafening.”

Global News reported that “Fettes has also partnered with Brad Rice, who opened Winnipeg’s The Rink Training Facility in 2009, and is building a new facility south of the city. Sources have told Global News a new 5,000-seat arena is planned to be developed on the site to accommodate the WHL team.”

In September, Fettes told Global: “As a fan, parent, and owner, I am passionate about hockey development in Winnipeg and across Canada. Because of this passion, I am involved with The Rink Player Development and their new facility at McGillivray and Loudon, including their expansion and development in the surrounding area.”

Kootenay’s next home game is scheduled for Friday night when the Calgary Hitmen are in town. Jeff Chynoweth is Calgary’s general manager. Fettes and Cockell purchased the Ice from Chynoweth, his brother, Dean, and their mother, Linda.


The B.C. Sports Hall of Fame revealed Wednesday that Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, will received the 2019 W.A.C. Bennett Award for contribution to sport in the province. . . . The award will be presented during the Hall of Fame’s induction gala on May 23 in Vancouver. . . . Toigo has owned the Giants since purchasing an expansion franchise that began play in the 2000-01 season. He has been instrumental in having the 2006 and 2019 World Junior Championships played in Vancouver, as well as the 2007 Memorial Cup. . . . Toigo already is in the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and the Delta, B.C., Sports Hall of Fame.


G Gavin McHale, who made 45 WHL appearances over two seasons (2004-06), got to watch an NHL game while wearing the uniform of the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night. With starter Braden Holtby a late scratch due to an undisclosed injury that is believed to be minor, the Capitals started Pheonix Copley against the host Winnipeg Jets and brought in McHale, a 31-year-old from Winnipeg, as the emergency backup. . . . The Jets won the game, 3-1. . . . McHale, who made 33 appearances with the Seattle Thunderbirds and 12 with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, is the goaltender coach for the women’s hockey team at the U of Manitoba. . . . The 6-foot-7 McHale had been in the backup role once before. In February, he spent the third period on the Colorado Avalanche’s bench in support of Semyon Varlamov, who went in to replace the injured Jonathan Bernier.


The BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings have signed Alex Evin, their director of player personnel and associate coach, to a two-year extension that runs through the 2020-21 season. . . . Evin is in his second season with the Spruce Kings. . . . Adam Maglio, the Spruce Kings’ head coach, also is signed through 2020-21, as is general manager Mike Hawes.


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WEDNESDAY NIGHT HIGHLIGHTS:

G Ian Scott blocked 43 shots to lead the host Prince Albert Raiders to their 11th straight PrinceAlbertvictory, this time beating the Medicine Hat Tigers, 2-0. . . . The Raiders (18-1-0) now lead the overall standings by six points over the Everett Silvertips. . . . The Tigers (9-10-3) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Scott even took a shot at an empty-net goal, only to have the scoreboard in the Art Hauser Centre get in the way. “He thought he was Marty Brodeur at the end there with the shot,” Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid told Jeff D’Andrea of panow.com. “I thought it had a pretty good chance. He got some good weight on it and she was going. But then the clock obviously got in the way. That was the end of that.” . . . F Brett Leason (18) scored the game’s first goal, while shorthanded, at 8:58 of the second period. . . . F Noah Gregor (9) added insurance at 11:16 of the third. . . . Leason has at least one point in all 19 Prince Albert games this season. He and F Stelio Mattheos of the Brandon Wheat Kings are tied for the WHL lead in goals. . . . Scott has three shutouts this season and six in his career. On the season, he is 15-1-0, 1.50, .946. . . . BTW, the Raiders now have scored 11 times while shorthanded; their WHL-leading penalty-killers have surrendered only seven goals. . . . D’Andrea’s story is right here.

