Customer visits hot dog stand and finds his kidney donor . . . Sports Curmudgeon on NCAA football, hoops and virus . . . Men’s Beanpot tossed for 2021

Skully White operates a gourmet hot dog stand — Lullys Food Experience — in a Canadian Tire parking lot in Abbotsford, B.C. Tim Hiscock is a long-time customer. . . . “One day,” White told Glenda Luymes of Postmedia, “his wife called me up and said he had some medical issues and I wasn’t supposed to feed him without her permission.” . . . One thing led to another and now, on Dec. 14, if all goes according to schedule, White will be giving Hiscock one of his kidneys. . . . White and Hiscock have become friends through all of this, with Hiscock referring to them as the doctor and Frankenstein. “I’m the doctor and he’s Frankenstein,” Hiscock told Luynes. . . . That story is right here.


The QMJHL has seven Quebec-based team bubbled in Quebec City in the hopes of rattling off a number of games in a short period of time. It all was scheduled to open on Tuesday with the Drummondville Voltigeurs meeting the Quebec Remparts. But the QMJHL has been forced to adjust the schedule after there was an inconclusive test on a member of the Drummondville organization. . . . So now it’ll be the Shawinigan Cataractes meeting the Remparts in the bubble opener.


Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, weighed in on NCAA basketball and football in his Monday musings that can be found right here. Here’s part of what he wrote:

The NCAA has decreed that the college basketball season will commence on 25 November; that is nine days from now. Given the public health data and the trends extant today where there are almost 100,000 new cases of coronavirus infection tabulated each day, it would seem to be only a matter of time until college basketball games run into the same fate that college football games have encountered. The college football season is a mess; it is only a matter of time until the college basketball season faces the same reality.

Moreover, there is another thing that is very wrong with the NCAA’s messaging with regard to COVID-19:

  • Public health officials have warned for months about the need for social distancing and mask wearing as actions that can slow the spread of the virus.
  • Public health officials have determined that close contact involving cheering, singing and heavy breathing encourages the spread of the virus.
  • NCAA football games violate virtually every one of those public health warnings and when you add “field-storming events,” tail-gating and post-game celebrations/commiserations you realize that the NCAA is enabling super-spreader events every week.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

CBC News: Manitoba announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths and 392 new cases of COVID-19. That’s just below the province’s average from the previous 7-day of 407.

Global News: In Steinbach, Man., the local hospital is so overcrowded with COVID-19 cases, that nurses are having to triage patients in their cars.

CBC News: 181 new cases of coronavirus reported in Saskatchewan, same daily total as reported Sunday. Compares to province’s previous 7-day average of 157.

CBC News: Number of COVID-19 cases in Nunavut jumps with 6 more in the hamlet of Arviat and 2 in Rankin Inlet. Total is now 26 in 3 different communities, even though the 1st case in the sparsely populated territory was diagnosed just 10 days ago.

CBC News: Alberta is reporting 20 new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours. This is by far the highest daily increase in deaths since the pandemic began. The province also reported 860 new COVID-19 cases and had a positivity rate of about 7 per cent.

Lethbridge Herald: Alberta reports 860 cases Monday — 10,031 active cases — 264 in hospital, 57 of those in ICU — 20 additional deaths reported for a total of 427 fatalities.

Tina Karst, CJOC/CKBD Lethbridge: There were 41 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Lethbridge over the weekend. With recent recoveries there are now 168 active cases in the city. 

Troy Gillard, rdnewsNOW: RedDeer now has 116 active cases of COVID-19, up from 94 on Friday.

CBC News: B.C. is reporting 1,959 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 additional deaths over the weekend.

CBC News: New Brunswick reports 8 more COVID-19 cases, a significantly high daily number for the province, which is experiencing a recent surge. By comparison, there were 13 cases in the previous 7 days.

CBC News: 25 additional deaths in Quebec are being attributed to COVID-19 as the province reports 1,218 new cases. That’s virtually unchanged from the previous day’s total of 1,211. The province’s 7-day average is also fairly consistent, moving to 1,326 from 1,318.

CBC News: Ontario has 1,487 new cases of COVID-19. That’s the 11th straight day above 1,000, and pushes the 7-day average to 1,442 from 1,408. 508 new cases are in Toronto, 392 in Peel Region and 170 in York Region. The province is also reporting 10 more deaths.

The 2021 Beanpot Tournament, which is played annually at Boston’s TD Garden, has been cancelled. It was to have been played on the first two Mondays of February. . . . The men’s hockey tournament normally features teams from Boston College, Boston U, Harvard and Northeastern. . . .

