Scattershooting on a Monday night after KIJHL rocked by Creston Valley hazing incident . . .

Scattershooting2

While Hockey Canada was busy trying to determine whether the mess it finds itself in has been swept far enough under the carpet so as to cut down the glare, CrestonValleythe Kootenay International Junior Hockey League was dealing with a hazing incident.

What’s that? You thought hazing was a thing of the past.

Well, think again.

Following a quick investigation, the KIJHL, a junior B league with 19 teams in the Interior of B.C. and one inactive franchise in Spokane, dropped the hammer on the Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

In a news release, the league said it learned of the incident on Sept. 13 and “immediately suspended team activities, including the cancellation of the team’s exhibition game” on Sept. 14. Creston Valley was to have played host to the Fernie Ghostriders that night.

On Sept. 15, the league sent staff into Creston to “conduct interviews with . . . players and coaches.”

“Throughout this process,” the league said, it “has consulted with its Safe Sport partner, ITP Sport, and with BC Hockey.”

On Monday, the league announced that the Thunder Cats have been fined an undisclosed amount and been “placed on probation for a period of two years.”

“During this time,” the news release continued, “the Thunder Cats must take proactive steps to ensure a positive team culture free from abuse, bullying and harassment. Any occurrence of a similar incident will result in further sanctions.”

Furthermore, members of the Thunder Cats “will be required to complete training designed to identify and eliminate instances of abuse, bullying and harassment.”

The KIJHL also suspended two members of the team’s leadership group — captain Clayton Brown, a 20-year-old defenceman from Beaverlodge, Alta., will sit out 12 games and alternate captain Campbell McLean, who will turn 20 on Nov. 4, is to miss six games, both “for violations of the league’s individual conduct policy.” McLean, a forward, is from Whitecourt, Alta.

“The KIJHL is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for our athletes, volunteers, staff and fans,” Jeff Dubois, the KIJHL’s commissioner, said in the news release. “What occurred in Creston was unacceptable, and the discipline imposed against the Thunder Cats’ organization and members of the team reflect our zero-tolerance approach to these types of incidents.

“Our investigation made clear that we have considerable work to do in order to educate our players on the standard of behaviour and leadership expected of them in a team environment. We take this responsibility seriously, and we are taking immediate steps to address this issue.”

The news release concluded with the one sentence that has become standard when leagues are dealing with these kinds of issues:

“The KIJHL will not comment further on this matter.”


Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Hockey Canada seems to be carrying on as if nothing is wrong and all is well. Somebody from the government, somebody with some kind of power, somebody with sponsorship clout needs to unseat the board of directors and replace the senior executives without much delay. Otherwise, it will just be same old, same old.”


Inn


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Nebraska — college football bluebloods — got taken down in Week 2 by supposed cannon fodder Appalachian State, Marshall and Georgia Southern. Even worse, they each had to cough up $1 million-plus in appearance fees to the teams that beat them. Well, as mom always used to say, ‘Don’t play with your food!’ ”

——

Perry, again: “Nebraska has fired its last four football coaches — Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini, Mike Riley and Scott Frost — and paid them a combined $32 million in buyouts, all within a year of awarding them contract extensions. In other words, Groundhog Day I, II, III and IV.”



Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton) — Local consultant not sure what he does, either.

——

Headline at TheOnion.com — Referees call for replay to admire great call.


THINKING OUT LOUD — ICYMI, Arizona State fired head football coach Herm Edwards on Sunday. Yes, he’s the former NFL coach. The Sun Devils are 1-2 this season and the program is under NCAA investigation. ASU could be on the hook for a payout of more than $9 million, though, because Edwards was signed through 2024. That’s still less than the $15 million that Nebraska will be coughing up after dumping head coach Scott Frost after just two games. . . . There are a lot of great stories in this young NFL season, but none will bear watching more than the San Francisco 49ers. I have never really understood how it was that QB Jimmy Garoppolo fell out of favour there, but they weren’t able to move him. Of course, now he’s the starter after Trey Lance broke his right ankle on Sunday and had season-ending surgery on Monday. . . . BTW, Garoppolo pocketed more than $750,000 on Sunday, including a $382,000 game cheque. Grant Marek of sfgate.com has more on Garoppolo’s contract situation right here, and it’s an interesting read. . . . You may have noticed that the New York Mets, Yankees, Jets and Giants all won on Sunday. That’s the first time that has happened since Sept. 27, 2009. So all was well with the Big Apple as another week began.


Ignorance


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Congratulations to Scottie Pippen for being the latest big sports star to lend his name and fame to the LIV Golf circuit. Pippen filmed a heartfelt commercial welcoming the LIV tour to Chicago. Maybe he figures we’ll all stop calling him basketball’s greatest sidekick, and start calling him the murderin’ Saudis’ goofiest pawn.”

——

Here’s Ostler again, this time with a great idea: “If MLB hitters have walk-up songs, they should also be required to have slink-back songs for when they strike out, songs to be chosen by the opposing team’s pitching staff. Some possibles: ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,’ ‘I’m Missing You,’ ‘Heat of the Moment,’ ‘Walk Away, Renee,’ and ‘Blue Bayou’ (blew by you).”



Asked how he felt rookie RB Jaylen Warren fared in his first NFL game, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin replied: “He didn’t urinate down his leg, man — that’s a great place to begin.”


Blinker


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Iron

Scattershooting on a Monday night while trying to figure out what it was that the Denver Broncos just did . . .

Scattershooting2


The Prince Albert Raiders won a WHL exhibition game on Saturday night, beating the Pats, 3-2, in Regina on a goal at 18:23 of the third period by 15-PrinceAlbertyear-old F Dayce Derkatch. “It’s what you always dream of,” Derkatch told Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post. “It’s so special. I’m so honoured and so proud.” . . . He was a third-round selection by the Pats in the 2022 WHL draft. . . . His father, Dale, is in the books as one of the best and most-exciting players in WHL history. Playing with the Pats, he put up 491 points, including 222 goals, in 204 regular-season games. In 54 playoff games, he scored 30 goals and added 73 assists. Add it up — 252 goals, 342 assists, 594 points, all accomplished in 258 games. . . . Vanstone wrote: “Dayce’s ground-breaking goal was scored nearly 41 years after his father registered his first pre-season tally. In his exhibition debut with Regina, Dale had a goal — and two fights — in a 9-4 loss to the host Saskatoon Blades on Sept. 15, 1981. He went on to enjoy a 62-goal, 142-point rookie season.” . . . Dayce signed with the Raiders on Monday and is expected to spend this season with his hometown Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Male AAA Hockey League. . . . Vanstone’s story is right here.


Sale


If it hadn’t before now, I would suggest that baseball statistics have jumped the shark. Officially. . . . I saw this on Twitter on Saturday morning: “Bo Bichette’s HR last night came on a pitch 16″ off the ground. It was the second-lowest pitch hit for a HR in Bichette’s career & the lowest by a #BlueJays hitter this season.” . . . Seriously! . . . Perhaps the MLB player who homers off the closest pitch to the ground each season gets a lifetime supply of tees?


If you hang out regularly in these parts, you may remember the five-part WHL history that I posted here a while back. Well, a short time ago, I received an email asking where it could be found. . . . If you’re new here and you haven’t seen them, you may enjoy these pieces . . .

Part 1: https://greggdrinnan.com/2020/11/18/the-whl-in-the-beginning/

Part 2: https://greggdrinnan.com/2020/11/20/the-whl-part-2-changes-of-scenery-battles-on-and-off-the-ice-and-uhh-a-toupee/

Part 3: https://greggdrinnan.com/2020/11/23/the-whl-part-3-bruins-dynasty-ends-franchises-on-the-move-and-more-mayhem/

Part 4: https://greggdrinnan.com/2020/11/26/the-whl-part-4-winds-of-change-ferraro-lights-it-up-and-yes-a-player-for-a-bus/

Part 5: https://greggdrinnan.com/2020/11/28/the-whl-part-5-there-was-tragedy-lots-of-movement-and-marshmallow-punches/


Texas


Here’s Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times with a look ahead to a major sporting event that is quickly approaching: “Another prestigious sporting event will return to the global stage after being mothballed two years by COVID: the 37th World Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Ireland, on Sept. 21-22. The winner — the Marquis de Sod? — will undoubtedly be decided by the turnover advantage.”



Island


IT’S ONLY MONEY, PART I — Under the subhead ‘Pot, meet Kettle,’ Perry writes: “Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney — the same guy who once said, ‘As far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me . . . there’s enough entitlement in this world as there is’ — has just agreed to a record 10-year, $115-million contract.”

