Pats add veteran d-man from Ice … Saskatoon, Kootenay move goalies … Warriors add some size, grit

F Rihards Burkarts (Brandon, Portland, 2013-16) has been released by mutual agreement by Zlín (Czech Republic, Extraliga). He had two goals and two assists in 17 games. . . .

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Selb (Germany, Oberliga) after his release by mutual agreement by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) on Sunday. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games with Gherdëina this season. 

When you are the host team for the next Memorial Cup, tradition dictates that your roster is in a constant state of flux prior to the Jan. 10 trade deadline.

The Regina Pats, the host team for the 2018 Memorial Cup, continued down that road on Monday when they sent a potential five assets to the Kootenay Ice, getting back veteran D Cale Fleury, who is to turn 19 on Sunday, in the exchange.

Going to the Ice: D Jonathan Smart, 18; F Cole Muir, 16; and two or three bantam draft picks — a second-rounder in 2018, a sixth in 2018 and an undisclosed conditional pick in 2019 or 2020. The latter likely is conditional on Fleury playing in the WHL as a 20-year-old.

Originally, the second-round pick belonged to the Medicine Hat Tigers. It moved to Regina in a deal that had G Jordan Hollett move to the Tigers on May 23. In exchange for Hollett, 18, the Pats got F Matt Bradley, 20, the second-round pick and a fifth-rounder in 2019.

The sixth-round pick actually goes back to the Ice after having been sent to Regina for G Kurtis Chapman, who was released by Kootenay on Monday.

Fleury, the Ice’s captain since January, is from Carlyle, Sask. The Ice selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 bantam draft. The Montreal Canadiens picked him in the third round of the NHL’s 2017 draft. His older brother, Haydn, played in the WHL with the Red Deer Rebels and now is a defenceman with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Cale is in his fourth WHL season, all of them with Kootenay. In 218 regular-season games, he put up 86 points, including 26 goals. Last season, he had 11 goals and 27 assists in 70 games.

Smart, from Kelowna, was a first-round selection by the Kelowna Rockets in the 2014 bantam draft. He is the son of former WHLer Jason Smart, and his grandfather, Russ, is a long-time WHL scout.

This season, Jonathan has 12 points, including two goals, in 21 games. In 132 regular-season games, he has 47 points, seven of them goals.

The Pats acquired Smart from Kelowna last season, sending D James Hilsendager and F Erik Gardiner to the Rockets.

Muir, from Vista, Man., is in his first WHL season and has one assist in 12 games. The Pats selected him in the second round of the 2016 bantam draft. Last season, he had 16 goals and 16 assists in 40 games with the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs in Manitoba.

John Paddock, the Pats’ general manager and head coach, pulled the trigger on the trade with Kootenay after the Pats were swept by the rival Moose Jaw Warriors in a Friday-Sunday doubleheader.

The Warriors won 3-2 in Regina on Friday, then returned home and won 3-1, on Sunday. When the games were done, the Pats were six points behind the Eastern Conference-leading Warriors, who also are atop the WHL’s overall standings.

After Sunday’s game, Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post wrote:

“There were rumblings on the weekend that the Pats — and perhaps the Warriors as well — were close to making a significant trade. Paddock wouldn’t tip his hand, but he did say there won’t be a knee-jerk reaction based solely on two lacklustre games.”

Paddock also told Harder:

“That’s the last thing on my mind. With the (trade) deadline (on Jan. 10), different guys have different ideas of when they want to do things. We have different things that we’re working on all the time to tweak some things.”

Obviously, Paddock is wanting to tweak his defence, and you have to wonder if he won’t make another deal down the road to bring in a high-end defenceman. As Jan. 10 nears and the non-contenders start auctioning off assets, there could be an all-star defenceman or two come available. Paddock, you can bet, will be first in line with his shopping cart.

The Moose Jaw Warriors got bigger and stronger up front on Monday when they acquired F Barrett Sheen, 19, from the Kootenay Ice for a fifth-round selection in the 2018 bantam draft.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Sheen, from Airdrie, Alta., has two goals, five assists and 51 penalty minutes in 18 games this season. Last season, he totalled eight goals, 10 assists and 159 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Ice. (The WHL credits Sheen with 129 penalty minutes; the league doesn’t include misconducts or game misconducts in its individual penalty totals.)

In 2015-16, Sheen had four goals and eight assists in 46 games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes.

The Saskatoon Blades have made a switch with their goaltenders, dropping Joel Grzybowski, 18, and adding Nolan Maier, 16. . . . Grzbowski, from Hafford, Sask., was an 11th-round selection in the 2014 bantam draft. This season, in five appearances, he was 0-1-0, 4.20, .843. He is expected to join the SJHL’s Battlefords North Stars. . . . Maier, from Yorkton, Sask., was a second-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. He has been playing with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers, where he is 1-5-1, 5.15, .897. . . . The plan now is for Maier to spend the remainder of the season in Saskatoon backing up Ryan Kubic, 19.

