OK. It appears the game is over.
It would appear that Red No. 23 actually is a player from Switzerland named Alessio Bertaggia.
I received an email early Sunday morning advising me of this, and another came early Sunday afternoon.
The second one read: “I don't want to end the fun but I talked to Alessio Bertaggia and he said that he was 23 red. I thought I would let you know that I like putting a name with the face personally.”
So it would appear that we have a real legitimate name for Red No. 23.
Alessio Bertaggia is a 17-year-old hockey player from Lugano, Switzerland. He turned 17 on July 30. An Internet check shows him at 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, and a left-hand shot.
Most recently, Bertaggia played for Switzerland at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in August.
Last season, Bertaggia had 25 points and -- yes! -- 109 penalty minutes in 22 games with a Swiss U-18 team in Lugano. He also had 18 points, including 13 goals, and 18 penalty minutes in 13 games with the Lugano U-20 side.
Of course, since the arrival of GM/head coach Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks have something of a history with Switzerland. They had great success last season with F Nino Niederreiter, who was a first-round pick of the New York Islanders in the 2010 NHL draft. And the Winterhawks selected Swiss forward Sven Bartschi in the 2010 CHL import draft.
As for Bertaggia . . . well, he wasn’t drafted.
So you are free to wonder . . . what was he doing in Portland?
Just visiting friends, one supposes, when he chose to go for a skate with the local junior team.