THE MacBETH REPORT:
F Andrej Kudrna (Vancouver, Red Deer, 2008-11) was assigned to Skalica (Slovakia, Extraliga) by Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia, KHL) for the rest of this season. He has one goal in 13 games for Slovan and 10 goals and three assists in 18 games for Skalica this season. . . .
F Parker Stanfield (Prince George, Everett, 2007-11) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Poprad (Slovakia, Extraliga). He had six goals and seven assists in 33 games with the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) this season. . . .
F Marek Curilla (Kootenay, Medicine Hat, 2005-06) signed a contract for the rest of this season with Zvolan (Slovakia, Extraliga) after obtaining his release from Most (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). He had six goals and 11 assists in 40 games with Most this season.
The WHL’s pooh-bahs, no doubt somewhat played out from what has been a hectic schedule with lots of three-in-three and four-in-five stretches, are gathering in Las Vegas this weekend for two days of meetings that are to begin on Monday.
These aren’t shaping up as your normal run-of-the-mill, dog-days-of-February meetings, either.
You may recall that it was in late November when the WHL hammered the Portland Winterhawks for what it called “a series of violations of WHL Regulations.”
The Winterhawks were banned from the first five rounds of the 2013 bantam draft, lost their first-round draft picks in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and had their general manager and head coach Mike Johnston suspended for the remainder of this season, including the playoffs. Oh, and the Winterhawks also were fined $200,000.
The Winterhawks have admitted to some violations but are of the opinion that the punishment far exceeds the crimes.
Apparently, there is no appeal process to decisions such as these within the WHL. But the Winterhawks, with owner Bill Gallacher planning to attend, are hoping to have their say in Las Vegas.
We will find out early next week, then, if this is one of those situations where what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas.
Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune has more right here, including the fact that the Winterhawks have consulted legal counsel.
While you’re waiting for that meeting to start, you may want to read this piece right here by Ken Goe of The Oregonian. It’s about Mike Johnston and a hospital visit he made more than a year ago. It’s interesting that very few people were aware of this until now.
The WHL has posted a job opening for director, communications, the position presently filled by Cory Flett.
Here’s the job description:
“The WHL Director, Communications will be responsible to manage all aspects of the WHL Communications portfolio including media relations, the WHL website; social media platforms; WHL broadcast agreements and other media partnerships; WHL publications; WHL awards; the WHL results system and other special projects.”
All that for one person? Job must pay awfully well.
If you look in on the Saskatoon Blades tonight — they are at home to the Swift Current Broncos — you will note that they are wearing new and different sweaters. Here’s how Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix described the sweaters as “featuring navy blue, royal blue and grey strips and a stylized ‘Blades’ logo where the ‘L’ is a hockey stick.” . . . These sweaters are the result of a contest in which fans were asked for design ideas. . . . Nugent-Bowman reports that there were 113 entries. Those were whittled down to five and then put to a fan vote. . . . The winning design is from Fabio Burà of Switzerland.
Bliss Littler, the head coach of the NAHL’s Wentchee Wild, has drawn a five-game suspension and assistant coach Chris Clark is gone indefinitely. That is the fallout from Clark’s turn as a blindman during a recent game in Wenatchee.
Stephen Heisler of juniorhockey.com has more right here.
An Associated Press story out of the Super Bowl in New Orleans begins like this:
“ It defies logic that there are now far more precautions taken to protect NFL players from head trauma than youth and high school football players, said several current or former NFL players speaking on behalf of a group advocating safer sports.”
That story is right here.
Two former NFL players have undergone tests that “may have found a destructive protein called tau” in their brains.
What this means is that the science involving brains and concussions is progressing.
That story, written by CNN’s Stephanie Smith, is right here.
In Regina, F Lane Scheidl scored twice and added an assist to help the Regina Pats to a 3-2 victory over the Wheat Kings. . . . The Pats had lost eight straight. . . . Brandon has dropped four in a row. . . . Scheidl has 26 goals. . . . He broke a 2-2 tie at 17:28 of the third period. . . . F Jayce Hawryluk had both Brandon goals, giving him 13. . . . G Jordan Papirny, 16, the 22nd selection in the 2011 bantam draft, made his WHL debut with the Wheat Kings. They are without Corbin Boes (knee) and have been going with Curtis Honey. . . . Papirny stopped 21 shots and was returned to the midget AAA Edmonton-South Side Athletic Club Athletics after the game. . . .
In Moose Jaw, D Morgan Rielly drew four assists as the Warriors doubled the Medicine Hat Tigers, 8-4. . . . The teams combined for seven goals in the second period, with F Curtis Valk scoring three times for the Tires, two of them on the PP. . . . Moose Jaw emerged with a 5-3 lead. . . . Valk has 32 goals. . . . Moose Jaw F Bryson Gore, who went into the game with 10 points, had a goal, his seventh, and two assists. . . . The Warriors now have won four of five. . . .