The Kootenay Ice dropped G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from its roster on Monday. He is expected to join the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs. Chapman, who was acquired from the Regina Pats on Sept. 13, was 4-5-0, 3.91, .880 with the Ice this season. . . . The Ice now is carrying two goaltenders — Bailey Brkin, 18, who came over from the Swift Current Broncos, and Duncan McGovern, 17, who was acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers.

The Everett Silvertips, who it seems once looked at playing a game on the deck of an aircraft carrier, would be interested in playing an outdoor game at Seattle’s Safeco Field. However, Zoran Rajcic, the COO of CSH International, Inc., which owns the Silvertips, has told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald that nothing is in the works at this moment. . . . “Is there an interest level? Absolutely,” Rajcic said. “I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to that. But we haven’t done anything (about it).” . . . Craig Herkimer, the president of KevaWorks, an event-management and promotions company based in California, has expressed an interest in being involved. He told Geleynse, via email: “Nothing has been confirmed, but many people in the sports community are interested in bringing this kind of event to the area.” . . . Geleynse’s piece is right here.

The KHL is on a scheduled break these days, allowing players to leave their teams to take part in various international competitions. Patrick Conway has taken advantage of the situation to write about the KHL’s teams and attendance. It’s interesting stuff and it’s all right here. . . . You are free to read it and then wonder how these teams are able to pay the salaries they do when attendance numbers don’t seem to be awfully healthy.

If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!

F Seth Bafaro of the Saskatoon Blades has been suspended for four games after he took a checking-from-behind major and game misconduct during a 6-4 loss to the visiting Swift Current Broncos on Friday. Bafaro has already missed one game, the Blades’ 3-1 loss to the host Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.


No Games Scheduled.

TUESDAY (All times local):

Calgary at Brandon, 7 p.m.

Moose Jaw at Swift Current, 7 p.m.

Kootenay at Medicine Hat, 7 p.m.

Edmonton at Kelowna, 7:05 p.m.

Prince Albert vs. Seattle, at Kent, Wash., 7:05 p.m.

Red Deer at Victoria, 7:05 p.m.

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 I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).

Rob Vanstone, some untold stories … Two WHLers hurt in NHL camps … Saturday’s roundup

Rob Vanstone, if you missed it, celebrated 30 years at the Regina Leader-Post the other day.

And it must have been a big deal.

I mean, there were Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, who flog Tim Hortons stuff five nights a week on TSN now that they’ve escaped from whatever it is Fox Sports is trying to do in the southland, talking about Vanstone on Friday’s show.

“Congratulations to Rob Vanstone, a good friend of our show,” Onrait offered near show’s end.

I guess that makes it — officially — a big deal.


It’s also a big deal on Facebook where posts on the subject have received hundreds of likes and a whole bunch of comments. It’s the same story on Twitter.

Sheesh, Kevin Mitchell of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix even took the time to write a column. It’s right here and, yes, it’s glowing, as it should be.

Vanstone even supplied a column, writing about career highlights in chronological order. That piece is right here.

Somehow, though, despite all the reminiscing, it seems there may have been a bit of misremembering, as Roger Clemens might have put it.

Vanstone started at The Leader-Post on a full-time basis on Sept. 8, 1987. Yes, I was there. (He actually was hired as a part-timer earlier that summer, but hung around and hung around, like a migraine. Then, one day, he told us he had filled out and signed a bunch of forms and would be sticking around for a while longer. Yeah, but 30 years!)

Somehow, there isn’t a mention in the reminiscing of his favourite place to read The Leader-Post. No, not there. I can’t tell you how many nights I left The Leader-Post and saw him parked under a street light in the Burger King parking lot kitty corner from the paper. I don’t know that he ever was eating anything, but I always could see his face buried in the paper.

Also missing from the memories was any mention of rice. Yes, Vanstone mentions his wife and his marriage, but there isn’t any mention of the folks standing outside the church throwing rice and how he found a piece in one ear some weeks later. Seriously!

Somehow, he also forgot to write about the day he walked into the Regina Pats’ dressing room and . . . well, the Pats were his beat and this was before the days of the Parker ownership. There were times back then when things were a bit hairy around that team. Anyway, it seems there was a disagreement of sorts in the dressing room that day and, just as Vanstone walked through the door, someone threw a hockey stick, spear-style, at someone else. You know those pictures of Steve Martin with the arrow through his head . . . well, that was almost Vanstone, only with a hockey stick.

