Going to game? Check schedule and restrictions . . . CHL on CBC-TV . . . Broncos add a coach

Planning (hoping?) to attend a WHL game in the near future? If so, I would suggest that you do two things:

  1. Check your favourite team’s schedule to make sure that the game you want to attend still is on the schedule; and
  2. Check to see what pandemic-related restrictions have been put in place.

There were more schedule changes announced on Thursday and chances are there will be even more in the days ahead. So keep on checking.

As for restrictions, well, governments and health officials have changed things so often that I lost track a while ago. I don’t even know if my wife and I are allowed to sit across from each other at the breakfast table these days.

Seriously . . . with the Alberta government having emerged from its cave and having declared a health emergency on Wednesday, and with the Saskatchewan government having crawled out from under a rock on Thursday and pulled some restrictions, including, I think, a mask mandate, out of its hat, things have changed a lot since early in the week.

So make sure to check on these things before leaving home and heading to the arena.

The WHL returns to national TV in Canada on Oct. 2 when CBC will show the game between the Prince Albert Raiders and host Regina Pats. Yes, that means Regina F Connor Bedard will get a chance to strut his stuff before a national TV audience. . . . The six-game CBC schedule that was released on Thursday includes two games from each of the major junior leagues. . . . The other WHL game is to be shown on Oct. 16 with the Calgary Hitmen visiting the Red Deer Rebels. . . . From a CHL news release: “Beginning in November, CBC Gem, CBCSports.ca and the CBC Sports app will offer live streaming coverage of one CHL game per week through the end of the regular season. The schedule for these games will be confirmed in the coming weeks.”

Due to what it says is an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, the Saskatchewan Health Authority has asked anyone who is unvaccinated and attended an SJHL game in Nipawin on Sept. 10 to self-isolate. Like, right now. And stay there until at least Sept. 24. . . . The Hawks beat the Melfort Mustangs before an announced crowd of 359. . . . David Giles of Global News reported that the SHA is telling those people that they “must” be tested immediately and then again on Sept. 20. . . . Giles also wrote: “Fully vaccinated people do not need to be tested or to self-isolate, but SHA said they should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms until Sept. 24 and seek testing if any symptoms develop.”

If you’re a hockey fan and a reader, here’s one for your Christmas list . . .

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



Or, for more information, visit right here.

JUST NOTES: The Swift Current Broncos have hired Matt Keillor as an assistant coach to replace Scott Dutertre, who has resigned. The Broncos didn’t provide a reason for Dutertre’s resignation. Keillor had been with the AJHL’s Drayton Valley Thunder as assistant GM/associate coach. Dutertre had been with the Broncos since August 2018. . . .

BC Hockey has announced a rebranding of its AAA leagues. The British Columbia Elite Hockey League (BCEHL) comprises four AAA leagues — female U-18, and male U-18, U-17 and U-15. . . . The news release is right here.

Broncos sign assistant coaches . . . Warriors have imports in fold . . . Hitmen add ex-talking head to front office


F Robin Kovář (Vancouver, Regina, 2001-04) requested and was granted his release for personal reasons by the Blackburn Hawks (England, National). He had signed a one-year contract in June. . . . Kovář, on the Hawks’ website: “I was really looking forward to playing for the Hawks next season and moving to the Altrincham area to continue my work as (a) personal trainer. Unfortunately, due to a family illness, I will now be staying in Kazakhstan for the foreseeable future.” . . . Kovář played for Ertis Pavlodar (Kazakhstan, Kazakh Vysshaya Liga) last season, putting up five goals and eight assists in 28 games. He had played the previous four seasons in England.


