THE MacBETH REPORT:
D Cam Barker (Medicine Hat, 2001-06) has signed for the rest of the season with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). Last season, Barker had two assists in 14 games with the Vancouver Canucks (NHL) and eight points, three of them goals, with the Texas Stars (AHL).
The morning dawned damp and dreary in Vancouver yesterday. And it only got worse when the first email to arrive notified me of the death of Bob Hughes, a former sports editor/columnist at the Regina Leader-Post.
He was the sports editor who hired me — I had been in my second stint at the Brandon Sun — in the spring of 1983. He later promoted me to assistant sports editor, and when he moved into the managing editor's office in 1988 he asked me to succeed him as sports editor.
That's when I found out how hard it is to replace a legend.
Hughes was one of the last of the lead sports columnists who also was a newspaper's sports editor. For a lot of his career as THE columnist and THE voice in Regina, the beloved Saskatchewan Roughriders couldn't get out of their own way, as they stumbled from one season to the next. For all of that time, Hughes' columns were must-reads as his thinly veiled sarcasm skewered the footballers, the coaches and the management like so many shish kebabs.
When he became the managing editor, it marked the end of an era as the decision was made to separate the roles of columnist and sports editor.
Still, almost everywhere I went, people would ask me why I was so soft on the Roughriders, never mind that I wasn't the columnist. And, really, it wasn't that the new columnist, Nick Miliokas, was soft on anyone; it was that Bob Hughes' column no longer was there to be enjoyed by a reader with his/her morning coffee.
I always will remember Hughes for always being there for me. When I was the assistant sports editor, he worked during the day and I worked at night. I frequently would drop by during the day to chat, more to find out what was going on with the Roughriders and to learn how he wanted to handle it.
But when he moved up and I moved into the chair behind what had been his desk, he left me alone. Rarely, if ever, did he venture to my little corner of the office. But his door always was open. That is something that I have never forgotten.
He also was the push behind a sports department that at one time included a staff of 12 and was responsible for putting out a tremendous sports section. It was because of Hughes that we often covered a Roughriders home game with the sports editor, four writers and two photographers. The message from him as he left sports was that when it's the only show in town, you can't over-cover it. When it's the only show in town, you make it your show -- let the readers know where to turn if they want the best coverage.
What else do I remember about Bob Hughes? Well, he was the most impeccable dresser I have ever encountered. I can't ever remember seeing him when he didn't look as though he had stepped out of an ad in GQ.
I remember his sense of humour and a laugh that had more than a bit of a cackle in it.
I remember one day when he and I took his oldest son and my son to a home/auto show that was in some of the buildings on the exhibition grounds. On display was one of those expensive cars, a Lamborghini perhaps, with two short-skirted gals standing guard alongside a velvet rail. With Hughes chatting up one of the girls, the boys got under the rail and into the car. They were -- VROOM! VROOM! -- having the time of their lives and Hughes thought it was hilarious. He did manage to extricate both boys between laughs.
That is what I will remember about Bob Hughes. That and Chaos by the Creek.
For more on Hughes, right here is a story that appeared on The Leader-Post's website.
And one more makes three . . .
D Ryan Pilon, the third overall selection in the 2011 bantam draft, is at home awaiting a trade after leaving the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
Pilon, from Duck Lake, Sask., turned 17 on Oct. 10 and was going to be a cornerstone of the rebuild that the Hurricanes' braintrust is working on.
This season, Pilon has seven points, three of them goals, in 17 games. Last season, as a freshman, he had 28 points, including five goals, in 57 games.
Pilon played for the gold medal-winning U-18 Canadian team at the 2013 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka tournament and was Team West's captain at the last U17 World Hockey Challenge.
Pilon is the third player to leave the Hurricanes in recent days. F Jaemen Yakubowski and F Sam Mckechnie, both 19, were traded to the Seattle Thunderbirds after asking for trades.
The Hurricanes are 2-13-3 and already are 11 points out of a playoff spot in the 12-team Eastern Conference.
Will the last one out, please turn out the lights in the dressing room.
Tweet from Brody Sutter (@Sutts19): "Time for a change in Lethbridge, community ownership is clearly not working. With local investors interested, why wouldn't you #SellTheCanes."
The son of former WHLer Duane Sutter, Brody played three-plus seasons with the Hurricanes. He now is with the AHL's Charlotte Hurricanes. In recent times, at least two of his uncles, Rich and Ron Sutter, have expressed interest in purchasing the Hurricanes.