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) cancelled it’s men’s and women’s hockey seasons on Monday. In the men’s game, there now are nine NCAA Div. 1 teams whose seasons have been cancelled.


MayoClinic

There is some interesting news from Mayo Clinic that should have some impact on the process of attracting living kidney donors.

From Mayo Clinic’s news network:

“Mayo Clinic has a rich resource of kidney biopsy material in its Aging Kidney Anatomy Study, led by Andrew Rule, M.D., a Mayo Clinic nephrologist. A new study of living kidney donors at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Arizona from 1999 to 2018 has found some microstructural features that can indicate some long-term susceptibility for chronic kidney disease in otherwise healthy adults.

“The study, published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reinforces that kidney donation is safe for living donors, and it provides new insights for counseling donors on how to take care of themselves and preserve kidney function, according to Naim Issa, M.D., Mayo Clinic transplant nephrologist.”

There’s a whole lot more 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.

Nasty day as COVID-19 numbers continue to grow . . . SJHL ready to open . . . OJHL targets mid-January; each team gets disinfectant fogger machine


The 12-team SJHL has five games scheduled for tonight (Friday) and six on Saturday as it opens its 2020-21 regular season. . . . While the Saskatchewan-based teams will be limited to having 150 fans in the pews, the Manitoba-based Flin Flon Bombers will be allowed to have Whitney Forum at 25 per cent, or about 400 fans. . . .

CBC News: Saskatchewan is reporting 129 new cases of COVID-19, the highest climb in daily cases in the province since the beginning of the pandemic. 30 new cases are in the north central zone, 55 in Saskatoon area.


The 22-team junior A Ontario Junior Hockey League doesn’t have an exact starting date, but said Thursday that it has a targeted starting date in early January. . . . It hopes to play a 30- to 36-game schedule before going into a shorter than normal playoff season. . . . From a news release: “In preparation for today’s announcement, various OJHL teams have already started the cohort bubbling process — as permitted under applicable law in conjunction with their Regional Public Health Unit (PHU) regulations — with scrimmages and exhibition games. Further announcements will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead, with dates and coverage details of established cohort bubbles and their respective exhibition game play. . . . OJHL teams have been in a training phase for the last number of weeks with the plan on getting rosters down to 25 players. Once clubs are down to a maximum 25 players on their rosters, they are then eligible to start playing scrimmage or non-contact games that follow the league’s governing regulations and otherwise comply with applicable PHU regulations and guidelines.” . . . Something else of interest: “Most importantly, each team is also receiving a disinfectant fogger machine in partnership with CleanQuip Systems Inc., which will be used to disinfect and sanitize team dressing rooms and other team areas within each facility.” . . .

CBC.ca: Ontario reports 998 new COVID-19 cases, concerns over hospitalizations mount.


Mike Sawatzky of the Winnipeg Free Press reported via Twitter that “three members of the MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons are isolating and waiting for the results of their COVID-19 tests. All of the Pistons’ team activities have halted until further notice.” . . . Paul Dyck, the Pistons’ general manager and head coach, told Sawatzky: “We had three players (who) exhibited flu symptoms — one Monday and two Tuesday. So we’re just taking precautions. The players have been tested. We don’t have results back.” . . . Sawatzky pointed out: “On Wednesday night, the number of potential cases prompted the league to postpone Steinbach’s home-and-home series this weekend with the Winkler Flyers.” . . . The MJHL has postponed 16 games of late, but still has two on Friday night’s schedule — Waywayseecappo at Neepawa and Swan Valley at Virden. . . .

CBC News: Manitoba is reporting 427 new COVID-19 cases, the province’s 2nd highest daily total since the pandemic began. The 7-day average is now 326, which is a Manitoba record. The province is also attributing 4 additional deaths to the virus.


The 14-team Heritage Junior B Hockey League postponed two games involving the Medicine Hat Cubs and Coaldale Copperheads. They were to have played in Medicine Hat on Friday and Coaldale on Saturday. . . . Ryan McCracken of the Medicine Hat News tweeted: “Cubs president Troy Sandau added one member of the Cubs has been tested and results came back negative. Coaldale HC/GM Doug Paisley says three players have tested positive, though none played in either of the two games last weekend. . . . Copperheads now are isolating and will return to practice Nov. 12.” . . .

Tina Karst, CJOC/CKBD Lethbridge: Dr. Deena Hinshaw says she does not have exact numbers but says there have been about 800 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in the past 24 hours. She says this is “extremely concerning.”  Nine hospitals now have outbreaks, including Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital.