BTW, a national championship would be worth an extra $1 million to Swinney. His average annual salary — $11.5 million — is behind only Nick Saban at Alabama, who is at $11.7 million. No. 3 on the list is Kirby Smart of Georgia, at $11.25 million. . . . The Athletic’s Grace Raynor notes that only one coach (Saban) made at least $9.5 million in 2021. Now there are at least six of them, the other three being Mel Tucker of Michigan State, Ryan Day of Ohio State and Bryan Kelly of LSU. . . . For coaching football. College football.

——

IT’S ONLY MONEY, PART II — The Nebraska Cornhuskers lost, 45-42, to visiting Georgia Southern on Saturday and promptly fired head coach Scott Frost, never mind that the season is only three games old. Nebraska will pay him US$15 million not to coach, a figure that would have been $7.5 million had it waited until Oct. 1 to make the move. Frost, in his fifth season with Nebraska, watched his guys lose 10-straight one-score decisions. . . . You may recall that Frost was the biggest thing in college football since Knute Rockne when he led Central Florida to a 13-0 record in 2018. Well, he left Nebraska with a 16-31 mark, including 10-16 in the Big Ten. Oh yes, he left with a whack of cash, too. . . . From Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports: “It’s hard to contextualize how badly Nebraska wanted this hire to work. Frost was a beloved son and the apparent chosen one for this program. Unfortunately, his winning percentage goes down as the worst by any full-time Nebraska coach since the Eisenhower administration.”

——

IT’S ONLY MONEY, PART III — The Tampa Bay Rays are again in Toronto with without reliever Brooks Raley, who isn’t vaccinated and will miss the five-game set with the Blue Jays. The Rays put him on the restricted list, meaning it will cost him US$93,407 in salary. . . . He wasn’t allowed into Canada earlier in the season and that also cost him four days’ pay. . . . What it means is that his decision not to get vaccinated has cost him $186,814. No biggie, though, because the Rays are paying him $4.25 million this season. . . . BTW, when the Rays were in Toronto earlier, reliever Ryan Thompson also wasn’t on the trip because he isn’t vaccinated. But he’s on the injured list this time. . . . The Blue Jays opened with a 3-2 victory on Monday night. They’ll play two today.


Beers


It is hard to mis-state the size of the mess in which MLB finds itself these days. It’s hard to argue against outlawing the shift and the pitch clock and the larger bases, but, sheesh, when you are bringing in rule changes that legislate against strategy you really have some issues. Especially when there is — or at least used to be — so much strategy involved in baseball. . . . But, hey, if you really want to improve the offensive side of the game, why not limit pitchers to throwing no harder than 90 mph? Just make any pitch faster than 90 a ball. . . . Hello, Bud Segal, are you interested in being commissioner, again? Please.

——

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle has a couple of rule changes that he would like to see MLB implement:

“No more check swings. A check swing, no matter how far the bat goes around, is no swing. These are garbage strikeouts, pure umpire guesswork and satisfying to nobody. Result: Fewer strikeouts, more action.

“If there are five or more people in line at a beer stand, everyone in line gets free beer. Hire more damn vendors. If we want to stand in line, we’ll go to Disneyland or the DMV.”


Witches


THE COACHING GAME:

Carter Rigby has joined the Prince George Cougars as an assistant coach. He had been the head coach of the junior B Osoyoos Coyotes of the Kootenay International Hockey League, who actually announced the signing on Thursday night. The Cougars made their own announcement on Saturday. . . . Rigby played in the WHL, spending time with three teams — the Cougars, Kelowna Rockets and Swift Current Broncos — through 2015. He had been with the Coyotes for the past three seasons. . . . Ken Law has been named the Coyotes’ new head coach. . . .

Eric Williams, a former WHL goaltender, has joined the BCHL’s Chilliwack Chiefs as their goaltending coach. He also works with the BCEHL’s West Valley Giants and the CSSHL’s West Vancouver Academy. . . . Williams, 29, played four seasons (2010-14) in the WHL, spending time with the Prince Albert Raiders and Spokane Chiefs. . . . In Chilliwack, he takes over from Mackenzie Skapski, another former WHL goaltender, who now is the development goaltending coach for the AHL’s Calgary Wranglers.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

Chase Johnston is the new radio voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings. He joins them after calling games for the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors for the past four seasons. In Brandon, he takes over from Brandon Crowe, who left the position late last season to join Hockey Canada. . . . The Wheat Kings also announced that their broadcasts are returning to 91.5 FM (Q Country) and 880 AM, both of which recently were purchased by the Jim Pattison Group. . . . It was only a year ago that the Wheat Kings had announced an agreement with Bell Media that put games on Bounce 96.1. Prior to that, the games had been heard on CKLQ from 1992-2021.


Chummy


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Costume

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while cringing at Hockey Canada’s chutzpah . . .

Scattershooting2

If you ever wondered about the arrogance of Hockey Canada, well, wonder no longer. You only had to see the end of the IIHF World Women’s Championship HockeyCanadain Herning, Denmark, on Sunday to understand. . . . Yes, that was Scott Smith, the president and CEO of Hockey Canada, handing out the gold medals to the Canadian team after its 2-1 victory over the U.S., in the process allowing controversy to creep into what should have been a time that belonged strictly to the winners. . . . The arrogance, the tone deafness . . . call it whatever you want . . . it was off the charts. . . . What it wasn’t was surprising. . . . If you haven’t realized it before, you should be aware by now that the Hockey Canada pooh-bahs seem to be planning to wait this out while the whole mess gets swept (shovelled?) under the carpet and disappears from the public mind. . . . At the end of the day, it’s all about the power and the accompanying perks. Once your nose is in the trough, it’s awfully hard to walk away on a voluntary basis. Obviously, the time has come for someone — politicians? sponsors? — to push harder.


Old friend Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times is nearing a well-earned retirement. For a long time now, he has allowed me to lift items from his weekly Sideline Chatter column. Yes, he has taken the odd thing from me, but the exchange is heavily weighted the other way. . . . His column is wonderful. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s how he opened this week’s effort:

Warning: Dogleg ahead … and maybe    a giraffe leg.

Play at the Skukuza Golf Club in the wilds of South Africa had to be held up until the carcass of a giraffe — killed by a couple of lions, who were then replaced by 20 hungry hyenas — could be hauled away from the fairway of the third hole.

“It is what makes Skukuza so special,” greenskeeper Jean Rossouw told the London Daily Mail, “not knowing what is going to happen every time you play.”


Soup


DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME, SAYS COVID-19 — Craig Dickenson, the head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, was back on the sideline for Sunday’s Labour Day Classic — that isn’t played on Labour Day — in Regina. Dickenson had tested positive for you know what and missed practices starting on Tuesday. He also missed Saturday’s walk through because he needed a negative test before he would be allowed to return. . . . The Roughriders know they have to be careful with this because it was only in July when they had 13 players and five staff members test positive. . . . ICYMI, the Blue Bombers (11-1) escaped with a 20-18 victory over the Roughriders (6-6). And now it’s on to Winnipeg for Saturday’s Banjo Bowl. If you’re a Roughriders’ fan you are pleading with your guys to play with more discipline — even a player who wasn’t dressed took a penalty yesterday and took them out of FG range — but you know you’re likely yelling into a void.


Headline at The Beaverton: Man who is “done with COVID” sure doing everything he can to keep it going.

——

One more from The Beaverton: No one is ever productive working from home declare CEOs working from Barbados.


Newquik


The Florida State football team had 140 staff members and 116 players on hand for its team photo. As Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wondered: “Do the grad assistants really need grad assistants?”


Mark your calendar. Game 1 of the World Series is scheduled for Oct. 28. As Bob Molinaro asks in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “Who will be the next Mr. November?”



ICYMI, Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama football team, signed a contract extension the other day that will pay him US$93.6 million through the 2030 season. . . . As sports business analyst Darren Rovell noted on Twitter — $26,326: In-state student tuition, room & board at Alabama for the 2022-23 school year. . . . $29,315: What Alabama football coach Nick Saban gets paid PER DAY this season.”


Teeth


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Jon Gruden, man, there’s a man who can apologize. Not. On eight years of his email hate, Gruden said, ‘I’ll make no excuses for it, it’s shameful. BUT. I am a good person. . . . I made some mistakes but I don’t think anyone here hasn’t.’ Gruden should be given another chance to work. The job should involve a mop and broom.”

——

Ostler, again: “Cameron Smith, world No. 2 golfer, calls LIV golfers not receiving world ranking points ‘perhaps a little bit unfair.’ Pal, if you’re looking for a shoulder to cry on, try your Saudi sugar daddies. They seem like sympathetic folks.”


