Hammond, former Flin Flon goalie, dies at 71 . . . Neighbours won’t play in WJC . . . Two WHL teams lose assistant coaches to AHL

Cal Hammond, who spent three seasons as a goaltender with the WCHL’s Flin Flon Bombers, died Saturday at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He was 71. . . . Hammond, a Flin Flon native, played in 93 regular-season games with the Bombers from 1968-71. He retired after a couple of pro seasons. He also spent one seasons (2000-01) as an assistant coach with the Bombers, who by then were in the SJHL. . . . Hammond was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL’s 1970 draft; in 1972, he signed with the NHL’s Minnesota North Stars. . . . While he never got into an NHL game, he did spend four games on the North Stars’ bench backing up Cesare Maniago with Gump Worsley and Gilles Gilbert both injured. . . . Hammond’s son Evan is the play-by-play voice of the BCHL’s Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

F Jake Neighbours of the Edmonton Oil Kings has told Hockey Canada that he won’t be playing in the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship that is scheduled HockeyCanadato be played next month. This is the tournament that got underway in Red Deer and Edmonton in December before being cancelled following a number of positive COVID-19 tests. . . . Neighbours, 20, told Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic: “I’ve made the decision I’m not going to go. With how long my season went and how my body is feeling right now, I’ve made Hockey Canada aware of that. We had a good discussion about it.” . . . The Oil Kings won the WHL championship and went on to play in the Memorial Cup in Saint John, N.B. . . . The St. Louis Blues selected Neighbours in the first round, 26th overall, of the NHL’s 2020 draft. He opened the 2021-22 season with them, scoring one goal and adding two assists in nine games. Back with the Oil Kings, he totalled 17 goals and 28 assists in 30 games. . . . Neighbours has turned 20 but is eligible to play in the WJC because the IIHF has chosen to allow those who were on rosters in December to play in Edmonton next month. . . . The tournament is scheduled to run Aug. 9-20.


The Philadelphia Phillies, who lost 6-1 to the Cardinals in St. Louis on Monday night, are to open a two-game series against the host Toronto Blue Jays tonight COVID(Tuesday). Prior to the series opener, the Phillies will place four players on the restricted list because they aren’t vaccinated so won’t be allowed into Canada. . . . Catcher J.T. Realmuto, 3B Alec Bohm and starters Aaron Nolan and Kyle Gibson won’t be making the trip to Toronto. Bohm may not have played anyway, after suffering a hand injury on Monday while sliding into second base. Nolan started Monday and Gibson on Saturday, so they likely wouldn’t have pitched in Toronto had they been eligible. . . . The Athletic’s Matt Gelb tweeted: “J.T. Realmuto said he consulted with doctors he knew and decided he did not need a COVID vaccine. He will forfeit close to $260,000. ‘I’m not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don’t put in my body for a little bit of money,’ Realmuto said. ‘It’s just not worth it.’ ” . . . One would hope that someone explained to Realmuto that the U.S. has the same restriction as Canada — you have to be vaccinated to get into the country, which is why Novak Djokovic isn’t likely to play in tennis’s U.S. Open. He would have to get vaccinated to play and says that isn’t going to happen. . . . The Phillies apparently have more than four players who aren’t vaccinated, as Gelb also tweeted that “other potential absences were mitigated through demotions to minors/injuries.”



Rebecca Johnston, who has earned three gold medals as a member of the Canadian women’s Olympic team, is in Calgary this week as a guest coach at the development camp being held by the NHL’s Flames. . . . According to Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun: “Johnston, who ranks in the top-10 in all-time scoring for Canada’s national women’s program, will be on the ice for practice and skills sessions, will participate in meetings and will be asked for her feedback on player evaluation.” . . . You are free to wonder if Johnston might surface as a WHL coach at some point down the road. Johnston, 32, already has a WHL connection. Her uncle, Mike, is the longtime general manager and head coach of the Portland Winterhawks. . . .

