Sunday, December 19, 2010


The Regina Pats will celebrate the career of Mike Sillinger by retiring his No. 16 on Jan. 14 prior to a game with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
“It's truly an honor to have my jersey hanging up in a place where I have had some of my greatest memories,” Sillinger said in a news release. “I was lucky to play my entire junior career here with the Pats and was always so proud to represent a great organization. As a hometown boy, wearing that Pats jersey was a dream come true and I will cherish those days forever.”
Sillinger, who is from Regina, played with the Pats from 1987-91. He is third on the franchise list in goals (178), third in assists (241) and second in points (419).
The 1990-91 season was a fantastic cap to his WHL career as that winter, he put on the Red and White of Team Canada and helped the squad to a gold medal at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatoon, later that season, he was named a WHL Eastern Conference all-star.
Sillinger was selected by the Detroit Red Wings with the 11th pick of the NHL’s 1989 draft and went to a 16-year professional career during which he played for 12 teams.
Sillinger will become the eighth Pats player to have had his number retired, following Ed Staniowski (1), Brad Hornung (8), Clark Gillies (9), Doug Wickenheiser (12) and Dennis Sobchuk (14), Dale Derkatch (16) and Bill Hicke (17). Builders to have been honoured by the Pats are Lorne Davis, Al Ritchie, Gord Staseson, Graham Tuer, Bob Turner and Del Wilson.
F Codey Burki (Brandon, 2002-07) has been assigned on loan from Lugano (Switzerland NLA) to Thurgau (Switzerland NL B). Burki has not played in a game yet with Lugano but played one game on loan to Sierre (Switzerland NLB) earlier this season. He was pointless in that game. . . .
D Tomas Slovak (Kelowna, 2001-03) was released by Avtomobilist Ekaterinberg (Russia KHL). He had three assists and was -6 in 21 games this season for Avtomobilist.
D Bruin McDonald, 18, who started this season with the Spokane Chiefs, has been released by the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques. In five games with the Olympiques, McDonald didn’t have a point, but was plus-1 with nine penalty minutes.
The Olympiques had signed McDonald to a contract that covered this season and next, but, of course, those contracts don’t guarantee roster spots.
As someone familiar with the situation put it, “Obviously, what (the family) was told and promised was not worth the air they were spoken with. But that is the business . . .”
So, at least for now, McDonald has decided to get on with his life and is sounding as though he won’t play hockey again this season.
The Chiefs had acquired McDonald’s rights from the Prince George Cougars. However, Spokane released him upon having D Jared Cowen reassigned by the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. McDonald then joined the BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies, who dealt him to the Vernon Vipers. It was right after that trade occurred that the Olympiques came calling.
For the record, the WHL’s trade moratorium runs through Dec. 27. The WHL office will begin accepting trades on Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 12:01 a.m. MT. . . . That moratorium began Dec. 15. . . . WHL goaltenders are on schedule to put up 76 shutouts this season, which would be 12 fewer than last season. That also would be the lowest total since some time before 2003-04. (I don’t have season breakdowns prior to 2003-04.) The single-season record (141) was set in 2004-05. . . .
Bruce Eakin (Saskatoon, 1980-82) and his family are heading from Florida to the Buffalo area to watch nephew Cody play for Team Canada in the World Junior Championship. Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun has that story right here. Cody, of course, is the captain of the Swift Current Broncos.
After giving it a whole lot of thought, I have shut off the comments area of this blog.
I don’t mind a little give and take, but when a gutless stalker, obviously made bigger and braver by the mask of anonymity afforded by the Internet, continually makes unfounded accusations it’s time to say enough is enough and pull the plug.
So . . . as much as I enjoy the readers’ participation, I have had to cut it off. For that I apologize.
Still, those of you wishing to make an intelligent comment, point out errors or take part in reasonable discourse may continue to reach me at
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