Appeals filed in class-action suit … Blazers add goaltender … Ice adds d-man, signs import

This photo, looking east over the South Thompson River, was taken at 8:15 p.m.
This photo, looking in the same direction, was taken Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

We may have had the smokiest day of our summer on Tuesday. After a beautiful Sunday, we woke up to heavy smoke on Monday. But Tuesday morning, it was even worse; there were times when ash was falling from the sky.

But then, about 7:30 p.m., a lot of the smoke moved east and, yes, there was blue sky above us, at least for a while. As darkness closed in, it appeared that more smoke was drifting back into our area.

As we go to bed, we wonder what awaits us.

One thing is for certain, though . . . this fire situation isn’t going to end anytime soon. It is impossible to put it into a time frame, but it’s not going to be over in a week or two, or even three.

In the meantime, if you haven’t seen Lorrie Jane Arnott’s video of the Kamloops boat owner and his fiancee who helped put out a fire on Shuswap Road, a few kilometres west of where we live, on Sunday afternoon, it’s right here.

If you’re wondering, that’s a 1987 Eliminator Scorpion jet boat that pushes more than 900 horses.

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F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) has signed a one-year contract with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, with Red Ice Martigny (Switzerland, NL B), he had 22 goals and 22 assists in 43 games. . . .

F Johannes Salmonsson (Spokane, 2005-06) has signed a one-year contract with the Iserlohn Roosters (Germany DEL). Last season, with Kölner Haie (Cologne Sharks) (Germany, DEL), he had five goals and eight assists in 45 games.


If you’re wondering what’s happening with the minimum-wage seeking class-action lawsuit that the CHL and its three members — the OHL, QMJHL and WHL — are facing, well, let’s just say it’s a time of appeals. . . . Rick Westhead of TSN reports that the OHL and WHL have filed appeals asking that the certification order granted earlier be set aside. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs, according to Westhead, “have filed appeals in a bid to have eight U.S.-based teams folded back into the lawsuits.” . . . The OHL filed its appeal on June 13; the WHL filed on July 17. . . . “The appeal regarding the OHL is scheduled to be discussed at a hearing in Toronto on Sept. 21,” Westhead reports. “A hearing date has not yet been set for the Alberta appeal. Another lawsuit has been filed against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in Montreal over the minimum-wage issue. In that case, a judge has not yet decided whether to approve the case as a class action.” . . . Westhead’s story is right here.


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It seems that D Henri Jokiharju of the Portland Winterhawks may not play again this week in Plymouth, Mich. Jokiharju suffered an injury to his left leg during a game at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., on Sunday. . . . Jokiharju, playing for Team Finland, was injured in the first period of a 4-1 loss to USA Blue. He was backed into the end boards when he was checked by F Tim Getting, whose right knee made contact with Jokiharju’s left knee or inner thigh area. . . . Jokiharju left the game and didn’t return. . . . An MRI on Tuesday apparently didn’t reveal any significant damage. . . . Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ general manager and head coach, told Taking Note on Tuesday that he is “waiting to get a report from the doctors.” . . . Last season, as a WHL freshman, Jokiharju had nine goals and 39 assists in 71 games. . . . Jokiharju was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Jokiharju is the second first-round pick to suffer an injury at the WJSS. Swedish F Elias Pettersson, taken fifth overall by the Vancouver Canucks, apparently aggravated a previous injury during a game on Sunday. . . . Pettersson isn’t believed to have been seriously injured and is expected to play today (Wednesday). . . . Rob Williams, the sports editor of dailyhive.com out of Vancouver, takes a look at the Pettersson situation and wonders if it’s necessary to be playing hockey in July. His piece — make sure to read the last five or six paragraphs — is right here.


The selection camp for Team Canada’s U-18 summer team ended in Calgary on Tuesday, with 22 players selected for the roster that will play in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. That tournament runs Aug. 7-12 in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia. . . . The roster features six players from the WHL — F Luka Burzan (Moose Jaw Warriors), F Jackson Shepard (Kamloops Blazers), F Nolan Foote (Kelowna Rockets), D Ty Smith (Spokane Chiefs), D Caleb Addison (Lethbridge Hurricanes) and D Jett Woo (Moose Jaw). . . . The team’s head coach is Brent Kisio of the Hurricanes. . . . Hockey Canada’s news release is right here; the roster is right here.


