Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why was K9 a healthy scratch? ... AHL's 2015 man of year joins Seattle ... Toth heading to school


D Patrik Maier (Kamloops, Moose Jaw, 2014-16) has signed a tryout contract with Benátky nad Jizerou (Czech Republic, 1. Liga). Last season, he had a goal and three assists in 53 games with Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga). . . . 
F Dustin Johner (Seattle, 1999-2004) has signed a one-year contract with the Belfast Giants (Northern Ireland, UK Elite). Last season, with Villach (Austria, Erste Bank Liga), he had 13 goals and 26 assists in 54 games.
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In this space on Thursday, there was a revisitation of a confrontation between a couple of WHL head coaches. Yes, there was photographic evidence, too.
The picture and story prompted all kinds of responses, including the above tweet from Brent Parker, who was the Regina Pats’ general manager for 15 years so was front and centre in a lot of the rivalry with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
In the tweet, he referred to the shenanigans that went on during a home-and-home series on March 24 and 25, 2000.
The series opened in the Moose Jaw Civic Centre, aka the Crushed Can.
At the time, the Warriors had a mascot with the moniker of Puckhead and it looked pretty much like you might imagine — with a giant puck for a head.
At one point during the game, Puckhead was taunted by a few fans who apparently were pals of Pats F Ryan Thomas. One thing led to another and a couple of the fans bodychecked Puckhead. When Puckhead shoved back, one of the fans, according to a piece at CBC.ca, began punching her.
Yes, Puckhead’s outfit was inhabited by a woman, the late Doreen Gurnsey, who was in her sixth season as the mascot. (Gurnsey passed away on Oct. 1, 2007.) 
“I’ve been kicked," she told CBC a few days later. “I’ve had beer poured over me. One fellow one time gave me a shove towards the ice. I mean that's down to the bleachers towards the ice. And it was just lucky that I had straddled the railing and was able to grip on. I'm quite sure I might not have lived through that.”
Anyway, during the altercation, Puckhead’s head came off. You know that the two fans were surprised to see a woman’s face looking back at them, and they quickly and quietly exited stage right.
In a recollection that is posted at rodpedersen.com, veteran Pats/Warriors observer Kelly Remple wrote:
“Following the game, Pats head coach Tim Tisdale sat quietly in the front of the bus, waiting to depart for the Queen City. A lunatic sporting black, red, and white approached the bus and banged on the door. The bus driver opened the door to hear what this maniac was shouting. As the door opened, the crazed fan looked at Tisdale and, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, said: ‘Your dog is dead. DEAD! You understand me. Your dog is DEAD!’ A concerned Tisdale called home and asked his wife, ‘Honey, is the dog OK?’ ”
There were reports of threatening phone calls to the Pats’ office the following day and, of course, Parker made reference to threatening faxes.
For the record, the Warriors won the Friday game, 6-3, in front of 3,074 fans. The next night, the Pats posted a 3-2 victory before 6,231 fans. Yes, there was a line brawl. No, K9 wasn’t there to witness it.

