Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spokane GM issues apology . . . Seattle D-man gets seven games

F Anders Lövdahl (Calgary, Moose Jaw, Lethbridge, 1999-2001) was granted his release by Narvik (Norway, Division 1) for personal reasons. This season, he had two assists in two games. Last season, with Falu IF Falun (Sweden, Division 1), he had 63 points, including 50 assists, in 38 games. He was second in Division 1 in assists.


Players with the Spokane Chiefs are going to be getting up close and personal with members of the U.S. military over the next while.
Tim Speltz, the Chiefs' general manager, appeared on CBS Sports 1510 KGA, which carries the WHL team's games, on Tuesday night to apologize to fans for the actions of some players during the anthem prior to Friday's game against the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds.
Players who were scratched from Spokane's lineup apparently made inappropriate comments during the national anthem. According to Chris Derrick of the Spokane Spokesman-Review: "The players reportedly yelled comments about the female singer during the anthem."
"We as an organization sure feel it's necessary for us to comment and address the inappropriate actions of our players," Speltz said. "We're working with young guys all the time. When we make mistakes, we have to be responsible and . . . accountable. We talk about that with our guys all the time.
"Our players who weren't dressed on Friday took a time that is a real special time . . . we were very inappropriate with comments."
Speltz described the comments as "immature and childish." He said the incident was "disrespectful" and "offended people who heard it."
"Our staff and organization were very disappointed, but we have to move forward," he continued.
Speltz apologized "on behalf of management, ownership and staff," adding that "we were wrong . . . no way we can justify it."
Before he was done, Speltz had apologized to "our fans and to current men and women in the armed forces, veterans . . . and the anthem singer."
Speltz has had a former member of the military meet with the Chiefs "to reinforce the magnitude of the situation . . . how offensive the actions were during the anthem."
Speltz said the former military member "talked with three players" and that the situation was addressed with the rest of the team. Speltz said the anthem and flag must be honoured and respected, no matter what country they represent.
The Chiefs, Speltz said, will perform "some service in the military community," adding that it will become "an ongoing practice with us."
Speltz pointed out that junior hockey players are young and there are times when "they just flat out don't think. That's probably the best way we can explain it, but that doesn't make it right.
"From our standpoint, we are truly sorry it happened. . . . We were a little misguided in our enthusiasm."
Tonight, the Chiefs will play at home, with Seattle again providing the opposition.
Before the game, Speltz said, the Chiefs "will send a message to our fans . . . it's a chance to apologize and take a step forward."
"We owned it," he said. "We're going to take the necessary steps to make sure everyone understands the consequences and magnitude of it and, at the same time, make sure that it never happens again."

The Seattle Thunderbirds will be without D Evan Wardley for seven games after he was suspended by the WHL on Tuesday. Wardley was disciplined for a headshot major and game misconduct he took for a hit on F Nic Petan of the Portland Winterhawks on Saturday night. . . . According to the WHL's reasoning, "The hit resulted in an injury to opponent. . . . The player is a repeat offender." . . . Wardley will be eligible to return on Nov. 1 against the visiting Vancouver Giants. He sat out his first game last night against the visiting Spokane Chiefs and won't play tonight in Spokane. He also will miss a three-game homestand (Prince George, Kamloops, Spokane), a game in Everett and a visit by the Edmonton Oil Kings). . . . Interestingly, Wardley won't miss any games against Portland. . . . Petan was on Portland's bus on Tuesday when it left the Oregon city and headed for Moose Jaw where the Winterhawks open an East Division tour against the Warriors on Friday.
The Swift Current Broncos have claimed F Kristian Ferletak, 18, off waivers from the Victoria Royals. Ferletak, a freshman from Slovakia, was dropped by the Royals after they claimed D Marsel Ibragimov, a 17-year-old Russian freshman who had been placed on waivers by the Edmonton Oil Kings. . . . Edmonton released Ibragimov in order to keep veteran forwards Mads Eller and Edgars Kulda. . . . The Broncos were carrying just one import player, that being Swedish F Andreas Schumacher, 18. . . . Swift Current had been hoping to get D Julius Honka, 18, back from the NHL's Dallas Stars. However, Honka, who was selected by the Stars in the first round of the NHL's 2014 draft, was assigned to the AHL's Texas Stars. Honka was eligible for the AHL because his rights had been loaned to the Broncos by his Finnish club team; most import players are released to junior teams. . . . Ferletak may get into action with the Broncos as soon as tonight. They are at home to the Saskatoon Blades and have two forwards on the shelf -- Jay Merkley (ill) and Cole Johnson (undisclosed injury).
The Swift Current Broncos, while adding Slovakian F Kristian Ferletak to their roster on Tuesday, will be making more moves today. As of Tuesday night, they still had five 20-year-olds on their roster and that's two over the limit. The 20-year-old deadline arrives this afternoon. . . . The Broncos acquired F Carter Rigby from the Kelowna Rockets on the weekend and also have been carrying F Colby Cave, F Coda Gordon, F Andrew Johnson and D Stephen Shmoorkoff.
The Regina Pats got down to three 20-year-olds on Tuesday by waiving F Logan McVeigh. That leaves Regina with F Braden Christoffer, F Patrick D'Amico and F Pavel Padakin as its three 1994-born players. . . . McVeigh was pointless in two games with the Pats, although a knee injury kept him from playing since the season's second game. . . . The Pats had acquired McVeigh,who is from Kenaston, Sask., last season from the Medicine Hat Tigers. He had four goals and five assists in 26 games with the Pats. In 267 career regular-season games, McVeigh has 116 points, including 45 goals. McVeigh was a second-round pick by the Kamloops Blazes in the 2009 bantam draft. He also played with the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Regina now is carrying 24 players, including three goaltenders and 15 forwards.

