Scattershooting on a Tuesday night while wondering if I will get my shopping finished . . .

I am one of those people who quite enjoys Christmas music, especially the traditional stuff. Having said that, I don’t think it gets any better than this one. It’s Fairytale of New York, from The Pogues, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl.


I don’t know how many, if any, other businesses have done something like this, but check it out . . .


Clam


If you have ever wondered why he’s called The Sports Curmudgeon, here’s something he wrote after the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Washington Redskins, 37-27, on Sunday:

“After the Skins lost to the Eagles, one of the post-game talking heads declared that the ‘fight’ and the ‘grit’ shown by the Skins — despite the season being a total loss — meant that this game was a ‘moral victory’ for the Skins.  I have heard about ‘moral victories’ many times in the past; but Sunday’s label made me wonder:

“Is there such a thing as a ‘moral defeat’?

If there is such a thing, are ‘moral defeats’ paired with ‘moral victories’? Or can ‘moral defeats’ exist on their own?

If they are paired entities, should the Eagles chalk up Sunday’s win as a ‘moral defeat’?”


“This is the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese calendar,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “though one could argue that Russian doping and the can-banging Astros make it seem like the Year of the Cheetah.”

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One more from Perry: “Prince Charles’ office released a statement saying 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth has no plans to step down at 95 ‘or any other age.’ In other words, she’s the Tom Brady of royals.”



I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there are a few Christmas movies on TV this year. . . . I checked out our PVR the other night. There were 41 items recorded. One Bob Dylan special. Two Hogan’s Heroes episodes. And more than 30 Christmas movies. . . . Christmas Vacation wasn’t among them. . . . Neither was Bad Santa.


Cotton


On Sunday night, F Gage Concalves of the Everett Silvertips won a game with a nifty move that resulted in a shootout goal against G Campbell Arnold of the Spokane Chiefs. Arnold later responded with a tweet for the ages . . .


Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Request to the International Olympic Committee: Let Russia compete as an official country at next year’s Olympics. Russia has been banned from the Tokyo Games due to its state-sanctioned program of doping. But IOC, if you let Russia compete, maybe their government will be too busy rigging the Olympics to rig the U.S. presidential election. #Priorities.”



Condolences to the family and friends of Ron Areshenkoff, who died on Sunday. He was 62. A native of Grand Forks, B.C., he played two seasons (1975-77) with the Medicine Hat Tigers, totalling 76 goals and 77 assists in 131 games. He was a second-round pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL’s 1977 draft, but never played for them. His NHL experience amounted to four games with the Edmonton Oilers in 1979-80. . . . He had missed all of the 1978-79 season with a shoulder injury that required surgery. . . . The New England Whalers had selected him with the 11th overall pick in the WHA’s 1977 draft. . . . Areshenkoff was a financial advisor in Estevan, Sask., where he was quite involved in the minor hockey scene.


Dog


The price seems to be right in Victoria where there is, yes, hope for the Royals. Hey, I’m here all night and again later in the week. . . . The Victoria Royals, under president and general manager Cam Hope, have signed head coach Dan Price to a “multi-year” extension. No terms, including precise length, were announced. . . . Price is in his third season as the Royals’ head coach; they are 89-67-12 with him in charge. . . . He had spent one season as a Royals’ assistant coach, under then-head coach Dave Lowry, before moving up.

Meanwhile,  former WHLer Ryan Aasman is the new head coach of the AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm. The Storm fired Matt Keillor, the head coach and associate GM, on Tuesday. . . . Aasman’s WHL career included stints with the Prince Albert Raiders, Seattle Thunderbirds, Swift Current Broncos and Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Keillor had been head coach since being promoted during the 2016-17 season and had guided the Storm into the playoffs each of the past three seasons. This season, the Storm was 12-16-3 when Keillor was replaced by Aasman. He is in his first season with the Storm after coaching with bantam and midget teams in Lethbridge.


JUST NOTES: Is there a secret to keeping the top of the toothpaste tube neat and orderly as opposed to being a gooey mess? . . . The best part of watching the Detroit Red Wings playing the host Montreal Canadiens? The uniforms of two of the NHL’s Original Six. . . . Are you ready for the Arizona Coyotes as Stanley Cup contenders? . . . City council in Nanaimo is talking about a five-year financial plan. No, there isn’t any chatter about a new arena. . . . Hey, is John Shorthouse hockey’s best play-by-play voice? . . . As a fan of MLB, it’s great to have Joe Girardi back managing a team, and wouldn’t it be great to see his Philadelphia Phillies and his former club, the New York Yankees, in the World Series? It could happen. . . . Right now, the most-watchable player in the NHL is F Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche. . . . With their home arena unavailable due to equipment issues, the junior B Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League are playing out of Cranbrook these days. On Tuesday night, they dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kimberley Dynamiters before an announced crowd of 1,350 at Western Financial Place, the former home of the WHL team that now is the Winnipeg Ice. Meanwhile, the Ice dropped a 4-3 decision to the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings in front of a crowd announced as 1,621. . . . ICYMI, next season Western Financial Place will be home to the BCHL’s Cranbrook Bucks.

Ice gets Winnipeg forward from Royals . . . Kootenay keeps adding Manitobans . . . Mick back home, but out of hockey

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On the 11th day of our annual Christmas countdown, we’ve got an all-time favourite. It’s The Pogues, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl, with Fairytale of New York, and it’s right here.