In Saskatoon, G Andrey Markarov posted his WHL-leading sixth shutout as the Blades dumped the Calgary Hitmen, 6-0. . . . He has a franchise-record eight shutouts in his WHL career, having broken the record he had shared with Braden Holtby (2006-09). . . . Makarov made 42 saves as the Blades won their third in a row. He has allowed one goal in the three victories. . . . F Brenden Walker and F Nathan Burns each had two goals for Saskatoon. . . . The Hitmen are three games into a nine-game road swing. . . . F Brooks Macek of the Hitmen played in his 300th regular-season game. . . . Blades F Josh Nicholls scored his 33rd goal, to give him 286 career points. He had bee tied with Saskatoon associate coach David Struch for 12th on the Blades’ alltime list. . . . Saskatoon F Shane McColgan picked up two assists, giving him 250 career points. . . .
In Edmonton, G Laurent Brossoit stopped 23 shots as the Oil Kings beat the Swift Current Broncos, 3-0. . . . Brossoit has three shutouts this season and eight in his career. . . . Edmonton has won seven in a row and leads the Eastern Conference standings by nine points over Calgary. . . . F Curtis Lazar scored the game’s first two goals, giving him 26. . . . The Oil Kings have won 13 of 15, blanking the opposition in six of those games. . . .
In Lethbridge, the Hurricanes erased a 2-1 third-period deficit and beat the Red Deer Rebels, 3-2. . . . Lethbridge F Sam Mckechnie scored an unassisted shorthanded goal at 11:24 of the third to tie the score. . . . F Russell Maxwell won it with his 19th goal at 17:09. . . . Mckechnie has 23 scores this season. . . .
In Kamloops, F Kale Kessy and F Colin Smith enjoyed five-point nights as the Blazers downed the Spokane Chiefs, 8-4. . . . Kessy had two goals and three assists in what was the first five-point game of his career. . . . Smith had a goal and four assists for his second five-point outing. . . . Smith also earned his 250th career point. . . . F Tim Bozon, the third member of that line, had two goals, giving him 31, and two assists. . . . F Mitch Holmberg had three goals for the Chiefs, giving him a career-high 30 on the season. He scored 27 last season. Holmberg also has a career-high in points (57), two more than he recorded last season. . . . Spokane D Jason Fram left the game at 8:45 of the second period. Unable to put weight on his left leg, he needed help getting off the ice and didn’t return. . . .
In Prince George, F Chase Witala scored three times to help the Cougars to a 6-2 victory over the Victoria Royals. . . . Witala scored the Cougars’ first two goals, at which point he had scored his team’s previous five goals. . . . He has 14 goals this season, six of them in his last three games. . . . Cougars D Dallas Ehrhardt had a goal and two assists. . . . The Cougars were awarded two penalty shots in this one. F Colin Jacobs beat G Coleman Vollrath t 7:14 of the second period; F Jarrett Fontaine was foiled by G Patrik Polivka at 13:38 of the third. . . . The Royals were coming off a 6-1 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna on Thursday night. Not many teams play one night in Kelowna and the next night in Prince George. . . . The Cougars are without G Brett Zarowny (concussion), so had Ty Edmonds, 16, on the bench, backing up Mac Engel. Edmonds plays for the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals. . . .
In Vancouver, F Colton Sissons scored twice and G Jackson Whistle stopped 32 shots as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Giants, 5-1. . . . Sissons broke a 1-1 tie at 3:19 of the first period. . . . After scoring those three early goals, the teams didn’t score again until Sissons got his 20th of the season at 2:42 of the third period. . . . Whistle was acquired by the Rockets from Giants on Sept. 7 for a 2014 third-round bantam draft pick. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Ty Rattie had a goal and three assists as the Portland Winterhawks dumped the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent), 5-3. . . . Portland D Shaun MacPherson broke a 2-2 tie with his first WHL goal at 6:55 of the second period and Rattie upped the lead to 4-2, on the PP, at 17:55. . . . Portland F Nic Petan, who leads the WHL in scoring, got his 36th goal, and two assists, while F Brendan Leipsic also had a goal, his 34th, and two helpers. . . . Rattie is riding a 16-game point streak. . . . Portland was 3-10 on the PP; Seattle was 0-3. . . . Petan leads the WHL in goals, assists (57) and points (93). He has five points more than Leipsic and eight more than Kamloops F Colin Smith. . . .
In Everett, the Tri-City Americans scored twice in the circus and beat the Silvertips, 2-1. . . . F Malte Strömwall gave the Americans a 1-0 lead just 23 seconds into the first period. . . . F Logan Aasman pulled Everett even at 4:25 of the third. . . . F Justin Feser and Strömwall scored shootout goals to win it. . . . With G Austin Lotz (foot) out, the Silvertips had Nik Amundrud, 15, on the bench in support of starter Daniel Cotton. Amundrud was a third-round selection in the 2012 bantam draft. He is playing with the midget AAA Tisdale, Sask., Trojans.
D Dalton Thrower, Saskatoon
F Greg Chase, Calgary
D Mathew Dumba, Red Deer
F Alexander Delnov, Seattle
F Justin Gutierrez, Tri-City
F Adam Lowry, Swift Current
F Ben Walker, Victoria
TWEET OF THE DAY:
From F Cody Fowlie (@Fowls11) of the Kelowna Rockets: “Just got a hug from Joe Sakic. I literally almost cried. #isthisreallife? #burnabyjoe #newbestbud”
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