A little of this and some of that . . .
1. Mike Johnston, the suspended GM/head coach of the Portland Winterhawks, was said to be in Credit Union Centre on Monday, the first time he had watched his club play in person since an 8-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Nov. 24. I haven’t been able to find out if he was using the Bobby Valentine disguise, though. (Can’t remember? Go ahead and Google ‘Bobby Valentine disguise.’)
2. Are the Winterhawks back? They beat the London Knights 6-3 last night, after a 7-4 loss to the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday. . . . They got two goals from Ty Rattie, superior goaltending from Mac Carruth, and another terrific night in the faceoff circle from Taylor Peters. . . . Oh, and D Seth Jones was plus-4, so perhaps he’s at least back on a par with Halifax F Nathan MacKinnon.
3. You have to wonder how many coaches look at Rattie and his long stick and are tempted to get him to shorten it. A stick that length for a highly skilled talent goes against the traditional grain of hockey, but Rattie is a magician with it. So perhaps he should stick with it!
4. Les Lazaruk, the veteran radio voice of the Saskatoon Blades, is calling every Memorial Cup game on 92.9 The Bull. But you’ve got to wonder if there is a Plan B should his voice disappear. Hello, Roger . . . Roger Millions! . . . No. What about Kevin Waugh?
5. The attendance for Portland-London on Monday night was 7,575. And there was more social media abuse piled on the City of Saskatoon and the Blades. . . . Look for more of the same tonight as the London Knights and Halifax Mooseheads clash.
6. A note from a Portland fan: “Huge ‘props and kudos’ for the Saskatoon radio station that is covering the tourney — 90 minute pre-game show featuring Dave Hunchak and Peter Loubardias . . . every game broadcast . . . extended post-game show . . . The Bull has done a great job covering this tourney.”
7. I’m sorry, but looking at all the permutations and trying to figure out what might happen over the rest of the week gives me a headache. Let’s just allow things to play out. It’s more fun that way.
8. With the Everett Silvertips, Lethbridge Hurricanes and Prince Albert Raiders each in need of a head coach, I’m not hearing too many rumours. . . . But I have heard that Brian Pellerin may be the Raiders’ next head coach. A native of Hinton, Alta., he played four seasons (1987-91) with the Raiders and has WHL coaching experience (2004-08) as an assistant in Portland. These days, he is the head coach of the prep team at the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton.
9. When Patrick Roy steps behind the Colorado Avalanche bench for the first time as head coach, will he still have his Stanley Cup rings in his ears?
10. In my business, you grow inured to a lot of the things that happen in our world. I spend a lot of evenings at my desk, periodically checking photos that are sent our way from around the world. Whenever tragedy strikes, the photos are right there; a lot of them aren’t pretty. Having been doing this as long as I have, the vast majority don’t have an impact on me. But that wasn’t the case on Monday when the pictures began to come in from the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., a suburb of Oklahoma City. The school had found itself in the way of a tornado that hit during the afternoon. . . . As you make your way around your world today, please keep the folks and families from that area of our world in your thoughts.
Jim Donlevy, who is leaving his role as the head of the WHL’s education program in June, has been named the 2013 recipient of the WHL Governors Award. . . . He was given the award during a reception in Saskatoon on Sunday. . . . According to a news release, the award “is presented annually to an individual, who through their outstanding achievements and service to the league, has contributed to the growth and development of the WHL.” . . . Donlevy has headed up the education program since 1992. . . . He is leaving his position as the director of education services at the end of June.
THE COACHING GAME:
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports that “Patrick Roy will be the next coach of the Avalanche, according to Roy’s brother, Stephane.” . . . That story is right here.
From Portland freelancer Scott Sepich (@SSepich), who is covering the Memorial Cup for The Oregonian: “Dominic Turgeon made it through a shift without Dale Hunter jumping off the bench to blast him into the boards.”
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