THE MacBETH REPORT:
Sibir Novosibirsk (Russia, KHL) traded F Mikhail Fisenko (Vancouver, Calgary, 2008-11) and F Andrei Stepanov to Amur Khabarovsk (Russia, KHL) for former AHL F Alexander Nikulin. Nikulin was in three NHL games over two seasons, going pointless, but had 23 goals and 52 assists in 140 AHL Games. Fisenko has one goal and two assists in 12 games with Sibir this season after signing a two-year contract with the Siberian club this past summer. Fisenko joins former Kamloops and Tri-City D Nikita Korovkin in Khabarovsk, the most eastern team in the KHL.
They’re coming. As sure as winter is just around the corner, logos on the game uniforms of North American-based hockey teams are coming.
Street and Smith’s Sports Business Daily reported Sunday that “American insurance firm AIG and the New Zealand Rugby Union have agreed to a five-and-a-half-year deal for AIG to sponsor six NZRU rugby teams.”
The deal includes the renowned All Blacks and the Maori All Blacks.
And you can bet that AIG will have logos on the rugby teams’ kits.
With hockey leagues constantly looking for new revenue streams, you have to think it won’t be long.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe writes an entertaining hockey notebook for the Sunday paper, and he is continuing to do it even during the NHL lockout. This week, he chatted with OHL commissioner David Branch about the OHL’s new 10-fight rule. That and a whole lot more is right here. (And there is a WHL connection with a mention of Mike Stothers, who now is head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors.)
Four players will be chatting with Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, early this week after they were hit with TBD suspensions for Saturday night transgressions.
F Lucas Grayson of the Everett Silvertips, F Ryan Olsen of the Kelowna Rockets and D Dalton Thrower of the Saskatoon Blades all picked up checking-to-the-head majors, while F Tim Vanstone of the Prince Albert Raiders got tossed for checking from behind. Originally, Vanstone was given a match penalty for attempt to injure; however, that was changed to a major and game misconduct sometime after the game.
Thrower began serving his suspension by sitting out a game on Sunday.
G Mackenzie Skapski recorded his first WHL shutout as the Kootenay Ice got past the Edmonton Oil Kings 1-0 in Cranbrook. . . . Skapski blocked 25 shots. . . . F Collin Shirley, a 16-year-old freshman from Saskatoon, scored his second WHL goal at 18:56 of the second period. . . . The Ice had lost 11 straight games to Edmonton. . . . The Oil Kings hadn’t been blanked in 113 regular-season games. . . . Ice F Jon Martin was back in the lineup after serving a three-game WHL suspension. . . .
D Darren Dietz had a goal and three assists to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 6-3 victory over the Tigers in Medicine Hat. . . . Dietz, who is from Medicine Hat, helped the Blades win two in a row for the first time this season. . . . F Josh Nicholls had two goals for the Blades and also was denied on a first-period penalty shot. He is 0-2 on freebies this season, which aren’t to be confused with attempts in the circus. . . .
G Eric Comrie stopped 24 shots to help the Tri-City Americans to a 5-0 victory over the Warriors in Moose Jaw. . . . Comrie has two shutouts this season and five in his career. . . . The Americans are 2-0-0 on their East Division tour, having won 4-3 in Brandon on Friday. . . . The Warriors had beaten the visiting Prince Albert Raiders 9-0 on Saturday night. . . . Moose Jaw had picked up at least a point in its previous 26 home games, dating to Nov. 23, 2011. . . .
F JC Lipon had two goals and two assists as the visiting Kamloops Blazers scored five PP goals and beat the Calgary Hitmen, 5-2. . . . The Blazers, at 8-0-1, are the only WHL team not to have lost in regulation time. The Hitmen sllipped to 6-1-2. . . . The Blazers are off to the second-best start in franchise history. The 1987-88 Blazers opened at 9-0-0. . . . Lipon leads the WHL in assists (13) and points (22). . . . He was the WHL and CHL’s player of the week after totalling seven points in two games last weekend. He then put up 11 points over three games. . . . Blazers F Colin Smith added two goals and an assist and moved into second in the WHL points derby, with 18. . . . Kamloops, which was 5-for-10 on the PP, has won six in a row. . . . Smith and Calgary F Brooks Macek, who drew one assist, are the only WHL players to have scored in each of their club’s games. . . . Kamloops F Aspen Sterzer’s first goal of the season broke a 2-2 tie and stood up as the winner. . . . The Blazers have eight different players each with a GWG. . . . The Hitmen had their winning streak end at three. . . . Calgary was playing its third game in three days. The Blazers beat the visiting Spokane Chiefs 5-1 on Friday night and then left for Red Deer right after the game. They are headquartered in Red Deer while they play in the Central Division. . . .
D Alex Roach, Calgary
D Tyler Bell, Kamloops
D Joel Edmundson, Moose Jaw
F Justin Feser, Tri-City
F Jake Virtanen, Calgary
TWEET OF THE DAY:
From TSN reporter Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky): “Dear #CFL teams . . . the NFL gives media specific injury updates. No generic upper/lower body injuries here. #refreshing #novelconcept.”
Did you hear the one about the hockey referee and the joke about a bomb in a suitcase? According to a story in the Anchorage Daily News, it “temporarily shut down the airport, forced hundreds of passengers into the cold night air, caused many to miss connections, and landed him in jail.” Lisa Demer and Richard Mauer have that story right here.
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