THE MacBETH REPORT:
The Krefeld Pinguine (Germany, DEL) announced that the club will not re-sign seven players, including F Duncan Milroy (Swift Current, Kootenay, 1998-2003), D Lawrence Nycholat (Swift Current, 1996-2000), and F Ben Ondrus (Swift Current, 1998-2003). Milroy had six goals and 22 assists in 45 games, Nycholat had one goal and five assists in 23 games, and Ondrus had three goals and seven assists in 47 games for the Penguins this season. . . .
F Petr Vala (Seattle, 1997-98) signed a one-year contract extension with Zell am See (Austria, Nationalliga). He had 13 goals and 23 assists in 26 games for Zell am See this season. . . .
F Brett McLean (Tacoma/Kelowna, Brandon, 1994-99) signed a one-year contract extension with Lugano (Switzerland, NL A). McLean started the season with the Rockford Ice Hogs (AHL), getting seven goals and 14 assists in 36 games. After clearing NHL unconditional waivers with Chicago on Jan. 19, McLean joined Lugano, where he had five goals and one assist in 10 games. From the Lugano press release: "The 33-year-old Canadian has proven to be a valuable player both defensively and offensively, and displays strong leadership skills."
F Sven Baertschi scored another goal Thursday night, helping the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Baertschi, who was brought in from the Portland Winterhawks under emergency recall rules, has three goals in four games with the Flames. . . . Calgary head coach Brent Sutter said after last night’s game that he plans on playing Baertschi again tonight when the Flames meet the Oilers in Edmonton. . . . After last night’s game, Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald wrote: “Under the agreement between the NHL and Canadian Hockey League, the Flames must reassign Baertschi to his junior club the moment one of their injured forwards returns to the lineup. Lee Stempniak, Tim Jackman and Lance Bouma are all prime candidates to take Baertschi's spot.”
Neate Sager, our pal at Yahoo! Sports, has put together in interesting look at some connections between junior hockey and Hollywood. That piece is right here. If you know of any more, email me at email@example.com and we’ll start a list.
The Kamloops Blazers have added G Taran Kozun, 17, to their roster. He joins Cole Cheveldave, 18, and Cam Lanigan, 19, as goaltenders on the Kamloops roster. Kozun opened the season with the Blazers before being assigned to the SJHL’s Nipawin Hawks on Oct. 17. With Nipawin, he got into 16 games, going 5-10-0, 3.30, .904. . . . In Nipawin, Kozun found himself playing behind Davis Jones, 19, who went 26-12-0, 2.42, .920 and was named the SJHL’s goaltender of the year.
F Austin Bourhis of the Prince Albert Raiders has drawn a six-game suspension for what the WHL calls a “one-man fight” against the Blades in Saskatoon on Tuesdsay night. The suspension will carry over to next season when Bourhis will miss the first three games. . . . As well, Kelowna Rockets F Shane McColgan was hit with a one-game suspension for accumulation of embellishment penalties. He won’t play tonight against the host Vancouver Giants but will be eligible to return for Saturday’s rematch in Kelowna.
The NHL’s Boston Bruins have signed G Adam Morrison, 20, of the Vancouver Giants to a three-year contract. Morrison was an unrestricted free agent. The Philadelphia Flyers didn’t sign him after selecing him in the third round of the NHL’s 2009 draft. The Giants acquired Morrison from the Saskatoon Blades earlier this season. He is 35-17-3, 2.80, .900 this season. . . .
D Alex Petrovic of the Red Deer Rebels will join the San Antonio Rampage, the AHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers, on Tuesday. He will play his final WHL games tonight and Saturday against the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes and Edmonton Oil Kings. The Panthers selected him in the second round of the NHL’s 2010 draft.
Before he wraps up his WHL career, F Taylor Vause, the 20-year-old captain of the Swift Current Broncos, took the time to write a letter to the editor of the Prairie Post.
That letter is right here, and you should take time to read it.
The Kelowna Rockets said Thursday that D Myles Bell (leg) and D Madison Bowey (shoulder) both are day-to-day after being injured in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Everett Silvertips on Wednesday. . . . The Rockets are to play tonight in Vancouver. . . . Without Bell, Bowey and D Mitchell Chapman, who also is injured, the Rockets may use D Riley Stadel, a 2011 third-round bantam draft pick from Surrey, B.C., who spent the season at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton.