With all signs pointing to an off-season move to Winnipeg, the Kootenay Ice has acquired Kootenaynewthe rights to a player from the Manitoba capital. . . . The Ice picked up F Carter Loney, 16, who hasn’t signed a WHL contract, and a seventh-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft from the Victoria Royals, who get a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft, and a conditional fourth-round selection in 2022, in exchange. . . . The Royals selected Loney in the 10th round of the 2017 bantam draft. . . . Not only has Loney not signed a WHL deal, but he has committed to the U of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs for 2021-22. . . . This season, he has seven goals and 16 assists in 20 games with the Winnipeg-Rink Hockey Academy prep team. He also has a goal and three assists in four games with the academy’s U-18 team, and a goal and three assists in six games with the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons. . . .

Loney is the fifth Manitoban acquired by the Ice in recent trades. . . . F Justin Svenson, 17, of Ile Des Chenes and F Chase Bertholet, 15, of Thompson came over in a deal with the Red Deer Rebels. Svenson is with the MJHL’s Swan Valley Stampeders; Bertholet plays for the midget AAA Prince Albert Mintos. . . . F Eric Fawkes, 17, of Winnipeg, was acquired from the Seattle Thunderbirds. He is with the MJHL’s Winkler Flyers and has committed to the RPI (Rensselaer Polytech Institute) Engineers for 2020-21. . . . F Jack Cowell, 19, of Winnipeg was acquired from the Kelowna Rockets but chose not to report to the Ice, so the WHL cancelled the trade. . . .

The Ice has four Manitobans on its roster in F Cole Muir, who is from Vista; D Jordan Chudley of Souris, D Zach Patrick of Winnipeg, and G Duncan McGovern, who also is from Winnipeg. . . .

Two of Kootenay’s top three selections in the 2018 bantam draft are from Winnipeg. D Carson Lambos, who was taken with the second overall selection, plays for the Rink Hockey Academy prep team, while F Skyler Bruce, who was taken 29th overall, plays for the academy’s Elite 15s.

The Ice took one other Manitoban — D Hughie Hooker of Brandon — among its nine selections in the 2018 draft. He is playing with the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild.

In the 2017 draft, its first under the ownership of Winnipeggers Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, the Ice didn’t have any Manitobans among its 10 selections.

——

With the WHL in its Christmas break, there is a trade moratorium in place through Dec. 27 at 12:01 a.m. It applies to roster players.

——

COUNTDOWN TO DEADLINE

(WHL trade deadline: Jan. 10, 3 p.m. MT)

Saturday’s action:

No. of trades: 1.

Players: 1.

Bantam draft picks: 2.

Conditional draft picks: 1.

——

Total deals (since Nov. 26):

No. of trades: 14.

Players: 30.

Bantam draft picks: 23.

Conditional draft picks:6.

(Note: On Nov. 30, Kelowna traded F Jack Cowell, 19, to Kootenay for a third-round selection in the 2020 bantam draft. Cowell chose not to report and the deal was voided, so isn’t included in these totals.)


Troy Mick is out of the hockey business, at least for now, and focusing on real estate. Mick revealed on Facebook on Saturday that he has moved back to his hometown of Vernon, B.C., where he will join Royal LePage “an an unlicensed assistant to realtor Darcy Sochan” in the new year. Mick plans on becoming licensed and said he will continue to work with Sochan afterwards. . . . Mick, 49, began this season as the president of the USA-Central Hockey League, a new junior circuit whose season was cancelled earlier this month. . . . Mick played four seasons in the WHL — three with the Portland Winterhawks and one with the Regina Pats — and put up 204 goals and 262 assists in 267 games. Any chance at a successful pro career was shelved by knee problems. . . . He turned to coaching in 1993 and spent most of the next 25 years as a general manager, head coach or both, making stops in Vernon, Portland, Tri-City, Kamloops, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm.


If you feel so inclined, please click on the DONATE button over there on the right. Thanks in advance, and Merry Christmas.


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Merry Christmas, and a few tunes and a couple of stories, from Taking Note

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Of course, Kara Drinnan loves Christmas and the songs that accompany it.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night, from Taking Note and Wonder Woman. We are fortunate enough to have Joanna and Todd, our son and his wife, with us for Christmas. And, yes, Kara, our only grandchild, is here, too. As you can tell from the photo, Kara has been leading us in a few Christmas songs.

As you get ready to shut it down on Christmas Eve, and perhaps stuff a few stockings, right here it’s The Pogues, featuring the late Kirsty MacColl, with Fairytale of New York . . .

And right here is another  favourite. It’s Darlene Love with Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) from a 2014 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. It was the 28th straight year in which she performed that tune with Letterman.

One more, if you’re so inclined. It’s Bing Crosby and David Bowie with The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth, and it’s right here.

Finally, here’s one with a WHL flavour. It’s Michael Buble, who owns a chunk of the Vancouver Giants, and Bing Crosby, with White Christmas. It’s right here.


Meanwhile, here’s one of my favourite Christmas stories. It’s from the pages of the late Oakland Tribune, and it features a city editor named Alfred P. Reck. . . . It’s awesome, and it’s right here.


Craig McCallum played three seasons (2007-10)in the WHL, two with the Edmonton Oil Kings and one with the Prince Albert Raiders. He then went on to spend five seasons at the U of Saskatchewan where he played for the Huskies. Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix writes right here about how it almost didn’t happen for McCallum, who opens up about alcohol, drugs, culture and family, and a whole lot more.


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I haven’t yet been able to get a DONATE button posted here. But if you care to help the cause, please visit the old site (takingnote.ca), click on the DONATE button and do it there. Thank you.


Scoreboard

Sunday-Tuesday:

No Games Scheduled.


Wednesday (all times local):

Regina at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Prince Albert at Saskatoon, 7:05 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.

Calgary vs. Kootenay, at Cranbrook, B.C., 7 p.m.

Lethbridge at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Tri-City at Portland, 7 p.m.

Everett vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

Prince George at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

Kamloops at Kelowna 7:05 p.m.

Seattle at Spokane, 7:05 p.m.