The Kamloops Blazers have acquired G Kyle Dumba, 19, from the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft. . . . Dumba, who is from Calgary, was 9-12-5, 4.05, .860 in 39 games over three seasons with the Hitmen, who picked him in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. . . . Last season, Dumba was 7-9-3, 4.00, .860 in 28 appearances. . . . In Kamloops, he will battle with G Dylan Ferguson, 19, for the starting role, as two-year starter Connor Ingram, 20, is expected to play in the Tampa Bay Lightning’s organization. . . . Dumba is the younger brother of former WHL D Mathew Dumba, who now plays for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. . . . Earlier this summer, the Hitmen acquired G Nick Schneider, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers and he’ll be Calgary’s starter.


The Kootenay Ice has acquired D Jordan Henderson, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers in exchange for a conditional sixth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft. Henderson, who is from Vancouver, is preparing for his fourth WHL season. He played for three teams last season — the Spokane Chiefs, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat — and finished with six goals and 21 assists in 61 games. In 26 games with the Tigers, he had five goals and 14 assists. . . . Spokane selected him in the fourth round of the 2012 bantam draft. . . . The Ice now have added two 20-year-old players during this off-season, the other being G Mario Petit. Others 20s on the Ice’s roster are D Troy Murray, F Colton Kroeker and D Kurtis Rutledge. . . . The Tigers, meanwhile, had 10 20-year-olds on their roster a few weeks ago. They now are down to G Michael Bullion, D Ty Schultz, D Brad Forrest, F Zach Fischer and F Mark Rassell. D Kristian Rubins also is on the roster, but would be a two-spotter as a 20-year-old import. . . . Earlier, the Tigers picked up G Jordan Hollett, 18, from the Regina Pats. If he is the starter, Bullion becomes expendable.


The Kootenay Ice has signed Swiss F Gilian Kohler, 17, who was the third overall selection in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. . . . The Ice now has signed both of its picks from that draft. It signed Slovakian D Martin Bodak, who played last season in Finland with Tappara’s U-20 team in the Jr. A SM-Liiga, last week. Bodak will turn 19 on Nov. 28. . . . Kohler, 17, is from Biel, Switzerland. He had eight goals and 42 assists in 43 games with Biel-Bienne’s U-20 team last season, finishing third in the Elite Jr. A league’s scoring race. . . . Kohler will play for Switzerland at the Ivan Hlnka Memorial Cup that starts next week.

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“Anyone who has played organized sport looks back on old team pictures and reminisces,” writes Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen. “Bob McKeown sees those old photos and weeps for the dead and the dying.

“McKeown, an award-winning reporter for the CBC’s Fifth Estate and a former Ottawa Rough Riders lineman, is beyond concerned for the CFL players of his era who are plagued with or have died from degenerative brain disease.

“I did a list from the five teams I played for,” says McKeown, a Rider from 1971-75. “I have come up with 15 guys I played with or are part of Ottawa football alumni who have either died from or are suffering from degenerative brain disease — Alzheimer’s, ALS, Parkinson’s or CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).”

Scanlan’s complete story is right here.


Portland d-man may have knee injury … Hockey Canada has head scout … Alos goes Wild

F Adam Courchaine (Medicine Hat, Vancouver, 2001-05) has signed a one-year contract with the Coventry Blaze (England, UK Elite). Last season, he had five goals and five assists in 16 games with Fehérvár AV19 Székesfehérvár (Hungary, Erste Bank Liga), and two goals and nine assists in 32 games with Dusseldorf (Germany, DEL). . . . Coventry announced that Courchaine will be studying for an MBA in sports management at Coventry University while playing for the Blaze. . . .

D David Musil (Vancouver, Edmonton, 2009-13) has signed a one-year contract with Třinec (Czech Republic, Extraliga). Last season, he had four goals and 10 assists in 47 games with the Bakersfield Condors (AHL), and four assists in 13 games with the Tucson Roadrunners (AHL). . . . Třinec’s head coach is Vaclav Varada (Tacoma/Kelowna, 1994-96).