F Peter Quenneville, 19, has left the Quinnipiac University Bobcats to join his brother, John, 17, with the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . Another brother, David, was selected by the Medicine Hat Tigers with the 10th overall selection of the 2013 bantam draft. . . . They are from Edmonton. . . . The Wheat Kings acquired Peter's rights from the Prince George Cougars for a third-round selection in the 2015 bantam draft. The Cougars had selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. . . . Peter was a seventh-round selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the NHL's 2013 NHL draft. . . . Peter had four assists in five games with the Bobcats. He played last season with the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints, putting up 70 points, including 33 goals, in 63 games. He also played two seasons with the AJHL's Sherwood Park Crusaders and was the league's MVP in 2011-12. . . . The Wheat Kings, now with two 19-year-old forwards on the roster, are at home to the Saskatoon Blades on Thursday. . . . Quinnipiac is based in Hamden, Conn.
Tweet from John Quenneville (@jaquinder88): "One of the best days of my life. Reunited with the big bro @Triple_P_Pete #deadly"
The Regina Pats haven't been sold. Yet. . . . "Our situation is," Russ Parker, who owns the WHL franchise with his wife Diane, told Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post, "if somebody comes along and the deal makes sense, then it's something we'd probably consider. I've heard this last week that a deal was done. We're talking to someone but that's all it is. I'm not divulging anyone's names or anything. All I'm saying is there's interest in our team and leave it at that." . . . Harder's story is right here.
OK. Where does it end? The ECHL's Bakersfield Condors have unveiled the sweaters they will wear in a game on Sunday, which just happens to be the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Check out the wardrobe right here.
A fan writes with questions for WHL commissioner Ron Robison, who will meet with about 100 season-ticket holders in Kelowna on Thursday:
1. What is the league trying to hide when designating an injury as 'upper' or 'lower' body without reporting the issue? In reporting details of injuries, are you afraid insurance rates will rise significantly as a result of the true scope of the injuries sustained?
2. Doesn't the use of developmental referees in a developmental league exacerbate the issue of injuries when a raw referee who can't quite see the game as clearly as a veteran official could, may miss countless calls away from the puck (be it head shot, stickwork, boarding) and the resulting infraction ends up as a retaliation call?
3. Why doesn't the WHL allow teams to replay penalty calls on their in-house screens for the fans to get a better look at the quality of officiating?
There wasn't anything on the WHL website last night, but there are reports that D Evan Wardley of the Seattle Thunderbirds has drawn a four-game suspension after taking a charging major in a game against the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Friday. He already has served one game. . . . There also wasn't anything on the WHL website about a suspension to Everett Silvertips F Dawson Leedahl. But he apparently got two games for a checking-from-behind major against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday. He has missed one game, so will be eligible to return after sitting out a game against the visiting Kamloops Blazers tonight.
In Cranbrook, G Wyatt Hoflin came on in relief and stopped 30 shots to help the Kootenay Ice to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Ice G Mackenzie Skapski left with an undisclosed injury after one period and eight saves. . . . The Ice erased a 1-0 second-period Calgary lead with three third-period goals. . . . F Jon Martin scored the Ice's last two goals. . . . F Jaedon Descheneau notched his 14th goal of the season for Kootenay. . . . Attendance was announced at 1,958, and that's the second straight home game that the Ice played before fewer than 2,000 fans. . . .
In Kamloops, G Bolton Pouliot stopped 36 shots to lead the Blazers to a 4-1 victory over his former team, the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Pouliot, 19, was dealt to the Blazers earlier this season, for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Red Deer plans on riding Patrik Bartosak, so GM/owner Brent Sutter dealt Pouliot to give him an opportunity to play. . . . F Cole Ully had a goal, his eighth, and two assists for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers (6-10-2) have points in their last three games (2-0-1). . . .
In Vancouver, G Tristan Jarry turned aside 37 shots as the Edmonton Oil Kings beat the Giants, 3-0. . . . Jarry has two shutouts this season and eight in his career. . . . This was Edmonton's first victory in six visits to the Pacific Coliseum. . . . Edmonton D Cody Corbett, who missed seven games with an injury, scored his eighth goal of the season in his 11th game. That is tops among WHL defencemen and also is a career high. He scored six goals in 54 game two seasons ago and had seven in 71 games last season. . . . Corbett also had an assist. . . . The Oil Kings are 4-1-0 in their last five games, all on the road. They'll play the next three on the road, too.
From Victoria Cougars (@victoriacougars): "I wonder if this Marty the Marmot 'attack' is a staged publicity stunt by the Victoria Royals. Only 3500 fans last Friday is disturbingly low."
From Tommy Carson (@tommycarson): "Front page of Times Colonist 'Police Probe Assault on Royals Mascot'. Page 2, story of scout leader sexually assaulting boys. #bizzaroworld"
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