Sunday, December 14, 2014

WHL teams monitoring mumps situation . . . Rebels add key d-man from Blades . . . Hitmen are rolling

F Jim O'Brien (Seattle, 2007-09) has been released by Metallurg Novokuznetsk (Russia, KHL). He had two goals and 10 assists in 22 games.


Officials with WHL teams aren’t overly concerned about the mumps, a viral disease that has hit at least 14 NHL NHLplayers.
The latest NHLers to be diagnosed are Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby and forward Derick Brassard of the New York Rangers. Interestingly, the Rangers assigned F Anthony Duclair to Canada’s national junior team on the weekend.
The mumps issue hasn’t been discussed, at least not officially, at the league level inside the WHL. However, teams are watching closely from afar and monitoring the situation.
Bob Tory, the general manager of the Tri-City Americans, told Taking Note on Sunday evening that he isn’t at all concerned “because most younger people have been vaccinated.”
Tory also pointed out that WHL teams already are quite health conscious.
“We have always taken extra care in our room since the last virus scare,” he noted, “and even purchased a hospital-grade ionizer that they use in intensive care. I think a few teams bought them a few years ago.”
Hospitals use ionizers to combat infections.
Jeff Chynoweth, the president and general manager of the Kootenay Ice, told Taking Note that his club hasn’t “done anything officially in dealing with the mumps.”
“But, he added, “between our doctors and athletic therapist we are monitoring the situation with all of our players.”
Colin Priestner, the Saskatoon Blades’ managing partner, says his organization has “no concerns.”
“Most outbreaks have been in U.S. markets,” he notes, “and our kids have been vaccinated.”
Bruno Campese, the general manager of the Prince Albert Raiders, spoke with a team doctor on Sunday.
“He wasn’t concerned,” Campese told Taking Note.
Cam Hope, the general manager of the Victoria Royals, admitted that “viral infections of all kinds are always a concern in a team setting, where guys spend so much time in close contact.”
Still, he added, “it is really about being smart and diligent” and the Royals are always on high alert.
“Hygiene is given extremely high importance,” he told Taking Note, “and we require immediate reporting of any symptoms that are cold/flu like -- to make sure we isolate any ill player right away.”
The present outbreak of mumps, he pointed out, “gives us another opportunity to stress these things with the team, and every new case in the NHL is another reminder to them to take the steps they can to minimize the risk.”
Eric Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail takes a look at the NHL and its response to the mumps situation right here.

Two WHL teams going in opposite directions at the moment got together Sunday on a deal that involved three players and two early bantam draft selections.
The Red Deer Rebels, who have been one of the league’s hotter teams of late and are the host team for the 2016 Memorial Cup, acquired D Nelson Nogier, 18, and F Austin Adamson, 18, from the Saskatoon Blades, who are in the early days of a complete rebuild.
In exchange, the Blades get F Mason McCarty, 17, a second-round draft pick in 2015 and a first-round selection in 2016.
The Blades now hold four first-round selections, three seconds and four thirds through the 2015 and 2016 bantam drafts. (For more on what teams hold what draft picks, check out Small Thoughts At Large right here.)
The key to the deal from a Red Deer perspective is Nogier, a Saskatoon native who is the son of former WHL G Pat Nogier. Nelson was a fourth-round pick by the Winnipeg Jets in the NHL’s 2014 draft. Nogier, an alternate captain with the Blades, is a responsible defender who can bang bodies. In 128 games with the Blades, he had 18 points, two of them goals.
“He’s a player we’ve had our eyes on for well over a year now, and yet we knew there would be a price,” Brent Sutter, the Rebels’ owner, GM and head coach, told Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate. “Those are the stakes in poker. It takes a first-round and a second-round pick to get a player like that.”
This season, Nogier, who played for the Blades in the 2013 Memorial Cup in Saskatoon as a 16-year-old, has a goal and seven assists in 32 games.
Nogier was a fourth-round pick by Saskatoon in the 2011 bantam draft. He was limited to 37 games last season because of a shoulder injury.
Nogier’s addition leaves the Rebels with 10 defencemen on their roster, meaning there could be more activity between Dec. 26 and Jan. 10.
Adamson, from Richmond, B.C., had five goals and five assists in 84 games over two seasons with the Blades. This season, he has three goals and two assists in 31 games. He is an undrafted list player.
McCarty, a fourth-round selection by the Rebels in the 2012 bantam draft, has two assists in nine games this season. From Blackie, Alta., he played last season with the midget AAA UFA Bisons, who play out of Strathmore, Alta. He had 42 points, 22 of them goals, in 32 games.
The Blades, who have lost 10 straight games, are 7-24-3 and know already that they won’t make the playoffs. They play their last game before the Christmas break on Wednesday when they travel to Swift Current to meet the Broncos.
Daniel Nugent-Bowman of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more on the trade right here.
Greg Meachem of the Red Deer Advocate has more right here.
The WHL’s Christmas trade moratorium went into effect at midnight and runs through Dec. 26.