D Henri Jokiharju of the Portland Winterhawks appears to have suffered a knee injury while with Team Finland at the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich. Brian Hedger, who writes for nhl.com, theathletic.com and the Chicago Sun-Times, tweeted Monday night that “source says Henri Jokiharju will likely miss the rest of the (event) . . . with a knee injury.” . . . Jokiharju was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Hedger also tweeted: “Not sure on severity of Jokiharju’s injury. Source says the hope is still to start the season with Portland. Not sure on Blackhawks’ camp.” . . . Team Finland didn’t practise on Monday so head coach Jussi Ahokas wasn’t available to the media. . . . Jokiharju was injured Sunday during a 4-1 loss to USA Blue. It appeared that Jokiharju was hit on the left knee by a knee belonging to Blue F Tim Gettinger. . . . Last season, his first in the WHL, Jokiharju had nine goals and 39 assists in 71 games.


Judging from the above tweet, the Kootenay Ice appears poised to have both of its 2017 CHL import draft selections in its lineup in 2017-18. . . . Last week, the Ice signed Slovakian D Martin Bodak, who played last season in Finland with Tappara’s U-20 team in the Jr. A SM-Liiga. Bodak, who will turn 19 on Nov. 28, had seven goals and 15 assists in 38 games. . . . Kohler, 17, is from Biel, Switzerland. He had eight goals and 42 assists in 43 games with Biel-Bienne’s U-20 team last season, finishing third in the Elite Jr. A league’s scoring race. . . . The Ice has yet to announce Kohler’s signing.


BRAD McEWEN

Brad McEwen has joined Hockey Canada as the head scout for the Program of Excellence. McEwen, a veteran scout, most recently worked with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. . . . McEwen, who is from Whitewood, Sask., has worked as a scout, coach or GM, mostly in the WHL, going back to 1995-96 when he was the head coach of the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . Hockey Canada lost Ryan Jankowski, its director of player personnel, to the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres earlier in the summer. Jankowski now is the Sabres’ director of amateur scouting. . . . McEwen will work with Jankowski to select the U-18 team that will represent Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Bratislava, Slovakia, Aug. 7-12. . . . After that, McEwen will concentrate on the U-17 World Hockey Challenge, that is scheduled for Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C., Nov. 5-11, and then the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, Dec. 26 through Jan. 5.


There isn’t a subscription fee for Taking Note, nor has there ever been. But if you stop by here and like what you see, you are free to make a contribution to the cause. If interested, just find a DONATE button on this page, click on it and go from there, and thank you very much.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Larry Brooks, in the New York Post:

“We understand the NHL is in the midst of what could be extremely costly litigation with players over past concussion practices and that may preclude the administration from speaking honestly about related current medical issues regarding the potential link of brain injury to sustaining head shots on the rink.

“Though it is an impossible stretch to correlate the findings of the Boston University School of Medicine on the relationship between chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the chronically violent sport of football to hockey, it is even more of a stretch for commissioner Gary Bettman to continue to be an outspoken skeptic on the matter of CTE and his sport.

“This is the time for progressive leadership outside the courtroom. Players of all ages and in all leagues depend on it.”


Tyler Alos, who left the coaching staff of the Seattle Thunderbirds after last season, has joined the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild as a part-time assistant coach. According to a news release, Also will help “on game days with video and analytics” and will work the bench on occasion when either of the other two assistant coaches are on recruiting trips. . . . Alos spent four seasons with Seattle. . . . The Wild has added Leigh Mendelson as ssociate head coach and recruiting co-ordinator, replacing Tom Rudrud, who left the Wild “to handle family matters at home.” . . . Mendelson spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach at the U of Nebraska-Omaha.  He also spent one season (2008-09) as an assistant coach with the Spokane Chiefs. . . . As well, Wild assistant coach Chris Clark has had assistant GM added to his title.