THINKING OUT LOUD — A tip of the fedora to the Moose Jaw Warriors. Admission to their Black-White game on Sunday was by donation, and proceeds went to the Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Mental Health Association in memory of Ethan Williams. Well done, Warriors! Never forget. . . . The American League’s third wild-card spot could come down to the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles, and they’ll meet 10 times between now and season’s end. Seven of those games will be in Baltimore. They start with a doubleheader in Baltimore today (Monday). . . . Oh, did I mention that Baltimore has won six of nine meetings with Toronto to this point? . . . Of course, both teams still are within range of the AL East-leading Yankees, who are folding like a cardboard suitcase in a rain storm. . . . Is it time to blow up Hockey Canada entirely, including rules and regulations and everything else, and start over?


Desk


Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Kudos to the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation, which doesn’t want its players working in the KHL because of its disapproval of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If you play in the KHL this season, you can’t play hockey for a Swedish national team.”



You may have watched Northwestern and Nebraska in a college football game from Dublin, Ireland, a couple of Saturday’s ago. At one point in the telecast, St. Andrew’s Cathedral could be seen. “In Omaha,” wrote comedy writer Brad Dickson, formerly of the Omaha World-Herald, “it would be razed to make room for a strip mall.”


Scott Frost, Nebraska’s head coach, is on the hot seat this season. After losing, 31-28, to Northwestern in Dublin, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Nick Canepa wrote: “Scott Frost . . . unemployment nipping at his nose.” . . . The Wildcats bounced back with a 38-17 victory over the North Dakota Fighting Hawks on Saturday.


Chicken


THE COACHING GAME:

The WHL’s Vancouver Giants have added former NHL D Brent Seabrook to their staff as a player development coach. Seabrook, from Delta, B.C., isn’t a stranger to the Giants. He joined the coaching staff in December when head coach Michael Dyck was with Team Canada at the World Junior Championship tournament that was postponed shortly after it got started. . . . Seabrook won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks during an NHL career that included 1,114 regular games and 123 more in the playoffs. . . . He spent four seasons (2001-05) with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes. He played 15 seasons in Chicago before retiring after the 2019-20 season. . . .

The BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers have added Tyler Gow to their staff as an assistant coach. Gow, 39, is from Nanaimo. He finished his junior A career by playing 40 games with the Clippers in 2000-01, then spent for years at St. Norbert College, an NCAA Division III school. In Nanaimo, Gow will be working alongside Colin Birkas, the general manager and head coach, associate coaches Bob Beatty and Bob Foglietta, assistant coach Dave Liffiton, skills coach Ben Walter and goaltender coach Sean Murray.


JUNIOR JOTTINGS:

The Wisconsin Lumberjacks of the Superior International Junior Hockey League played an exhibition game against the host Brooks Bandits of the AJHL on Thursday night. The Bandits won. 23-0. Shots were 56-12. . . . A couple of nights earlier, the Lumberjacks had dropped a 7-1 decision to the host Okotoks Oilers. . . . The Lumberjacks ventured into the SJHL on Sunday, where they were outshot, 49-19, and beaten, 3-2, by the Kindersley Klippers.


Service


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Shopping

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while thinking about two aces an hour apart . . . by a ninth grader . . .

Scattershooting2

The B.C. Lions, in fact all of the CFL and its fans, got the news no one wanted to hear on Sunday. QB Nathan Rourke of the Lions may have had his season come CFLlogoto an end in Friday’s 28-10 victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina. . . . Rourke suffered an injury to his right foot in the third quarter and was in a walking boot when, with some help, he left the field. . . . On Sunday, the Lions announced that he had suffered a Lisfranc sprain and will undergo surgery “very soon.”

From webmd.com: “This joint is located at the arched area of your foot, also known as the midfoot. Here, there are a small set of bones, including the metatarsals, that extend to your toes. The smaller bones of the arch are called the cuneiforms and cuboid bones.

“There are tight ligaments and other connective tissues that hold these bones together. This is important for stabilizing the foot, and transferring force from your calves to your feet.

“With a Lisfranc sprain, these ligaments are sprained or torn. The bones of the midfoot may also be dislocated or fractured. Cartilage and other soft tissues can be affected, as well. The severity of a Lisfranc joint injury can range from simple to complex.”

Also from webmd.com: “Internal fixation is one type of surgical method in which the bones are repositioned and stabilized with screws or plates. Since the Lisfranc joint is a mobile joint, this stabilization hardware will have to be removed, typically 3- 5 months after the surgery.”

While the Lions are hoping that Rourke is able to return late in the season, it could be that his season is over. Also on Friday night, Matt Corral, a freshman QB with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, suffered a Lisfranc sprain to his left foot and there are rumblings that the 2022 third-round draft pick from Ole Miss won’t return this season.

Rourke, 24, was born in Victoria and raised in Oakville, Ont. After playing at Ohio University, he now is in his second CFL season. Last season, he made one start as he backed up the now-retired Michael Reilly. This season, he leads the CFL in passing yards (3,281), passing touchdowns (25) and completion percentage (an unworldly 79.2). He also has rushed 39 times for 304 yards and seven touchdowns.

With Rourke gone, Michael O’Connor, who also is Canadian, will start for the Lions on Friday when the Roughriders visit Vancouver. O’Connor, from Orleans, Ont., is in his third CFL season, but his first with B.C. He signed as a free agent on Feb. 8 after dressing for six games with the Calgary Stampeders in 2021. He was with the Toronto Argos — dressing for nine games and getting into two — in 2019. Prior to that, he played four seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds.



If you weren’t aware, Aug. 16 has some history to it. As Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times pointed out on Twitter: “Elvis, Aretha and Babe Ruth died on this day. A king, a queen and a sultan.”


Cheque


COVID-19 SAYS HELLO . . . AGAIN — The Arizona Cardinals were without DE J.J. Watt on Sunday when they dropped a 24-17 decision to the visiting Baltimore Ravens in an NFL exhibition game. And he won’t play on Saturday when the Cardinals wrap up their exhibition schedule in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans. What happened? Yes, he tested positive for COVID-19. . . . “I think the snake brought it in the house,” Watt tweeted. . . . Watt is the third Arizona player to have tested positive during training camp, after QB Kyler Murray and DL Kingsley Keke, both of whom missed time earlier. Keke has since been released. . . .

The New York Yankees retired Paul O’Neill’s number (21) prior to Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. O’Neill is part of the Yankees’ TV crew on the YES Network, but he isn’t vaccinated so does games from his Cincinnati home because he isn’t allowed in the broadcast booth. Despite being part of a TV crew, O’Neill didn’t meet with any media on Sunday, no doubt because he knew what line at least some of the questions would follow. Due to MLB’s COVID-19 restrictions, no active players took part in the ceremony.


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Sure, the (Cleveland) Browns sold their soul when they traded for (Deshaun) Watson, but at least they did their due diligence. Said team owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam back then: ‘Our team’s comprehensive evaluation process was of utmost importance due to the sensitive nature of his situation and the complex factors involved. . . .(Watson) was humble, sincere, and candid.’ And yet, I can’t shake the feeling that the Browns may have missed something.”

——

More from Ostler: “Back then, if a Browns’ adviser told the Haslams, ‘We seriously have to vet this guy,’ I suspect that Jimmy Haslam went out and bought Watson a Corvette.”


Press


THINKING OUT LOUD — Can we all agree that there must be a way to make Diane Therrien the mayor of every city, town and village in Canada? Diane Therrien is the mayor of Peterborough, Ont. If you don’t know her story, let Google be your friend. . . . Congratulations to the Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds. The WHL’s 22 teams open training camps in about two weeks and on Sunday evening these were the only clubs with rosters available via the league’s website. . . . I don’t know what it means but the Baltimore Ravens now have won 22 consecutive NFL exhibition games. Yes, that’s an NFL record for whatever that’s worth.


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The Portland Trail Blazers won’t send their TV or radio broadcasters on road trips, instead having them announce games from home. There you have it — the NBA season’s first non-traveling call.”


Former MLB pitcher Dennis Eckersley, now an analyst for Boston Red Sox games on NESN, isn’t a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ low-budget operation. As he put it during a telecast the other night: “You talk about a no-name lineup. . . . This is a hodgepodge of nothingness.”


Secret


THE COACHING GAME:

The junior B Kamloops Storm of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League are expected to announce a coaching change on Monday, with Jan KamStormLudvig taking over from Geoff Grimwood. . . . Ludvig, 60, was to have been an assistant coach for the upcoming season, but now has been moved up to head coach. He played 34 games with the WHL’s Kamloops Jr. Oilers in 1981-82 before going on to play 314 NHL regular-season games over seven seasons, splitting them between the New Jersey Devils (288) and Buffalo Sabres (26). He spent 24 seasons as a pro scout with the Devils and the past three with the Boston Bruins. . . . Since spending three seasons (2015-18) as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Kindersley Klippers, Grimwood has been with the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors for part of 2018-19, then split 2019-20 between the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders and Winkler Flyers. He signed on as GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals in May 2020, but resigned in October without having coached a game. He was with Kamloops for one season, having taken over from Steve Gainey in July 2021. Gainey now is the Storm’s director of hockey operations.