G Beck Warm turned aside 24 shots to help the Tri-City Americans to a 3-0 victory over tri-citythe Broncos in Swift Current. . . . The Americans now are 12-6-0. This was Game 9 of an 11-game road trip on which they are 7-2-0, including 2-2-0 in the East Division. . . . The Broncos (4-16-2) have lost four in a row (0-3-1). . . . Warm had one shutout this season and two in his career. . . . F Kyle Olson (4) opened the scoring at 4:20 of the first period, with F Krystof Hrabik (5) made it 2-0 at 19:15. . . . F Isaac Johnson scored his seventh goal into an empty net at 19:56 of the third period. . . . The Broncos remain without D Matthew Stanley, while F Eric Houk now has missed two games since being injured in a fight with F Carter Massier during a 2-0 loss to the Pats in Regina on Saturday.


F Josh Maser scored the winner in OT and also had two assists to lead the Prince George PrinceGeorgeCougars to a 4-3 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets. . . . Prince George (9-8-3) has won two in a row. . . . Kelowna (8-12-1) has lost three straight (0-2-1). . . . F Matej Toman (3) gave the Cougars a 2-1 lead, on a PP, at 10:05 of the second period. . . . Kelowna took a 3-2 lead on third-period goals from F Lane Zablocki (2), at 0:55, and F Kyle Topping (9), shorthanded, at 12:07. . . . F Vladislav Mikhalchuk (4) pulled the Cougars even at 19:43. . . . Maser won it with his sixth goal of the season with six seconds left in extra time.


F Riley Sutter’s shootout goal gave the host Everett Silvertips a 3-2 victory over the EverettPortland Winterhawks. . . . The Silvertips (15-6-0) have won five straight. . . . The Winterhawks (12-6-2) had their five-game winning streak snapped. . . . Everett leads the U.S. Division, by four points over Portland, which holds a game in hand. . . . The Silvertips led this one 2-0 in the first period on PP goals from F Connor Dewar (16), at 2:27, and F Bryce Kindopp (8), at 12:25. . . . The Winterhawks got third-period goals from F Reece Newkirk (13), at 3:14, and F Ryan Hughes (7), at 3:55. . . . Dewar and Portland F Joachim Blichfeld each scored in the first round of the shootout. Sutter, the first shooter in the third round, got the winner. . . . The Silvertips got 39 saves from G Dustin Wolf, while Portland’s Shane Farkas blocked 41.


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Pats have opening for 20-year-old . . . Might Silvertips bring back Tuulola? . . . Toigo says 2019 WJC tickets 60 per cent sold

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F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a tryout contract with Stjernen Fredrikstad (Norway, GET-Ligaen). He is due to arrive in Fredrikstad on Jan. 3. This season, with Újpesti TE Budapest (Hungary, Erste Lisa), he was pointless in two games. He was released from a tryout contract on Sept. 28.


Pats looking to trade Sloboshan

The Regina Pats have an opening for a 20-year-old following the departure of F Wyatt Sloboshan. A native of Vanscoy, Sask., Sloboshan didn’t return to the Pats after the ReginaPats100Christmas break and his name no longer appears on Regina’s roster.

“He’s perfectly fine with it,” John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post. “He knew the inevitable was probably going to happen. Wyatt has been a trouper. He has played super hard for us. I won’t say he was on pins and needles but I just thought this was the better way to treat him. He wants to keep playing in the league. I have some interest in him from a couple, three places. I’m hopeful that works out.”

Each WHL team is allowed to keep three 20s on its roster. Regina also is carrying G Tyler Brown and F Matt Bradley.

This season, Sloboshan had four goals and 11 assists in 36 games. Last season, he put up four goals and 12 assists in 30 games with the Saskatoon Blades, who traded him to the Spokane Chiefs on Dec. 15. He was pointless in one game with the Chiefs, before choosing not to return after Christmas.

Spokane traded him to Regina on Jan. 3, and he had seven goals and eight assists in 37 regular-season games with the Pats.

All told, he has 44 goals and 77 assists in 219 regular-season WHL games.

Sloboshan was a third-round selection by Swift Current in the 2012 WHL bantam draft, but never played for the Broncos, who dealt him to the Blades on Jan. 1, 2014.