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The rivalry between the Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips may have taken another turn away from love on Thursday. That’s because the Thunderbirds, the WHL’s reigning champions, have hired Kyle Hagel as an assistant coach.
As is evident from the above tweet, Hagel and Mitch Love, Everett’s assistant GM/assistant coach, are
KYLE HAGEL
(Photo: seattlethunderbirds.com)
quite familiar with each other.
There is a whole more to Hagel than a scrap, however.
Hagel, 32, is from Hamilton. He played four seasons at Princeton before going on to a pro career that ended after last season. A defenceman who sometimes played on left wing, he played the last three seasons with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
After 2014-15, Hagel was honoured as the AHL’s IOA/American Specialty AHL man of the year. He was presented with the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, which is awarded annually, according to the AHL, to a player “for his outstanding contributions to his local community and charitable organizations.” That was the fifth time that Hagel had been nominated by his AHL team for the award.
Hagel also is a co-founder of HP4K (Hockey Players for Kids), a non-profit organization that, according to its website, is “made up of hockey players around the world who are dedicated to positively impacting the communities they play in. . . . HP4K believes that promoting player interaction with children is the best way they can achieve this impact, and acts as a catalyst in connecting players with kids in their communities.”
O’Dette and Hagel met for the first time when they were teammates for part of the 2008-09 season with the ECHL’s Fresno Falcons. That was Hagel’s first season as a pro player, while it was O’Dette’s last one.
The Thunderbirds will hire one more assistant coach before the season. One vacancy was created when the Thunderbirds moved Matt O’Dette from assistant to head coach after Steve Konowalchuk left for the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. The other spot came open when assistant coach Tyler Alos chose to leave the organization.
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G Rylan Toth, who played out his junior eligibility with the Seattle Thunderbirds last season, has decided to attend UBC and play for the Thunderbirds in 2017-18. . . . Toth led WHL goaltenders in regular-season victories (36) last season. He had a 2.75 GAA and .902 save percentage. He suffered an undisclosed injury late in the season and didn’t play again until getting into two games during the Memorial Cup tournament. . . . Toth also played two seasons with the Red Deer Rebels. . . . In 158 regular-season games, the Saskatoon native was 90-51-13, 2.76, .906.
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The BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals have signed Brian Passmore as their new general manager and head coach. He takes over from Bob Beatty, who has resigned after four seasons with the Capitals. Beatty had spent 17 seasons in the SJHL before signing with the Capitals prior to the 2013-14 season. . . . Passmore, 37, has been the head coach of the bantam prep team at Shawnigan Lake School for the past two seasons. . . . Passmore also has coaching experience in the junior B Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League, having spent two seasons with the Peninsula Panthers and one with the Westshore Wolves. . . . The Capitals also announced that Dan Whiteford will be back for a second season as assistant coach, while Darren Rodney, who had been the assistant GM,  now is director of hockey operations.
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Mike Fraser, who scouts for the Brandon Wheat Kings, also has been writing a weekly column for the Brandon-based Westman Journal. In this week’s ponderings, who looks back at five years with the Wheat Kings. That column is right here. . . . With the Journal undergoing a change in the editor’s office, Fraser has chosen to step back, so next week’s column will be his last one. 
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Darren Steinke, the wandering blogger, spent a lot of the 2016-17 WHL season visiting various arenas. On Thursday, he blogged about his travels and how much fun he had. It’s all right here.
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If you’re a regular here, and even you aren’t, feel free to contribute to the feeding of the Drinnan family by making a donation to the cause. You are able to do so by clicking on the DONATE button and going from there.
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).
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The night the coaches (almost) scrapped ... What a rivalry Pats-Warriors had ... Ex-WHLer interim coach with Ravens