Billy Burke has been named the head coach of the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs. Burke has been an assistant coach with the IceDogs for the past eight seasons. . . . Burke played four seasons at Queen’s U after playing in the OHL with the Barrie Colts. . . . With the IceDogs, he replaces Dave Bell, who left after one season and now is an assistant coach with the AHL’s Ontario Reign. Bell, who spent three seasons as an assistant coach with Niagara, had signed a three-year extension with the IceDogs in April. . . . The IceDogs are owned by Denise and Bill Burke, the new head coach’s parents. The team plays out of St. Catharines, Ont.


Jay Leach is the new head coach of the AHL’s Providence Bruins. Leach, 37, was an assistant coach with the Bruins last season, under head coach Kevin Dean. Dean now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Boston Bruins. . . . Before working with Providence, Leach was with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. . . . Providence also has signed Spencer Carbery, 35, as an assistant coach. Last season, Carbery, who is from Victoria, was the head coach of the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit.


Cory Chupp has signed on as head coach of the USHL’s Lincoln Stars. He had been an assistant coach with the Green Bay Gamblers for the previous three seasons. Chupp, 32, is from Big Rapids, Mich. . . . In Lincoln, Chupp takes over from Chris Hartsburg, who now is the head coach of the OHL’s Erie Otters. Hartsburg spent three seasons with the Stars.


Scattershooting on a slow night, with a flashback or six … Giants’ owner into B.C. Hall

FROM THE FILES, Part 1: Late in 1985, owners of the Regina Pats became embroiled in a dispute with their landlords, the Regina Exhibition Association, when the latter imposed a $1 parking fee. During the dispute, Regina City Council asked the REA to dump the fee; it also suggested to the Pats they reduce ticket prices by $1. At the time, an adult ticket was $7, with a child paying $4.


A note from Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “Sarcasm ahead: I don’t know how anybody could have enjoyed watching Babe Ruth without knowing the launch angle and exit velocity of his home runs.”


FROM THE FILES, Part 2: When John Rittinger’s Swift Current group purchased the Lethbridge Broncos in the spring of 1986, it’s believed to have paid $550,000. Rittinger said he expected the Broncos’ operating budget to be around $450,000 for 1986-87. The plan was to sell season tickets for about $230, with single-game tickets going for $7.


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Ex-pitcher Livan Hernandez has filed for bankruptcy, claiming he has less than $50,000 to show for the $53 million he earned in a 17-year career. Alert statisticians immediately credited him with a blown savings.”

Hernandez claims he turned $53 million into $50,000. Sheesh, think about that one for a moment!


One more from Perry: “It seems only fitting that the Boston Red Sox handed corpulent third baseman Pablo Sandoval a $90 million contract, then had to eat nearly half of it.”


FROM THE FILES, Part 3: A note from May 2, 1976, following a game in the WHL’s championship series between the Saskatoon Blades and New Westminster Bruins. Here’s Saskatoon’s high-scoring Blair Chapman: “(Bill) Hobbins told me before the game that if I scored a goal, he was going to fight me. I can’t believe that’s the way the game has to be played.” Chapman scored at 18:23 of the second period. Chapman and Hobbins fought as they lined up for the ensuing faceoff.


Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, on the Cincinnati Reds, who, he claims, have taken gluttony to a “different plane of existence”:

They have created a culinary monstrosity and turned it into a fan challenge. Here is the deal:

  • The sandwich in question consists of one pound of bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayo served with chips and potato salad. Right there, you have a cardiologist’s nightmare.
  • Here is the challenge. If you can eat FOUR of those sandwiches in one inning (the time it takes for six outs to occur), you win the following prizes — the cost of the sandwiches is zero, and you get a commemorative t-shirt.
  • There is no indication that EMTs will be on the scene from the outset.

FROM THE FILES, Part 4: During the 1989-90 season, when the Tri-City Americans stopped in Medicine Hat on an eastern swing a few of their players took time to visit a local, uhh, strip joint. In the end, 11 players were hit with one-game team-imposed suspensions.


A report from Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong: “Todd Marinovich, a 48-year-old quarterback, is attempting a comeback with a team called the Southern Cal Coyotes. What? He couldn’t spell Saskatchewan on Google?”