Tuulola to return to Everett?

The Everett Silvertips may be working to get Finnish F Eetu Tuulola back in their lineup for the 2018-19 season.

Tuulola played for Everett in 2016-17, putting up 18 goals and 13 assists in 62 games. A Everettsixth-round selection by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL draft, Tuulola was loaned to Everett while under contract with HPK in Finland.

Because he was drafted off the roster of a European club, the Flames hold Tuulola’s right for four years, or until June 2020.

The Flames didn’t sign Tuulola last summer and he returned to play for HPK in Finland’s Liiga this season. A right-hand shot who can really shoot a puck, the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder has eight goals and four assists in 28 games. However, in his last six games, before joining Finland’s national team for the World Junior Championship, he had two goals and four assists and has been playing about 20 minutes per game.

That three-year contract with HPK expires following this season, at which time he would be free to sign with the Flames and perhaps rejoin the Silver-tips.

Of course, were that to happen, he would be a two-spotter — a 20-year-old import — with the Silvertips, who have him on their protected list.


Toigo says empty seats won’t be problem in 2019

The 2018 World Junior Championship is through three days in Buffalo now and the empty seats in the KeyBank Center have become a big story.

Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, says that won’t happen when the VanViclogo2019 tournament is shared between Vancouver and Victoria.

Here are three Thursday tweets from Vancouver sportscaster Rick Dhaliwal of NEWS 1130 and Sportsnet 650:

“Ron Toigo tells me the empty-seat problem in Buffalo won’t be a problem for Vancouver and Victoria at the World Juniors next year.”

“Toigo says ticket sales for Vancouver and Victoria next year (are) ‘well over 60 per cent sold.’ ”

“Toigo says Rogers Arena gave him a great deal. ‘It makes the ticket prices very affordable. Trevor Linden played a big role in helping out.”

The games scheduled for Vancouver, including both semifinals and the final, will be played in Rogers Arena, the home of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. Linden, who won gold with Canada at the 1988 tournament in Moscow, is the president of hockey operations with the Canucks.

Later in the day, Toigo told Steve Ewen of Postmedia that comparing this year’s tournament to next year’s is “apples and oranges.”

Ewen’s story, which also includes some ticket prices for the 2019 event, is right here.


In the OHL last night, the Son Greyhounds won their 21st consecutive game, beating the Spirit, 4-1, in Saginaw. . . . The Greyhounds are 30-3-2 and lead the West Division by 10 points over the Sarnia Sting (25-9-2), who also are second in the overall standings. . . . The Greyhounds next are scheduled to play on Friday when they are to entertain the Flint Firebirds (11-20-3).


Scoreboard

THURSDAY:

At Prince Albert, F Josh Paterson had three goals and an assist to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-4 victory over the Raiders. . . . The Blades (17-17-3) have won three straight Saskatoongames, including a 4-2 victory over the visiting Raiders on Wednesday night. . . . Prince Albert (13-16-7) has lost three in a row. . . . Saskatoon is tied with Regina for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card playoff spots. They are four points ahead of the Raiders. . . . The Blades won after overcoming a 3-1 first-period deficit. . . . F Parker Kelly (15) gave the home side a 1-0 lead, on a PP, at 6:33 of the first period. . . . Paterson tied it, on a PP, at 9:56. . . . F Eric Pearce (3) gave the Raiders a 2-1 lead at 16:27 and F Carson Miller (1) upped it to 3-1 at 18:46. That was Miller’s first goal since Jan. 14, when he scored twice in a 7-6 OT loss in Regina. He played only nine more games last season thanks to shoulder problems that would require surgery. . . . F Chase Wouters (8) got the Blades to within a goal at 4:12 of the second period. . . . Paterson broke the tie at 17:53, then completed his first WHL hat trick with his 16th goal of this season at 3:28 of the third period. . . . The Blades took a 5-3 lead as F Braylon Shmyr scored at 14:01. . . . F Brett Season (6) got the home team back to within a goal at 18:18, but Shmyr (17) wrapped it up with an empty-netter at 19:14. . . . Shmyr also had two assists for a four-point night, earning his 200th career regular-season point, while Wouters also had four points, including three assists. . . . Shmyr has 200 points, including 91 goals, in 265 games. . . . The Blades were 1-1 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-3. . . . G Nolan Maier stopped 38 shots for the Blades in recording his sixth straight victory, while the Raiders’ Ian Scott made 33 saves. . . . F Justin Nachbaur of the Raiders left at 8:39 of the first period with a cross-checking major and game misconduct after he drilled Saskatoon D Mark Rubinchik in the face. . . . In the third period, the Blades lost D Evan Fiala, the team captain, after he took a puck in the face. The Blades later tweeted: “The captain is OK! Quite a few stitches but no broken bones and all chiclets accounted for.” . . . Saskatoon will be without F Kirby Dach (undisclosed injury) on a week-to-week basis. He left Wednesday’s game in the first period and didn’t return. . . . Announced attendance: 2,312. . . . Darren Steinke, the travellin’ blogger, was in attendance and posted this piece right here.