F Dustin Boyd (Moose Jaw, 2002-06) has signed a two-year contract with Dynamo Moscow (Russia, KHL). Last season, he had eight goals and six assists in 30 games with Barys Astana (Kazakhstan, KHL). . . . 
F Parker Bowles (Tri-City, 2011-16) has signed a one-year contract with the Tilburg Trappers (Netherlands, Germany Oberliga). Last season, with the U of Calgary Dinos (Canada West), he had three goals and nine assists in 12 games. . . . 
F Milan Kytnár (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Vancouver, 2007-10) has signed a one-year contract with Zvolen (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, with Nové Zámky (Slovakia, Extraliga), he finished with 11 goals and 18 assists in 43 games. . . . 
F Anthony Bardaro (Spokane, Prince Albert, 2008-13) has signed a one-year contract with Asiago (Italy, Alps HL). Last season, with the U of British Columbia Thunderbirds (Canada West), he had 14 goals and 16 assists in 28 games. He led the T-Birds in goals, assists and points, and was fourth in the Canada West scoring race.
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My favourite WHL-related photo showed up on Twitter on Wednesday.
Ahh, yes, those were the days.
It was a Friday night — Nov. 18, 1994 — and the Moose Jaw Warriors were visiting the Regina Pats in what was then the Agridome.
Late in the game, Moose Jaw head coach Al Tuer and his Regina counterpart, Norm Johnston, took off their jackets, climbed up on the back of the players’ boxes and threatened to make like Hulk Hogan and Bret (Hitman) Hart.
The late Roy Antal was The Leader-Post photographer assigned to the game and he just happened to be between the benches when the fun began. Not only did he get this photo, but he also managed to get his left hand in the picture — that’s it at the bottom right.
Shortly after I tweeted to point out that the photo, autographed by both would-be pugilists, hangs in my home, Mick Kartusch, who carries a famous Saskatchewan hockey name, responded: “I remember that night vividly … those Friday night Pats/Warriors games back in the day were gems. . . . Theo’s meltdowns, O’Connor’s ceremonial face-off win, Keane vs. Savard, ’84 bench clearer. Never a dull moment at the dome.”
Which took me back to Feb. 5, 2009, and something that I posted right here below that same photo . . .
There just aren’t fun nights like this in the WHL anymore.
The date was Nov. 18, 1994. It was a Friday night. The Moose Jaw Warriors were visiting the Regina Pats in what was then known as the Agridome. It was a time before corporations purchased naming rights to whatever was for sale. It was a time when hockey games frequently — well, certainly more often than now — included some kind of action that would leave the fans buzzing when they left the arena.
The Pats would win this game, 5-2, but as the fans headed for home the talk centred on two things: 1. Wasn’t that something?, and, 2. How do we get tickets for tomorrow night in Moose Jaw?
This was the night that Al Tuer, the head coach of the Warriors, and Norm Johnston, the Pats’ head coach, scaled the glass behind their teams’ benches and made like they were trying to get at each other. Vince McMahon would have loved it.
Roy Antal, a photographer with the Regina Leader-Post, was in the box between the team’s benches when all heck broke out.
Tuer laughs about it these days. He now scouts for the NHL’s Calgary Flames out of Vernon, B.C.
“There was a line brawl,” Tuer said the other night, “and we ended up with one more guy on the ice than they did. Go figure.”
Tuer laughed.
“Norm called me the next morning,” Tuer added. “He said we should go for a beer.”
Both head coaches drew one-game — yes, one-game! — suspensions.
The next night, the teams met in Moose Jaw and the Warriors won, 5-2. Former NHLer Bill Hicke, then one of the Pats’ owners, coached the Pats; Warriors assistant coach Len Nielsen ran the Moose Jaw bench.
Attendance in Moose Jaw was 3,317. The fire marshal may have been on vacation. The WHL’s 1994-95 Guide lists capacity of the Crushed Can at 3,269 – 2,969 seats and 310 standing.
“Yeah, the rink in Moose Jaw was kind of full that night,” Tuer said.
Of course, he and Johnston weren’t able to attend.
And, no, they never did get together for that beer.
While Tuer scouts for the Flames, Johnston, a school teacher, is head coach of the midget AAA Regina Pats Canadians. He also is involved in mentoring coaches with Hockey Regina. And one of Johnston’s best friends is Graham Tuer, Al’s father.
Yes, the hockey world is a small one. It’s just not as much fun for some of us as it used to be.
(The above photo was taken by Roy Antal of the Regina Leader-Post. I have had it autographed and tried to copy it for use here. I'm not a photographer and that is my flash bouncing back that you see in the middle of it. Hey, I'm a writer . . .)
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UPDATE: Al Tuer now is the head pro scout with the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Norm Johnston is preparing for his first full season as the head coach of the Battlefords Stars of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League.
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Shaun Van Allen was named the interim head coach of the Carleton U Ravens on Wednesday, after head coach Marty Johnston left to join the AHL’s Manitoba Moose as an assistant coach. . . . The 49-year-old Van Allen, from Calgary, has been an assistant coach at Carleton for seven seasons. He played two seasons (1985-87) with the Saskatoon Blades before going on to a pro career that included 794 NHL games. . . . With the Moose, Johnston will work alongside head coach Pascal Vincent, assistant coach Eric Dubois, developmental goaltending coach Rick St. Croix and video coach Richard Bue. Johnston, 38, had been the Ravens’ head coach for seven seasons.
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The U of Alaska-Fairbanks has promoted Lance West from assistant coach to head coach. He replaces Dallas Ferguson, who left after nine seasons as head coach of the Nanooks to join the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen as their head coach. . . . West was on Ferguson’s staff for the entire nine-season run. . . . College Hockey News has more on West’s promotion right here.
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If you’re a regular here, and even you aren’t, feel free to contribute to the feeding of the Drinnan family by making a donation to the cause. You are able to do so by clicking on the DONATE button and going from there.
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).
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Giants' radio voice off to NHL? ... Poole moves to Edge School ... Ex-WHLer head coach in RMJHL


