Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More numbers, but not much info . . . 'Canes inch closer to Tigers . . . Broncos bury Wheaties

Rick Westhead, a senior reporter with TSN, tweeted some more information involving CHL teams and the situation in which they find themselves with more than 400 former and present players seeking certification for a class-action suit that calls for teams to provide a minimum wage and other benefits.
Those tweets are posted above.
Westhead also updated a story that he had posted on Monday. That story now includes a chart that
shows revenues and profit/loss reported by WHL teams. That chart is at the end of this story. The numbers for 20 of the teams are for their 2016 fiscal year (June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016). The Victoria Royals’ numbers are for 2015. The Portland Winterhawks didn’t file statements with the court.
A few observations from those numbers, keeping in mind that they raise a whole lot of questions because they don’t include any specifics as to where the money goes . . . 
If you were wondering what a WHL championship is worth, the defending-champion Brandon Wheat Kings reported a profit of $779,948.
The Seattle Thunderbirds reported higher revenue than any of the other teams — their US$5.6 million converting to more than Cdn$7.3 million. They claimed a profit of US$937,442, or about Cdn$1.2 million.
The Edmonton Oil Kings were next, reporting revenues of $6.6 million and a $1.4-million profit.
With NHL teams owning the Oil Kings and the Calgary Hitmen, you are wondering about the latter. They reported $4.3 million in revenues and a loss of $387,333.
In their first season in the new Canalta Centre, the Medicine Hat Tigers reported revenues of $3.2 million and a profit of $205,236.
Perhaps the most interesting figures involved the WHL’s four community-owned teams — the Lethbridge Hurricanes, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders and Swift Current Broncos.
The Broncos led that quartet with revenues of $3.2 million, followed by Lethbridge and Moose Jaw, both at $3.1 million, and Prince Albert at $2.2 million. It was the Raiders, though, who reported the highest profit — $249,471. The Hurricanes claimed a profit of $197,253, with the Broncos claiming a $144,644 profit. The Warriors, meanwhile, reported a loss of $36,800.
An observer must be cautioned, however, not to read too much into any of these numbers, simply because nothing in the way of specifics has been provided.
The Red Deer Rebels, for example, claimed revenues of $4.5 million and a loss of $1,245. The Rebels’ numbers prove the inanity of trying to reach any kind of conclusion by studying them, because they paid out $1,490,000 in managements fees while reporting that loss. To this point, we have no way of knowing exactly where, or to whom, those management fees went.
The part of the lawsuit involving the WHL is expected to be back in a Calgary courtroom on April 18.
Unfortunately, the Moose Jaw Warriors and Lethbridge Hurricanes won’t meet again this season, unless it’s in the playoffs.
So . . . let’s hope that happens.
Looking for juicy, rivalry-fuelling quotes in today’s WHL is kind of like walking down to a South Thompson River boat launch and panning for gold — the chances of finding a nugget aren’t great.
But, hey, every once in a while there is something shiny at the bottom of the pan.
The Warriors, under head coach Tim Hunter, went into Lethbridge and beat the Hurricanes, 3-1, on Feb. 22. On Feb. 4, the host Hurricanes had beaten the Warriors, 3-0, in a game that featured 147 penalty minutes. The Feb. 22 game included only 32 penalty minutes, but apparently there was more to this one than that.
After that game, Brent Kisio, the Hurricanes’ head coach, told Dale Woodard of the Lethbridge Herald:
“It was a physical game. There was some animosity. They have a classless coach over there that is probably the most classless guy in our league. It’s unfortunate it happens, but I thought our guys played hard.”
Shots fired!
The WHL suspended three players, each for one game, on Tuesday. . . . D Sahvan Khaira of the Swift Current Broncos didn’t play Tuesday night against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings after behind suspended for a charging major and game misconduct during a game against the host Regina Pats on Sunday. . . . F Michael Spacek of the Red Deer Rebels will sit out a game. The reason? According to the WHL website, it is “for game misconduct at Calgary” on Sunday. . . . F Noah Gregor of the Moose Jaw Warriors also got one game, this after he took a kneeing major and game misconduct in a game against the host Saskatoon Blades on Sunday. . . . As well, the Everett Silvertips were touched up for $250 for a warm-up violation prior to a game against the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent, Wash., on Sunday.
D Max Gildon, who is from Plano, Texas, has committed to the U of New Hampshire. Gildon, who will turn 18 on May 17, was a third-round selection by the Vancouver Giants in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . . Gildon has spent two seasons in the U.S. National Team Development Program, this season with the U-18 team. . . . Originally, he had committed to attend Wisconsin, but he later changed his mind.
Five days after the ECHL’s Anchorage-based Alaska Aces announced that they won’t operate next season, the NAHL’s Kenai River Brown Bears announced that they also are closing their doors. Nate Kiel, the Brown Bears’ general manager, told Joey Klecka of the Peninsula Clarion that “it boils down to finances, and we were running in the red.” . . . The Brown Bears have been a part of the NAHL for 10 years. . . . Klecka has an all-encompassing story right here.
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The ECHL’s Reading Royals will have a new head coach in place when another season rolls around. Larry Courville is leaving after seven complete seasons behind the bench. Jason Guarente of the Reading Eagle reports that “contract negotiations between Courville and the front office began in December, and the two side were unable to agree on an extension.” . . . Instead, Courville is moving on as hockey director at Lancaster Ice Rink. . . . Courville’s contract expires on June 30. . . . He went 336-207-53 as Reading’s head coach, qualifying for the playoffs in each of his seven complete seasons. . . . Guarente’s story is right here.
The junior B Sicamous Eagles, who play in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, made a coaching change once their season ended. Matt Stang is out as head coach and Rob Fitzpatrick, who had been coaching a midget team in Salmon Arm, will take over. . . . Stang had replaced Ty Davidson after the Eagles opened this season with eight straight losses. . . . Fitzpatrick has coached in the KIJHL with the Revelstoke Grizzlies and North Okanagan Knights. . . . The Eagles, who have missed the playoffs each of the past two seasons, finished 10-36-1 this season, leaving them last in the five-team Doug Birks Division.



