In case you missed it, the WHL has introduced a new initiative called Ask The Commissioner.
Details are on the WHL website.
But, obviously, the WHL has created an avenue whereby fans will be able to ask questions of Ron Robison, the WHL commissioner.
Among the questions suggested by the WHL that just may be burning you up, are these: “Why are only three 20-year-olds allowed on a team? Why are not all games officiated by two referees? How is the WHL schedule determined?”
I would suggest, and others would seem to agree, that there are far more burning issues than those.
I mean, Annie Fowler of the Tri-City Herald, over at her blog, Red Light District, has three questions of her own:
"1. Answer me this, Mr. Commish: Why does a player get a one-game suspension for five embellishment penalties, but a guy like Spokane’s Darren Kramer has been in a league-high 19 fights and has not been suspended.
"2. The officiating has been the worst I have seen in years, despite programs for officials. What’s in the works to fix this problem?
"3. Lukas Walter (Tri-City) gets six games for a one-man fight, but Campbell Elynuik (PG) gets four games for the same violation. Why the difference."
Meanwhile, I thought long and hard and came up with a question of my own.
Mr. Commissioner, I was listening to Dan Russell’s Sportstalk on CKNW out of Vancouver on Wednesday night. Bruce Hamilton, the owner, president and general manager of the Kelowna Rockets, was guesting and I am sure I heard him make mention of the fact that there now are WHL teams with budgets of more than $3 million. That being the case, Mr. Commissioner, I am wondering when WHL players might expect a pay raise?
Thank you, sir.
The Portland Winterhawks have signed F Steven Alldridge, 15, who plays for the midget AAA team at POE in Kelowna. Alldridge is from Innuvik, Northwest Territories, and was placed on Portland’s 50 player list in July. At POE, he has 13 points in 34 games. He played last season for the bantam AA team at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask., putting up 60 points in 28 games. . . .
A scoring adjustment has resulted in F Justin Maylan of the Prince Albert Raiders getting another assist in Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to the Tigers in Medicine Hat. That means Maylan tired the franchise record for assists in one game. According to the Raiders, F Steve Kelly was the last of their players to do it, in January 1994. Maylan also shares the record with F Dean McAmmond, F Mike Modano, F Dan Hodgson, D Emanuel Viveiros and F Donovan Hextall . . . .
In the BCHL last night, the Penticton Vees ran their winning streak to 27 games with a 9-2 victory over the visiting Salmon Arm SilverBacks. They’ll do it all over again tonight, this time in Salmon Arm.
In Moose Jaw, F Kenton Miller broke a 1-1 tie late in the second period and the Warriors went on to a 2-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Miller scored with 20.6 seconds left in the second. . . . F Quinton Howden also scored for Moose Jaw. That was his 16th goal of the season but his first since Dec. 6. He had missed time with an injury and also played for Canada at the World Junior Championship. . . . F James Henry had two assists for Moose Jaw. . . . The Warriors have won seven straight at home. . . . The Blades came in having won three in a row on the road. . . . Saskatoon G Andrey Makarov was back for the first time since suffering a concussion Jan. 7. He missed seven games. Last night, he stopped 34 shots. . . . Moose Jaw G Luke Siemens stopped 29 shots. . . . Moose Jaw D Dylan McIlrath has served four games of his eight-game suspension. . . . According to Matthew Gourlie of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald: “Blades winger Matej Stransky cross-checked Cody Beach in the back while he was prone on the ice and Beach didn’t return. There was no penalty.” . . .
In Regina, F Taylor Vause scored twice to help the Swift Current Broncos to a 3-2 victory over the Pats. . . . Vause, who has 26 goals, scored at 12:08 of the second and 5:24 of the third to give his side a 3-1 lead. . . . Regina scored two PP goals. . . . Swift Current G Jon Groenheyde stopped 29 shots. . . . The Broncos had lost seven straight games in Regina. . . . Regina F Jordan Weal had an assist and now has a 12-game point streak going. . . .
