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).


Scattershooting, while watching NFL … Loewen brings power game … Everett down two forwards … Coaching change in MJHL

While watching an NFL game on CTV on Sunday afternoon, the realization struck me — it isn’t the NFL on CTV; rather, it’s a series of NFL commercials aired between CTV promos.


After Tiger Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving the other day, RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com noted: “His short game hasn’t been much, either.”


TV options on Sunday included taped telecasts on Sportsnet channels of three NHL games that were played on Saturday night. At the same time, the game between the host Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings was not available in my area “due to regional restrictions.” . . . So it was another day of watching NFL games.


Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “The chartered plane carrying the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder last Saturday landed in Chicago with its nose cone completely caved in — the result of an apparent collision with a bird. Here’s guessing it was a blocking fowl.”


Here’s Perry, again: “The New Jersey Devils boast the world’s largest high-def scoreboard/video screen — the equivalent of 1,300 50-inch TVs. It’s so immense, fans say, that on replays you can almost see the puck.”


A tip of the hat to the WHL and its decision to take five days off while many of its top players take part in the CIBC Canada-Russia series, and a number of its best young players are at the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John B.C.


That’s right. The next scheduled WHL games are to be played on Friday.


Bill Wilms, a veteran WHL observer and broadcaster, took time out from his duties as the analyst on Vancouver Giants’ broadcasts to visit with me and to proffer an idea on Saturday night. It is time, he suggested, to take some of the hitting out of hockey. As he pointed out, those big open-ice hits, especially where a defender steps up into the neutral zone and unloads on an unsuspecting opponent, don’t accomplish much of anything, other than to oftentimes injure the opponent and result in a suspension to the hitter. . . . It’s hard to argue with that line of thinking, especially because intimidation really isn’t a factor in this day and age, and when so many of the changes in today’s game are aimed at improving player safety. Of course, if it really was about player safety, especially at the WHL level, those in power would act to get fighting out of the game, wouldn’t they?


Still, one look at the WHL’s weekly roster report and the names of all the injured players is enough to have me agreeing with Wilms. The talent pool isn’t deep enough to withstand the number of injuries in the game today, and any move to lessen those should be looked at in all seriousness.


Headline at SportsPickle.com: John Calipari lands Amazon headquarters.


ICYMI, the New York Islanders beat the visiting Colorado Avalanche, 6-4, on Sunday, with F Mathew Barzal earning five assists, two of them on the PP. And a whole lot of Seattle Thunderbirds nodded and said: “I’ve seen that show before.”


Yes, this has turned into a frustrating season for the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers, who have but five victories to show for their first 17 games.

And, yes, they are 1-7-0 at home following a 5-4 setback at the hands of the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night.

But here’s a word of warning to the Blazers’ opponents: Beware of No. 32.

Jermaine Loewen, 19, is into his fourth season in Kamloops and perhaps it all has come together for him, allowing him to become a real power forward.

Loewen went into this season with 32 points, 14 of them goals, in 171 regular-season games. He began this season by going pointless in three games, and then sat out six games with an undisclosed injury.

After enjoying back-to-back two-goal games against the Giants on the weekend, he now has six goals and four assists in 11 games this season.

Until recent times, Loewen, who is listed as 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds, played in the Blazers’ bottom six forwards. Of late, though, he has been patrolling the left side with the team’s most-gifted offensive forward — veteran Garrett Pilon, 19.

In the past, you never could question Loewen’s desire, his fearlessness or his emotional investment in games. However, he sometimes let that emotion get the better of him, something that often resulted in undisciplined play and bad penalties.

Of course, you also have to remember that Loewen, a formidably strong skater who often doesn’t realize his own strength, was late to the game, having been adopted by Tara and Stan Loewen out of an orphanage in May Pen, Jamaica, and taken to Arborg, Man., where he was introduced to hockey at the age of 10. (If you aren’t familiar with Jermaine’s story, check out this story right here. It was written by Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week.)

