ASK THE COMMISSIONER:
Mr. Commissioner, do you really think it is appropriate for the WHL to have a Facebook page on which fans are permitted to unceremoniously rip players by name?
(Example: What a joke . . . Gotta bench (player name) . . . Worst defenceman ever in the whl. Who else tries too go thru 2 (other team’s) players in front your own net. Do us a favor (player name). Retire now before you screw up our chances of making the playoffs.)
I meant to mention this yesterday in report on the Edmonton Oil Kings’ 9-5 victory over the host Calgary Hitmen. . . . Calgary D Brock Sutherland scored his first goal of this season, in his 53rd game. He played two games with the Tri-City American and 51 with the Hitmen. . . . He now has eight goals in 237 career games. . . . As he tweeted: “Me, Chris Phillips, and Scotty Gomez all just takin' a casual year off before we decide we're due to score! #iamwhatiam #worldjs” . . . Sutherland had last scored on Feb. 19 as the Americans lost 6-2 to the visiting Spokane Chiefs.
Rob Henderson of the Brandon Sun reports that F Dominick Favreau of the Brandon Wheat Kings didn’t practise Thursday. Favreau came back from a shoulder injury to play in a 3-2 victory over the host Regina Pats on Wednesday, but left in the first period after absorbing a check. . . . Brandon is at home to the Swift Current Broncos tonight. . . .
The Wheat Kings will honour two players prior to tonight’s game. D Brodie Melnychuk, 20, became the eighth player in franchise history to play 300 regular-season games in a Wheat Kings uniform last weekend. The others? Randy Ponte (300), Ryan Craig (302), Dale McMullin (309), Aaron Goldade (310), Tim Konsorada (311), Lance Monych (319) and current assistant coach Dwayne Gylywoychuk (323). . . . As well, the Brandon Sun will present F Mark Stone with the prestigious 2011 H.L. Krug Crawford Memorial Medal. It goes annually to a sportsperson of the year in southwestern Manitoba. . . . Stone is the 13th player from the Wheat Kings organization to be so honoured, joining Brayden Schenn, Mark Derlago, Eric Fehr, Jordin Tootoo, Cory Cyrenne, Marty Murray, Trevor Kidd, Ray Ferraro, Glen Hanlon, Ron Chipperfield and Juha Widing. As well, Kelly McCrimmon, Dunc McCallum, Jack Brockest and Jake Milford, all members of Brandon’s front office, were recipients of the medal. . . .
The Calgary Hitmen have lost three of four after winning 14 of 15. The Hitmen are at home to the Moose Jaw Warriors tonight and Kootenay Ice on Sunday before heading into the B.C. Division and games in Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops. . . . The Hitmen, who won 9-3 in Victoria on Jan. 3, will have a travel day between the games in Victoria and Kelowna. . . .
The Vancouver Giants have signed F Carter Popoff, 16, who was placed on their protected list in October. Popoff, from Richmond, B.C., has 52 points in 35 games with the junior B Richmond Sockeyes. . . .
F Brendan Gallagher of the Vancouver Giants needs one goal to tie F Adam Courchaine’s franchise career record of 126. Gallagher needs 10 points to equal Courchaine’s franchise record of 273 and is 17 assists short of D Jonathon Blum’s franchise record 155. . . . The Giants are at home to Everett tonight.
Alistair McInnis of the Prince George Free Press reports that the Cougars may get some of their injured plays back for a Friday-Saturday doubleheader with the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . G Drew Owsley, F Alex Forsberg, F Jarrett Fontaine and F Caleb Belter should all be back in action. However, D Dan Gibb is questionable, while D Reid Jackson and D Shane Pilling won’t play. As well, F Brock Hirsche and F John Odgers both have shoulder injuries that may have ended their seasons. . . .
The Everett Silvertips are 7-9-1 since D Ryan Murray returned from the World Junior Championship. . . . The Silvertips now are three points out of a playoff spot. They go home-and-home with the Vancouver Giants tonight and Saturday. They are north tonight and south on Saturday. . . . Of the Royals’ next 13 games, six will be against Prince George and Everett. The Royals will spend next weekend in Prince George. . . .
Medicine Hat Tigers F Emerson Etem has 49 goals in his first 48 games this season. He also takes a 16-game point streak into a game against the visiting Prince Albert Raiders tonight. He has 21 goals and seven assists in those 16 games. . . .
A tip of the cap to Andy Neal, the former radio voice of the Prince George Cougars who now works with the Victoria Cougars, for some of the info and stats here today. . . . Check out his latest Neal’s Notes right here. Lots of good stuff in this package. . . .
F Ryan Johansen, who could still be playing with the Portland Winterhawks, was a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game last night. He plays for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the team with the NHL’s poorest record. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch blogged about Johansen’s situation on Thursday. That is right here.
In an open letter to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Ralph Nader (yes, that Ralph Nader) has called for an end to fighting.
Just when you thought you have heard/seen everything, you gain access to a YouTube video from an Ontario junor A game that goes to a shootout. But one goaltender gets tossed and the first shooter gets to take four shots. It’s all right here, and you can decide for which team the play-by-play guy is cheering.
Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports has more on this debacle right here.
Cam Tait of the Edmonton Journal has a piece right here on Jesse Pearson. His career was cut short by concussion-related problems and he now is an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
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