In Edmonton, F Henrik Samuelsson scored twice as his Oil Kings dropped the Brandon Wheat Kings, 6-2. . . . Samuelsson, who joined the Oil Kings from the Swedish club Modo after Christmas, has four goals. . . . Edmonton F Michael St. Croix had a goal and an assist. The assist gave him 79 points, a single-season franchise record for this version of the Oil Kings. F Dylan Wruck held the record of 78 points from last season. . . . The Wheat Kings have lost 10 games in January. . . . Edmonton G Laurent Brossoit stopped 25 shots. . . . Brandon started Curtis Honey, an Edmonton native, but he was gone after allowing five goals on 29 shots over two periods. . . .
In Cranbrook, F Sam Reinhart scored three goals and added two assists, but it wasn’t enough as his Kootenay Ice fell 7-6 in a shootout to the Prince Albert Raiders, who ended a six-game lsoing streak. . . . F Mark McNeill, the shootout’s first shooter, won it with the lone goal of the circus. . . . Prince Albert F Logan McVeigh forced OT when he scored his ninth goal at 10:07 of the third . . . . Ice F Dylen McKinlay had two goals and two assists. . . . He’s got 10 goals. . . . Reinhart was pointless with eight minutes gone in the second period and the Raiders leading 4-1. . . . Reinhart scored three goals and added an assist in the second, getting goals at 8:13, 15:30 and 18:58, the latter via the PP. . . . Reinhart has 20 goals on the season. . . . Ice F Max Reinhart (foot), Sam’s older brother, sat out a second straight game, while F Drew Czerwonka (undisclosed) and F Luke Paulsen (concussion) remain out. . . . Prince Albert D Riley Guenther and F Carson Pereaux each scored his first WHL goal. . . .
In Calgary, G Chris Driedger stopped 32 shots as the Hitmen dumped the Vancouver Giants, 2-0. . . . Driedger has two shutouts this season. He has won five straight starts. . . . D Collin Bowman scored a 11:27 of the first, with F Trevor Cheek adding an empty-netter at 19:16 of the third. . . . The Hitmen have won 12 of their last 13 games. . . . The Giants welcomed back G Adam Morrison (concussion), who hadn’t played since Jan. 13. . . . He made 17 saves last night. . . . Calgary was 0-7 on the PP; Vancouver was 0-6. . . . Vancouver has only two victories in 12 trips to the Saddledome since entering the WHL in 2001. . . . Vancouver F Marek Tvrdon served the first of a two-game suspension for a game misconduct he apparently incurred on Wednesday in a 4-2 loss to the Rebels in Red Deer. It is interesting that there is no game misconduct indicated on the scoresheet that is available on the WHL’s website. . . .
In Lethbridge, F Emerson Etem and F Curtis Valk each scored three times and added an assist as the Medicine Hat Tigers skated past the Hurricanes, 8-2. . . . The Tigers have won six in a row. . . . Etem is on an 11-game goal-scoring streak, although he did miss a mid-week game while in California for a break. He hadn’t had any time off since playing for the U.S. at the World Junior Championship. . . . Etem now has a WHL-leading 44 goals in 43 games. He has 76 points. . . . Valk has 19 goals. . . . The Tigers were 4-for-8 on the PP. . . .
In Red Deer, D Mathew Dumba scored the game’s last two goals as the Rebels came from behind to beat the Tri-City Americans 3-2 in OT. . . . Dumba forced OT with his 15th goal at 10:52 of the third and then won it 38 seconds into OT. . . . F Charles Inglis had two assists for Red Deer, while F Adam Hughesman had two helpers for the Americans, who scored the game’s first two goals. . . . Red Deer G Deven Dubyk made 36 saves, one more than Tri-City’s Eric Comrie. . . . The Rebels, who are ninth in the 12-team Eastern Conference, have won three of four and closed to within two points of the eighth-place Brandon Wheat Kings. Those two teams meet tonight in Red Deer. . . . Red Deer F Adam Kambeitz left in the second period with an apparent ankle injury. . . . Tri-City is 4-7-4 in Red Deer. . . . The Rebles had F Scott Feser in their lineup. He was an eighth-round pick in the 2010 bantam draft and plays for the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Rebels. He also is the brother of Tri-City F Justin Feser, 19. Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate reports that “the parents of both players were introduced to the crowd during the second-period intermission.” Now that must have been a nice moment. . . .
