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.


MONDAY:

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 greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).


Warriors sweep two from Pats … Giants escape with win over Oil Kings … Winterhawks power past Raiders

F Ian McDonald (Tri-City, 2000-06) has been released by Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL) by mutual agreement. He had nine goals and 10 assists in 15 games. . . .

F Colin Long (Kelowna, 2005-09) has signed a contract for the rest of this season with Gherdëina Selva Val Gardena (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, he had 10 goals and a team-high 32 assists in 29 games with Asiago (Italy, Alps HL). He was third in the league in assists.


Richard Matvichuk, the head coach of the Prince George Cougars, watched his guys drop a 4-0 decision to the visiting Everett Silvertips on Saturday night.

After the game came the explosion.

“It wasn’t good,” Matvichuk said. “It was frustrating. Our 20-year-olds and our 19-year-olds did not want to play the game and they tried to take shortcuts and that’s why we weren’t successful.”

That is one of the quotes from Hartley Miller’s blog site at myprincegeorgenow.com.

The Cougars’ games are heard on 94.3 The Goat — Miller is the analyst — and Matvichuk told the post-game show that had he been a fan he would have headed home with the locals down 4-0 after 40 minutes.

“It was awful,” Matvichuk continued. “We didn’t have any work ethic. They wanted it more, they played harder, they finished more checks, and they put pucks in the right area. We were soft; we wouldn’t finish checks. We swung away. We didn’t want to get traffic in front of their net. They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves.”

The Cougars had beaten the visiting Silvertips 4-3 in OT on Friday night.

Prince George next plays on Wednesday when it travels to Kamloops to meet the Blazers, who are 7-12-0, but have won seven of their past 10 games after an 0-9-0 start.

The Cougars (6-9-4) are fourth in the B.C. Division, two points ahead of the Blazers. Prince George is two points out of the Western Conference’s second wild-card playoff spot.


James McEwan spent four seasons (2004-08) in the WHL, two with the Seattle Thunderbirds and two with the Kelowna Rockets.

It’s fair to say that the Kelowna native was one of the last hired guns.

In two seasons with the Thunderbirds, he had two goals, three assists and 245 penalty minutes.

In two seasons with the Rockets, he recorded five goals, seven assists and 295 penalty minutes in 105 games.

These days, he is back in Kelowna, his hockey-playing days behind him, and he says it’s time for fighting to be eliminated from hockey.

He told Jeremy Allingham of CBC News that he has gone through the drugs and the alcohol, the depression and the suicidal thoughts.

“Fighting is linked with CTE and it’s caused suicides, it’s causing mental illness,” McEwan told Allingham. “It was a direct link to, I believe, my own trauma and challenges which put me to the edge, very close to taking my own life multiple times.

“Knowing what we know now, when you’re cheering and supporting these fights, you’re also cheering and supporting the things that have helped cause suicides of guys like Rick Rypien, Wade Belak, Steve Montador and many others.”

Allingham’s complete piece is right here.


If you are wondering where the KHL is headed, well, this piece right here is for you. Patrick Conway, who runs Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog, turned over his space to Tomáš Vorčák, who use the opportunity to write in length on the “KHL’s new development plan for the next few seasons . . . which represents a significant change of philosophy from the way the league used to operate.”


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!


SUNDAY:

At Moose Jaw, the Warriors completed a weekend sweep of the Regina Pats with a 3-1 victory. . . . The Warriors (15-4-0) have won five in a row and have moved into first place atop the overall standings, a point ahead of the idle Victoria Royals (14-6-1). . . . The Pats (11-8-2) have lost two in a row. They went into Friday just two points behind the Warriors, but now trail by six with the Warriors holding two games in hand. . . . F Jayden Halbgewachs (14) gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 3:46 of the first period. Halbgewachs is from White City, which is located just east of Regina. He had a goal and an assist on Sunday, after scoring twice in Friday’s 3-2 victory in Regina. . . . F Bryan Lockner (3) pulled the Pats even at 13:44 of the first period. . . . F Noah Gregor (9) broke the tie at 13:07 of the second period and F Tanner Jeannot (11) added the insurance at 18:47 of the third. . . . Moose Jaw was 0-4 on the PP; Regina was 0-2. . . . G Brody Willms stopped 23 shots for the Warriors, while Regina’s Tyler Brown blocked 43. . . . The Warriors went into the game without two front-end defencemen in Josh Brook and Dmitri Zaitsev. Then they watched as Jett Woo and Matthew Benson failed to finish the game due to injury, something that left them with only four defencemen. . . . The Warriors also were without F Brett Howden for a second straight game. He suffered an undisclosed injury while playing for Team WHL against the Russians in Swift Current on Tuesday. . . . Announced attendance: 4,005.


