Thursday, January 3, 2013

Here is the photographic evidence: It was a game in Regina in the mid-1980s
when Theo Fleury of the Moose Jaw Warriors tucked his stick between his legs
and scored on goaltender Stacey Nickel, who tried to stop him with a pad stack.
D James Bettauer (Chilliwack, Prince Albert, Medicine Hat, 2008-09, 2010-12) signed a one-year contract extension with the Hamburg Freezers (Germany, DEL). He has three goals and five assists in 31 games with the Freezers this season. Bettauer now is under contract through the end of the 2013-2014 season.
Bob Tory, the general manager of the Tri-City Americans, has advised me that F Marcus Messier, who returned to the lineup this week after a nine-game absence, wasn’t out with a concussion.
Messier was injured on Nov. 30 during the second period of a game against the host Kamloops Blazers when he was checked by F Aspen Sterzer. There wasn’t a penalty on the play.
Messier was shown as being out with an upper-body injury. I was wrong in assuming it was a concussion.
Apologies to all involved.
If you haven’t seen it yet, the documentary Head Games should be on your ‘must-see’ list.
It is 95 minutes in length and is a great look from all angles at the problem of concussions in sports.
Here’s the blurb from “A documentary that follows football player and wrestler Chris Nowinski's quest to uncover the truth about the consequences of sports related head injuries.”
Nowinski is a graduate of Harvard who played football while in university. He later worked as a professional wrestler.
His athletic career was ended by post-concussion syndrome. He went on to write the book Head Games and now is co-director of the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University.
One segment of the documentary deals with Owen Thomas, a 21-year-old linebacker at the U of Pennsylvania, who committed suicide. His brain was found to contain CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in its early stages.
As Nowinski puts it: “Twenty-one-year-olds shouldn’t have this from playing a game.”
Find this documentary and watch it. You owe it to yourself, to your children, to your players . . .
The Kamloops Blazers scored a 4-2 victory over the Giants in Vancouver on Wednesday night.
Immediately following the game, the Giants dealt F Kale Kessy, 20, to the Blazers for F Rob Trzonkowski, 18, and a fifth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft.
Kessy was pointless and minus-2 without any penalty minutes in his final game with Vancouver.
The Giants had acquired Kessy from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft.
At the time, it was reported that the pick would be paid to the Tigers if Kessy was on the Giants’ roster on Jan. 10. However, Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province tweeted early this morning: “Conditional status of Giants trade with MH for Kessy was for suspension or AHL call-up. They still owe pick, even with Blazer trade.”
At the time Kessy was dealt to Vancouver, he was serving a 12-game suspension that was levied for a headshot he delivered to D Ryan Pilon of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. That was the seventh suspension of Kessy’s WHL career.
A fourth-round selection by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2011 NHL draft, Kessy has 18 points and 62 penalty minutes in 29 games this season. He had two goals in two games with the Tigers and seven goals and nine assists in 27 games with the Giants.
In 222 career regular-season games, the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has 87 points, including 34 goals, and 467 penalty minutes.
The Blazers began the season with three 20-year-old forwards — Jordan DePape, Brendan Ranford and Dylan Willick. They lost DePape to shoulder problems in November and tried to fill the void by acquiring F Charles Inglis from the Red Deer Rebels.
That didn’t work out and Inglis was released following a game in Edmonton on Dec. 12. He now is with the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines.
DePape has had shoulder surgery and said Tuesday that he should be ready to play again in mid-March. Because he’s 20, he would have to be on the Blazers’ roster on Jan. 10, the WHL trade and roster deadline, if he was to play for Kamloops again this season.
The Blazers obviously weren’t prepared to wait. They are believed to have placed DePape on 48-hour waivers. Should he clear, he will become a free agent. He also has expressed interest in returning to junior A, perhaps with a team primed for a run at the 2013 RBC Cup, which is to be played in Summerside, P.E.I.
The Blazers’ roster is at 23, including eight defencemen and 13 forwards.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Trzonkowski, who was acquired by Kamloops from the Calgary Hitmen during the summer, has five points and 45 penalty minutes in 41 games. The Blazers gave up a 2014 fourth-round bantam draft pick in that exchange.
The NBA suspended Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat for one game without pay recently. I read somewhere that the suspension would cost Wade $154,764.
So I got to wondering: How much a one-game suspension would cost a 20-year-old WHL player?
Well, I understand a 20-year-old WHLer gets $600 per month, before taxes. So if we set the WHL regular-season on a six-month scale, that’s $3,600, again before taxes.
A team plays 72 games in a regular season, so a one-game suspension without pay would cost a 20-year-old WHL player $50, which would be $154,714 less than what it cost Wade.
The AJHL’s Lloydminster Bobcats fired Ryan Parent, their director of hockey operations and head coach, on Wednesday. . . . Garry VanHereweghe, the director of player personnel, has taken over as general manager, with assistant coach Kyle Tapp now the interim head coach. . . . The Bobcats are 11-23-6 and in last place in the eight-team North Division. . . . Parent was in his first season.
Another former NFL player has filed a concussion-related lawsuit against the NFL. Otis Taylor, now 70, was a two-time All-Pro receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs. According to the lawsuit obtained by, Taylor requires “constant medical care and supervision. . . . He is currently bedridden, cannot verbally communicate, is unable to walk, and relies on a feeding tube for all his sustenance.”
There is more right here.
In Prince Albert, F Hunter Shinkaruk had two goals and an assist to lead the Medicine Hat Tigers to a 5-2 victory over the Raiders. . . . Shinkaruk has 22 goals. . . . The game was played a day after the teams swapped five skaters and a couple of draft picks. F Logan McVeigh was pointless and plus-1 for the Tigers, while D Zach Hodder was pointless and minus-1. Raiders F Jayden Hart scored a goal and was minus-1, while D Dylan Busenius had an assist and was plus-1. . . . The Tigers held a 36-15 edge in shots. . . . F Curtis Valk scored his 22nd goal for the Tigers. . . .

