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).

Trader Matt strikes again … Seattle deals for goaltender … Blades settle on net pair

F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicina Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 41 games with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL).

There was a time when Bob Tory, the general manager of the Tri-City Americans, was known in hockey circles as Trader Bob. Tory didn’t earn that moniker because he was afraid to make a trade.

Matt Cockell, the Kootenay Ice’s GM.

It seems, however, that the time has come to pass the moniker along to Matt Cockell, the first-year general manager of the Kootenay Ice.

Cockell and Greg Fettes purchased the Ice from the Chynoweth family, with the WHL’s board of governors approving the sale on April 27.

Cockell, a former WHL goaltender, made his first trade on May 24, acquiring G Mario Petit, 20, from the Everett Silvertips for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

On Monday, Cockell swung his ninth trade, as he got F Alec Baer, 20, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Here’s a look at all nine of Cockell’s swaps:

May 24 — Acquired G Mario Petit, 20, from Everett for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. (The Ice released Petit on Sunday.)

June 28 — Acquired F Cameron Hausingrer, 18, from the Red Deer Rebels for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

July 5 — Traded G Declan Hobbs, 19, to the Spokane Chiefs for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Aug. 1 — Acquired D Jordan Henderson, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

Sept. 10 — Traded F Max Patterson, who turns 18 on Dec. 27, to the Swift Current Broncos for G Bailey Brkin, 18, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 11 — Traded F Noah Philp, 19, to the Seattle Thunderbirds for fifth-round selections in the 2018 and 2019 bantam drafts.

Sept. 13 — Acquired G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from the Regina Pats for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 15 — Acquired F Colton Veloso, 20, from the Portland Winterhawks for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 18 — Acquired F Alec Baer, 20, from Lethbridge for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Baer, from St. Louis Park, Minn., becomes the third 20-year-old on the Ice’s roster. He played three-plus seasons with the Vancouver Giants before being dealt to Lethbridge last season. He had 12 goals and nine assists in 30 games with Lethbridge, after putting up three goals and 15 assists in 39 games with Vancouver. In 270 career games, Baer has 56 goals and 70 assists.

Elmer, from Calgary, had seven goals and nine assists in 46 games with the Ice last season. He was a sixth-round pick by the Regina in the 2013 bantam draft, but was pointless in 20 games with the Pats over two seasons.

The Ice released Petit and Henderson on Sunday, leaving them with, at the time, two 20-year-olds in F Colton Kroeker

The Ice also released D Jordan Henderson, 20, who had been acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. Henderson played with three teams last season, getting into 15 games with Spokane, 20 with the Saskatoon Blades, and 26 with the Tigers. He totalled six goals and 21 assists in this 61 games.

With Petit and Henderson off the roster, the Ice was left with two 20-year-olds — F Colton Kroeker and Veloso. The acquisition of Baer leaves the Ice with the maximum three 20s, barring any future moves.

The Ice also released G Jesse Makaj, 16, from their roster on Sunday, leaving it with Chapman and Brkin as its goaltenders as it prepares to begin regular-season play on on Friday against the visiting Calgary Hitmen.

Chapman, from Airdrie, Alta., finished last season by helping the Portage Terriers to the MJHL championship. He was 2.94 and .905 in 16 regular-season games, then went 2.07 and .931 in 12 playoff games.

Brkin, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs last season, going 5.19 and .890.

Of course, all of that could change should one of the 21 other general managers place a call to Trader Matt.


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With G Carl Stankowski injured and apparently a few weeks from returning, the Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired G Liam Hughes from the Edmonton Oil Kings.

In return for Hughes, an 18-year-old from Kelowna, the reigning WHL champions surrendered a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Hughes played in seven games with the Oil Kings last season, all before Oct. 29 when his season was ended by an undisclosed injury. In those seven games, Hughes was 1-4-2, 3.26, .895. One season earlier, his season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets was ended in early February by a lower back injury.

The Oil Kings selected Hughes in the seventh round of the 2014 bantam draft.