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F Rhett Rachinski (Edmonton, 2007-12) has signed a one-year contract with the Guildford Flames (England, UK Elite). Last season, with the U of Alberta (Canada West), he had three goals and nine assists in 28 games. . . .
KHL News: The exhibition season began Tuesday night. The regular season starts Aug. 21. There won’t be any games from Jan 29 to Feb. 25 as the KHL takes its Olympics break. The last regular-season game is March 1. Each team plays 56 games.
F Mark Derlago (Brandon, 2003-07) has signed a one-year contract with the Nottingham Panthers (England, UK Elite). Last season, with the Nikko Icebucks (Japan, Asia HL), he had 26 goals and 32 assists in 48 games. He led the Icebucks in goals, assists and points, and was seven in the league’s scoring race. . . . Nottingham opens its exhibition schedule on Aug. 12.
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Steve Ewen of Postmedia reported Tuesday night that Brendan Batchelor has left the Vancouver Giants after four seasons as their radio voice. . . . According to Ewen, “Various sources suggest” that Batchelor will be the next radio play-by-play man for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. . . . TSN 1040 has had the Canucks’ radio rights, but Sportsnet 650 now has the contract and is putting together its on-air team. . . . “According to various sources,” Ewen reports, Batchelor “resigned from the WHL club on Monday and is refusing to say where he’s going, other than to admit he starts his new gig in August.” . . . Ewen’s story is right here.
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Shawn Martin has signed on with the AJHL’s Whitecourt Wolverines, as assistant general manager and associate coach. Martin, who is from Wainwright, Alta., was in his fourth season as GM/head coach of the SJHL’s La Ronge Ice Wolves when he was fired on Oct. 24. . . . Martin, 40, has been in the AJHL before, as an assistant coach with the Grande Prairie Storm, St. Albert Steel and Sherwood Park Crusaders. . . . In Whitecourt, Martin will work alongside veteran junior A GM/head coach Gord Thibodeau.
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James Poole is the new head coach of the midget prep team at Edge school in Calgary. Poole had been the general manager and head coach of the AJHL’s Calgary Canucks before leaving the organization over the weekend. . . . The Canucks were 37-19-4 under Poole last season, his only one with the organization. He spent five seasons with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers before joining the Canucks.
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Pat Bingham has signed on as the head coach of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League’s Colorado Rampage. . . . Bingham has been with the Rampage organization for five years, serving as president, hockey director and the head coach of the 16-year-old AAA team. . . . A native of Vancouver, Bingham played in the WHL with the Kamloops Blazes and New Westminster Bruins (1985-89). . . . He has coached in the defunct Central and United leagues, as well as the AHL and ECHL.
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If you’re a regular here, and even you aren’t, feel free to contribute to the feeding of the Drinnan family by making a donation to the cause. You are able to do so by clicking on the DONATE button and going from there.
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).
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Deer me, another smoky day in Kamloops ... Tigers sign Craven ... Patrick gets NHL deal







If you look closely behind the green table to the left of the apple tree, you will note the deer that paid a visit to your back yard on Monday at 1:30 p.m. She nibbled at the grass, checked out a bird feeder or two, and may have tried a Jon Gold apple.
As for the grey background, well, it was that kind of day in Kamloops. That's smoke, and it obliterated the view to the east down the South Thompson River Valley. Somewhere in there is the river and further east is Mount Martin. We think.
The smoke also resulted in watering eyes and meant that for the first time in four days there wasn't an opportunity to sit on the deck and read.
And, yes, that deck will get painted one of these days. After the smoke leaves, of course.






