THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Tyler Redenbach (Prince George, Swift Current, Lethbridge, 2001-05) will be loaned to Red Bull Salzburg (Austria, Erste Bank Liga) by Olten (Switzerland, NL B) for the European Trophy finals. Redenbach has four goals and 14 assists in 20 games for Olten this season. Red Bull have five players playing with the Austrian national team during the finals, so the club needs some reinforcements. The European Trophy is a tournament featuring 24 teams from six European countries. It started in August with group play and the top eight advanced to the finals, which run Dec. 16-18 in Salzburg and Vienna. . . .
F Justin Mapletoft (Red Deer, 1996-2001) signed a tryout contract with Basel (Switzerland, NL B). He had six assists in 14 games with Schwenninger Wild Wings (Germany, 2.Bundesliga) and one goal and two assists in two games with Sierre (Switzerland, NL B) earlier this season. No contract terms were released by Basel.
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David Branch, the president of the Canadian Hockey League and the commissioner of the OHL, is major junior hockey’s visionary.
It is a role that once was filled by Ed Chynoweth, when he was the head of the CHL and running the WHL. Chynoweth was terrific at looking into the future and choosing the direction in which his league should travel.
Now it is Branch who is showing a knack for prescience.
It is Branch who, as the head of the OHL, first began cracking down on headshots and using the lengthy suspension as a deterrent.
Now, he says, the day is coming when hockey will move to ban fighting.
In a piece written by Michael Traikos of the National Post, Branch talks of ejecting players who fight.
“I think, practically, that’s really the only rule you could have,” Branch told Traikos. “And then you may choose going forward to increase the sanctions if you become a habitual fighter. There’s such a changing attitude. If you had brought that up 20 years ago, (team owners and general managers) would have shook their heads. Now, there’s more and more people saying, ‘How can we get there?’ And it’s coming.”
Traikos has presented an intriguing column, and it’s right here.
Branch, among other things, says hockey doesn’t need fighting to sell tickets.
He also points out:
“You look at the Memorial Cup; there’s no fights. You look at the world junior championships; you don’t have any fighting there. And I really believe attitudes have been changing and continue to change and there’s a steady, natural evolution away from it. The time will come where it will be deemed to be totally unacceptable and that will reduce it further.”
Let us not forget that almost two years have passed since Don Sanderson, a player with the senior Whitby, Ont., Dunlops, died after falling to the ice and hitting his helmetless head on the ice during a fight.
Sanderson was injured on Dec. 14, 2008, and was in a coma before dieing in a Hamilton hospital on Jan. 2, 2009.
At the time, David Branch was quoted by CBC as saying:
"All of us that are in positions to exercise some influence have an obligation to challenge as to what we can do to hopefully not see something like this occur again.”
If you have ever wondered how fighting came to be a part of hockey, well, check out this piece right here by Jeff Z. Klein of The New York Times.
Perhaps the most relevant paragraph in that piece is this quote from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News:
“You can no more ban fighting in hockey than in any other sport. But you can punish it more appropriately, starting with a game misconduct and ejection for any fight, and a sliding scale of fines/suspensions for repeat offenders.”
Proteau is the author of the newly published book Fighting the Good Fight: Why On-Ice Violence Is Killing Hockey.
F Eric Walker of the Vancouver Giants has had charges he was facing dismissed in Marquette County District Court in Michigan.
Walker, then a student-athlete at Northern Michigan University, and six other hockey players were charged in conjunction with some stolen bicycles on campus.
The case was heard on Tuesday, with four of the players pleading no contest.
Charges against Walker, 18, who left school and joined the Giantgs before the case reached court, F Dylan Walchuk, a 19-year-old from McBride, B.C., and F Ryan Aynsley, 21, of Kelowna were dismissed.
According to The North Wind, the NMU campus newspaper, “Walchuk and Aynsley were originally charged with receiving and concealing property under $200. Walker was originally charged with receiving and concealing property valued at more than $200 but less than $1,000.”
The other four players pleaded no contest and are to be sentenced on Tuesday.
The North Wind has more right here.
Former Portland Winterhawks player and coach Brent Peterson has been fighting Parkinson’s Disease and underwent deep brain stimulation earlier in the week. KATU-TV has the story right here.
THE COACHING GAME:
The OHL’s Saginaw Spirit has fired GM/head coach Todd Watson and brought in Greg Gilbert as head coach. At the time of the change, the Spirit was 11-17-0 and six points out of the playoffs, despite a roster that includes seven NHL draft selections. . . . Jim Paliafito, the Spirit’s assistant GM and director of scouting, takes over as GM. . . . Gilbert spent three seasons (2003-06) as head coach of the OHL’s Mississauga IceDogs. Most recently, the was fired by the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms during the 2010-11 season. . . . Watson signed on as head coach for 2007-08 and was 154-115-33, plus 12-18 in the playoffs.
Head on over to Small Thoughts at Large (link on the right) for a look at the number of WHL players who could miss regular-season games between now and early January. As usual, Alan Caldwell has done a bang-up job of keeping track of the Christmas absentees.