At Regina, F Matt Bradley broke a 4-4 tie at 13:21 of the third period as the Pats ended a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Regina (17-ReginaPats10018-3) had been 0-4-1 in its previous five games. . . . The Wheat Kings (25-9-1) had beaten the visiting Pats, 5-3, on Wednesday night. . . . Brandon is third in the overall standings, three points behind Swift Current. . . . Regina is tied with Saskatoon for the Eastern Conference’s two wild-card spots. . . . Last night, Brandon took a 2-0 lead on goals from F Ty Lewis (19), at 16:18 of the first period, and F Evan Weinger (16), at 1:30 of the second. . . . Regina took the lead with three goals in a span of 2:23 early in the second. . . . F Logan Nijhoff (2) got it started at 4:14. Nijhoff, 16, also scored Wednesday. An eighth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft, he has two goals and an assist in eight games. . . . D Cale Fleury (8) tied it, 2-2, at 5:08, on a PP, picking up his 100th career point in the process. . . . F Bryan Lockner (5) gave the Pats the lead, on another PP, at 6:37. . . . D Zach Wytinck (2) got Brandon even at 11:11, only to have F Nick Henry (5) give the home boys the lead at 17:13. . . . F Stelio Mattheos (27) got Brandon back into another tie, at 8:57 of the third period. . . . F Jake Leschyshyn and D Dawson Davidson each had two assists for Regina, with Nijhoff and Bradley each getting one. . . . Brandon got two assists from Weinger and one from Lewis. . . . Regina was 2-8 on the PP; Brandon was 0-3. . . . G Tyler Brown earned the victory with 24 saves, while Dylan Myskiw stopped 31 for Brandon. . . . The Pats had G Jacob Wasserman on the bench backing up Brown. G Max Paddock, who went the distance in Brandon on Wednesday, was scratched as he is in the concussion protocol. Wasserman was brought in from the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos. . . . Regina also had F Cole Dubinsky, who turned 15 on Dec. 4, in its lineup. From Androssan, Alta., Dubinsky plays for the CSSHL’s Delta Hockey Academy prep team. Regina selected him in the fourth round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . F Jared Legien, acquired Wednesday from the Victoria Royals, had an assist in his Regina debut. . . . The Pats were without D Josh Mahura for a second straight game after he was released Monday by the Canadian national junior team in Buffalo. Mahura is expected to play on Monday night against visiting Prince Albert. . . . Announced attendance: 6,238.