With Hughes gone, the Oil Kings still have three goaltenders on their roster — veteran Travis Child, 20, who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings over the summer; Josh Dechaine, 19, who is from St. Albert, Alta.; and Boston Bilous, 16, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. With Hughes out last season, Dechaine backed up Patrick Dea and was 3-8-0, 4.41, .876 in 17 appearances. Dea, 20, now is with the Tri-City Americans.

In Seattle, Hughes joins Matt Berlin, 19, and Cole Schwebius, 16, as the goaltenders on the roster. Berlin got into 13 games (7-2-2, 2.82, .902) with the Thunderbirds last season after moving over from the Spokane Chiefs. Schwebius is a freshman from Kelowna.

Stankowski, a 17-year-old from Calgary, took the WHL by storm last season after Seattle starter Rylan Toth was injured. In seven regular-season appearances, he was 3-0-1, 2.18, .910. He then stole the show in the playoffs, going 16-2-2, 2.50, .911 in backstopping the Thunderbirds to the WHL championship.

However, Stankowski suffered an undisclosed injury over the summer and the acquisition of Hughes would seem to indicate that the sophomore isn’t anywhere close to a return.

The Tri-City Americans are down to four 20-year-olds and two imports, with Russian F Vladislav Lukin having left for the training camp of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. Lukin, who has played three seasons with the Americans, had 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games last season. In 183 regular-season games, he has 54 goals and 64 assists.

The other 20-year-olds on the roster are G Patrick Dea, F Maxwell James, D Brendan O’Reilly and F Jordan Topping.

Dea is one of two goaltenders left, with the other being sophomore Beck Warm. One would think, then, that one of the other three will be moved before the Oct. 10 deadline for each team to declare a maximum of three 20-year-olds.

The two imports in camp are Russian D Roman Kalinichenko and D Sergei Sapego, who is from Belarus. The Americans also have D Juuso Valimaki, who will turn 19 on Oct. 7, on their roster, but he is in camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Should Valimaki return — and he has to play in the NHL or be sent back to the Americans — Tri-City would have two weeks to move out one import player.

The Saskatoon Blades have their roster down to 26 players, including eight defencemen and 16 forwards, after releasing three players on Monday. Gone from the roster are G Nolan Maier, 16, from Yorkton, Sask.; D Zach Ashton, 16, from Calgary; and F Cole Johnson, 19, who is from Marwayne, Alta. . . . With Maier gone, the Blades are down to two goaltenders — veteran Logan Flodell, 20, and freshman Joel Grzybowski, 18, who was an 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Maier was a second-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Ashton was selected in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Johnson had one assist in 20 games with the Blades last season. He also played 44 games with the Swift Current Broncos over three seasons, scoring five goals and adding six assists. . . . The Blades are carrying four 20-year-olds — Flodell, F Cam Hebig, F Braylon Shmyr and D Evan Fiala, who has been released by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and is on his way back to Saskatoon. With Flodell one of two goaltenders and Fiala having been named captain, it would seem that either Hebig or Shmyr will be moved when the Blades get down to the maximum of three 20s.

Meanwhile, the Blades announced plans to salute former captain Bruce Gordon at their home-opener on Friday against the Swift Current Broncos. Gordon has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be joined in pregame ceremonies by former teammates and friends from throughout the hockey universe. . . . Darren Steinke, the travelling blogger, was at the Blades’ news conference and writes about it right here.

The Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds will meet 12 teams in the WHL’s 2017-18 regular season. Nine of those games are to be televised by JOEtv, starting with a meeting in Portland on Sept. 30.

According to a news release, Ian Furness of 950 KJR/Q13 Fox News will be the play-by-play voice for most of the games.

Here’s the TV schedule:

Sept. 30, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Oct. 7, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 30, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 31, at Portland, 7 p.m.

Jan. 13, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Feb. 10, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Feb. 11, at Portland, 5 p.m.

March 4, at Seattle, 5:05 p.m.

March 17, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

He loves the movie A River Runs Through It. He does the two-step and the Calgary Stampede. He runs, hikes, surfs and golfs. Dan Price also is the new head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Royals provides an interesting look at Price right here.

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).