Friday, February 17, 2012

The Edmonton Oil Kings are rewriting the franchise’s modern day record book. In the process, this team is setting the bar for the teams that will follow.
Of course, the modern-day Oil Kings are in only their fifth season but, still, the numbers are impressive.
Here’s a quick look at some of the franchise records that already have fallen (with a tip of the hat to Ryan Ohashi, the Oil Kings’ manager of communications):
Most Points (Team): 83
Previous record: 69 (2010-11)
Most Wins (Team): 38
Previous record: 34 (2010-11)
Most Assists: 54 (Dylan Wruck)
Previous Record: 48 (Michael St.Croix, 2010-11)
Most Games Played: 255 (T.J. Foster)
Previous record: 218 (Adrian Van De Mosselaer, 2007-11)
Most Goals: 83 (Michael St. Croix)
Previous Record: 50 (Brent Raedeke and Tomas Vincour, both 2007-10)
Most Assists: 129 (Michael St.Croix, 2009-11)
Previous Record: 77 (Michael St.Croix, 2009-11)
Most Points: 212 (Michael St.Croix, 2009-11)
Previous Record: 123 (Michael St.Croix, 2009-11)
Most Shutouts: 5 (Laurent Brossoit)
Previous Record: 4 (Torrie Jung, 2008-10)
The Oil Kings also lead the wHL in goals scored (244) and goal differential (plus-97). . . . The Oil Kings continue their record run tonight when they meet the Giants in Vancouver.
The Southern Professional league’s Fayetteville FireAntz have brought in Todd Bidner to replace the fired Sean Gillam (Spokane, 1992-96). . . . The FireAntz went 12-25-5 under Gillam, who was in his first season. They are in last place in the SPHL. . . . Bidner, 40, was selected by the Washington Capitals in the sixth round of the NHL’s 1980 draft. He played most of his pro career in Great Britain.
The Saskatoon Blades have brought in D Brett Lernout, 16, from the midget AAA Winnipeg Wild. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Lernout has 35 points and is plus-54 in 44 games with the Wild. A late birthday, he will be eligible for the 2013 NHL draft. . . . Kevin Pochuk, another Wild defenceman, also is in the WHL. He is with the Red Deer Rebels on their swing into the B.C. Division. Pochuk has 64 points and is plus-81 in 42 games with the Wild. . . . If you were wondering, the Wild is 41-2-1. . . . Saskatoon also owns the WHL rights to Wild G Alex Moodie, who had a good run with the Blades early in the new year following an injury to starter Andrey Markarov.
The Kelowna Rockets should have F Brett Lyon and F Jessey Astles back in the lineup tonight when they play host to the Calgary Hitmen. Lyon, 20, has served a WHL-issued six-game suspension, while Astles, 18, has missed 18 games with what the team says is an “upper-body injury.” It is believed that he was out with a concussion. . . . Due to injuries and Lyon’s suspensions, the Rockets had six 16-year-olds dressed on Tuesday when they lost 6-3 to the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . .
The Vancouver Giants will add D Cody Franson of the Toronto Maple Leafs to their Ring of Honour tonight as part of the festivities when they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. Franson, 24, played three full seasons (2004-07) for the Giants. His younger brother Cain, 18, plays for the Giants now. "It's exciting and I'm very honoured to have this happen but I also haven't seen my brother play since he was 15 years old, or maybe even younger than that," Cody told Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province. "I'm very excited to watch him play." . . . Vancouver has lost F Anthony Ast to a four-game suspension for a charging major he incurred during a game against the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday. Ast didn’t play in Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Chiefs in Spokane so has three games left to serve. F Mitch Messier, the subject of Ast’s hit, didn’t return to Tuesday’s game and didn’t play Wednesday in a ?? loss to the host Portland Winterhawks. . . . The Giants also will be without F Marek Tvrdon, who picked up a match penalty for spearing in Spokane. . . . Ewen reports that the Giants will have F Brodyn Nielsen, 18, in their lineup tonight. He already has played seven games with the Giants this season but plays regularly for the junior B North Vancouver Wolf Pack. . . . The Giants also may get F Carter Popoff, a 16-year-old from the junior B Richmond Sockeyes into their lineup. . . .
The Brandon Wheat Kings have been bitten by the injury bug as it seems have so many teams of late. The Wheat Kings beat the Hurricanes 4-2 in Lethbridge on Wednesday without the services of five forwards — Alessio Bertaggia, Dominick Favreau, Tyrel Seaman and Kevin Sundher and Jason Swyripa. The Wheat Kings are at home to the Prince Albert Raiders and apparently don’t know if any of the injured will return. . . .
Saskatoon soon will have a new cardiac care lab and CTVNews has a piece right here that includes some time with Darren Lefebvre, who you will recall had a cardiac issue while playing for the Spokane Chiefs in 2002-03. That piece is right here.
Today’s good read comes from The New Yorker and has nothing to do with hockey. Instead, it’s all about football. Rather, it’s all about Jon Gruden. Kelefa Sanneh has written a terrific piece and it’s right here. And it's lengthy, so be prepared.

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