At Langley, B.C., the Edmonton Oil Kings scored the only six goals of the third period, but it wasn’t enough — SERIOUSLY! — as they dropped an 8-7 decision to the Vancouver Giants. . . . You are free to wonder which team’s coaching staff slept better after this one. . . . The Giants (8-8-4), who were playing their third game in fewer than 48 hours (2-0-1), have points in four straight (3-0-1). . . . The Oil Kings (5-12-2) have lost six in a row. . . . The Giants got three goals and a pair of assists from F James Malm, who now has eight goals. Last season, Malm finished with 20 goals and 31 assists in 69 games. He had four points, including two goals, in a 5-3 victory over the visiting Victoria Royals on March 14. That was one of his five two-goal games last season. . . . Malm got the scoring started at 2:15 of the first period, with F Brendan Semchuk (6), on a PP, scoring at 7:18 and F Ty Ronning (19) finding the range on another PP, at 13:08. . . . F Ty Gerla scored Edmonton’s first goal, at 18:40. . . . The Giants broke it open — or thought they did — with five second-period goals, from F Milos Roman (6), D Matt Barberis (3), Malm F Tyler Popowich (3) and Malm, again. . . . In the third period, the Giants scored six times in a span of 8:47, starting with F Davis Koch goal at 11:07. . . . F Tomas Soustal (5), F David Kope (2), Koch (7), F Trey Fix-Wolansky (8) and F Colton Kehler (7) also scored to get the Giants to within a goal at the end. Kehler’s goal came at 19:54. . . . The Giants got three assists from F Tyler Benson, two from F Tyler Ho, and one each from Popowich and Roman. . . . Benson, who has four goals and five assists in seven games, played in all three weekend games. . . . Soustal added four assists to his goal, while D Conner McDonald had three and Koch two. Fix-Wolansky added one assist to his goal. . . . Ronning has goals in seven straight games. His father, Cliff, holds the WHL record for longest such streak. He totalled 27 goals in an 18-game streak for the New Westminster Bruins in 1984-85, from Nov. 6 through Dec. 15. . . . Vancouver was 4-6 on the PP; Edmonton was 2-5. . . . Vancouver G Todd Scott blocked 29 shots. . . . Edmonton starter Boston Bilous, who is from Langley, was beaten three times on 11 shots in 13:08. Travis Child came on to stop 20 of 25 shots in 45:54. . . . Announced attendance: 3,689.


At Portland, the Portland Winterhawks scored five PP goals, four of them on 5-on-3s, en route to a 6-1 victory over the Prince Albert Raiders. . . . The Winterhawks (14-4-0) have won five in a row and lead the U.S. Division by two points over the Tri-City Americans (12-5-2). . . . The Raiders are 8-7-3. . . . F Jordy Stallard (14) of the Raiders scored the game’s first goal, on a PP, at 3:42 of the opening period. Stallard is riding an 11-game point streak, with 20 points, including 11 goals, over that time. . . . D Henri Jokiharju (6) got Portland even, on a PP, at 5:32 of the second period, with F Brad Ginnell breaking the tie at 14:32. . . . The Winterhawks added four third-period goals, three of them coming via the PP. . . . F Cody Glass scored twice, giving him 10, with F Skyler McKenzie (15) and Ginnell (5) adding the others. . . . Jokiharju and F Joachim Blichfeld each had two assists for Portland. . . . The Winterhawks were 5-12 on the PP; the Raiders were 1-5. . . . The Raiders took the game’s last 11 penalties — 10 minors and a misconduct — all coming between 5:58 and 17:50. . . . G Cole Kehler stopped 28 shots for Portland. . . . The Raiders got 28 saves from G Curtis Meger. . . . Announced attendance: 5,536.


MONDAY (all times local):

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 greggdrinnan@gmail.com. I’m also on Twitter (@gdrinnan).