Oh, and back in the day when newspapers had money and recognized the importance of providing readers with a quality product, the two of us actually used to go on the road to Moose Jaw. Yes, and even to Swift Current. That meant eating together in restaurants. You know, I still don’t understand why he never received an offer to endorse iced tea.

His timing, as he will tell you, has always been impeccable, too. Why, he had a piece on his newspaper’s website Friday that carried this headline: Resurgent Roughriders no longer the butt of jokes.

“At 5-4,” he wrote, “the Roughriders boast a winning record for the first time since 2014. They entered the past two Banjo Bowls at 1-9. Boredom Bowls ensued.

“This year should be different.”

The Roughriders played in Winnipeg on Saturday, where they were blitzed to the tune of 48-28, and lost veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn with an injury to his throwing hand.

Yes, Vanstone strikes again!

My Kamloops Daily News brick.

Seriously, though, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the almost 13 years I spent working with him. We had a great crew for a lot of that time and spent a lot of late nights and early mornings writing, planning, talking, laughing, loving life and hoping the dream would never end.

It’s over for some of us — I stopped in downtown Kamloops on Saturday afternoon and scooped a souvenir brick from the partially demolished Daily News building — and it lives on for others.

Here’s hoping Vanstone gets 30 more years, just like the first 30, only better.

Two front-line WHLers suffered undisclosed injuries while with NHL rookie teams on the weekend.

D Josh Brook of the Moose Jaw Warriors is in camp with the Montreal Canadiens. He was injured during a 5-2 victory over the host Toronto Maple Leafs in a Friday exhibition game.

A second-round selection by the Canadiens in the 2017 NHL draft, Brook had 40 points in 69 games for the Warriors last season.

Meanwhile, F Mason Shaw of the Medicine Hat Tigers, who was a second-round pick of the Minnesota Wild in the 2017 NHL draft, left a Saturday exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with an injury.

Cory Pronman, an NHL writer for The Athletic, tweeted that Shaw “took a tough hit. Being helped off the ice as can’t put pressure on one leg.”

Shaw, who turns 19 on Nov. 3, has 154 points, including 44 goals, in 138 games over the past two seasons.


In Kennewick, Wash., F Barrett Sheen’s two goals helped the Kootenay Ice to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds. . . . This was the first victory in three tries, all of them at the tournament in Kennewick, for the Ice’s new organization under owners Greg Fettes and Matt Cockell, who also is the GM, and head coach James Patrick. . . . Seattle got two goals and an assist from F Zack Andrusiak, who now has four of each in five exhibition games. Last season, he had five goals and four assists in 52 regular-season games with Seattle. . . . Kootenay (1-2-0) was 1-4 on the PP; Seattle (1-4-0) was 1-6. . . . G Mario Petit went the distance for the Ice, stopping 21 shots. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., F Colton Veloso had a goal and two assists as the Portland Winterhawks completed their exhibition schedule with a 6-2 victory over the Red Deer Rebels. . . . The Winterhawks won three games in Kennewick to improve to 4-2-0. . . . The Rebels now are 3-1-0. . . . Portland was 1-5 on the PP; Red Deer was 1-6. . . . G Shane Farkas stopped 27 shots in running his record to 3-0-0 for Portland. . . . Red Deer got 29 saves from G Ethan Anders. . . . The Winterhawks won’t play again until Sept. 23 when they open the season in Everett. . . .

In Kennewick, Wash., the Spokane Chiefs built a 3-0 lead and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Americans. . . . F Nolan Reid had a goal and an assist for Spokane, with F Milos Fafrak getting two assists. . . . F Nolan Yaremko had both Tri-City goals, giving him nine in four games in this exhibition season. Yaremko, 19, scored eight goals in each of the previous two seasons, in 67 and 69 games. . . . The Chiefs (3-1-2) were 2-7 on the PP; the Americans (3-2-1) were 1-7. . . . Spokane G Donovan Buskey stopped all 10 shots he faced in 30:21, then gave way to Declan Hobbs who allowed two goals on 26 shots. . . . G Beck Warm blocked 29 shots for the Americans. . . .

In Langley, B.C., Dorrin Luding looked after the goaltending and F Connor Dewar handled the scoring as the Everett Silvertips beat the Prince George Cougars, 1-0. . . . Luding, who is from Prince George, stopped 26 shots to record the shutout. . . . Dewar scored the game’s lone goal at 17:50 of the third period. He’s got four goals and three assists in three exhibition games. . . . F Matt Fonteyne, who drew an assist on the goal, has two goals and five assists in three games. . . . G Tavin Grant started and blocked 22 shots for the Cougars, with Taylor Gauthier coming on to finish up by allowing one goal on 11 shots. . . . Prince George (2-2-0) was 0-4 on the PP; Everett (3-1-0) was 0-6. . . .