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George Burnett won his 600th victory as an OHL head coach on Saturday when the host Belleville Bulls beat the Ottawa 67’s, 4-1. . . . Burnett, in his 19th season as an OHL head coach, is fourth on the league’s all-time list. . . . Burnett trails Brian Kilrea (1,193), the late Bert Templeton (907) and Larry Mavety (658). . . .
In the QMJHL, G Francois Brassard of the host Cape Breton Screaming Eagles scored a goal Saturday in an 8-5 victory over the Quebec Remparts. . . . Brassard scored the game’s last goal, firing the puck from behind his net off the left-side boards and into the empty goal at the other end. He is the first goaltender in franchise history to score a goal. . . . It came in his first appearance against the team that traded him away during the off-season.


In Brandon, G Jordan Papirny stopped 22 shots to lead the Wheat Kings to a 4-0 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . Papirny has two shutouts this season and three in his career. . . . F Tim McGauley scored twice, giving him 20 this season. He now is riding an 11-game point streak, with 12 goals and nine assists over that stretch. . . . F John Quenneville scored the game’s first goal, his 11th, on a PP, at 10:15 of the first period. . . . McGauley’s second goal, at 14:43 of the third, was shorthanded. . . . Wheat Kings F Ty Lewis, who is from Brandon, made his WHL debut. A third-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft, he had been on the shelf with a broken arm. . . . Among Brandon’s scratches were F Jayce Hawryluk and F Jesse Gabrielle, both out with undisclosed injuries. . . . D Nelson Nogier and F Austin Adamson, acquired earlier in the day from the Saskatoon Blades, weren’t in Red Deer’s lineup. . . . The Wheat Kings (24-7-3) are 3-0-1 in their last four games. They lead the East Division by 12 points over the Regina Pats. . . . The Rebels (18-12-4) had a four-game winning streak end. They are third in the Central Division, one point behind Calgary. . . .

In Calgary, the Hitmen ran their winning streak to five games with a 4-1 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. . . . The Hitmen scored the game’s first three goals, two of them coming in the second period following a scoreless first. . . . F Beck Malenstyn scored his fifth at 6:13 of the second period and F Layne Bensmiller got his first at 19:28. . . . Calgary F Adam Tambellini made it 3-0 with his 19th goal at 6:02 of the third. He is on a five-game goal-scoring streak. . . . Kelowna F Dillon Dube scored his fifth on a PP at 15:46 of the third. . . . D Jake Bean of the Hitmen, a 16-year-old from Calgary, ran his point streak to seven games with an assist. He has 11 of his 12 assists in those seven games. . . . Calgary G Mack Shields, who made 17 saves, drew his fifth assist this season, breaking the franchise record of four that he set last season. . . . D Keegan Kanzig, a healthy scratch the night before, was back in Calgary’s lineup. . . . The Hitmen improved to 19-11-3 and jumped past Red Deer into second place in the Central Division. . . . The Rockets (26-5-3) lead the B.C. Division by 19 points over the Victoria Royals. . . .

In Lethbridge, the Kamloops Blazers broke open a scoreless game with three goals in 46 seconds and went on to a 4-2 victory over the Hurricanes. . . . F Collin Shirley scored his 10th and 11th goals, at 18:58 and 19:44 of the first period, with F Cole Ully getting No. 16 at 19:30. The first two of those goals came via the PP. . . . Lethbridge F Zane Jones scored twice, giving him 15, as the Hurricanes cut into the lead in the second period. . . . Kamloops D Ryan Rehill got his third goal, at 12:35 of the second, for insurance. . . . Blazers D Josh Connolly had his third straight two-assist game. He’s got 28 points, including 24 assists, in 33 games. . . . Lethbridge D Lenny Hackman was among the Lethbridge scratches. He had played in 174 consecutive games. . . . The game was the first behind the Hurricanes’ bench for new head coach Peter Anholt. . . . The Blazers (13-18-5) snapped a five-game losing skid and moved back into fourth place in the B.C. Division, a point ahead of the Vancouver Giants. . . . The Hurricanes (6-20-5), with one victory in their last 16 games, have lost six in a row. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Evan Weinger broke a 2-2 tie at 11:15 of the second period and the Portland Winterhawks went on to a 4-3 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . Weinger has five goals. . . . Tri-City F Jordan Topping had tied it 2-2 with his second goal at 18:31 of the first. That goal came 43 seconds after F Alex Overhardt had scored his first goal to give Portland the lead. . . . Earlier, the teams shared goals 20 seconds part, F Dominic Turgeon scoring his 11th for Portland and F Beau McCue getting his 13th for the Americans. . . . Portland F Alex Schoenborn gave his side a 4-2 lead with an empty-netter at 18:51 of the third. . . . McCue then got his second of the game at 19:44. . . .  Winterhawks F Chase De Leo had an assist to run his point streak to 12 games. . . . Portland F Skyler McKenzie had two assists. . . . Portland G Adin Hill stopped 45 shots, 15 more than Tri-City’s Evan Sarthou. . . . Portland was 0-for-4 on the PP; Tri-City was 0-for-1. . . . The Winterhawks (19-14-3) have won two straight and are one point behind the U.S. Division-leading Everett Silvertips, who hold five games in hand. . . . The Americans (17-15-1) have lost two straight and are tied for third with the Spokane Chiefs in the U.S. Division.

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