Monday, September 19, 2016

Hurricanes on right side of ledger . . . Blades get d-man from Portland . . . Chiefs place veteran on waivers



The final chapter in a Saskatchewan love story will be written on Sunday when the intermingled ashes of Colleen and Gordie Howe are placed in an urn and set into a vault at the base of a statue of Gordie near the SaskTel Centre, the home of the Saskatoon Blades. . . . Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has more right here on the work that has gone into preparing the site and the plaque that will be left at the site.
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One year after losing more than $486,000, the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ board of directors told shareholders on Monday night that the community-owned franchise put up a profit of $197,235 for the 2015-16 season.
That may have had something to do with why general manager Peter Anholt was named the WHL’s executive of the year after his first season on the job.
The team’s annual general meeting was attended by 120 shareholders representing 228 shares.
Shareholders also were told that the team is budgeting for a profit of $96,190 in 2016-17.
And for a change there weren’t any calls to sell the franchise.
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The Saskatoon Blades have acquired D Jackson Caller, 17, from the Portland Winterhawks for a fourth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft. . . . Caller, from Kamloops, suffered a broken wrist in Portland’s training camp a year ago. He did get into eight games with the Winterhawks, recording one assist, but spent most of the season with the junior B Revelstoke Grizzlies. He had 10 points, including four goals, in 18 games with Revelstoke. . . . Portland selected him in the seventh round of the 2014 bantam draft. . . . On Sunday, the Blades acquired G Logan Flodell, 19, from the Seattle Thunderbirds. On Monday, Saskatoon dropped G Joel Grzybowski, 17, and he has reported to the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. Grzybowski, from Hafford, Sask., was an 11th-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . The Blades are expected to open the season with Flodell and Brock Hamm, 19, as their goaltenders, but Dorrin Luding, 17, is still on the roster.
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The Red Deer Rebels have acquired F Jordan Roy, 18, from the Tri-City Americans for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2019 bantam draft. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Kimberley, B.C., had two goals and an assist in 34 games with the Americans last season, his first in the WHL. The Americans selected him in the fifth round of the 2013 bantam draft.
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The Spokane Chiefs have placed veteran F Jacob Cardiff, 20, on waivers, while dropping F Eli Zummack and G Donovan Buskey from their roster. . . . Zummack, 16, will return to the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who play out of Kelowna. A Kelowna native, he was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels in a trade last season. The Rebels selected him in the second round of the 2015 bantam draft. . . . Buskey, 16, was selected by the Chiefs in the third round of that 2015 draft. From North Vancouver, he will join the major midget Vancouver-Northwest Giants. . . . Cardiff, who is from Regina, played 156 games over three seasons with the Chiefs, totalling 25 points, including 13 goals. . . . The Chiefs are down to four 20-year-olds — F Keanu Yamamoto, F Markson Bechtold, F Dominic Zwerger, who also is an import, and G Jayden Sittler. That is one over the maximum so obviously there will be at least one more move coming. . . . The Chiefs also are down to two goaltenders — Sittler, who was acquired from the Lethbridge Hurricanes over the summer, and freshman Matt Berlin, 17, who was a seventh-round pick in the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Spokane’s roster sits at 27, including two goaltenders and 16 forwards. . . . The Chiefs also are carrying three imports at the moment, with Czech forwards Pavel Kousal and Ondrej Najman, both freshmen, joining Zwerger, who is from Austria. Teams have until Oct. 15 to get down to two imports. But remember that first-year imports can’t be traded, so in order to keep Zwerger either Kousal or Najman would have to be released.
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F Erik Middendorf, a fourth-round pick by the Moose Jaw Warriors in the 2015 bantam draft, has committed to attend the U of Denver and play for the Pioneers in 2018-19. Middendorf, 16, is from Scottsdale, Ariz. He had 25 points, including 15 goals, in 32 games for the U-16 Phoenix Jr. Coyotes last season. This season, he is playing in the U.S. National Team Development Program.
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JUST NOTES:

The Swift Current Broncos have released F Tristen Elder, who turns 19 on Dec. 11. From Kinistino, Sask., Elder had two assists in 38 games with the Broncos last season. He was pointless in four exhibition games this month. He was a sixth-round pick by the Brandon Wheat Kings in the 2012 bantam draft. . . . 
F Nick Merkley, 19, has received medical clearance to return to full-contact practices with the Arizona Coyotes, who selected the Calgary native in the first round of the NHL’s 2015 draft. He suffered a season-ending knee injury while with the Kelowna Rockets last season and later underwent surgery. Merkley, who had 48 points, including 17 goals, in 43 games with Kelowna last season, is expected to return to the Rockets for a fourth WHL season. He has 196 points, 62 of them goals, in 182 regular-season games with Kelowna. . . . 
F Jayce Hawryluk, 20, suffered a broken hand during a Sunday fight while with the Florida Panthers’ prospects team. Hawryluk was fighting Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana. Hawryluk, who played last season with the Brandon Wheat Kings, now is likely to miss Florida’s main training camp as he needs surgery. It was expected that he would begin the season with the AHL’s Springfield Thunderbirds. . . . Hawryluk had 106 points, including 47 goals, in 58 regular-season games with Brandon in 2015-16. . . . 
D Haydn Fleury, 20, suffered an undisclosed injury while with the Carolina Hurricanes’ prospects team in Traverse City, Mich., on Friday. Fleury, a product of the Red Deer Rebels, was injured when he fell awkwardly during a 4-3 OT victory over the New York Rangers and didn’t play Saturday or Monday. Carolina is expected to keep him off the ice until its main training camp opens on Friday. Fleury was a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft. He is expected to begin this season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
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Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.
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Coaching
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League has suspended Bill Rotheisler, the general manager and head coach of the junior B Castlegar Rebels for 45 days and fined him $500. His sin? Tampering. . . . The KIJHL told the Rebels about the disciplinary actions on Sept. 6. The Rebels filed an appeal three days later in the hopes of having the suspension reduced. That appeal was denied. . . . Rotheisler can still run practices, but he is barred from team activities from one hour before games until one hour afterwards. . . . Chelsea Novak of the Castlegar News has more right here.
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The junior B Port Moody Panthers fired head coach Mark Goble last week. “At this time, we have decided to make a change in the direction of our team,” Panthers general manager Frank Iantorno said in a three-paragraph statement on the team’s website. . . . Associate coach Mike Renner was named interim head coach. . . . Goble had been the head coach since April. . . . The Panthers are 1-2-0-0 and in last place, but just two points out of second, in the five-team Pacific Junior Hockey League.
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MONDAY-THURSDAY GAMES:

No Games Scheduled.
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FRIDAY GAMES (all times local):

Kootenay at Calgary, 7 p.m.
Kelowna at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Lethbridge, 7 p.m.
Brandon at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Edmonton at Red Deer, 7 p.m.
Prince Albert at Regina, 7 p.m.
Saskatoon at Swift Current, 7 p.m.
Everett at Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.
Prince George at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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