The Swift Current Broncos have announced the hiring of two assistant coaches — SCBroncosBrandin Cote and Scott Dutertre. . . . Cote, who is from Swift Current, was the associate coach at Red Deer College last season. Prior to that, he spent one season (2016-17) as an assistant coach with the Prince Albert Raiders and two seasons as the head coach of the midget AAA Red Deer Chiefs. He played five seasons (1997-2002) with the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Dutertre, from Dinsmore, Sask., has been an assistant coach with the U of Saskatchewan Huskies, both men’s and women’s teams, for four seasons. He also is the national skating and skills coach for Ice Hockey Australia. . . . Cote and Dutertre fill the voids created by the departures of Ryan Smith, who now is with the Medicine Hat Tigers, and Jamie Heward, who has joined the Vancouver Giants.

Bil La Forge, who is into his first year as the general manager of the Seattle SeattleThunderbirds, has more than a bit of hockey in his background. And, yes, he paid his dues before signing on as the Thunderbirds’ GM. . . . Jason Gregor of oilersnation.com has more right here in a good read on La Forge and the road he travelled to get to where he is today.

The Moose Jaw Warriors have signed their two selections from the 2018 CHL import MooseJawWarriorsdraft — Daniil Stepanov and Yegor Buyalsky, both 17-year-old forwards from Belarus. . . . Stepanov had three goals and 17 assists in 31 games with the U-18 Team Belarus. . . . Buyalsky had 19 goals and 29 assists in 49 games with the U-17 Team Belarus. He played at the 2018 Mac’s tournament in Calgary, putting up five goals and an assist in six games. . . . Both players already are in Moose Jaw as they prepare for the opening of training camp on Aug. 22. . . . The Warriors finished last season with two import defenceman — Oleg Sosunov and Dmitri Zaitsev. Neither is expected back as a 20-year-old. Sosunov will play in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization; Zaitsev signed with Melallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.

Rob Kerr has been named assistant general manager, business operations by the Calgary Hitmen. He takes over from Melissa Blades, who now is manager, business operations with lacrosse’s Calgary Roughnecks. . . . Both organizations are owned by the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which also owns the NHL’s Calgary Flames. . . . Kerr spent the past 15 years at Sportsnet and for 12 of those was an on-air host at Calgary radio station Sportsnet 960—The Fan.

Alex Dixon is the Seattle Thunderbirds’ new equipment manager, replacing Trevor Heinzerling, who left to sign on the assistant equipment manager with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles. . . . Dixon spent last season as the equipment manager with the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers. . . . Prior to that, he was with the USA National Team Development Program for two seasons and, before that, spent two seasons with the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers.

Todd Harkins has joined the West Van Hockey Academy as the director of program development and head coach of the bantam varsity side. Harkins spent the previous six seasons with the Prince George Cougars, the last four as general manager. Prior to that, he was the hockey director at the North Shore Winter Club for 12 years. . . . At the same time, the West Van academy revealed that Yashar Farmanara is leaving “operational and ownership rules” in order to pursue “interests outside of hockey.” A co-founder of the academy, he coached the Elite 15 team for the past two seasons. . . . Farmanara split five WHL seasons (2003-08) among the Seattle Thunderbirds, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Medicine Hat Tigers.

We in the Kamloops area have been well aware of F Jermaine Loewen of the Blazers and his startlingly good story for a few years now. But now that he has been selected by the Dallas Stars in the NHL draft, more people are being introduced to Loewen, a 20-year-old power forward with the perpetual smile. Jeff Miller of nhl.com has a piece on Loewen right here.

Mitch Topinka has signed on as an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. Last season, he was on staff with the MJHL’s OCN Blizzard. Doug Hedley, who was the general manager and head coach with the Blizzard last season, now fills both those roles with the Kings. . . . Topinka, who is from Whitewood, Sask., also scouted for the Blizzard while coaching a junior B team in Regina. . . . According to a Kings’ news release, Topinka was a stick boy with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks when Hedley was coaching there “in the early 2000s.”

The junior B Fernie Ghostriders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have added Jered Neufeld as an assistant coach. He spent the past two seasons as coach/assistant general manager with the Esterhazy Flyers of the Triangle Hockey League. . . . Neufeld also spent time on the coaching staff of the Heritage Junior Hockey League’s Red Deer Vipers. . . . Neufeld now is the general manager of Legacy Ford Fernie.


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