D Marek Hrbas (Edmonton, Kamloops, 2010-13) has been assigned on loan by Sparta Prague to Vítkovice Ostrava (both Czech Republic, Extraliga). This season, Hrbas had one goal in 20 games with Sparta. He also was pointless in six games while on loan to Litoměřice (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). He will be on loan to Vítkovice for one month.
THE COACHING GAME:The Lethbridge Hurricanes fired head coach Drake Berehowsky on Tuesday afternoon.
Here is the news release, in its entirety:
“Lethbridge, AB – Effective immediately, the Lethbridge Hurricanes have relieved Head Coach Drake Berehowsky of his coaching duties.
Berehowsky was in his second season with the hockey club after being hired in June 2013, being named the 12th coach in franchise history.
“A further announcement will be made in due course.”
That was it. No news conference. Nothing about a replacement or replacements. An organization that is leaking credibility like the Titanic didn’t even have anyone to address the issue with the local media. Yikes!
Here's your new, open Hurricanes. A 48-word press release and a 16-person board saying nothing. Still blaming, McNaughton, folks?
— Dylan Purcell (@dylpurcell) December 10, 2014
When you make a move like that and no one stands up to face the music, the speculation begins.
There were rumours that assistant coaches Bryan Maxwell and Mike Craig will take over. There was speculation that the board of directors that oversees the community-owned team was meeting last night to decide whether to sacrifice general manager Brad Robson to the hockey gods, as well. Hey, maybe WHL commissioner Ron Robison will meet with the board of directors this week, and perhaps he’ll schedule another smoke-blowing session with Lethbridge city council while he’s in town.
No matter what happens, the franchise is a mess.
The Hurricanes, who play host to the high-flying Kelowna Rockets tonight, are 6-19-4. No, they won’t make the playoffs and it will be the sixth straight season that has happened.
Berehowsky, 42, was in his second season with the Hurricanes. He joined them from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades and went 12-55-5 last season, after replacing Rich Preston.
Overall, Berehowsky was 18-74-9 with the Hurricanes.
When Berehowsky’s signing was announced, on June 10, 2013, the Hurricanes’ news release revealed that he “signed a three-year contract.” That being the case, he has the rest of this season and all of next season remaining.
In searching for a replacement, perhaps the Hurricanes’ board of directors should pick up a phone and make a call. “Hello, Rich. Come back. All is forgiven.”
In 2012-13, Preston’s fourth season, the Hurricanes went 28-34-10 and averaged 3,650 fans per game. Last season, that attendance figure slipped to 3,089. This season, through 14 games, it’s at 2,949.
The Hurricanes are the third of the WHL’s 22 teams to have fired a head coach this season. Earlier, the Prince Albert Raiders replaced Cory Clouston with Marc Habscheid and the Vancouver Giants brought in Claude Noel to take over from Troy Ward.
And let’s not forget that the issue of selling the franchise to private interests will be address at the Hurricanes’ next annual general meeting.
In Lethbridge these days, it just goes on and on and . . .
The Saskatoon Blades are losing far more games than they are winning, but majority owner Mike Priestner isn’t anywhere near the panic button. Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here.
The OHL’s Oshawa Generals have moved to the top of the Buzzing the Net Dynamic Dozen, the CHL rankings that are handled by Neate Sager of Yahoo! Sports Canada. The Kelowna Rockets aren’t even the top-rated team in the WHL. . . . Check out the ratings right here.
Goodness knows that there are, and will be, all kinds of year-end lists available now that 2014 is drawing to a close. But no one does this kind of thing any better than Rolling Stone. Rob Sheffield has the 20 Best TV Moments of 2014 right here.