Brexit


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Peanuts

Scattershooting on a Monday night after surviving another Coquihalla round trip . . .

scattershooting

So . . . we took a few days away to spend time with our son, Todd, and his family in Coquitlam. While there, I saw the above tweet and sent it along to him. . . . It just happens that Todd, a journeyman printer, works with a few Filiponos. . . . “I talked to the older Filipino guy I work with about the bat,” Todd messaged me during our drive home on Monday, “and he told me stories about hunting them with his dad and grandpa. Using slingshots. Though he said they weren’t usually that big.” . . . And then he added: “Good bbq apparently.”


As you may be aware, the junior B Spokane Braves won’t ice a team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in 2022-23. Why not? Well, the owner, Bob Tobiason, isn’t vaccinated, nor is the head coach. And they apparently couldn’t get enough players to get vaccinated so that they could put together a team that would be allowed into Canada. . . . And, yes, there are fingers pointed at the Canadian government; never mind that the U.S. government has the same restriction in place. . . . Of course, as one source told Taking Note last week, “the elephant in the room” is “team fees” of somewhere around US$10,000. . . . No matter. Late last week, Cathy Tobiason, Bob’s wife, issued this statement . . .

Braves


ICYMI, head coach Dave Dickenson was MIA on Friday night when his Calgary COVIDStampeders went into Ottawa and scored a 17-3 victory over the Redblacks. Dickenson was in COVID-19 protocol, so special teams coach Mark Kilam, who is in his 18th season with the Stampeders, was the acting head coach. . . . Dickenson, who was cleared to return to practice later in the weekend, was in his usual place on the sidelines when the Stampeders dropped a 35-28 loss to the visiting Winnipeg Blue Bombers on July 30 but missed practices during the following week. . . . And then came word that Dusty Baker, the manager of the Houston Astros, had tested positive prior to a Friday night game. Baker is 73 so you can bet the Astros’ medical staff is keeping a close eye on him.


TurnSignal


A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “The American Massage Therapy Association’s national convention is scheduled for Aug. 25-27 in Cleveland. Alas, the keynote speaker is Michael Phelps, not Deshaun Watson.”

——

Perry, again: “Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday’s Mariners-Yankees game in Seattle. In keeping with the theme, the catcher will be wearing an extra mask.”


Blinker


While I was away . . .

When the 2022-23 major junior season opens, Travis Crickard will be the head coach of the defending Memorial Cup champions. Crickard, 35, was named head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday, taking over from Gardiner MacDougall, who ran the bench during the Memorial Cup tournament, which the Sea Dogs won as the host team. . . . MacDougall, the head coach of the U of New Brunswick Reds, took over the Sea Dogs after they fired head coach Gordie Dwyer following a first-round playoff loss. After winning the Memorial Cup, MacDougall returned to the Reds. . . . Crickard, a former assistant coach with the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets (2014-19), joined the Sea Dogs as an assistant coach in November. He also has worked with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s so now has a CHL coaching hat trick to his credit. . . . Crickard and the Sea Dogs are scheduled to open training camp on Aug. 15 — yes, Aug. 15 — and their first exhibition game is scheduled for Aug. 18. . . . There is a complete news release right here. . . .

The OHL’s Oshawa Generals signed Derek Laxdal, a former WHL player and coach, as head coach. Laxdal, 56, had been an assistant coach with the NHL’s Dallas Stars since the middle of the 2019-20 season when he was added to head coach Rick Bowness’ staff. He was the head coach the Texas Stars, Dallas’s AHL affiliate for five-plus seasons. . . . Laxdal was the head coach of the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings for four seasons (2010-14), winning the 2012 and 2014 championships. He guided the Oil Kings to a Memorial Cup title in 2014. He played in the WHL for the Portland Winterhawks, Brandon Wheat Kings and New Westminster Bruins (1982-86). . . . In Oshawa, Laxdal takes over from Todd Miller, who was fired on March 12, with assistants Kurtis Foster and Mike Hedden finishing the season as interim co-head coaches. . . .

Jason Clarke has stepped down as general manager and head coach of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan. He left to join the AHL’s San Diego Gulls as an assistant coach. . . . He had been the Titan’s head coach since Nov. 29 and the GM since June 7. . . .

The MJHL’s OCN Blizzard has hired Doug Johnson as head coach and assistant general manager. Johnson, 46, spent more than 11 seasons with the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks before he was fired as GM and head coach on Dec. 4. . . . With the Blizzard, Johnson replaces Billy Keane, whose contract wasn’t renewed after the 2021-22 season. . . . Interestingly, it was in June when the Blizzard named Darren Naylor as its general manager and head coach. Naylor started last season as the GM/head coach of the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers but was placed on a BCHL-directed administrative leave in February for what the league said was an alleged breach of its code of conduct. In March, the BCHL revealed that Naylor was to stay on administrative leave through May 31 while an independent investigation was completed. The BCHL has yet to comment on the investigation. . . . Meanwhile, Greg Hunter is shown on the Blizzard’s website as the general manager and associate coach. . . .

The AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers have signed general manager and head coach Tyler Deis to a contract extension that runs through the 2027-28 season with options that could take him through 2029-30. . . . Good on the Oilers for revealing the length of the deal. . . . Deis, 48, started with the Oilers as assistant coach in 2013-14. He has been the head coach since June 6, 2016, and has a gaudy 209-79-18 (.712) regular-season record. . . . The Oilers also announced “the return of his support staff, including assistant and goaltending coach Derek Purfield, assistant coach and equipment manager Brody Hailwood, and assistant coach Reid Hnatowich, who return for their 10th, third and fifth seasons on the staff, respectively.” . . . There is a news release right here. . . .

The BCHL’s Coquitlam Express signed Patrick Sexton as its new head coach. He has been an assistant coach with the Penticton Vees for the past three seasons. Sexton, 28, won two BCHL titles with the Vees — one as a player (2014-15) and one as an assistant coach (2021-22). . . . With the Express, Sexton replaces Brandon Shaw, now an assistant coach with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. . . .

The WHL’s Calgary Hitmen released their home schedule with venues and they will play 28 of the 34 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The other six games are scheduled to be played at the 2,000-seat Seven Chiefs Sportsplex, which is on Tsuut’ina Nation, just to the southwest of Calgary. . . . The Hitmen played in the Sportsplex during the 2021 development season and will hold their training camp there next month. . . . The Saddledome will be a busy place as it also is the home arena for the NHL’s Flames and AHL’s Wranglers, along with the NLL’s Roughnecks. . . .

Rob Klinkhammer, a former WHL player, has retired from playing and joined the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, as an assistant coach. . . . He will be working alongside head coach Anders Sorensen and with fellow assistants Peter Aubry, Adam Gill and Jared Nightingale. . . . Klinkhammer, 35, played in Rockford for four seasons (2008-12). . . . He spent four seasons in the WHL, playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Seattle Thunderbirds, Portland Winter Hawks and Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . He played the past six seasons in the KHL, including last season with the Dynamo Moskva. . . .

Dave Lowry, who has coached in the WHL with the Calgary Hitmen, Victoria Royals and Brandon Wheat Kings, now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. Lowry, 57, started last season as an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets; he finished as the club’s interim head coach after head coach Paul Maurice stepped aside. . . . He also has been an NHL assistant coach with the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings. . . . In the WHL, he spent four seasons (2005-09) on Calgary’s staff, the last one as head coach; five seasons (2012-17) as Victoria’s head coach; and one (2019-20) as Brandon’s head coach.


animal


THINKING OUT LOUD: Former RHP Dennis Eckersley has spent 20 seasons providing analysis of Boston Red Sox games on NESN. Unfortunately, there won’t be a 21st season because he’s bowing out after this one. That’s really too bad, too, because Eck provides an entertaining listening experience. Yes, he pulls for the Red Sox, but his enthusiasm for the game overcomes that if you’re not a Boston fan. . . . If anyone can explain why the price of a litre of regular gasoline is as much as seven cents cheaper in areas of the Lower Mainland than it is in Kamloops, please feel free to let me know. . . . I happened upon a news release today that began: “Paid parking is being introduced to the ENMAX Centre starting Sept. 1 for both facility events and overflow Lethbridge College parking.” There will be an exemption for Lethbridge Hurricanes’ season-ticket holders, but others will have to fork over $5 per vehicle.” I immediately had flashbacks to 1985 when Regina Pats fans learned that they were going to have to pay $1 to park at what was then the Agridome. The fans protested by not showing up. That led to the Pinder family selling the franchise to a Swift Current group. But the WHL’s board of governors chose not to approve the deal. Eventually, four local businessmen — Morley Gusway, Bill Hicke, Ted Knight and Jack Nicolle — purchased the team. They would later try to sell it to the Ochapowace First Nations for $1.7 million, but the WHL board rejected that deal. The league then bought the team and later solid it to Calgary businessman Russ Parker. Yes, it was all because of a $1 parking fee. . . . ICYMI, the Atlanta Braves released veteran 2B Robinson Cano the other day. He also has been dumped by the New York Mets and San Diego Padres this season. But shed no tears for him, because he is still owed US$33.7 million by various teams.



Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, with a suggestion for Sportsperson of the Year: “Tiger Woods, for rejecting an offer from the LIV golf tour for at least $700 million. Likely he could have negotiated that offer up to a cool billion. Phil Mickelson got $200 million to sign. Woods hasn’t fully explained why he spurned Saudi blood money, although he did criticize the LIV golfers for abandoning the PGA Tour that made them rich and famous. Whatever his reasoning, Woods was the guy the Saudis desperately needed to legitimize their greed-a-palooza clown show. Instead, Tiger took one for the team, the human race.”


Selfies


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Brandon Wheat Kings have acquired F Calder Anderson, 20, from the Moose Jaw Warriors for a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2024 WHL draft. Anderson played just 15 games last season, scoring four goals and adding two assists. In 108 regular-season and playoff games with Moose Jaw, he has 13 goals and 16 assists. . . . I would love to tell you which 20-year-olds are on the Brandon and Moose Jaw rosters, but those rosters aren’t yet available on team websites. With training camps less than a month away, the WHL and its teams should be embarrassed about the lack of information. . . . D David Jiricek tested positive for COVID-19 so wasn’t able to join his Czechia teammates when they left for Edmonton and the WJC last week. But he has been cleared to play and now is in Edmonton. His WHL rights belong to the Spokane Chiefs.


Peanuts


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Beer

Scattershooting on a Monday night while watching smoke roll in from the west . . .

scattershooting

You have to think that organizers of the 2022 World Junior Championship have their fingers and toes crossed. You will recall that the event actually got started COVIDin Edmonton in December, but the plug was pulled after a number of players and on-ice officials tested positive for COVID-19. The rescheduled event is to begin Aug. 9 in Edmonton and, well, there has been a player test positive. D David Jiricek wasn’t with Team Czechia when it left for Edmonton after he tested positive. He is in quarantine after which it is hoped that he will join the team. . . . Jiricek, who will turn 19 on Nov. 28, was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the sixth pick in the NHL’s 2022 draft. His WHL rights belong to the Spokane Chiefs, who selected him in the CHL’s 2020 import draft. . . . Jiricek has played the past three seasons with HC Škoda Plzeň of the Czech Extraliga.

——

Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals will be without QB Kyler Murray for at least five games as they go through training camp. He tested positive on Monday. . . . Oh, and the Seattle Seahawks are without head coach Pete Carroll after he, too, tested positive on Monday. He will continue to communicate with the team virtually.


Dinos


Wait! What’s that? Oh, Canada just scored another goal against Switzerland at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Red Deer.


Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times is keeping an eye on NFL training camps for us. Here’s an early report: “Breaking news from Panthers camp: WR Robby Anderson wants to go by Robbie now. Three days in, and we’re already down to stuff like this?”



Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, with a few words on unvaccinated baseballers: “As they say in baseball, we’ll shoot any random stuff into our bodies, as long as it’s not something that will help stop a worldwide killer pandemic.”



Headline from The Beaverton: Pope Francis closes Commonwealth Stadium mass with 52-yard Hail Mary.

Headline from fark.com: Mike Trout diagnosed with rare spinal condition that’s been aggravated by carrying the Angels for the last 10 years.


Peanuts


A regular reader responds to something I mentioned here the other day:

“You have mentioned how irritating the (Sleeman) 2.0 ads are. I agree but I find the betting ads are bad enough with the amount of them. But when the sports shows give a segment away to talk about the odds is horrible.”

Hard to disagree with him. It also has made it hard, if not impossible, to watch intermission and halftime shows.


Wayne Kartusch, a longtime president of the SJHL, died in Red Deer on Thursday. He was 82. . . . Kartusch played two seasons (1958-60) with the SJHL’s Regina Pats, before going on to attend the U of Michigan. . . . He later was the SJHL president for 25 years. . . . Rob Vanstone of the Regina Leader-Post has a whole lot more on Kartusch right here.


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Taxes

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while wondering if we’ll see 40 C this week . . .

scattershooting

It is the St. Louis Cardinals’ turn to visit the Toronto Blue Jays; they’ll play a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday without three players, including COVIDtwo future Hall-of-Famers. . . . 1B Paul Goldschmidt and 3B Nolan Arenado aren’t vaccinated so can’t cross into Canada due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Of course, the rules are the same going the other way — all of the Blue Jays are vaccinated — but there are Americans who blame all of this on Canadian rules whenever it’s revealed that players can’t get into the country. . . . You may recall that the Kansas City Royals showed up without 10 of the players on their 26-man roster when they played in Toronto prior to the All-Star break. . . . The Cardinals also will be without C Austin Romine. Yes, he is unvaccinated, too. . . . All three will be placed on MLB’s restricted list so won’t be paid. According to ESPN, Arenado will lose $384,416, Goldschmidt $241,758 and Romine $10,989. . . .

Jeff Jones, who covers the Cardinals for the Belleville, Ill., News-Democrat, tweeted that St. Louis GM John Mozeliak said “he had a conversation with Arenado in which Arenado expressed a desire to start a family soon, which informed some of his hesitance.” . . . Jones added that “COVID-19 vaccines do not cause infertility.” . . .

Goldschmidt explained his decision this way: “It was not an easy decision, but over this year-plus that this has happened, I’ve tried to talk to as many doctors and professionals as I could, figured out as much as I could, and I decided the potential risks outweighed the potential benefits of doing it. It stinks that I can’t play in Toronto and can’t play these next couple of games — I hate that part of it, but that’s unfortunately the consequence.” . . .

The Cardinals are in the National League wild-card race and are in danger of missing the playoffs — despite Goldschmidt being the favourite at this point to be named the NL’s MVP — so these two games, especially if they were to lose both of them, could turn out to be rather important.

Of course, both players said on Sunday that they would reconsider their decisions if the Cardinals make the playoffs, especially if they got in and made a run to the World Series.

Arenado: “I would probably consider (it), especially if it’s a chance to play in the World Series. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

BTW, after the Cardinals leave Toronto, the Detroit Tigers are to come in for a four-game set. Yes, it’ll be deja vu all over again.


Christmas


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Lucky for MLB that the All-Star Game wasn’t scheduled for Toronto, where un-vaccinated players would have been shut out. Recently, 10 Royals missed a four-game series in Toronto because they were un-vaxxed. As they say in baseball, We’ll shoot any random stuff into our bodies, as long as it’s not something that will help stop a worldwide killer pandemic.”

——

Ostler again:SI.com writer Stephanie Apstein called athletes’ vax resistance ‘a uniquely American breed of stupidity.’ To which Novak Djokovic said, ‘Hey, what about me?’ ”


VanGogh


Casey Close, a player agent, is suing American national sports-radio host Doug Gottlieb over a tweet claiming he and Excel Sports Management didn’t show the Atlanta Braves’ final offer to Freddie Freeman, who eventually signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. . . . As Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel wrote: “Hey, if we start suing hosts for being inaccurate, then the entire talk-radio industry will crumble like sand castles at high tide.”


It turns out that QB Cody Fajardo was one of the 13 players with the Saskatchewan Roughriders who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. As a result, he wasn’t able to even dress for Sunday’s 31-21 over the visiting Toronto Argos. . . . BTW, Mason Fine, Saskatchewan’s backup QB, also was in COVID-19 protocol, but he was well enough to backup on Sunday. That left freshman QB Jake Dolegala, normally third on the depth chart, to start the game.


Carrots


THINKING OUT LOUD: In the 1982-83 season, F Pat LaFontaine of the QMJHL’s Verdun Juniors put up 274 points, including 118 goals, in 89 games, including playoffs and the Memorial Cup. Think about that for a moment or two. . . . Kurleigh Gittens Jr. is a wide receiver with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, who had 152 yards and a touchdown in a 31-21 victory over the host Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday. If his nickname isn’t Jake, they’re doing it wrong. . . . Yes, I know that the Jack Nicholson character in Chinatown was Jake Gittes, but, hey, it’s close enough. . . . With 4:23 left in Sunday’s game, TSN analyst Glen Suitor made reference to the game being played before a “packed house.” Suitor must have had an obstructed-view seat because attendance in the 33,350-seat Mosaic Stadium was announced at 27,134 and TSN cameras showed that there were fewer than that in the house.


One more sign that the apocalypse is upon us . . . 