Brad Dickson, in the Omaha World-Herald: “During the first Husker football Fan Fest free pizza and Chick-fil-A was served. Husker football, free pizza, free Chick-fil-A. I believe the unofficial attendance was 13 million.”


Here’s Dickson, after a story broke about a Maine marathoner outrunning a pair of bears: “His big concern? That these were Kenyan bears.”


FROM THE FILES, Part 5: On Oct. 30, 1989, the Lethbridge Hurricanes traded LW Colin Gregor to the Spokane Chiefs for D Scott Farrell. Gregor reported immediately; Farrell took his time before showing up in Lethbridge. Less than a month later, Farrell left, saying he wanted to play in Spokane. The Hurricanes then traded Farrell to the Chiefs for . . . you guess it . . . Colin Gregor.


“The LPGA,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, “is enforcing a conservative dress code, including limitations on racerback tank tops and leggings. Yep. That’ll convince young folks golf isn’t an old fuddy-duddy sport.”


Hey, A-Rod, what’s it like hanging out with J-Lo? “You know,” Alex Rodriguez told NBC-TV’s Jimmy Fallon, “when I was with the Yankees and we won the world championship and you’re wearing the pinstripes, you think you are pretty cool. But then when you hang out with Jennifer (Lopez), people confuse me as a security guard all the time.”


FROM THE FILES, Part 6: Goaltender Olaf Kolzig opened the 1989-90 season with the NHL’s Washington Capitals. One day when they were in Calgary, he was told that he was being returned to the Tri-City Americans. Kolzig flew to Landover, Md., hopped in his car and took a week to drive to Kennewich, Wash., home of the Americans. In the meantime, his equipment ended up in Tri-Cities, Tenn.


Dorothy and I live 20 kilometres east of Kamloops. Because we live on the north side of the South Thompson River, and the Trans-Canada Highway is on the south side, we frequently drive on Shuswap Road.

On Saturday, we came home from a trip to the city — great fish tacos at Señor Froggy — about 3:30 p.m. It was clear sailing at that time.

Shortly thereafter, a grass fire was spotted between Shuswap Road and the South Thompson River.

You are able to check it out on this tweet . . .


The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame inducted its Class of 2017 on Friday night in Penticton. The inductees included Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, and Brad Lazarowich, a former WHL linesman who went on to a 30-year NHL career, both of whom went in as builders. . . . Also going into the hall were former Vancouver Canucks players Thomas Gradin and Tony Tanti, along with Dave Nonis, who worked in the Canucks’ front office, and John Shannon, who now is with Rogers Sportsnet. Nonis and Shannon, who was a long-time executive producer with Hockey Night in Canada when its rights were owned by CBC, were inducted as builders. The Powell River Regals, who won the 1997 Allan Cup, were inducted in the team category. . . . Colin (Toledo) Robinson of the Kamloops Blazers was awarded the Larry Ashley Award. . . . “It means a tonne,” Robinson told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “Professionally, it doesn’t get any better. Larry Ashley at his prime was the pinnacle of trainers. To have my name in the same breath as his is amazing. He’s a lot like the Wayne Gretzky of trainers.” . . . Ashley, who died of cancer on Sept. 16, 1995, spent 14 seasons with the Canucks.


If you are of a certain age, Scrubs on Skates, which was published in 1952, and its two sequels may have played a big part in your childhood. The stories — the other two were Boy on Defense (1953) and A Boy at the Leafs’ Camp (1963) — are timeless, about Pete Gordon and Bill Spunska, Vic DeGruchy and Benny Wong, Rosario Duplessis and Horatio Big Canoe, and the gang at Winnipeg’s Northwest High. . . . The books were written by one of Canada’s legendary sports writers. And, yes, he was Neil’s father. . . . Dave Stubbs, a columnist with NHL.com, looks back right here at what the books, especially the first one, meant to him then and now.