THE COACHING GAME:
Brian Curran, the AJHL’s coach of the year this season, has changed teams. Curran was named the coach of the year for his season with the Lloydminster Bobcats. On Thursday, however, he signed a five-year deal as GM and head coach of the Drumheller Dragons. . . . He replaces Barry Wolff, who had been general manager and interim head coach. Wolff had worked the bench for the season’s last four months.
When the WHL playoffs approach and it gets close to the end of the regular season, I usually stay away from attempting to figure out all the possible permutations.
Why? Because I always screw it up and the mess always seem to sort itself out anyway.
But as the WHL heads into its final three days of the regular season, Garth MacBeth, who pens the MacBeth Report, has made some notes involving the Western Conference . . .
7. Victoria 53 (v. Portland tonight)
8. Everett 52 (at Tri-City tonight, at Seattle on Saturday)
9. Seattle 50 (at Spokane tonight, v. Everett on Saturday, at Portland on Sunday)
10. Prince George 48 (at Kamloops tonight, v. Kamloops on Saturday)
If Victoria wins tonight, the Royals will clinch at least a tiebreaker game. That will give them 55 points after their final game. Everett and Seattle can both get to 56 points but not at the same time. One of them can only get to 55 since they play each other Saturday — by losing that game in OT. PG cannot catch Victoria, which has 53 points, so the best it can do is get into a tie for eighth place. For that tie to occur, here is what must happen:
1. PG wins both games against Kamloops. That would give it 52 points and 25 victories.
2. Everett must lose both of its games (at Tri-City and at Seattle) in regulation. Everett would then have 52 points and 21 victories.
3. Seattle, by virtue of its win over Everett on Saturday, would have 52 points and 25 victories. So it must lose in regulation tonight at Spokane and Sunday at Portland.
This is the only scenario for Prince George to make the playoffs. There is no other way. This would result in a three-way playoff for the eighth spot which, it seems, would result in two sudden-death playoff games.
Neither Garth nor I could find anything with the rules for a three-team tie for a playoff spot. If two teams tie, they play a sudden-death game at the home of the team with the most overall victories. And that game would be played on the Tuesday before the playoffs begin.
Presumably, then, if three teams tied, there would be two sudden-death games in two different cities.
Prince George would get the bye on the basis of having the most victories. Seattle and Everett would play in the first game. It would be played in Kent, Wash., because the Thunderbirds would have the most victories.
Presumably, the winner of that game would then travel to Prince George.
And it all would have to be wrapped up in time for the teams to begin the first round of playoffs on Friday, March 23.
Garth also pointed out that Victoria can still end up in a tiebreaker game and it could be a three-way affair, as well. If it's a tie with Everett, Victoria would have more victories than Everett and would play host to the tiebreaker. If it's a tie with Seattle, Seattle would have more victories than Victoria and would play host to the tiebreaker. If it's a three-way tie, Seattle would get seventh place with the most victories, and Victoria would play host to Everett in the tiebreaker.
Victoria could also miss the playoffs and a tiebreaker completely. If Victoria loses in regulation tonight, then Seattle needs three points and Everett two points to send Victoria to the sidelines. If Victoria loses in OT, Everett needs three points and Seattle four points. As I said earlier, if Victoria wins tonight, it gets at least a tiebreaker game. A Victoria victory and a Seattle or Everett loss in regulation tonight clinches a playoff spot for Victoria.
Whew . . .
IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY:
Edmonton (1) vs. Brandon (8)
Moose Jaw (2) vs. Kootenay (7)
Medicine Hat (3) vs. Saskatoon (6)
Calgary (4) vs. Regina (5)
Tri-City (1) vs. Everett (8)
Kamloops (2) vs. Victoria (7)
Portland (3) vs. Kelowna (6)
Vancouver (4) vs. Spokane (5)
Calgary at Kootenay
Moose Jaw at Prince Albert
Brandon at Regina
Saskatoon at Swift Current
Edmonton at Medicine Hat
Lethbridge at Red Deer
Prince George at Kamloops
Seattle at Spokane
Everett at Tri-City
Portland at Victoria
Kelowna at Vancouver
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.