Back in the day, Marie-Antoinette, the queen of France, upon being told that the peasants didn’t have any bread, may or may not have said: “Let them eat cake.” . . . Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner, proved that he is a student of French history when, after being asked about the salaries (?) being paid to minor-league players, he responded: “I reject the premise that (minor-leaguers) are not paid even a living wage.”



Headline from the Los Angeles Times: The University of California Irvine on Monday will require all students and staff to wear masks while inside campus buildings, following the lead of other colleges that have chosen to strengthen safety measures as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.


Twitter


You may be aware that Dan Russell, the well-known former host of the Vancouver-based radio show Sportstalk, has written a book — Pleasant Good Evening: My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportstalk. . . . If you are thinking about writing your own book, you may want to check out this interview right here because Russell does a good job of explaining all that he went through in order to get his book from start to finish. . . . And if you haven’t read the book, you should. It’s a solid no-holds-barred look at the man, his life and his career. (Disclaimer: Yes, I helped him in the editing process.)

Former Sportstalk Radio host Dan Russell is making headlines with his new memoir


A track-and-field quiz from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times:

Noah Lyles won the 200 meters in 19.31 seconds at the world championships in Eugene, Ore., breaking the U.S. record held by:

  1. Michael Johnson
  2. Forrest Gump
  3. Josh Hawley

Ken Brown, a goaltender who played with the Moose Jaw Canucks in the first two seasons (1966-68) of what now is the WHL, has died in Austin, Texas, at the age of 73. . . . He was the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League’s goaltender of the year for 1966-67 when he put up a 3.22 GAA in 54 games. . . . In 1967-68, he was a second-team all-star in the Western Canada Junior Hockey League with a 5.07 GAA in 58 games. . . . A native of Port Arthur, Ont., Brown spent four seasons (1968-72) with the Dallas Black Hawks, the Central Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. He got into one game with Chicago in 1970-71, giving up one goal on 14 shots in 18 minutes. Of course, Chicago had Tony Esposito and Gerry Desjardins ahead of him. . . . He later spent two seasons (1972-73, 1974-75) with the WHA’s Alberta/Edmonton Oilers.


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Nudist

Scattershooting on a Sunday while thinking about that great deal on regular gasoline . . .

scattershooting

A huge thank you to all those who stop by here and chose to support Dorothy in her fund-raising effort on behalf of the Kidney Foundation. . . . The 2022 Kamloops Kidney Walk was held virtually on Sunday and she was part of it for a ninth straight year. If you’re new here, she underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . This year, she raised $4,325, a personal-best after the $3,900 she raised a year ago. And, if you’re wondering, she has raised $28,171 since she got involved with the Kidney Walk for the first time in 2014. . . . She couldn’t have done it without all of you, so thanks again! . . . If you still want to help out her cause by getting in under the wire, you are able to do so right here.


So . . . where are we with the championship finals in the three major junior CHLleagues? . . . Well, the host Edmonton Oil Kings got past the Seattle Thunderbirds, 5-4, on Sunday to even that the WHL final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup at 1-1. . . . The series will resume with Games 3 and 4 in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday and Wednesday. . . . The games will be televised by TSN. Victor Findlay will be calling the play with former Spokane Chiefs F Kevin Sawyer (1992-95) providing the analysis. He also spent one season (2013-14) as a Spokane assistant coach. . . . During the NHL season, Sawyer provides analysis on TSN’s telecasts of Winnipeg Jets games. . . . Remember that as many of Games 5, 6 and 7 are needed will be played in Edmonton, beginning with Game 5 on Saturday night. . . .

In the OHL, F Avery Hayes had two goals and two assists on Sunday to lead the Hamilton Bulldogs to a 5-4 victory over the visiting Windsor Spitfires. That series also is 1-1. . . . The OHL final for the J. Robertson Cup heads to Windsor for Game 3 tonight (Monday) and it is to be televised by TSN, starting at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET). Game 4 won’t be played until Friday because the Spitfires’ home arena is booked for graduation ceremonies. . . . Jon Abbott will handle the play calling for TSN, while Craig Button is the analyst. . . .

The QMJHL’s President Cup final opened on Saturday night with the visiting Shawinigan Cataractes posting a 5-1 victory over the Charlottetown Islanders behind two goals from F Xavier Bourgault and three assists from D Jordan Tourigny. . . . On Sunday, again in Charlottetown, Bourgault scored in OT as the Cataractes posted a 5-4 victory to take a 2-0 series lead. Shawinigan F Pierrick Dubé forced extra time when he scored with six seconds left in the third period. . . . They’ll play Game 3 in Shawinigan on Wednesday and it is scheduled to be shown by TSN (4 p.m. PT, 7 p.m. ET). . . . For this series, TSN will have Adam Dunfee doing play-by-play and Marc Methot providing analysis.


SUNDAY IN THE WHL:

WHL final for the Ed Chynoweth Cup

In Edmonton, F Brendan Kuny, who scored twice in 50 regular-season games, broke a 4-4 tie in the third period as the Oil Kings beat the Seattle EdmontonThunderbirds, 5-4. . . . The Oil Kings also got four points, two of them goals, from D Luke Prokop, who has been in on five of the six goals his side has scored in the first two games. . . . The series now is 1-1 with Game 3 scheduled for Kent, Wash., on Tuesday. . . . This was the sixth straight one-goal game in which Seattle has been involved; it had won the first five of those. . . . Prokop (3) got the scoring started, giving the Oil Kings a 1-0 lead when he got a shot through traffic and into the net at 1:35 of the second period. . . . Seattle tied it at 3:29 when F Matt Rempe (7) backhanded home the rebound off a shot by D Jeremy Hanzel. Rempe had scored a similar goal in Seattle’s 2-1 victory in Game 1 on Friday night. . . . Last night, Edmonton went ahead 2-1 at 4:19 when Prokop (4) joined the rush and scored off a pass from F Jake Neighbours. . . . F Carter Souch (11) capitalized on a turnover and upped Edmonton’s lead to 3-1 at 13:11, only to have Seattle F Lukas Svejkovsky (10) strike, on a PP, at 15:12. . . . F Justin Sourdif (5) restored Edmonton’s two-goal lead, on a PP, at 17:28 to close out a six-goal second period — four by the Oil Kings. . . . The Thunderbirds tied it 4-4 with two early third-period scores — F Jared Davidson (12) notched a PP goal from the right face-off dot at 0:26 and Svejkovsky (11) banged in the rebound of a shot by F Reid Schaefer at 2:50. . . . The Oil Kings went back in front at 8:46 when Kuny (1) tipped in a Prokop point shot. . . . Seattle was 2-for-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 1-for-3. . . . G Sebastian Cossa blocked 26 shots for Edmonton, 10 fewer than Seattle’s Thomas Milic.


Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: “The Tampa Bay Rays were about to receive $35 million in public money for a spring training site, but Florida governor Ron DeSantis vetoed the funding after the Rays tweeted support for gun-violence prevention and donated $50,000 to Everytown.org. If (NBA commissioner Adam) Silver were MLB commissioner, he would tell the Rays and other Grapefruit League teams that he will gladly help them relocate their camps to California, which also has nice spring weather, but without the bugs.”


Number


THINKING OUT LOUD: Is Rafael Nadal the GOAT among men’s tennis players? When American Pete Sampras called it quits in 2002, he had won a record 14 Grand Slam tournaments. Nadal, who is from Spain, won his 14th French Open on Sunday; he now has 22 Grand Slam titles. It says here that you can make the case for Nadal as the best ever. . . . Were you counting out the Tampa Bay Lightning when the New York Rangers took a 2-0 lead in Sunday’s game? . . .

Prior to this MLB season, OF Aaron Judge turned down the New York Yankees’ contract offer of US$213.5 million over seven years. Judge, 30, now is on pace for a humungous offensive season. If he stays healthy, might he become a $300-million man? No. How about $400-million? . . . Yes, Edmonton Oilers F Evander Kane should have been suspended for more than one game for his Game 3 hit on Colorado Avalanche F Nazem Kadri, who likely is done for the season. Fortunately, he would seem to have ‘only’ a broken thumb when it could have been a whole lot worse. Always remember that this is the NHL where the most dangerous play in hockey is worth only one game. . . . Edmonton F Connor McDavid may be the best hockey player in the world today. But if I was starting an NHL team and had the pick of any player, I would begin with Colorado D Cole Makar.


Him


Congratulations to Angie Straub, who will be going into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame in July as a member of the class of 2021. You have to think she will be extra excited because she will be inducted with, among others, the great Steve Nash. . . . A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since Straub was Angie Johnson, a fiercely dominant player with the U of Winnipeg Wesmen, and I was a wide-eyed sports writer with the late, great Winnipeg Tribune. She represented Canada in the 1972 World University Games, the 1973 World championship, the 1975 Pan Am Games and the 1976 Olympic Summer Games. She is a member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Manitoba High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame. Yes, she’s a hall of famer. . . .