In Prince George, D Dominik Bittner scored his first two goals and F Ryan Chynoweth added his first as the Everett Silvertips beat the Cougars, 5-2. . . . Bittner, a 19-year-old from Germany, has 15 points in 46 games. . . . Chynoweth is the son of Kootenay Ice president/GM Jeff Chynoweth and the grandson of the late Ed Chynoweth. . . . This was Ryan’s 45th game of the season. He was Everett’s first selection, 24th overall, in the 2010 bantam draft. . . . F Spencer Asuchak, playing in his 199th regular-season WHL game, scored twice for the Cougars. . . . Everett G Kent Simpson stopped 34 shots in recording his 60th career victory. . . . The WHL’s weekly injury report contains eight Cougars — D Dan Gibb, F Greg Fraser, F Brock Hrische, F John Odgers, F Caleb Belter, D Shane Pilling, F Alex Forsberg and D Reid Jackson, all out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Gibb and Fraser were in the lineup, although Gibb left late in the first period. . . . Prince George brought in two 16-year-olds — D Raymond Grewal and D Marc McNulty — and F Carson Bolduc, 15. Bolduc, from Salmon Arm, B.C., was a third-round pick in the 2011 bantam draft. He has 18 points in 26 games with the major midget Thompson Blazers. . . . Grewal, from Prince George, was taken in the fifth round of the 2010 bantam draft, five rounds before McNulty. Grewal plays with the major midget Cariboo Cougars; he’s got 16 points in 28 games. . . . The 6-foot-5 McNulty players for his hometown midget AAA Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . The Cougars also are without F Campbell Elynuik, who is suspended. . . .
In Kelowna, F Colin Jacobs scored in the shootout to give the Seattle Thunderbirds a 2-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . Jacobs was the first shooter and scored the only goal. . . . F Colton Heffley had scored for Kelowna at 12:57 of the first period. . . . F Burke Gallimore replied for Seattle at 3:45 of the second. . . . Seattle G Calvin Pickard and Kelowna G Adam Brown each stopped 30 shots. . . . Kelowna’s Zach Franko had scored on seven straight shootout attempts, but he missed in this one. . . .
In Spokane, F Brad Ross scored at 3:38 of OT to give the Portland Winterhawks a 3-2 victory over the Chiefs. . . . Ross had scored his 30th goal of the season at 12:53 of the second to give Portland a 2-1 lead. . . . Chiefs F Darren Kramer forced OT when he scored his 17th goal at 15:57 of the third. . . . Ross also drew an assist on Portland’s other goal. His 31 goals equals his career high from last season. . . . Portland F Cam Reid had a goal, his second, and an assist. . . . Spokane took three of the game’s four minor penalties. . . .
In Victoria, the Royals gave up two goals in the game’s first 15 seconds and then came back to down the Kamloops Blazers, 4-2. . . . Kamloops F Tim Bozon scored both his club’s goals, the first eight eight seconds gone. He has 25 goals in his freshman season. . . . Victoria G Keith Hamilton settled down and finished with 33 saves, two more than Cole Cheveldave of the Blazers. . . . Kamloops had been 5-0-0 against Victoria this season. . . . Victoria D Hayden Rintoul tied the game at 5:16 of the seocnd on a PP and F Ben Walker got the winner at 18:24. . . . F Robin Soudek had a strong game for the Royals, with a goal and an assist. . . . The Blazers have lost two in a row after having won nine straight. They had been 6-0-3 in their previous nine road games.
FRIDAY’S CHECKING-FROM-BEHIND COUNT:
F Trevor Cheek, Calgary.
D Macoy Erkamps, Lethbridge.
D Daniel Gibb, Prince George.
F Jarrett Fontaine, Prince George.
The Brampton Guardian has more right here on the eight-game suspension to head coach Stan Butler of the OHL’s Brampton Battalion.
Roy MacGregor of The Globe and Mail is in Ottawa for the NHL all-star game. He reports right here on “the true star of NHL all-star weekend.”
Len Barrie, a former WHL scoring champ (Kamloops, 1989-90), has turned over the keys to his rather extravagant 12,500-square-foot home near Victoria to HSBC Bank Canada. The bank had started court action in 2010 after calling in loans.
Andrew A. Duffy of the Victoria Times Colonist has more right here.
David Shoalts of The Globe and Mail has more on the Barrie situation right here.
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