THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Jeff Woywitka (Red Deer, 1999-2003) has signed for the rest of the season with Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). Last season, with the Peoria Rivermen (AHL), he had 11 points, including one goal, in 34 games. . . .
D Ray Macias (Kamloops, 2002-07) has been released by the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite). He had five points, two of them goals, in eight games. Macias was signed as an injury replacement for D Kenton Smith (Calgary, 1995-2000), who was cleared to return to action on Monday.
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Remember the WHL feature Ask the Commissioner? Well, the show is going on the road.
Ron Robison, the commissioner of the WHL, will be in Kelowna on Thursday where he and Bruce Hamilton, the Rockets president/general manager and the chairman of the WHL's board of governors, will take part in a question-and-answer session.
According to a Rockets news release, "seating will be open to the first 100 season-ticket holders to RSVP . . ."
Regan Bartel, the Rockets' radio voice, will serve as moderator and, on his blog, he reports that "over one hundred Kelowna Rockets season-ticket holders" will get to share in the fun.
Bartel suggests on his blog that "one of the issues that will likely surface is last year's playoffs where officiating, particularly in a second-round series with Kamloops, appeared to be one-sided."
So that's one question for Ask the Commish — why did the officiating suck in that series? With Bartel having suggested one question, here as a public service are a few more:
1. How interested is the WHL in getting a franchise into Winnipeg under the ownership of True North Sport & Entertainment?
2. Assuming the WHL wants into Winnipeg, would it prefer to put an expansion franchise in there or to move one of its existing small-market teams?
3. It seems that team expenses continue to rise while revenues appear to have gone flat. That being the case, is anything being done to help out the small-market teams?
4. Is revenue sharing in the WHL's future?
5. How much concern is there in the WHL office that attendance in Kelowna has dropped by about 1,000 per game from two seasons ago?
6. While it's nice to be able to watch WHL games on Shaw, why does the WHL feel it's important to have its games on TV, especially early in the season?
7. How much impact does having those games on live TV have on the gate for those televised games?
8. On Oct. 30, the Kootenay Ice played in Red Deer and the game was televised on Shaw. Attendance was announced as 4,209 but anyone who watched knows there weren't nearly that many people in the building. Would the WHL consider having its teams announce true attendance figures (bums in the seats) from games, rather than number of tickets in distribution or whatever it is they announce now?
9. The chances of a franchise landing in Nanaimo appear to be slim and none. Will the WHL or the Victoria Royals consider paying travel subsidies to help teams cover the expenses incurred when having to travel to Vancouver Island?
10. How can the WHL penalize players for checking an opponent to the head — in some instances, players are even suspended for that foul — while allowing two players to stand and punch each other in the head?
11. How many brain injuries have been incurred by WHL players over the last two seasons?
12. What all went into the WHL's decision not to publish its annual Guide?
13. In this video age where teams put their highlights online, why are teams allowed to give phantom assists to players who don't deserve them?
14. Taking Ask the Commissioner on the road is a great idea. Do you have a session planned for Portland?
Controversy over an apparent brain injury has come to British soccer after a goalkeeper was knocked unconscious during a Sunday game but was allowed to stay in the game. Sam Borden of The New York Times has more right here.
The Regina Pats have trimmed two players from their roster and added a goaltender. . . . D Stephen Hak, 19, and F Patrick D'Amico, 19, have both been released. Hak came over from the Red Deer Rebels last season. From Winnipeg, he had 10 points in 73 games with Regina.This season, he had five assists in 16 games. D'Amico had three points, including one goal, in 13 games this season. . . . The Pats also added G Nicholas Schneider, 16, from the midget AAA Leduc, Alta., Chrysler Oil Kings. He will support Dawson MacAuley, following the release of G Mac Engel, 20.
F Todd Fiddler, who scored 42 goals last season for the Spokane Chiefs, has been acquired by the Prince George Cougars. . . . The Moose Jaw Warriors got Fiddler from the Chiefs over the offseason, but dropped him last week. He had 10 points in 14 games with the Warriors, but had been a healthy scratch three times. . . . In 228 regular-season WHL games, split among the Medicine Hat Tigers, Prince Albert Raiders, Spokane and Moose Jaw, Fiddler, from Meadow Lake, Sask., has 153 points, including 79 goals. . . . The Cougars gave the Warriors a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Fiddler's arrival will leave the Cougars with three 20-year-olds, the others being F Klarc Wilson and D Peter Kosterman. . . . The Cougars next play Friday when they meet the Rockets in Kelowna.
Katie Brickman of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald has more on the trade right here, including Warriors general manager Alan Millar on whether a junior A team may have tampered with Fiddler.
Former NHL D Jamie Macoun sometimes can't remember the names of his children. He can't remember his dog's name. . . . So he is all for the funding that the Canadian government announced Monday will be used for new research into brain injuries in children and youths. . . . Bill Graveland of The Canadian Press has more right here.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes announced Monday that D Kristian Khenkel will be permitted to join the WHL team after playing for his native Belarus at the IIHF World Junior Championship (Division I Group A) in Sanok, Poland, Dec. 15-21. From Minsk, Khenkel will turn 18 on Thursday. . . . The Hurricanes selected Khenkel in the first round of the CHL's 2013 import draft. However, the IIHF had refused to approve Khenkel's international transfer, choosing to validate a contract he had signed in 2011 at 14 years of age.
George Johnson of the Calgary Herald is one of our country's best wordsmiths. Right here is a piece on Herm (Ham Hands) Harrison, one of the greatest of all tight ends to have played in the CFL. Harrison, who starred with the Calgary Stampeders, died on Saturday.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that Saskatoon Blades D Aryton Nikkel, who has been out since Oct. 25, won't play until sometime after the weekend. . . . Steve Hildebrand, the Blades' athletic trainer, told Bowman that Nikkel won't play for "another week or two." . . . Nikkel, 18, suffered an undisclosed injury in a fight with Evan Polei of the Red Deer Rebels.
F Anthony Ast of the Vancouver Giants isn't expected to play tonight against the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . According to Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province, Ast didn't practice Monday thanks to an undisclosed injury. Ast, who has six points, including three goals, in 18 games this season, missed 64 games over his first two seasons.
From Todd Vrooman (@ToddVrooman), the play-by-play voice of the Portland Winterhawks: "The @pdxwinterhawks have trailed for a grand total of 7:15 during their entire 11-game winning streak."
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