So, too, is old friend Ron Arnst, who has been the public address announcer for baseball’s Winnipeg Goldeyes since 1974. A Strat-O-Matic baseball opponent in Brandon a long, long time ago, it’s great to hear that he’s headed for the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, that beats rolling a 1-7 on Jim Rice’s 1978 card.



Fooled


If you’ve been paying attention, the mess Canada Soccer finds itself in CanadaSoccershouldn’t be surprising. The lack of merchandise  — and the lack of variety — available immediately after the men’s team qualified for the World Cup was shocking, while someone goofed in a big, big way by scheduling a ‘friendly’ with Iran that ultimately was cancelled. And now there’s an ugly dispute with the players that resulted in the cancellation of Sunday’s game with Panama that was to have replaced that game with Iran. Such a golden opportunity kicked right out the door. Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet has more on this mess right here.


Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton): Canadian man furious that Liberals infringing on his second amendment rights.


It was Thursday afternoon. My gas gauge was showing half. . . . I drove past a gas station at which regular was priced at $2.06.9, where it had been for a couple of weeks. A few minutes later, I went past another one and the price was $2.17.9. . . . What did I do? What any sales-hunting driver would do. I turned around and made a bee-line for that first station and I filled up for the bargain price of $2.06.9. Of course I did.



GPS


“Can you imagine someone up in heaven trying to explain the concept of Name, Image and Likeness payouts to Woody Hayes?” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Ohio State football coach Ryan Day told about 100 business people Thursday that it would take $13 million in NIL money to keep his roster from getting poached. As in, a $2-million price tag for top-shelf quarterbacks, and $1 million for major offensive tackles and edge rushers. No word on what a bargain-basement long snapper might fetch.”


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Lock

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while pondering the mystery of the Prospera Place deficiencies . . .

scattershooting

Perhaps you are wondering about the “significant deficiencies” in Prospera Place, the home of the Kelowna Rockets, that prevented the WHL team from Kelownabidding to be the host team for the 2023 Memorial Cup.

That honour, of course, has gone to Kamloops, with the Canadian Hockey League having announced on Friday that the Blazers would be the host team for the four-team tournament in 2023.

The 2020 tournament had been scheduled for Kelowna before the pandemic got in the way. Because of that cancellation and because preparations were well underway at the time, a lot of observers had expected the 2023 event to go to Kelowna.

Not so fast.

As the announcement was being made in Kamloops prior to a playoff game on Friday night, the Rockets issued an open letter in which they pointed a finger at the GSL Group.

“When we submitted our intent to bid,” the letter stated, “there was an audit conducted of Prospera Place, commissioned by the Rockets, the City of Kelowna, and the GSL Group, who own, operate and manage the arena.

“This audit found that there were significant deficiencies that needed to be upgraded for the facility to meet the CHL standards for hosting the Memorial Cup.”

An agreement couldn’t be reached to “make the necessary capital improvements to the building,” thus the Rockets weren’t able to enter a bid.

At this point, no one in the know has explained what those deficiencies might be.

So let’s turn to Doyle Potenteau of Global News in Kelowna. He covered the Rockets for a number of years while with the Kelowna Daily Courier, including the 2004 Memorial Cup that was held there. Yes, he is more than a little familiar with the arena. Anyway, he filed a story for Global that may have shed some light on the subject.

“It’s not known what the issues are,” Potenteau reported, “but one concern is dressing rooms for the players. While the Rockets have a large room, visiting (WHL) teams to Prospera Place are usually squeezed into two smaller rooms.

“Further, when Kelowna hosted the 2004 Memorial Cup, which the Rockets won, two portable dressing rooms had to be built outside the rink for the third and fourth teams, which happened to be the OHL and QMJHL champions.”

Whatever the deficiencies are, they obviously weren’t an issue on Oct. 3, 2018, when the WHL’s board of governors awarded the 2020 Memorial Cup to Kelowna over bids from Kamloops and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Since then, however, it would seem that issues have come to the fore involving the Rockets’ home arena.

Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that the WHL board of governors no longer selects the host team. That decision now is made at the CHL level.


Glass


The stage has yet to be set for the WHL’s best-of-seven championship final, the WHLplayoffs2022winner of which will be awarded the Ed Chynoweth Cup. . . . The Edmonton Oil Kings, the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed, now has to wait until Tuesday to find out whether the Kamloops Blazers or Seattle Thunderbirds will open the final in the Alberta capital on Friday night. . . . Game 2 is scheduled for Edmonton on June 5. . . . TSN is to begin televising the championship series with Game 3 from Kamloops or Kent, Wash., on June 7. . . .

On Sunday night in Kent, the Thunderbirds beat the Blazers, 2-1, in Game 6 of the Western Conference final. It’s even, 3-3, so they’ll decide it all in Kamloops on Tuesday. . . . The last time that Kamloops was the site of Game 7 in a WHL playoff series? That would be May 10, 1994. The Blazers beat the visiting Saskatoon Blades, 8-1, in Game 7 of the WHL final, behind three goals from F Ryan Huska and two from F Jarome Iginla, then went on to win the Memorial Cup in Laval, Que.

——

SUNDAY IN THE WHL:

Western Conference

In Kent, Wash., the Seattle Thunderbirds scored the last two goals to beat the SeattleKamloops Blazers, 2-1. . . . The best-of-seven conference final is tied, 3-3, with Game 7 scheduled for Kamloops on Tuesday. . . . The Blazers had taken a 3-2 lead by beating the Thunderbirds, 4-3 in OT, in Kamloops on Friday. . . . The Blazers won Game 1 of this series at home, 5-2, with Seattle taking Game 2 on the road, 4-1. . . . Seattle, which came back to oust the Portland Winterhawks after trailing 3-1, is 4-0 in elimination games this spring. . . . Last night, F Kobe Verbicky’s first WHL playoff goal gave Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 12:53 of the first period. . . . Seattle tied it at 4:42 of the second period when F Jared Davidson scored his ninth goal of these playoffs. . . . F Lukas Svejkovsky (9), who drew the primary assist on Davidson’s goal, broke the tie at 3:28 of the third period. Davidson returned the favour, too, as he got the primary assist on the winner. . . . Seattle was 0-for-2 on the PP; Kamloops was 0-for-3. . . . G Thomas Milic stopped 34 shots to earn the victory over G Dylan Garand, who made 32 saves.


Masks

Just when you thought the pandemic was over you find out that Mike Breen tested positive so wasn’t able to call the play for Game 7 of the NBA conference final that had the Boston Celtics meeting the Heat in Miami on Sunday night. With Breen out of action, Mark Jones was given the assignment. . . . Jones recently signed a contract extension with ESPN; he’s been there for 32 years. Are you old enough to remember when he was at TSN. . . .

Pandemic over? Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center shows 2,576 deaths and 716,435 new cases in the U.S. in the past week. . . . Those figures for Canada are 305 and 18.292. . . . Over? No, not yet.



Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “The headline said that Rick Bowness had stepped down as coach of the Stars. The truth: He was pushed out. Owner Tom Gaglardi wanted the change. Good-guy Bowness is now contemplating between retirement, family time, grandchildren visits, and continuing to coach in the NHL.”


Headline at The Onion (@TheOnion): Congress Placed on Lockdown after Deranged Man Enters Senate with Gun Control Measures.

——

Headline at The Beaverton (@TheBeaverton): “Electricity” added to “policing” for services no longer provided by the City of Ottawa.


So . . . I’m watching the Toronto Blue Jays and the host Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night. . . . There is a small sign to the left of home plate that reads: $44 — 4 tickets, hot dogs, & sodas — $44. . . . In the eighth inning, Matt Devlin, who is calling the play, reads a Blue Jays’ promo about what the team calls its “value combo.” Devlin informs us that we can get four tickets to the 200 level, four food items and four drinks for $30 per person. . . . You do the math. . . . Hmmmmm!


A puzzler from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “Most bitter rivalry on display this month — Edmonton-Calgary in hockey or Johnny Depp-Amber Heard in a courtroom?”


Asked by Detroit radio station WXYT-FM about today’s NBA players, former Los Angeles Lakers star James Worthy replied: “All they do is practise threes, lift weights, get tattoos, tweet and go on social media.”


America


So . . . it has come to this in the WHL where this t-shirt is available in adult and youth sizes on the Portland Winterhawks’ website. . . .

Portlandtee


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: Somehow I missed it a few days ago when the junior A Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League signed Sierra Costa as their general manager. She is the OJHL’s first female GM, and I’m thinking she just might be the first one in all of Canadian junior A hockey. . . . Costa graduated from Humber College’s sports management program. . . . The Tigers are owned by former NHL player Jim Thomson. . . . The fact that this story doesn’t seem to have been a big deal just might signal that a woman in a hockey team’s front office isn’t out of the ordinary any more. . . . And that’s a positive, for sure. . . .