The BCHL, which plans on opening its regular season on Dec. 1, has addressed the situation involving the Wenatchee Wild, the league’s only U.S.-based team. . . . The BCHL said that with the U.S.-Canada border closed to non-essential travel, the Wild isn’t on the regular-season schedule at this point in time. From a news release: The Wild’s “plan remains to continue training camp . . . and play intra-squad exhibition games until they are able to travel north to play against BCHL competition. If the border opens early in 2021, or before the regular season commences, the league has plans in place to add the Wild into the schedule . . .”

Chilliwack FC, which oversees minor soccer in the B.C. city, announced Thursday that is has shut everything down through Nov. 16 because of rising numbers in the area. An email from Chilliwack FC read: “While we continue to believe it is a parent’s choice as to whether their child participates in our programs, we feel it is in the best interest of our organization that we pause all activities effective immediately. These activities include all practices and games from the U4 level through to adult.” . . .

Janet Brown, CKNW Radio, Vancouver: Record number of new COVID-19 cases in BC 425, 97 in hospital (+5), 24 ICU (highest number of people in hospital since Apr27) 3389 active cases also highest on record, 7519 in self isolation, no new deaths.


CBC News: Canada surpasses 250,000 COVID-19 cases with the reporting of 1,138 new cases in Quebec. That’s the highest daily number in the province in almost 3 weeks. Quebec is also attributing 10 additional deaths to the virus.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

Here was how Thursday began for the NFL. . . . The Houston Texans, who are to visit the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, shut down their facility after being informed the previous night that an unidentified player tested positive. Later in the day, LB Jacob Martin went on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported that two other linebackers — Whitney Mercilus and Dylan Cole — were identified as close contacts and also went on the list. . . . The Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts each had a staff member test positive. . . . C Cody Whitehair of the Chicago Bears tested positive, so they paused in-person football activities and closed their facility. Earlier in the week, the Bears put OL Jason Spriggs and OL Germain Ifedi on the list. Spriggs tested positive, while Ifedi was declared a high-risk close contact. . . . The Bears are to play the Titans in Tennessee on Sunday. . . . The Philadelphia Eagles, who are on a bye week, had S Marcus Epps come up positive. . . . The Detroit Lions placed S Jalen Elliott on the list, but head coach Matt Patricia wouldn’t speak to the condition of QB Matthew Stafford, who went on the list earlier in the week. The Lions are at Minnesota on Sunday. . . .

Meanwhile, a number of U.S. college football games have been removed from Saturday’s schedule. . . . The Washington Huskies won’t be visiting the California Golden Bears, while Air Force at Army and Tulsa at Navy also are off. . . . Cal had one player test positive and contact tracing meant a number of other players had to go into isolation. It all left Cal without enough scholarship players for a game. . . . Air Force cited an increase in cases at the Academy and surrounding area. . . . Navy has had a number of positive tests and has halted football activities. . . . Other scheduled games that won’t be played this weekend: North Texas-Louisiana Tech, Wisconsin-Purdue, Louisville-Virginia and Florida International-UTEP. . . .

The USHL has shuffled a number of games. For starters, Omaha at Waterloo games scheduled this weekend were, according to the league, “declared a No Contest. Per league safety protocols, minimum standards were not met to play.” . . . Also postponed were two games in Des Moines, involving the Buccaneers, Sioux Falls Stampede and Tri-City Storm. . . . On Wednesday, the USHL had postponed a series between the Lincoln Stars and host Fargo Force for the same reason. . . .

UConn suspended men’s basketball activities after one player tested positive. The Huskies are scheduled to open their season on Dec. 2. . . .

Sporting Kansas City, which is to play its final MLS regular-season game on Sunday at Real Salt Lake City, had what it called a “first-team player” test positive on Thursday. . . .

CTV has reported that the Canadian national ski cross team has had several members contract the virus while in Switzerland training for the new season. Alpine Canada, which wouldn’t confirm reports of illness, is bringing at least some team members back to Canada. CTV also reported that cases of COVID-19 “have also been reported in members of the Russian and Norwegian alpine teams.”


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.


CHL cancels playoffs, Memorial Cup; next tournament set for OHL in 2021 . . . Winterhawks lay off employees; more to come

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The University of Toronto Schools won the 1919 Memorial Cup, the first time the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association had put the trophy into competition. It was to go to the champion of junior hockey.

The Memorial Cup has been awarded every single year since then — not even the Second 2020MCWorld War could get in the way.

However, it won’t be awarded in 2020, the COVID-19 virus haven’t knocked the major junior hockey season for a loop.

The 60-team CHL announced Monday afternoon that the major junior hockey season is over. That means that there won’t be any playoffs in the OHL, QMJHL or WHL.