At Moose Jaw, F Jayden Halbgewachs, who signed an NHL contract with the San Jose Sharks earlier in the day, had two goals and an assist to help the Warriors to an 8-2 MooseJawWarriorsvictory over the Swift Current Broncos. . . . The Warriors (28-6-3) have points in three straight (2-0-1) and are atop the overall standings, five points ahead of the Broncos (26-8-2). The Broncos had won their previous six games. . . . The Broncos had beaten the visiting Warriors 5-4 in a shootout on Wednesday. . . . Last night, the Warriors took control with three goals before the game was nine minutes old. . . . F Justin Almeida (22) made it 1-0 at 5:47, with D Dmitri Zaitsev (2) scoring at 6:36, and Halbgewachs counting at 8:49. . . . F Beck Malenstyn (1) got the Broncos on the scoreboard, on a PP, at 11:03 of the second period. . . . F Luka Burzan (5) restored Moose Jaw’s three-goal lead at 16:22. . . . The visitors got to within two goals at18:25 when F Kole Gable (3) scored. . . . The Warriors put it away with four third-period goals, from Halbgewachs, who leads all of the CHL with 37 goals, F Tristin Langan (5), D Oleg Sosunov (7) and F Vince Loschiavo (11). . . . The Warriors got two assists from each of F Tanner Jeannot and D Josh Brook, and one each from Almeida, Langan, Burzan and Zaitsev. . . . F Glenn Gawdin had two assists for the Broncos. . . . Swift Current was 1-1 on the PP; Moose Jaw was 0-4. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 28 shots for the Warriors. . . . The Broncos started G Logan Flodell, who gave up three goals on 12 shots in 8:49. Joel Hofer then came on to stop one shot in 2:38. Flodell was sent back out and finished up. In all, he stopped 37 of 45 shots. . . .Swift Current F Matteo Gennaro left in the third period after taking a hit from Moose Jaw F Barrett Sheen. . . . Announced attendance: 3,657.


At Calgary, F Brett Davis broke a 3-3 tie with a shorthanded breakaway goal at 18:10 of the third period to give the Kootenay Ice a 4-3 victory over the Hitmen. . . . The Ice (17-17-Kootenaynew2) has won four in a row and has points in five straight (4-0-1). It is second in the Central Division four points behind Medicine Hat. . . . The Hitmen (10-19-6) have lost four in a row (0-2-2) and are 11 points out of a playoff spot. . . . These teams have met in four straight games, with the Ice winning all four of them — 5-1 at Cranbrook on Dec. 16, 4-3 in OT in Calgary on Dec. 17, 4-3 in OT on Wednesday in Cranbrook and 4-3 last night. . . . When this season began, the Hitmen had taken 16 straight victories from the Ice. . . . Kootenay now is 5-1-0 in the season series; the Hitmen are 1-3-2. . . . Last night, F Orca Wiesblatt (5) gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 5:36 of the second period. . . . The Ice tied it when F Alec Baer (14) scored at 11:40. . . . The Hitmen went back out front when F Mark Kastelic (9) scored at 12:09. . . . The Ice tied it again, this time when F Colton Veloso scored, on a PP, at 1:53 of the third period. . . . F Luke Coleman (7) gave Calgary a 3-2 lead with a shorthanded goal at 4:27. . . . Veloso (12) tied it, on a PP, at 12:55. . . . Davis then won it with his ninth goal. . . . F Cameron Hausinger drew assists on each the Ice’s last two goals. . . . F Peyton Krebs also had two assists for the winners. . . . Kastelic added an assist to his goal. . . . Kootenay was 2-8 on the PP; Calgary was 0-4. . . . The Ice held a 38-13 edge in shots on goal. . . . Kootenay G Duncan McGovern stopped 10 shots. . . . Calgary got 34 stops from G Nick Schneider. . . . G Bailey Brkin, who missed Wednesday’s game with the flu, was backing up McGovern. . . . The game was 45 minutes late starting after the Ice encountered some travel difficulties thanks to road conditions en route to Calgary. . . . F Brad Ginnell, acquired Wednesday from the Portland Winterhawks, made his Kootenay debut in his hometown. . . . The Ice is in a stretch of eight games, two of them at home, in 11 nights. It will play in Edmonton on Saturday, to complete a run of three games in four nights. On Monday, Kootenay will entertain Medicine Hat to start a stretch of five games in six nights — yes, five in six! — that is to include stops in Lethbridge, Swift Current, Prince Albert and Saskatoon. . . . Seriously, how does someone involved in the WHL not step in and stop something like this? . . . Announced attendance: 9,034.


