|The Kamloops Blazers are expected to place Ryan Hanes (13) on WHL|
waivers today. Other teams will have 48 hours to claim him.
(Photo by Murray Mitchell/Kamloops Daily News)
By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
Ryan Hanes’ days with his hometown WHL team appear to be over.
“Was a great 4 years and chapter in my life!” Hanes tweeted on Monday night. “Loved every minute of it and the friends I made! Gunna miss everyone! Now what do I do #sadday”
Hanes, who spent last week instructing at the Blazers’ annual hockey school, couldn’t be reached for comment last night.
However, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to The Daily News that Hanes, a 20-year-old left winger, will be placed on waivers today. Other teams have 48 hours to make a claim. The waiver cost is $1,000, but only if a player goes on to play for the claiming team. If no one claims Hanes, he will become a free agent.
His departure from the Blazers comes four years after the club announced his signing on Aug. 15, 2008. A product of the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association, Hanes was a fifth-round selection, 99th overall, in the 2007 WHL bantam draft. He played with the major midget Thompson Blazers and the junior B Kamloops Storm before joining the WHL Blazers early in 2009-10.
Hanes played in 181 regular-season games with the Blazers, totalling 40 points, including 16 goals, and 316 penalty minutes.
Last season, Hanes had career highs in goals (8), assists (14) and points (22) in only 55 games. He sat out 15 games after suffering a concussion when he was involved in an altercation at Cactus Jack’s Saloon during the Christmas break. He later missed two games with a leg injury.
Hanes, a grinding player with a tonne of character, earned the reputation as one of the WHL’s best trash-talkers. He also was one of the most popular players in the Kamloops dressing room. He fought 21 times in 2010-11 when the Blazers had the third-most fights (96) in the WHL. Last season, with the Blazers taking a more-disciplined approach, he fought just six times. He also took penalties resulting in only 13 opposition power plays on which two goals were scored.
In the end, though, Hanes becomes an early victim of the WHL’s 20-year-old game. Each of the 22 teams is allowed to dress three 20-year-old players per game, with teams having to declare their three in mid-October
Without Hanes, the Blazers’ roster still includes four 20-year-olds – defenceman Austin Madaisky and forwards Jordan DePape, Brendan Ranford and Dylan Willick.
Madaisky has signed with the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets and likely is ticketed for the AHL’s Springfield Falcons. However, an NHL lockout could change all that.
DePape was limited to 14 games by early-season shoulder surgery, but still put up 14 points, including six goals. He added 13 points in 11 playoff games.
Ranford set career highs with 40 goals and 92 points. He has 270 points in 278 career games with the Blazers. He is 63 games shy of C.J. Stretch’s franchise record for career regular-season games played (341). A seventh-round selection by Philadelphia in the NHL’s 2010 draft, Ranford didn’t sign with the Flyers and wasn’t taken in the 2012 draft. He is an NHL free agent.
Willick reached career highs in goals (28), assists (26) and points (54) last season, his third with Kamloops, and is the club’s top defensive forward.
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