Nor will there be a Memorial Cup tournament. This year’s four-team affair was to have been played in Kelowna, March 22-31. Interestingly, it would seem that the 2021 Memorial Cup won’t be decided in Kelowna, but in an OHL city.

The last line of the CHL’s Monday statement:

“We look forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate, and that the MemorialCup will be presented at our prestigious national championship, hosted by the OHL in May 2021.”

The CHL follows a three-year rotation among the three leagues. The QMJHL is to be the host in 2022, with the WHL back for 2023.

According to the Kelowna Daily Courier, Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets’ owner, president KelownaRocketsand general manager, said that the city “may not have had the steam to muster a tournament in 2021.” The newspaper added that “it could tax volunteers, staff, players and sponsors too much.”

Hamilton also expressed doubts that he and his hockey staff would be able to ice a Memorial Cup-calibre team.

According to the newspaper, “Hamilton said he’d also been building a team that could compete for a national title this season, and he’s losing too many veterans to be ready for next spring.”

After cancelling the remainder of the regular seasons on March 12, the CHL said in a news release on Monday that it “continued to monitor the latest updates and advice from all public health agencies and medical experts, and worked tirelessly to determine a scenario by which the balance of our season could be played. Unfortunately, given the troubling state of our global climate and public welfare, there is still too much risk and uncertainty to move forward in good conscience.” . . .

——

Losing a handful of regular-season games and the playoffs is going to hurt a few WHL teams. When WHL teams are preparing their budgets, they usually look upon playoff Lethbridgerevenue as gravy. But how much gravy might that be?

Well, let’s take a look at the Lethbridge Hurricanes, one of the WHL’s community-owned teams, which means they hold an annual general meeting and announce profits and/or losses.

After the 2017-18 season, the Hurricanes announced a net profit of $422,443, with playoff revenue of $885,558. That came after a playoff run that included 16 games, nine of them at home.

One year earlier, the Hurricanes had played 10 home playoff games during a 20-game run. At the 2017 AGM, they announced a profit of $737,710, with playoff revenue at $685,000.

A year ago, the Hurricanes’ playoff run was short-circuited when they lost a first-round series in seven games. Four of the games were played in Lethbridge, some of them in the 1,200-seat Nicholas Sheran Arena because the world men’s curling championship was being played in the ENMAX Centre. At the 2019 AGM, the team announced a profit of $282,168, with $336,397 in playoff revenue, some of that was compensation from the City of Lethbridge for having been forced from their home arena.

Yes, there was a lot of money — A LOT OF MONEY — at play in the decision to pull the plug on the playoffs. The story will become more explicit when the Hurricanes hold their 2020 AGM.

The WHL’s other publicly owned teams are the Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders and Swift Current Broncos. The Raiders are the WHL’s defending champions and finished atop the East Division this season. The Warriors and Broncos wouldn’t have qualified for this season’s playoffs. . . .

——

The Portland Winterhawks have laid off employees from their front office and from their Portlandhockey staff, Taking Note was told on Monday morning. . . . The Winterhawks and Kamloops Blazers both have laid off staff and implemented pay cuts. . . . According to one WHL insider, the league, with the playoffs and Memorial Cup having been cancelled, also is expected to lay off some of its office staff. . . . The 22-team WHL suspended its regular season on March 12 and then cancelled it on March 18. The Winterhawks finished atop the U.S. Division and won the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular-season champions; the Blazers finished first in the B.C. Division. . . . On Monday, Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week wrote that Blazers president Don Moores, in a text, had confirmed the “layoffs and pay cuts and opted to make no further comment.” . . . 



Dick Pound of Montreal, a longtime influential IOC Committee member, told Christine Brennan of USA TODAY on Monday: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.” . . . Her story is right here. . . .



Here’s how Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times began his Monday column:

We are surrounded by a cacophony of chaos, our lives filled with words of warning and dread and doom.

“I need a sound of spring. This being the formerly opening week of the postponed baseball season, I crave the melodious tones of the ballpark, the bunting, the hope.

“So, what the heck, I call Vin Scully.

“And, wouldn’t you know, he answers on the first ring.”

This is what we need in these trying times, and it’s all right here.



Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, has his thought for the day, courtesy of H.L. Mencken: “Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.” . . .


During a brief drive on Sunday afternoon, I spotted two curb-side signs advertising Garage Sale. . . . Seriously! . . . Yeah, like I want to buy and bring home garage sale items during a pandemic. Yikes! . . .


Spruce Meadows, one of the world’s best show-jumping facilities, announced Monday that it has cancelled its summer season, clearing its calendar through July 5. The cancellations include four tournaments that had been scheduled over a five-week span, starting on June 4. . . . The Masters, scheduled for Sept 9-13, remains on the calendar, at least for now. . . .