Josh Green and Keith McCambridge, both assistant coaches in the WHL last season, have moved on to the Bakersfield Condors, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. . . . Green, 44, spent five seasons (1993-98) in the WHL, playing with the Medicine Hat Tigers, Swift Current Broncos and Portland Winterhawks. He has spent the past two-plus seasons as an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Ice. . . . McCambridge, 48, played four seasons (1991-95) in the WHL, starting with Swift Current and finished his career with the Kamloops Blazers, helping them win the 1995 Memorial Cup. He has been the Vancouver Giants’ associate coach for the past two seasons. . . .

The Ice filled the vacancy created by Green’s departure by moving Taras McEwen into that spot on the coaching staff. McEwen, 31, has been in the Ice organization for the past five seasons. He started out as the Ice’s manager of scouting in 2017, and also has been general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s Winnipeg Blues for the past two seasons. The Blues, like the Ice, are owned by 50 Below Sports + Entertainment Inc. . . . McEwen’s father, Brad, is a veteran WHL and NHL coach and scout. He now is on the scouting staff of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. . . . In Winnipeg, Taras will work with Ice head coach James Patrick, who is preparing for his sixth season. Assistant coaches Byron Spriggs and Larry Woo also are returning. Spriggs is heading into a third season; Woo is back for a second season. . . . The Ice’s complete news release is right here.

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Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca


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Scattershooting on a Sunday . . . Warriors get a Harley . . . Get outta here, Buck . . . Froot Loops on a hot dog


I haven’t yet watched Sunday’s heats from the Rangeland Derby at the Calgary Stampede, so don’t know how Calgary Hitmen scout Chad Harden did. But he won his heat on Saturday night. Wes Gilbertson of Postmedia has more on Harden right here.

There are seven Sportsnet channels on my satellite TV package. On Wednesday, four of those channels started showing the MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and the host Washington Nationals at 8 a.m. Pacific (11 a.m. ET). Meanwhile, the visiting New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves, two of the best young teams in MLB, were to begin at 10 a.m. PT (1:05 p.m. ET) and Sportsnet had that game scheduled for the same four channels. . . . By the time the Braves and Yankees got on those channels, the Bronx Bombers had a 5-0 lead. You would think that maybe, just maybe, the Braves-Yankees game could have been shown in its entirety on one of those channels. . . . You just wonder if Sportsnet does things like this on purpose, you know, just to upset viewers.

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times wonders . . . The biggest competitive mismatch these days is: (a) Globetrotters vs. Generals; (b) Warriors vs. NBA; (c) Joey Chestnut vs. hot dogs?

After the Golden State Warriors signed free-agent centre DeMarcus (Boogie) Cousins, who is all-star calibre, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle noted: “It’s like you ask Santa for a bike, and he brings you a Harley.”

Hey, TSN, I think we can do with fewer shots of beer-swilling fans during your CFL telecasts. I would suggest that it was completely out of hand during Thursday’s game from Pilsner-land (aka Regina).

If Brendan Shanahan wants a shot at the Stanley Cup immediately,” writes Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express, “he should trade John Tavares to Ottawa for Erik Karlsson.”

If auto-correct had half a brain it would correct your spelling mistakes, instead of taking words that you spell correctly and changing them.

Headline at Fark.com: 29 NBA teams to change their name to the Washington Generals in 2019.

Jack Finarelli, over at sportscurmudgeon.com, had a tasty note the other day: “In Cleveland at Progressive Field, fans attending Indians’ games can order a Slider Dog. That would be a hot dog topped with mac and cheese, bacon and Froot Loops. Seriously . . .”

I don’t know what is more hilarious . . . Buck Martinez, the lead cheerleader on most Toronto Blue Jays telecasts, screaming “Get outta here ball” as one dies on the warning track, or hollering “Get outta here ball” with his favourite team trailing 8-4 with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

“I was just watching Terminator 2 where the T-1000 becomes so brittle that part of his body breaks with each movement,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Anyone else just think of Milos Raonic?”

Currie, again: “God’s truth, I’ve just watched 11 minutes of TSN without any mention of John Tavares. So I must — ooops; they didn’t make it to 12 minutes.”

One more from Currie: “So far, Cavaliers Game 1 goat J.R. Smith hasn’t gone into witness protection. And if he did, what would his last name be?”

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