At Regina, F Tyler Wong took over the WHL goal-scoring lead with Nos. 46 and 47 as he led the Lethbridge Hurricanes to a 4-1 victory over the Pats. . . . The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead as F Matt Alfaro
(23) scored at 3:56 of the first period, with Wong getting and assist. . . . Wong scored the game’s next two goals, finding the range while shorthanded at 15:57 of the first period and adding a PP score 48 seconds into the second period. . . . F Dawson Leedahl (32) got Regina on the scoreboard at 16:21 of the second period. . . . Lethbridge F Jordy Bellerive put it away with his 25th goal, at 19:02 of the third period. Yes, it was an empty-netter. . . . F Zak Zborosky had two assists for Lethbridge. . . . G Stuart Skinner stopped 42 shots for the Hurricanes. . . . The Pats got 23 saves from G Tyler Brown. . . . Lethbridge was 1-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-3. . . . F Riley Krane made his WHL debut with the Pats. Krane, who turned 17 on Jan. 24, was an eighth-round pick in the 2015 bantam draft. From Dawson Creek, B.C., he has 18 points, eight of them goals, in 27 games with the major midget Cariboo Cougars, who play out of Prince George. . . . The Hurricanes (39-17-7) have won three in a row. They are second in the Central Division, four points behind Medicine Hat. Each team has nine games remaining. . . . The Pats (44-10-8) had points in each of their previous four games (3-0-1). They lead the overall standings by seven points over Medicine Hat, with a game in hand. . . . Announced attendance: 4,594.
At Swift Current, F Ryley Lindgren scored three times as the Broncos dumped the Brandon Wheat Kings, 5-2. . . . F Glenn Gawdin finished with a goal and two assists, while F Tyler Steenbergen drew three assists. . . . Lindgren opened the scoring with his 20th goal, at 16:43 of the first period. . . . Brandon D Kade Jensen (4) tied it 47 seconds into the second period. . . . Lindgren put the Broncos out front as he scored, on a PP, at 12:03. . . . Gawdin, who missed one game with an illness, stretched the lead at 16:46. He’s got 23 goals. He also had two assists. . . . F Tyler Coulter got Brandon to within a goal when he scored his 26th goal 47 seconds into the third period. . . . The Broncos put it away on goals from F Kaden Elder (13), at 12:32, and Lindgren, at 15:32. . . . The Broncos got two assists from D Artyom Minulin. . . . F Stelio Mattheos had two assists for Brandon. . . . G Jordan Papirny stopped 25 shots in posting the victory over his former team. Papirny is 6-7-2 with the Broncos, after starting the season 13-11-1 with the Wheat Kings. . . . Brandon got 27 saves from G Logan Thompson. . . . Swift Current was 1-5 on the PP; Brandon was 0-2. . . . The Wheat Kings scratched D Garrett Sambrook (ill), F Ty Lewis, F Tanner Kaspick, F Connor Gutenberg and F Baron Thompson (ill), leaving them with six defencemen and 10 forwards. . . . D Shaven Khaira was among the Broncos’ scratches as he served a one-game suspension. . . . The Broncos (32-20-10) have won two straight games. They are third in the East Division, nine points ahead of Brandon. . . . The Wheat Kings (28-26-9) have lost five in a row (0-4-1). They hold down the Eastern Conference’s first wild-card spot. . . . Announced attendance: 2,056.

WEDNESDAY’S GAMES (all times local):

Lethbridge at Brandon, 7 p.m.
Kootenay at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Spokane at Everett, 7:05 p.m.
Seattle at Kamloops, 7 p.m.
Prince George at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.
Calgary at Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.
Medicine Hat at Prince Albert, 7 p.m.
Portland vs. Vancouver, at Langley, B.C., 7 p.m.

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