As something of an aside, there is a sports writer named Lee Vincent in Scrubs on Skates. He may have been fashioned on Vince Leah, a longtime writer with the Winnipeg Tribune. . . . When I was 13 or 14, Leah brought a team baseball/soccer players to Lynn Lake, Man., where I grew up. This being in an age before computers, anything he wrote for The Trib had to be delivered via wire, and I ended up hopping on my bicycle and running his copy to the CN station. Fast-forward about 10 years and I was working at The Trib, alongside Leah. . . . Yes, life sometimes plays strange games with you.


There isn’t a subscription fee for Taking Note, nor has there ever been. But if you stop by here and like what you see, you are free to make a contribution to the cause. If interested, just find a DONATE button on this page, click on it and go from there, and thank you very much.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


This showed up before the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the visiting Toronto Argos, 38-27, on Saturday . . .

A new look to Taking Note … Flynn leaves SeaDogs … Ice inks import

If you are a regular here, you will have noticed that two or three weeks ago this page began to take quite a bit longer than usual to load onto your device.

Well, the situation didn’t change, so we decided to do something about it.

That meant moving Taking Note and giving it a whole new look.

There may be some glitches as we get used to our new home, so please be patient.

Hopefully it won’t take us too long to get everything ironed out and get things headed back in the right direction.

In the meantime, thanks for stopping here.


F Zdeněk Bahenský (Saskatoon, 2004-06) has signed a one-year extension with Sterzing/Vititeno (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had eight goals and nine assists in nine games there. He started the season with Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga), putting up two goals and nine assists in 22 games. He first signed with Sterzing/Vititeno on Jan. 17. . . .

F Eric Johansson (Tri-City, 1997-2002) has signed a one-year contract with Pustertal/Val Pusteria Brunico (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with Herning (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had one assist in four games, and also had six goals and 14 assists in 19 games with Amiens (France, Ligue Magnus). . . .

F Cam Braes (Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with Thurgau (Switzerland, NL B). Last season, with the U of New Brunswick (Atlantic University Sport), he had 15 goals and 27 assists in 27 games. He also was pointless in one game with the Stockton Heat (AHL). . . .

F Jaedon Descheneau (Kootenay, 2011-16) signed a one-year contract with Thurgau (Switzerland, NL B). Last season, he had six goals and nine assists in 38 games with the Bakersfield Condors (AHL), and nine goals and 10 assists in 26 games with the Norfolk Admirals (ECHL).


Each of the four teams that appeared in the 2017 Memorial Cup will have a new head coach when the 2017-18 hockey season gets here.

Danny Flynn, the head coach of the QMJHL-champion Saint John Sea Dogs, is the last of the four to make a move. Flynn, 59, resigned on Friday, saying in a news release that “I feel it’s a good time for me to move on. It was incredible to be involved in two great seasons.” According to that release, Flynn left “to pursue other opportunities.”

Flynn, a veteran coach, was in Saint John for two seasons. Last season, the Sea Dogs were 48-14-6 in the regular season.

Flynn has worked in the NHL, as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders. He also spent six seasons with the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, winning a championship in 2010.

Earlier in the offseason, Rocky Thompson left the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, who won the 2017 Memorial Cup as the host team, to sign as head coach of the AHL’s Chicago Wolves; Steve Konowalchuk of the WHL-champion Seattle Thunderbirds signed on with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks as an assistant coach; and Kris Knoblauch left the OHL-champion Erie Otters and signed as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers.


The Kootenay Ice has signed D Martin Bodak, a Slovakian who was selected in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. Bodak, who will turn 19 on Nov. 28, played in Sweden last season, putting up seven goals and 15 assists in 22 games with Tappara’s U-20 team in the junior A SM-Liiga. He was pointless in four games with Tappara’s senior team, and had one goal in five games with Slovakia at the World Junior Championship. . . . According to the Ice, Bodak presently is in camp with Slovakian’s national junior team.


The MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers have a GoFundMe page on the go in an attempt to save the franchise. . . . The introduction reads, in part: “Over the past number of years the financial dynamics of running a Junior A hockeyteam have changed dramatically, creating financial challenges for the organization. Your one-time contribution will help the team retire outstanding payables, and keep the team viable in the City of Selkirk for the foreseeable future.” . . . As of late Friday afternoon, the page, which has a goal of $80,000, had raised $7,500 from just two donors. . . . The page is right here.