The MJHL’s Portage Terriers will be the host team for the 2023 Centennial Cup tournament. The AJHL’s Brooks Bandits won the 2022 junior A tournament in Estevan on Sunday, beating OJHL’s Pickering Panthers, 4-1, in the final. The 2023 tournament will be held in May with the dates yet to be finalized. Portage la Prairie was to have been the host city for the 2020 tournament but it was cancelled because of the pandemic.


Farm


My wife, Dorothy, a kidney transplant recipient in 2013, will take part in the 2022 #kamloops Kidney Walk for a ninth straight year on Sunday. Yes, it’s virtual again. But she will be there, and you are able to sponsor her right here.


THINKING OUT LOUD — Yes, the annual Kamloops Kidney Walk is set for Sunday, and we’ll be taking part over here in our little corner of the world. If you want to be part of Dorothy’s team, please think about sponsoring her. . . . If you missed it, TSN is going to start showing the WHL’s championship final with Game 3 from Kamloops or Kent, Wash. Can’t imagine why it won’t show us Games 1 and 2 from Edmonton on Friday and June 5, but it does make one yearn for the days when Shaw-TV had a relationship with the WHL. . . . Actually, when Sportsnet handed off the CHL deal to TSN early this season, for some reason I thought we would see quite a few more major junior games, but that hasn’t happened. In fact, when’s the last time a WHL game was shown by TSN? . . . In the days ahead, TSN is going to show the OHL, QMJHL and WHL finals starting with the third game of each. They no doubt will use those telecasts to promote their coverage of the Memorial Cup that opens in Saint John, N.B., on June 20. . . . There isn’t much better than a good cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while listening to Jon Miller call a Major League Baseball game. . . . Coming to a bookstore near you on June 7 — Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original, by Howard Bryant. Can’t wait to dig into this one. . . . And speaking of books, Dan Russell, who spent 30 years as the host of the radio show Sportstalk, didn’t pull any punches in his memoir that is just out. Pleasant Good Evening — A Memoir: My 30 Wild and Turbulent Years of Sportstalk is available through Amazon (soft cover and Kindle) and Indigo (Kobo).


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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Peanuts

Blazers and Ice one victory from conference finals . . . Stankoven powers Kamloops past Giants . . . Memorial Cup host team ousted


The WHL’s best regular-season team in 2021-22 looks to move on to the WHLplayoffs2022Eastern Conference final when it plays host to a Friday night playoff game. Yes, the No. 1 Winnipeg Ice take a 3-1 series lead into Game 5 against the visiting No. 4 Moose Jaw Warriors. . . . The Warriors will be without F Robert Baco, whose suspension for a charging major in Game 3 had been set at two games. . . . A Winnipeg victory would send the Ice into a series against the No. 2 Edmonton Oil Kings, who are 8-0 in these playoffs, having swept the No. 7 Lethbridge Hurricanes and No. 3 Red Deer Rebels. . . .

Meanwhile, in the Western Conference, the Kamloops Blazers hold a 3-1 lead over the Vancouver Giants and they’ll play Game 5 in Kamloops tonight. . . . At the same time, the No. 3 Portland Winterhawks have a 2-1 edge on the Seattle Thunderbirds as they meet in Kent, Wash. The Thunderbirds are coming off a 5-0 victory in Game 3 in Portland on Wednesday night.

——

THURSDAY IN THE WHL:

Western Conference

In Langley, B.C., F Logan Stankoven broke a 2-2 tie on a late third-period PP as Kamloopsthe No. 2 Kamloops Blazers skated to a 4-2 victory over the No. 8 Vancouver Giants. . . . The Blazers hold a 3-1 lead in the series, and they’re right back at it tonight as they meet in Game 5, this time in Kamloops. . . . The teams exchanged goals in this one, with F Luke Toporowski (6) giving Kamloops a 1-0 lead at 13:54 of the third period. . . . F Zack Ostapchuk (4) got the Giants even at 17:42. . . . The Blazers went back in front at 12:59 of the second period on a goal by F Caedan Bankier (4). . . . Ostapchuk (5) tied it again, this time at 6:21 of the third. . . . Stankoven’s eighth goal, at 17:23, was the game-winner. . . . The Giants were hit with a minor for too many men just 46 seconds after Stankoven’s goal. . . . Stankoven followed that with his ninth goal in eight games into an empty net with 7.9 seconds remaining. . . . Ostapchuk and linemate Fabian Lysell, who had two assists, lead the WHL playoff scoring race, each with 19 points, one more than Stankoven. . . . Kamloops was 2-for-3 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-for-1. . . . The Blazers got 18 stops from G Dylan Garand, while G Jesper Vikman blocked 34 for the Giants. . . . F Cole Shephard, who last played on March 16, was back in Vancouver’s lineup.


In all my years of covering junior hockey, I don’t know that I encountered a player with a bigger personality than Brandon Underwood. . . . He played five seasons (Kamloops Blazers, Regina Pats, Red Deer Rebels, 2008-13) in the WHL before going on to spend four seasons with the UBC Thunderbirds. . . . He now is a Vancouver firefighter. . . . On Thursday night, after former Moose Jaw Warriors F Brayden Point scored in OT to give the host Tampa Bay Lightning a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Underwood won Twitter . . . 


Music


We had a goalie goal on Thursday night. . . . Former WHLer Joel Hofer, now with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds, lit the lamp in a 6-2 victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. . . . In his Calder Cup playoffs debut, he made 34 stops as the Thunderbirds took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five Atlantic Division semifinal. . . . Hofer, 21, is from Winnipeg. He played three seasons (2017-20) in the WHL, making stops with the Swift Current Broncos and Portland Winterhawks.


Julie Stewart-Binks had to cancel out of being part of ESPN’s coverage of Game COVID6 of the NHL playoffs series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night because she tested positive for COVID-19. “Thankfully through contract tracing everyone else is negative,” she wrote on Twitter. “I have been extremely diligent with safety protocols the entire pandemic. I am devastated not to work this game.” . . .

The Cleveland Guardians have at least seven members of their coaching staff in COVID-19 protocol after they tested positive — manager Terry Francona, bench coach DeMarlo Hale, hitting coach Chris Valaika, assistant pitching coach Joe Torres, first-base coach Sandy Alomar, third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh and hitting analyst Justin Toole.


Eye


JUNIOR JOTTINGS: The Saint John Sea Dogs, the host team for the 2022 Memorial Cup tournament, were eliminated from the QMJHL playoffs on Thursday night when they lost, 4-3 in OT, to the visiting Rimouski Oceanic. F Alexander Gaudio scored 30 seconds into extra time to give the Oceanic the series victory. The QMJHL is playing best-of-fives this time around and this was Game 5. . . . The Sea Dogs are next scheduled to play on June 20 when they get the Memorial Cup started with a game against the OHL champions. . . .

Three of the last four Memorial Cup host teams have lost out in the first round of playoffs — in 2017, the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires lost in seven games to the London Knights; in 2018, the Regina Pats were ousted by the Swift Current Broncos in seven games; and now the Sea Dogs are gone. . . . Windsor went on to win the Memorial Cup at home, while Regina lost out in the tournament final. . . . The Halifax Mooseheads were the host team in 2019; they reached the QMJHL final where they were swept by the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. . . .

The QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan and Halifax Mooseheads were to have played the fifth game in their best-of-five series on Thursday night. But, with Wednesday’s fourth game having gone into the third OT period, the league chose to move Game 5 to Friday night. Because of the length of Game 4 in Halifax and the fact the teams would have had to travel about five hours to Bathurst, N.B., for Game 5 “the league judged it prudent for the well-being and security of the players to postpone the game to Friday.” A tip of the fedora to the QMJHL for making such a decision. . . .

The AJHL’s Camrose Kodiaks have signed Nick Prkusic as the organization’s first full-time assistant coach. He will be working alongside head coach Clayton Jardine. . . . Prkusic, who played in the AJHL with the Brooks Bandits, has been working as the head coach of the Caronport, Sask.-based Prairie Academy’s U-17 team.


Wallet


Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, after the Golden State Warriors were whipped, 134-95, by the host Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA playoff game: “If Wednesday’s Game 5 box score was a report card, the Warriors would be grounded for a year. If the Warriors don’t respond in Game 6 Friday, that box score will become an autopsy report.”


My wife, Dorothy, is preparing to take part in her ninth Kamloops Kidney Walk. . . . It will be held on June 5, but thanks to the pandemic it again will be a virtual event. . . . If you would like to sponsor her, you are able to do so right here.

——

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

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


Shoe

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