Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Benson, Howorko, Mort all retire

WHLTwo players off the Swift Current Broncos’ roster — forwards Shea Howorko and Brent Benson — tweeted on Tuesday, confirming that they have had to quit playing hockey due to post-concussion syndrome.
Shawn Mullin, the radio voice of the Broncos, spoke with Howorko. That story, along with the interview, is right here.
Here’s one paragraph:
"I don't even know what it feels like not to have a headache anymore," Howorko said. "It's just like part of my life now I guess. Just wake up with a headache and continue my day but not be active at all."
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Mullin ends his piece on Howorko with this: "The Western Hockey League Concussion Management Safety Program reports that concussions were down over 20% overall during the 2012-13 season compared to the 2011-12 season."
Unfortunately, the WHL has never released statistics involving how many concussions there were. Of course, you are aware that the WHL lists all injuries as being of the lower- or upper-body variety. Until the WHL presents the hard evidence that concussions were down 20 per cent — which would be a whopping decrease in one year — it's pretty tough, if not impossible, to believe that statement.
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D Tanner Mort, 20, won’t be returning for a fifth season with the Spokane Chiefs. Mort, who is from Post Falls, Idaho, plans on attending the U of Idaho and studying engineering. . . . According to a Chiefs’ news release, Mort “missed the majority of the 2012-13 season after sustaining a neck injury on October 12, 2012, at Kamloops. Though any head trauma subsided quickly, the neck injury symptoms persisted, which influenced Mort's decision to move on.” . . . He played 137 regular-season games with the Chiefs, recording 32 points, four of them goals.
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Jay McKee, a former NHL defenceman, has signed on as the playing coach of the Dundas, Ont., Real McCoys, the host team for the 2014 Allan Cup tournament. McKee is preparing for his second season with the McCoys, but last season he only played. . . . Ken Mann and Ron Bernacci will serve as McKee’s assistant coaches.
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The Rose Garden in Portland is no more. The NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and Moda Health announced Tuesday that, effective immediately, the arena is to be known as the Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. . . . According to a news release: “The agreement was jointly announced during a press conference in the center’s South Atrium. At the request of Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen, the new logo for the Moda Center, when unveiled at a later date, will incorporate a rose as a salute to the city of Portland.” . . . Financial terms of the deal for naming rights weren’t disclosed. . . . The WHL’s Portland Winterhawks play some of their games in the arena.
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Jim Matheson, the Edmonton Journal’s hall-of-fame hockey writer, says it’s time for NHL owners to pony up and pay Wayne Gretzky what is owed to him for his time in Phoenix with the Coyotes. That blog entry is right here.
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ECHLD Landon Oslanski (Spokane, Lethbridge, Everett, 2009-13) has signed with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder. Oslanski played out his junior eligibility last season with the Everett Silvertips. . . . After Everett’s season ended, he joined the Thunder and got into six playoff games, picking up one assist, on an OT goal at that. . . . He had 48 points in 72 games with Everett last season.
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The Prince Albert Raiders are less than two weeks away from the start of training camp and general manager Bruno Campese can’t wait to get rolling. Dave Leaderhouse of the Prince Albert Daily Herald has more right here.
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The Saginaw, Mich., Times Herald reported Tuesday that D Dalton John Young of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit “was arraigned Sunday on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, first-degree home invasion, and resisting and obstructing a police officer.” . . . There is more right here.
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QMJHL“On Tuesday, those who best knew Jordan Boyd held onto those memories a little tighter,” write Sean Gordon and Allan Maki of The Globe and Mail. “It was all they could do after hearing the 16-year-old Nova Scotia athlete had died Monday, during a skating drill at the Titan rookie camp.
“While the exact cause remains unknown, Boyd’s death has generated an outpouring of grief and questioning: What happened? Why Boyd? Was there any way of preventing it?”
Boyd, 16, died during a training camp session in the camp of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan on Monday.
The Globe and Mail story is right here.
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Whitey Bulger, who was convicted this week of, among other things, 11 murders, has a Stanley Cup ring and he wants to keep it. Chris Nilan, who was married for 25 years to the daughter of a Bulger girlfriend, says it isn’t one of his rings. Stu Cowan, the sports editor of the Montreal Gazette, has a whole lot more right here. Did you know that Bulger may have paid for Nilan’s wedding?
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Charles P. Pierce, who can write, tackles the subject of “Tiger Woods and the weary pursuit of Jack Nicklaus.” That piece, from grantland.com, is right here. “Woods was never effervescent, even in the glorious heart of his young career,” Pierce writes, “but he didn't look the way he does now, coming up the fairway toward the green like an aging farmer coming to work in fields he knows are burnt and fallow but remembers with fondness and with pain the verdancy they once had.”
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And here’s one more good read for today. It’s from Murray Chass, one of the greatest baseball writers to ever sit before a typewriter or keyboard. I have just recently discovered his website (murraychass.com) and have been digging in. This piece right here is a devastating look at Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, and his reign during the steroid era.
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From Brent Benson (@benzySON): “Like to thank @bladeshockey and @SCBroncos for my time spent in both places, great memories with guys ill never forget #bestofluckboys”
Benson, the sixth overall selection in the 2008 bantam draft, has had to retire prior to his 20-year-old season due to post-concussion syndrome.
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From Shea Howorko (@ShaezerBeam): “Like to thank the @SCBroncos organization & fans for a tremendous experience! Unfortunately due to my injury my career is done! #GreatTeam”
Howorko, like Benson, has had to retire due to post-concussion syndrome. A second-round pick in the 2009 bantam draft, Howorko is 19.

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