In Cranbrook, F Luke Philp scored twice as the Kootenay Ice got past the Red Deer Rebels, 4-1. . . . Philp has 11 goals. . . . He gave the Ice a 2-0 lead at 11:48 of the first and a 3-1 edge at 14:13 of the third on a PP. . . . F Rhyse Dieno scored his 10th of the season for the Rebels. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski made 29 saves. . . . Ice F Jeff Hubic scored his first WHL goal into an empty net at 19:47 of the third. Hubic, an 18-year-old from Regina, was playing in his 93rd regular-season game. . . . The Rebels have lost three in a row. . . .

In Calgary, F Brooks Macek scored three times and set up another and D Alex Roach had four assists to lead the Hitmen to a 10-2 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . That was Macek’s second career hat trick. . . . His first three-goal game came on Jan. 25 in a 7-2 victory over visiting Brandon. . . . The Hitmen were 5-for-9 on the PP. . . . Calgary F Chase Lang, a 16-year-old from Nanaimo, B.C., had two goals and an assist for his first WHL points. They came in his 21st game. . . . Calgary F Austin Calladine, a 17-year-old from Saskatoon, also got his first goal. It came in his 22nd game. . . . With F Mike Ferland out with an undisclosed injury, F Nick Buonassisi get back in after twice being scratched. They are two of Brandon’s four 20-year-olds, one of whom will have to be moved. . . . F Braylon Shmyr, a first-round selection, 12th overall, in the 2012 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings and scored his first goal. Shmyr, who turned 16 on New Year’s Day, is playing with the midget AAA Calgary Buffaloes. . . . According to the Brandon Sun: “It was the first time the Wheat Kings have surrendered double-digits in a game since a 10-1 loss to the Hitmen in a playoff game on April 8, 2005.” . . .

In Kelowna, F Jordon Cooke stopped 30 shots as the Rockets beat the Victoria Royals, 4-2. . . . Kelowna has won 15 in a row on home ice. . . . F Alex Gogolev and F Logan Nelson, the Royals’ top two scorers, didn’t make the trip to Kelowna. Both are out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Kelowna was 3-for-6 on the PP; the Royals were 0-for-9. . . . The Rockets remain two points behind the Kamloops Blazers, who lead the B.C. Division. . . . Victoria F Ben Walker, who scored his 13th goal to conclude the game’s scoring at 5:29, was taken off the ice on a stretcher following a neutral zone collision. Walker was taken to hospital and later released. . . . From Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier: “One minute after closing out the scoring at 5:29 of the third period, Victoria’s Ben Walker got caught up in a massive collision at the Royals’ blue-line. Victoria’s Tyler Stahl lined up, then exploded into Kelowna’s Tyrell Goulbourne, who was carrying the puck. Walker was closely trailing Goulbourne and got caught in the hit. Walker fell to the ice and play was immediately stopped. Emergency personnel attended to Walker, slowly moving him onto a spine board, and then a stretcher before taking him to hospital” for precautionary measures.” . . .

In Vancouver, F Tim Bozon broke a 2-2 tie at 11:17 of the third period and the Kamloops Blazers beat the Giants, 4-2. . . . The Giants held a 2-1 lead before Kamloops F Dylan Willick scored a shorthanded goal with 51.7 seconds left in the second period. . . . Willick, 20, returned from a 21-game absence. He suffered a broken ankle on Nov. 2. He also was named teamp captain while he was injured, meaning last night was the first time this season that the Blazers had a player wearing the ‘C’ and in the lineup. . . . Bozon also had two assists. . . . Kamloops F Colin Smith, the WHL scoring leader, had two assists. He leads the league in assists (41) and points (68). . . . The Giants were without F Taylor Vickerman, who drew a five-game suspension for a kneeing major in a game against the visiting Prince George Cougars on Dec. 30. . . . Prince George D Joe Carvalho was injured on that play. Carvalho is out indefinitely and will be re-evaluated once the swelling in the knee goes down.


An interesting exchange between Portland F Chase De Leo (@Dels) and Winterhawks D Seth Jones (@seth_jones04), who is with the U.S. team at the World Junior Championship:

De Leo: “What's a good TV series to start on Netflix? #Ideas #Help”
Jones: “@Dels9 it's a really good one.. US vs. CAN”
De Leo: “@seth_jones04 Fine ill just watch it to see your face. #MissYou”


The WHL’s trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10. Here is a look at trades since the end of the WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium:

Jan. 1: Medicine Hat trades D Dylan Busenius, 19, F Jayden Hart, 18, and a 2014 sixth-round pick to Prince Albert for F Logan McVeigh, 18, D Zach Hodder, 19, F Connor Hobbs, 15, and a 2013 second-round pick.
Jan. 2: Vancouver trades F Kale Kessy, 20, to Kamloops for F Rob Trzonkowski, 18, and a 2015 fifth-round pick.

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