QMJHLF Brandon Vuic of the QMJHL's Halifax Mooseheads is facing an impaired driving charge from an incident that occurred on Oct. 7. As well, the Halifax Chronicle Herald is reporting that Vuic, 19, is beig "investigated for alleged drug possession in connection with the same incident." That story is right here.

The Vancouver Giants hope to have D Arvin Atwal back in their lineup on Friday when they play host to the Kamloops Blazers. Atwal missed two weekend losses to the Cougars in Prince George with a shoulder injury. . . . Friday's game marks the regular-season return to Vancouver of former Giants head coach Don Hay. He spent 10 seasons as the Giants' head coach before leaving to return to Kamloops over the summer. Hay had one season left on his contract with the Giants, who didn't ask for compensation when he returned to the Blazers. . . .

F Jaedon Descheneau of the Kootenay Ice goes into Friday's game against the visiting Regina Pats with 199 career regular-season points. He also has played 199 regular-season games. . . . F Tim Bozon is expected to play his first game for the Ice on Friday since being stricken with Neisseria meningitis late last season. Bozon, 20, was returned to the Ice by the Montreal Canadiens this week. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman chatted with Bozon on Tuesday, and filed this story right here. . . .

The Kelowna Rockets put their 8-0-0 record on the line tonight when they meet the Blazers (6-3-1) in Kamloops. The Rockets are expected to get back F Dillon Dube and D Joe Gatenby, both of whom have undisclosed injuries, this week. However, D Mitchell Wheaton and F James Wishnowski will remain out, also with undisclosed injuries. . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix tweeted Tuesday night that "Gage Ramsay has left the Sask. Blazers. Unconfirmed, but appears the '98-born F will join Vancouver (WHL). He was picked 50th in 2013 draft." The Blazers play in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League. Ramsay had two goals and an assist in three games with the Blazers. . . .

In Red Deer, F Tyler Soy scored at 1:09 of OT to give the Victoria Royals a 6-5 vicory over the Rebels on Tuesday night. The Royals trailed 4-0 in the first period and forced OT on F Axel Blomqvist's goal with 56.6 seconds left in the third period. . . . F Austin Carroll scored his seventh goal of the season for Victoria. He has one goal in each of his club's last seven games. . . .

In Kent, Wash., F Adam Helewka, playing his first game since Sept. 27, scored the only goal of the shootout as the Spokane Chiefs beat the Seattle Thunderbirds, 3-2. . . . It was the third straight OT game for Seattle, with the Chiefs needing OT for the third time in four games. . . . This was the second of three straight games between these teams. The Thunderbirds won 2-1 in OT in Spokane on Friday. They'll meet again tonight in Spokane. . . . The Chiefs had F Devon McAndrews in their lineup after acquiring him from the Tri-City Americans on Monday. As well, Helewka and F Jacob Cardiff returned after being out with undisclosed injuries. . . . Seattle, already without D Shea Theodore (injured) and D Evan Wardley (suspended), was down to three defencemen late in the first period after losing Ethan Bear and Turner Ottenbreit to first-period injuries and Jared Hauf to a headshot major and game misconduct. . . . Bear left after being cut up in a scrap with F Riley Whittingham. . . . Ottenbreit was looking woozy when he left after taking a check from Cardiff. . . . Hauf was tossed for a hit on F Liam Stewart. . . . D Scott Allan, acquired Monday from the Medicine Hat Tigers, was in Seattle's lineup. . . . The Thunderbirds moved F Justin Hickman back to defence, with Keegan Kolesar moving up alongside Mathew Barzal and Ryan Gropp. . . . Barzal scored his fourth goal of the season, this one shorthanded, giving him a four-game goal streak. . . . There were 20 NHL scouts on hand for this one.

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