At Edmonton, F Trey Fix-Wolansky scored at 4:48 of OT to give the Oil Kings a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Edmonton (9-22-4) has points in three straight games (2-0-EdmontonOilKings1). It is last in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Calgary. . . . The Rebels (10-19-7) have lost three in a row (0-1-2) and are 10 points out of a playoff spot. . . . The Oil Kings had gone into Red Deer and won 3-1 on Wednesday night. . . . Last night, F Brian Harris gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead at 2:31 of the first period. . . . F Grayson Pawlenchuk (13) tied it at 14:01. . . . F David Kope (4) put Edmonton back out front at 11:59 of the second period. . . . D Dawson Barteux (1), on a PP, tied it, again, at 6:02 of the third period. His first career goal came in his 71st career game. . . . The Rebels took a 3-2 lead as F Mason McCarty (17) scored at 7:32. . . . Edmonton D Conner McDonald (3), who had three assists on Wednesday, forced OT at 11:10. . . . Fix-Wolansky won it with his 14th goal of the season. . . . McDonald and Fix-Wolansky each added an assist. . . . The Rebels got two assists from D Alex Alexeyev and one from Barteaux. . . . The Rebels were 1-4 on the PP; the Oil Kings were 0-4. . . . G Josh Dechaine earned the victory with 23 stops, one more than Red Deer’s Ethan Anders. Dechaine’s night included an OT stop on Red Deer D Brandon Schuldaus on a breakaway. . . . The Oil Kings have added D Aidan Lawson, 16, to their roster. A list player, he is from Providence, Utah, and has a goal and eight assists in 26 games with the Colorado Thunderbirds, a Tier 1 Elite team. . . . Edmonton also has added F Raphael Pelletier, 15, who was a third-round pick in the 2017 bantam draft. From St. Albert, Alta., he is playing for the CSSHL’s Northern Alberta Elite 15s. . . . Neither played last night. . . . Greg Meachem of reddeerrebels.com reported after the game that F Arshdeep Bains is staying with the Rebels for the remainder of the season. He was leading the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League in scoring with 56 points in 22 games with the Valley West Hawks. . . . Announced attendance: 8,057.


At Victoria, the Royals scored twice in the game’s first six minutes en route to a 7-1 victory over the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Royals (21-14-3) had lost their previous VictoriaRoyalsfour games. They now are tied with Kelowna atop the B.C. Division. . . . One night earlier, the Cougars (13-18-5) had beaten the host Royals, 5-3. Prince George is fifth in the B.C. Division, three points behind Kamloops. . . . F Dino Kambeitz (8) opened the scoring, on a PP, at 5:28, and F Matthew Phillips made it 2-0 just 29 seconds later. . . . F Josh Maser (15) got the Cougars to within a goal, on a PP, at 6:50, but it was all Royals after that. . . . Phillips got his 27th goal, on a PP, before the first period ended. . . . F Spencer Gerth (3) and F Tyler Soy (15), on a PP, added second-period goals, with F Jeff de Wit (4) and D Jeremy Masella (3) scoring in the third period. . . . The Royals had de Wit, who was acquired Wednesday from Kootenay, and F Braydon Buziak, who came over from Regina, in the lineup for the first time. De Wit had a goal and an assist, with Buziak recording an assist. . . . The Royals got three assists from D Chaz Reddekopp and two each from F Dante Hannoun and D Scott Walford. . . . Victoria was 3-6 on the PP; Prince George was 1-6. . . . G Griffen Outhouse earned the victory by stopping 23 of 24 shots in 52:27. Dean McNabb played the final 7:33, stopping four shots. . . . Cougars starter Taylor Gauthier was beaten seven times on 24 shots in 46:08. Isaiah DiLaura finished up by stopping all six shots he faced in 13:52. . . . Announced attendance: 5,936.