D Tyler Kleven has decided to attend the U of North Dakota and play for the Fighting Hawks. Kleven, 15, is from Fargo, N.D., and played for the bantam Fargo Freeze last season. The Portland Winterhawks selected him in the 10th round of the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft. . . . According to Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald: “By the time (Kleven) concluded his impressive performance at the USA Hockey Select 15s this month in upstate New York, the defenseman from Fargo had offers from all across the college hockey land: North Dakota, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth, Wisconsin, Boston University, Michigan, Notre Dame, Denver, Omaha, St. Cloud State, Western Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.” . . . Schlossman’s story is right here.


The BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild has acquired D Matthew Holzer, 18, from the AJHL’s Olds Grizzlies for D Logan Milliken, 20, and future considerations. . . . Holzer, from St. Albert, Alta., played two seasons in Olds, putting up 13 points, two of them goals, in 94 games. Last season, he had four assists in 37 games. . . . Holzer was a third-round selection by the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft.


As a sports fan, you will be aware that the world is riddle with cliches. In his weekly column, Hartley Miller of myprincegeorgenow.com takes a look at the situation. That column is right here and it’s, uhh, kinda funny.


There isn’t a subscription fee for Taking Note, nor has there ever been. But if you stop by here and like what you see, you are free to make a contribution to the cause. If interested, just find a DONATE button on this page, click on it and go from there, and thank you very much.


If you would like to contact Taking Note with information, have a question or just feel like commenting on something, feel free to send an email to greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Another junior hockey season is almost upon us, which means a lot of young men are limbering up their vocal cords as they prepare for another winter of calling games on radio.

Dr. Gordon Hunter, a professor emeritus in the faculty of management at the U of Lethbridge, has compiled the stories of 49 of these play-by-play voices and turned it into a book that is titled Hockey Talk: Stories Behind the Voice.

This is an oral history, meaning interviews that have been transcribed on paper, and not a book that features 49 original essays.

Included are various men who call games in the three major junior leagues — OHL, QMJHL and WHL — as well as junior A leagues from Ontario through to B.C.

Each of the chosen voices tells his story, and each of them really does have his own story, and none is better than that of Dominic Hennig, the voice of the OHL’s Flint Firebirds. Early in his career, the owner of the NAHL’s Santa Fe Roadrunners would fly him south on a weekly basis to call games. When he started, he was 14 years of age.

As with so many of the broadcasters whose stories are included here, Hennig’s story shows the importance of being in the right place at the right time. Whether that is because of hard work or good fortune, well, you will have to be the judge.

If you’re a WHL follower, you’ll read the stories of Phil Andrews (Regina Pats), Regan Bartel (Kelowna Rockets), Dustin Forbes (Lethbridge Hurricanes), James Gallo (Moose Jaw Warriors), Corey Graham (Edmonton Oil Kings), Jon Keen (Kamloops Blazers), Les Lazaruk (Saskatoon Blades), Marlon Martens (Victoria Royals), Cam Moon (Red Deer Rebels), Shawn Mullin (Swift Current Broncos), Dan O’Connor (Prince George Cougars) and Craig West (Tri-City Americans). Also included is Bruce Luebke, the former long-time voice of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

After reading all of these stories, two things stand out. Most, if not all, of these play-by-play voices had a dream and they pursued it. They wanted to call hockey games, but maybe had to do some football, curling or baseball, as well as sell advertising or maybe be the host of a music show along the way. There also were a lot of job interviews on the road to the broadcast booth, many of them resulting in rejection.

But if you want it badly enough, as West’s chapter is titled, dreams and goals do come true.

It’s worth noting that this book isn’t meant to be devoured in a couple of sittings, or even over a week or two. It wasn’t tightly edited so it’s wordy, and if you read a few chapters at one time, they can start to read the same.

So if you get a copy of this book, take your time with it. Read it over an entire hockey season.

(NOTES: According to a notation on the front cover, “all royalties from this book will be given to Kid Sport Canada. . . . The book is available from the U of Lethbridge Bookstore — email: bookstore@uleth.ca, or visit uleth.ca/bookstore.)