Of late, it looks as though Loewen is putting it all together — kind of like the Rubik’s Cube has fallen into place. He was the Blazers’ best player on Saturday; in fact, you could make a case for his having been the most dominant player on the ice. He has a wicked snap shot and loves to use it off the rush. He knows the importance of getting to the net and causing mayhem. He loves to retrieve a loose puck deep in the offensive zone and drive to the net. All of that, and more, was on display Saturday, especially in the third period when he scored twice to get Kamloops back into the game.

Now it’s only a matter of Loewen getting consistent, of his being able to dominate every shift of every game. If/when that happens, NHL scouts will be marking Blazers’ games on their calendars.


The Everett Silvertips’ roster is down two forwards.

F Mark Liwiski has been suspended indefinitely, while F Ethan Browne has left the team and returned home.

Liwiski was suspended after being in violation of an unspecified team rule or rules.

After a 3-1 loss to the visiting Portland Winterhawks on Saturday, Everett head coach Dennis Williams told Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald:

“It’s something that again in probably a week’s time we’ll sit down as a staff, with (general manager) Garry (Davidson) being on the road, and discuss what are the next steps we’re going to take with everything.”

Davidson, like a lot of WHL general managers and scouts, is watching the U-17 World Hockey Challenge in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, B.C.

Liwiski, 16, was a third-round selection in the 2016 WHL bantam draft. He was pointless in 10 games with Everett.

Meanwhile, Browne, a first-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft, is at home in Sherwood Park, Alta. According to Williams, Browne told him on Friday “that he wanted to take some time and so we’ve granted that. He wanted to go back home, so that was something he wanted to do. That came (as) kind of a surprise on Friday, but there’s nothing we can do. He wanted to go home and clear his mind, and try to get refocused.”

Browne has one assist in eight games with the Silvertips.


You may recall reading here recently that a number of rings that belonged to the late Ed Chynoweth, the longtime WHL and Edmonton/Kootenay Ice executive, are up for auction at Classic Auctions.

As of Sunday afternoon, there had been a goodly amount of action on all 13 of the rings that were made available by the Chynoweth family, with bids running from $440 to $977.

If you have been wondering why these items have been made available to fans and collectors, it turns out that it was Ed’s wish.

Dean Chynoweth, now the associate coach with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, told me Saturday night that his father had told his family not to hang on to things just because they had been his. They have there memories and that’s enough.

There aren’t any collectors in the family, and it turns out that there is a lot of memorabilia. Thus the decision was made to get involved with Classic Auctions, a move that will take a lot of interesting memorabilia out of closets and into the hockey community.

In the near future, there will be more from the Chynoweth collection, including sweaters and photos, made available.

If you’re interested, you can check out the rings right here.


A source told Taking Note recently that the WHL is exploring the possibility of holding a pair of outdoor games early in 2019 at Safeco Field, the home of baseball’s Seattle Mariners. . . . Russ Farwell, the general manager of the Seattle Thunderbirds, has told Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times that there was some preliminary work done on such a project more than three years ago. “It wasn’t out of the question, (the Mariners) would do it if you could pay the freight,” Farwell told Baker. “We just weren’t able to take it on at that time. But it’s something we’ll look at, and I think we’ll explore again.” . . . Baker’s story is right here.


A tip of the cap to the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, who had Zach Roe, sons Lennon and Louis, and a few other family members on hand for a presentation prior to a Saturday night game. Tara Roe, Zach’s wife, was among the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. Zach played in the WHL with the Regina Pats. . . . There is a photo and more right here.


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!


Paul McLean has taken over as the head coach of the MJHL’s Waywayseecappo Wolverines. McLean, who had been the assistant general manager/assistant coach, replaces Arnie Caplan, who had been in his first season as the general manager and head coach. . . . The Wolverines were 1-16-1 when the move was made on Friday. . . . In McLean’s first two games as head coach, the Wolverines lost 9-1 and 6-0 to the visiting Steinbach Pistons on Saturday and Sunday. . . . Caplan was hired in May, taking over from Barry Butler after a 14-42-4 season. . . . The franchise is into its 19th season but has only had a winning season on two occasions.


SUNDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


MONDAY (all times local):

Russia vs. Team WHL, Moose Jaw, 7 p.m.


TUESDAY (all times local):

Russia vs. Team WHL, Swift Current, 7 p.m.


WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY:

No Games Scheduled.


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).

A look into the Silvertips … Raiders don’t expect to land Bokk … Ice adds scouting manager

The Everett Silvertips get their 15th WHL season rolling later this week and they do it with a new head coach, Dennis Williams having taken over from Kevin Constantine, whose contract wasn’t renewed. . . . Jesse Geleynse of the Everett Herald takes a look right here at the Silvertips and the organization’s relationship with Constantine, which obviously wasn’t a typical ownership/coach thing. As Geleynse reports, ownership helped Constantine build “a summer getaway, on Center Island,” an “exclusive private community” accessible by boat or plane.


It doesn’t appear likely that the Prince Albert Raiders will have German F Dominik Bokk with them this season. Bokk was the Raiders’ lone selection in the CHL’s 2017 import draft and it was hoped he would replaced Czech F Simon Stransky, their leading scorer last season, on the roster. Stransky, who won’t return for his 20-year-old season, had 22 goals and 26 assists in 57 games last season. He has signed to play professionally with HC Vitkovice in the Czech Republic. . . . General manager Curtis Hunt told Trevor Redden of paNOW that the Raiders haven’t been able to get Bokk’s release. Bokk wrote that Hunt “spoke very candidly, saying it doesn’t look promising.” . . . Czech D Vojtech Budik, who had one goal and 25 assists in 56 games last season, will return for a third season in Prince Albert.


The Kootenay Ice, in the middle of reformatting its scouting department, has hired Taras McEwen as its manager of scouting. McEwen spent last season as an assistant coach with the SJHL’s Notre Dame Hounds and the hockey operations assistant in the hockey office at the Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask. Before joining the Hounds, he was the general manager and head coach of the junior B Fort Knox franchise of the Prairie Junior Hockey League. . . . McEwen is the son of Brad McEwen, who recently left the NHL’s Calgary Flames’ scouting staff to become Hockey Canada’s head scout. . . . The Ice also is showing Zenon Herasymiuk as a regional scout, the only scout listed on their website, other than Garnet Kazuik, their veteran director of scouting.


The BCHL’s Penticton Vees have acquired F Shane Allan, who turns 20 on Dec. 19, from the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers for future considerations. Allan, from Calgary, was a seventh-round selection by the Kootenay Ice in the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. He had three goals and three assists in 66 games with the Ice in 2015-16. Injuries limited him to 10 games — and one goal and one assist — with the Oilers last season.. . . The Vees open training camp today (Monday).


The KHL’s regular season opens today (Monday). The MacBeth Report, who knows something about hockey over there, filed some notes pertaining to the Finnish entry, Jokerit. . . .

Each team plays 56 games this season. Jokerit starts with a three-week, eight-game road trip, almost one-third of its road schedule. Wow!

Aug. 23— at Minsk

Aug. 25 — at St. Petersburg

Aug. 27 — at Yaroslavl

Aug. 29 — at Dynamo Moscow

This part of the trip is pretty compact. About 1.30 between all cities flying time. Now the fun begins . . .

Sept. 6 — at Spartak Moscow

Sept. 9 — at Shanghai (6,825 km, 8.32 flying time, five-hour time difference from Moscow)

Sept. 11 — at Khabarovsk (2,256 km, 3.09 flight, two-hour difference from Shanghai)

Sept. 13 — at Vladivostok (618 km, 1.14 flight, no time difference)

Flight home to Helsinki from Vladivostok is 6,748 km, 8.26 flight, seven-hour time difference. It would be take only 45 minutes longer to fly from Vladivostok to Vancouver. Vancouver to Miami is only 4,508 km, 5.48 flight.

Sept. 16 — Home-opener at Helsinki against Dinamo Riga. the first of a five-game home stand though Oct. 3. Hope they find their legs and figure out what time it is in the three days between games.

If you’re wondering, Portland and Brandon are separated by 2,146 km.


Patrick Conway sets the scene for the KHL season right here, at Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog. It could be that the most interesting part of the season will involve the bottom of the standings. That’s because the KHL has said it will contract by three teams after this season and that the bottom three teams will be gone. Now that’s pressure!


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