In Moose Jaw, F Kenton Miller scored twice to help the Warriors to a 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Miller has 10 goals this season. . . . The Rockets, who trailed 3-0 in the second period, were burned for four PP goals as the Warriors went 4-for-7. . . . The Rockets are 0-1-1 on their East Division swing. . . .
In Swift Current, F Tim Bozon scored two goals and added two assists to help the Kamloops Blazers open their East Division trek with a 5-4 victory over the Broncos. . . . Bozon, from Switzerland, is in his freshman season. He has 28 points, including 13 goals, in 30 games. . . . F J.C. Lipon, who is from Regina, had two goals, giving him 12, and an assist for Kamloops. He has 12 goals and 18 assists in 30 games. Last season, he finished with three and 18 in 65 games. . . . Swift Current F Adam Lowry scored the Teddy Bear goal and added three assists. . . . F Taylor Vause scored twice for the Broncos, giving him 20. . . . Kamloops G Cole Cheveldave stopped 32 shots and preserved the victory with a blocker save on Lowry in the game’s dying moments. . . . Kamloops won its eighth straight game, something it hadn’t done since 2006-07. . . . The Broncos had their three-game winning streak end. . . .
In Saskatoon, the Blades erased a 2-0 second-period deficit and beat the Regina Pats, 4-2. . . . F Michael Burns pulled the Blades even at 4:07 of the third period — he has 13 goals; he score 15 all of last season — and F Matej Stransky broke the tie at 18:08. He has 15 goals. . . . Saskatoon G Andrej Makarov stopped 40 shots. . . .
In Edmonton, the Oil Kings ran their winning streak to nine games as they dropped the Prince Albert Raiders, 5-3. . . . Edmonton got four assists from F Dylan Wruck, while F T.J. Foster had two goals. . . . Edmonton G Tristan Jarry stopped 34 shots. . . . Edmonton F Tyler Maxwell had a goal and an assist. In eight games since being acquired from the Everett Silvertips, Maxwell, 20, has 15 points and is plus-14. . . .
In Medicine Hat, the defending-champion Kootenay Ice ended a four-game losing skid with a 3-2 victory over the Tigers. . . . F Drew Czerwonka broke a 2-2 tie at 15:16 of the third period. . . . Ice G Nathan Lieuwen stopped 31 shots, one fewer than Medicine Hat’s Kenny Cameron. . . . Tigers F Emerson Etem had the Teddy Bear goal, his 29th score this season. . . . Ice D John Neibrandt scored his first goal of the season. It came in his 32nd game. Last season, his first in the WHL, he had one goal in 65 games. . . .
In Everett, the Tri-City Americans scored the game’s last four goals and beat the Silvertips, 5-1. . . . Tri-City F Patrick Holland enjoyed his second career three-goal game. He has 10 goals this season. . . . The Silvertips have lost nine in a row, the longest losing streak in franchise history. . . . F Adam Hughesman had a goal, his 22nd, and an assist for the Americans, who got 21 saves from G Eric Comrie. . . . Hughesman, with 286 career points, moved past F Dylan Gyori and into fifth place on the Americans’ career list. . . . Everett F Cody Fowlie took a checking-from-behind majorat 17:14 of the third period. . . . The Ameicans have won four in a row on the road and five straight overall. . . . The Americans are at home to the Portland Winterhawks tonight. . . .
In Vancouver, F Jaimen Yakubowski broke a 1-1 tie on a second-period penalty shot and the Lethbridge Hurricanes went on to a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Yakubowski scored on the penalty shot at 2:29 of the second, then added his sixth goal of the season at 4:38. . . . Lethbridge went 1-2 on a brief trip into the B.C. Division. . . . The Hurricanes hadn’t beaten Vancouver in seven years, a span of 12 games. . . .
In Spokane, D Cody Carlson’s shootout goal gave the Prince George Cougars a 4-3 victory over the Chiefs. . . . The shootout went four rounds, with Carlson the last shooter. His goal won it, 2-1. . . . The Chiefs scored the game’s first three goals and took that lead into the third period. . . . The Cougars tied it on Carlson’s PP goal at 16:12. . . . D Jason Fram got the Teddy Bear goal, his second score this season. . . . Cougars F Campbell Elynuik drew a ‘tbd’ suspension for boarding major Friday night in 1-0 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Colin Jacobs, the sixth shooter, scored the lone goal of the shootout as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat the Victoria Royals, 4-3. . . . Seattle had scored the first three goals of the game, with the Royals getting the last three, all on third period PPs. D Hayden Rintoul tied it at 6:18. . . . The three goals came in a span of 2:19. . . . Seattle F Tyler Alos and Jacobs each scored their first goals of the season. Jacobs was playing only his second game after returning from an undisclosed injury. . . . Victoria F Taylor Crunk was ejected with a cross-checking major at 8:59 of the second period. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard stopped 35 shots, two more than Victoria’s Keith Hamilton.
SATURDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Logan McVeigh, Kamloops.
F Cody Fowlie, Everett (major).
F Tyler Alos, Seattle.
F Carter Proft, Spokane.
For today’s good read, we turn to a piece penned by Peter King of Sports Illustrated, but involved a number of SI staff members.
If you have ever wondered what life after football is really like, check this out right here.
It’s about the 1986 Cincinnati Bengals and the condition the players are in today.