FRIDAY (all times local):

Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.

Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.

Portland vs. Tri-City, at Kennewick, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Spokane vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:35 p.m.

Vancouver at Everett, 7:35 p.m.

Still no timeline for Seattle goalie . . . Ex-enforcer reaches out to Peat . . . Jette on comeback trail from concussion . . . Toigos involved in mammoth real-estate deal

Scattershooting

A little bit of snow, exactly as was called for by forecasters, and Kamloops turns into smashville. It’s as predictable as the POTUS waking up every day and entertaining us with a tweet or six. Hey, it snowed here on Tuesday and again Thursday, and it was a travelling road show both days.


Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post:

“What is the point of fighting? It is purposeless. On (Dec. 15), for example, the Pats’ Bryce Platt and the Saskatoon Blades’ Evan Fiala squared off. It was a fight for the sake of a fight — a needless spasm of pugilism that was then replayed on the Brandt Centre’s centre-ice scoreboard. Player safety is such an obvious priority that fighting is showcased via the in-house video system. The wrong message is being transmitted.”


Derek Boogaard. Rick Rypien. Wade Belak. Matt Johnson. Steve Montador. Rudy Poeschek. Stephen Peat. Dale Purinton. . . . All were major junior hockey enforcers. All later experienced, or are experiencing, health and lifestyle issues. . . . Yes, it’s time for the WHL to outlaw fighting. Period.


On a different subject, have you flipped through the TV listings lately? Have you noticed all the Christmas moves that are available? No, I’m not referring to Home Alone, Die Hard, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street or any of those. I’m referring to the dozens of movies like Finding Santa, Christmas at Holly Lodge, Switched for Christmas, Christmas in Mississippi, etc. Hey, they’re everywhere. When did the making of such movies become such a large industry?


There’s a WHL angle here, too, because my wife, who knows such things, tells me that Candace Cameron Bure is a big star in the Christmas movie game. Yes, she is married to former WHL star Valeri Bure (Spokane Chiefs, 1991-94).


It’s college football bowl season and that’s always a fun time. Did you get to watch the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl on Tuesday? What about the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday? I’m old enough to remember when the Holiday Bowl was, well, the Holiday Bowl. Now it’s the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl. . . . Someone has a lot of fun playing name that bowl game during the offseason.


Former WHLer Peter Soberlak (Kamloops, Swift Current, 1985-89) is in the running to be the next athletic director at Thompson Rivers U in Kamloops. He has been at TRU for 14 years and now is in the school’s phys-ed department. . . . It’s likely that either Soberlak or Curtis Atkinson will be tabbed to replace the retiring Ken Olynyk. Atkinson, the associate director of sport for Canada West, was the interim AD at the U of Regina for about 18 months starting in December 2014. His wife, Heather, is a TRU professor.


Just wondering . . . who had more failures . . . the original Steve McGarrett or Perry Mason?



Look, this is all new to me here, so please bear with me as I stumble around for a while.

But if you enter your email address over there on the right I believe that 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.


MacBeth

F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with the Ravensburg Towerstars (Germany, DEL2). This season, he had two assists in 20 games with the Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He was released from a tryout contract on Dec. 19. . . .

G Ville Kolppanen (Lethbridge, 2009-10) has been assigned by Rögle Ängelholm (Sweden, SHL) to Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) on a one-game conditioning loan. Kolppanen has been out since just before the start of the season with an injury and only recently resumed training. . . .

D Sebastian Owuya (Medicine Hat, 2010-11) has been assigned on loan by Södertälje (Sweden, Allsvenskan) to Kallinge/Ronneby (Sweden, Division 1) for the remainder of this season. He was pointless in 14 games with Södertälje, and had one assist in three games while on loan to Nyköping Grypen (Sweden, Division 1).