TUESDAY’S GAMES:In Cranbrook, the Medicine Hat Tigers broke a 1-1 tie with two goals 10 seconds apart and went on to a 4-1 victory over the Kootenay Ice. . . . Kootenay F Levi Cable had tied the game with his 11th goal at 19:42 of the second period. . . . Tigers F Chad Labelle got his third goal at 8:21 of the third and F Cole Sanford made it 3-1 with his 20th goal at 8:31. . . . The victory was No. 200 with the Tigers for GM/head coach Shaun Clouston. His total stands at 216, thanks to 16 victories with the Tri-City Americans. . . . The Tigers went 3-1 on a four-game road trip. . . . Medicine Hat G Marek Langhamer was terrific, with 26 saves. . . . Ice F Sam Reinhart, playing his last game before leaving for the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp, had his point streak end at 14 games, while F Jaedon Descheneau’s streak ended at 13. . . . Ice G Wyatt Hoflin, making his 20th straight start, stopped 34 shots. . . . The Tigers dressed only 16 skaters, two under the maximum. . . . F Chad Butcher was among the Tigers’ scratches. He may have suffered his second concussion in about a month on a hit from Portland Winterhawks F Alex Schoenborn on Sunday. Schoenborn was given a boarding major a game misconduct on the play. The WHL ruled Monday that no further discipline was warranted. . . . The Tigers (22-7-2) head home to face the Kelowna Rockets on Friday. . . . The Ice slipped to 15-17-0. . . . Taylor Rocca of the Cranbrook Daily Towsman has a game story right here. . . .
In Prince George, F Zach Pochiro scored two goals, including the Teddy Bear goal, and added an assist as the Cougars beat the Saskatoon Blades, 4-3. . . . Pochiro, who has five goals, scored the Teddy Bear goal, shorthanded, with 16.9 seconds left in the first period. . . . The Blades had opened the scoring when F Landon Welykholowa scored his fifth goal at 15:24. . . . The Blades scored first in all five games on their B.C. Division swing, and they finished 0-5. . . . Saskatoon F Sam McKechnie tied the score at 2 with his eighth goal, via the PP, at 8:11 of the second period. . . . Cougars F Brad Morrison broke the tie with his 10th goal at 9:58. . . . The Cougars lost D Sam Ruopp with a kneeing major and game misconduct for a hit on F Nick Zajac at 16:36 of the first period. Zajac needed help getting off the ice, but was back for the start of the second period. . . . Announced attendance was 4,800. . . . The Cougars (16-15-0) have won three in a row, while the Blades (7-22-3) have lost eight straight (0-6-2). . . . Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has a game story right here.
In Victoria, F Tyler Soy broke a scoreless tie in the third period as the Royals beat the Prince Albert Raiders, 1-0. . . . Soy, who has seven goals, scored at 3:19. . . . Victoria G Coleman Vollrath stopped 34 shots. He has two shutouts this season and three in his career. . . . Raiders G Rylan Parenteau turned aside 24 shots. . . . The game marked the return to Victoria of Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid. He coached the Chilliwack Bruins (remember them?) for two seasons and made the move to Victoria with the franchise where he ran the Royals for one season. . . . This was the second straight 1-0 setback for the Raiders, who lost by that identical score in Kelowna on Saturday. . . . The Royals (17-14-2) have won two in a row. . . . The Raiders (15-16-0) have lost two straight and are in Vancouver tonight in a game that will be televised by Shaw. . . .
In Kennewick, Wash., the skills competition went six rounds before the Everett Silvertips beat the Tri-City Americans, 4-3. . . . Everett F Carson Stadnyk scored the only goal of the shootout. . . . Tri-City F Brian Williams forced OT with his second goal of the game and ninth of the season at 4:28 of the third period. . . . Everett F Matt Fonteyne went into the game with one goal in 28 outings this season. He scored twice in the second period, giving his side leads of 2-1 and 3-2. . . . F Jake Mykitiuk had two assists in his third game with the Silvertips. . . . Everett G Austin Lotz stopped 30 shots through OT and six more in the shootout. Nick Patterson of the Everett Herald reports that Lotz, in his last three shootouts, has stopped 25 of 26 attempts. . . . Tri-City G Evan Sarthou stopped 22 shots. . . . Everett has played 29 games this season and gone to OT on 10 occasions. . . . The Silvertips (18-7-4) has lost their previous two games. . . . The Americans now are 16-13-1.
The only two organizations in western civilization that truly get ceremony: the House of Windsor and the Montreal Canadiens.
— Michael Farber (@MichaelFarber3) October 1, 2013