In Langley, B.C., D Bowen Byram broke a 2-2 tie at 14:40 of the third period as the Vancouver Giants won their third straight game, beating the Victoria Royals, 3-2. . . . Byram also drew an assist on the game’s first goal, from F Jack Flaman, at 18:17 of the first period. . . . The Giants led 2-0 early in the second, only to have the Royals come back and tie it on a PP goal from F Ryan Peckford at 7:52 of the third. . . . F Regan Nagy drew two assists for the Royals. . . . Vancouver (4-1-0) was 1-3 on the PP; Victoria (2-2-1) was 1-5. . . . G Todd Scott, the Vancouver starter, blocked 13 of 14 shots in 30:36. Ryan Kubic came on in relief to stop 14 of 15. . . . Victoria starter Dean McNabb allowed two goals on 14 shots in 30:36, with Brock Gould stopping eight of nine in relief. . . .

In Moose Jaw, the Warriors skated to a 6-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. . . . D Daemon Hunt, F Tate Popple and F Tanner Jeannot each had a goal and an assist for the winners. . . . Each team was 0-1 on the PP. . . . The Warriors improved to 3-1-0, while the Tigers now are 2-1-0. . . . G Adam Evanoff earned the victory with 32 saves. . . . The Tigers started Duncan McGovern, who was beaten once on 14 shots in 29:38. Kaeden Lane allowed five goals on 19 shots to finish the game. . . .

In Regina, F Jeff de Wit scored his sixth goal of the exhibition season to help the Pats earn a 3-1 victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings. . . . De Wit’s goal, at 5:06 of the second period, gave the home side a 2-0 lead. . . . De Wit also had an assist. . . . Regina got two assists from each of F Emil Iksanen and D Egor Zamula. . . . Regina (2-2-0) was 2-7 on the PP; Brandon (1-1-0) was 0-4. . . . G Tyler Brown stopped 28 shots for Regina, six more than Brandon’s Dylan Myskiw, who was making his first appearance since being acquired from the Victoria Royals earlier in the week. . . . Brandon D Kade Jensen drew a boarding major and game misconduct at 17:21 of the third period so is likely to hear from the WHL office. . . .

In Warman, Sask., F Cam Hebig scored three times to lead the Saskatoon Blades to a 5-2 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . Hebig, who sat out all of last season with post-concussion syndrome, has five goals and an assist in three exhibition games. He had 69 points, including 26 goals, in 59 games for the Blades in 2015-16. . . . F Braylon Shmyr had four assists. . . .  F Sean Montgomery had two goals for Prince Albert, his second two-goal game in a row. . . . F Curtis Miske, the Raiders’ recently named captain, drew two assists. . . . Saskatoon (3-2-0) was 2-10 on the PP; Prince Albert (1-2-0) was 1-7. . . . G Logan Flodell earned the victory with 30 saves, eight fewer than Prince Albert’s Brett Balas. . . .

In Kamloops, F Jack Cowell scored the only goal of a shootout to give the Kelowna Rockets a 4-3 victory over the Blazers. . . . The game was played at the McArthur Sport and Event Centre, as the Blazers’ home arena, the Sandman Centre, continues to be used as a wildfire evacuation centre. . . . The Rockets scored the game’s first three goals, with F Kyle Topping giving them a 3-0 lead 16 seconds into the second period. . . . F Justin Sigrist got the Blazers on the board at 15:17 of the second, and they tied it on third-period scores from F Nic Holowko, at 8:41, and F Brodi Stuart, on a PP, at 11:41. . . . Kamloops (1-3-0) was 1-8 on the PP; Kelowna (3-0-1) was 0-2. . . . G Brody Salmond started for Kelowna and stopped all 24 shots he faced in 29:05. Cody Porter finished up, allowing three goals on 21 shots. . . . The Blazers opened with Kyle Dumba, who gave up three goals on nine shots in 29:05. Max Palaga came on in relief to stop 12 shots and three more in the shootout. Those two are battling for backup spot behind starter Dylan Ferguson, who is in camp with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

If you like what you see here, you may want to consider donating to the cause. Should you choose to help out, simply click on the DONATE button in the upper right corner of this page and away you go. Thank you!

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 I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).

The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers played the Banjo Bowl in the Manitoba capital on Saturday afternoon. While out and about, I was listening to the game on Winnipeg radio station CJOB, the home of play-by-play legend Bob Irving — to the uninitiated he is Canadian football’s Vin Scully. . . . Anyway, he mentioned that some of the fans had been late getting to the game because of a loose moose in the vicinity of the stadium that had forced police to close some roads in the area. The evidence, with Winnipeg’s football stadium in the background . . .