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

Andy Eide, who follows the Seattle Thunderbirds for 710 ESPN Seattle, chatted with general manager Russ Farwell and posted a story on Thursday. . . . In the story, Farwell Seattleaddresses the situation regarding G Carl Stankowski, who, at 16, led them to a WHL championship last spring but has yet to play this season. “He’s had some complications,” Farwell told Eide. “They’re looking, he’s maybe got some other health problems. They think they’ve got it figured out. They’re hoping this week to set the treatment and then we are thinking he’s going to play, which I wasn’t sure about at one point. It’s still up in the air, we don’t know for sure so that’s part of the frustration.” . . . The one thing that is certain is that the Thunderbirds have no idea when Stankowski might return to game action. . . . Farwell also addressed the impending arrival of the NHL in Seattle: “The cost for two people to go to an NHL game you can just about have a season ticket for us. We’re talking two different price points and I think the growth in the sport will be phenomenal. As people get excited about the game, communities start to build rinks and more kids get involved. That’s the key point for us and I think we’ll see the spin off from that.” . . . Eide’s complete story is right here.


Dale Purinton has been on the same road that Stephen Peat now is travelling. Both are former WHL enforcers, with a long history of fights both there and later in the NHL. These days, Peat is believed to be living on the streets of B.C.’s Fraser Valley, and Purinton would like to help him. . . . After the CBC did a story on Peat, Purinton got in touch with folks at the broadcaster. . . . Jeremy Allingham of CBC News has more right here.


In 2015-16, D Tyler Jette of Farmington, Minn., was one of 10 finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award, which goes to the state’s top high school player. He also was nominated for the Reed Larson Award, which goes to the state’s top high school defenceman. On Sept. 26, 2016, Jette, then 18, signed with the Tri-City Americans. . . . He never played even one game with the Americans. So . . . what happened? . . . Jette suffered a concussion in training camp prior to last season and sat out the entire season. In fact, he didn’t play again until earlier this month when he joined the AJHL’s Sherwood Park Crusaders. He now has played in three games and has one assist. . . . “The only thing that was hampering him at all was his conditioning,” Sherwood Park head coach Adam Manah told Shane Jones of the Sherwood Park News, “which is to be expected after not playing for so long and only skating with us three or four times. He sees the ice well and moves the puck crisp and hard. All we need from him is to be a good shut-down guy. We can see there is some offensive instincts there too, but that will come in due time once he gets comfortable and gets his game rolling again.” . . . Jette no longer is listed among the prospects on the Americans’ website. . . . Jones’ story is right here.


The Kootenay Ice has signed G Gage Alexander, 15, who is from Okotoks, Alta. Alexander Kootenaynewwas a seventh-round selection in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. This season, he is 7-0-1, 1.75, .929 with the minor midget AAA Rockyview Raiders. . . . The Ice now has signed six of its 10 selections in the 2017 bantam draft — F Connor McClennon, who was taken second overall, D Anson McMaster, F James Form, G Will Gurski, F Owen Pederson and Alexander. . . . Left unsigned are D Jake Sanderson, a fourth-round pick from Calgary; D Brett Fogg of Humboldt, Sask., who was taken in the fifth round; D Benjamin Zloty, a sixth-rounder from Calgary; and F Michael Milne, who was taken in the eighth round out of the Yale Hockey Academy.


D Jake Harrison of West Kelowna, B.C., has committed to Michigan Tech for the 2019-20 season. Harrison, who is in his third season with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors, was a fourth-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . In 143 regular-season BCHL games, he has 16 goals and 56 assists. This season, he has four goals and 19 assists in 35 games.


A piece of property in downtown Vancouver that is owned by Shato Holdings Ltd., which is run by brothers Peter and Ron Toigo, has sold for “a reported $245 million,” according to the Vancouver Sun. . . . The site is located on West Georgia Street and is presently home to a White Spot restaurant. . . . The property, which also includes a parking lot, was purchased by Carnival International Holdings Ltd., which, the Sun reports, “trades on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.” . . . The Toigos also are the majority owners of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants. . . . The Sun’s complete story is right here.


Scoreboard

Dec. 18-Dec. 26:

No Games Scheduled.


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