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F Nathan Burns (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Swift Current, 2009-14) has signed a one-year contract with Halle (Germany, Oberliga). Burns didn’t play either of the past two seasons. In 2014-15 with the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL), he had three goals and seven assists in 27 games. . . .
F Gilbert Brulé (Vancouver, 2002-06) has been traded by Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk to Traktor Chelyabinsk (both Russia, KHL) for cash compensation. Last season, he had six goals and four assists in 16 games with Medveščak Zagreb (Croatia, KHL), and 12 goals and 20 assists in 37 games with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL).
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The Medicine Hat Tigers have signed D Joel Craven to a WHL contract. Last season, with the midget AAA Northwest Athletic Association Flames in Calgary, he had a goal and nine assists in 31 games. . . . A list player, he is the son of Murray Craven, a former Tigers star forward (1980-84) who now is senior vice-president with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.

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The Vancouver Giants have signed F Milos Roman to a WHL contract. A Slovakian, Roman was the fifth-overall selection in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. . . . Roman, who won’t turn 18 until Nov. 6, played last season with HC Frydek-Mistek in the Czech Republick’s second-tier pro league. He had four goals and two assists in 29 games. He also played for Slovakia in the 2017 World Junior Championship, scoring once and adding an assist in four games. . . . He had a goal and an assist in five games at 2017 IIHF U-18 world championship and picked up five assists in four games at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup tournament.
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F Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. He was the second-overall selection in the NHL’s 2017 draft. . . . Patrick had 46 points, including 20 goals, in 33 games with Brandon last season. He missed a lot of the season due to a sports hernia. He had surgery in July 2016, then had more surgery on June 13. . . . Patrick was in Philadelphia for the Flyers’ development camp but didn’t take part in any on-ice activities. He is expected to start skating again next week and the Flyers say he should be ready for training camp. . . . If Patrick doesn’t make the Flyers’ roster, he will have to be returned to the Wheat Kings.
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From Treva Lind of the Spokane Spokesman-Review:
Spokane Public Facilities District is having Garco Construction, of Spokane, expand and remodel 2,300 square feet of space for the northeast front entrance to make room near metal detectors. A secondary project will update two concession areas.
A space in a southwest corner will get a new look — a taco truck-inspired design — for sale of fresh Mexican food, said Matt Gibson, arena general manager.
Work for a north side food area will push out a wall about 20 feet to create new eatery space introducing such options as craft burgers, Asian wraps, panini sandwiches and a craft beer center.
Gibson said work should be done in time for the Spokane Chiefs home opener Sept. 30.
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Whatever became of Denis Afinogenov? Remember when he was on your fantasy hockey team? Well, he’s now coaching in the Russian Women’s Hockey League. There’s that and a whole lot more right here at Patrick Conway’s Russian Hockey Blog.
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If you’re a regular here, and even you aren’t, feel free to contribute to the feeding of the Drinnan family by making a donation to the cause. You are able to do so by clicking on the DONATE button and going from there.

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).
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Tweet of the day



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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Wonder Woman getting ready for fourth Kidney Walk ... Dorothy's amazing story continues

A new kidney has meant a new lease on life for Dorothy, and allowed
her to feel the thrill of holding granddaughter Kara.
The 2017 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 24 in McDonald Park.
Yes, Dorothy will be taking part for a fourth straight year; this one comes four years after she underwent a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.
During the season, hockey people are always asking me: “How’s Dorothy?” . . . or “How’s your wife?”
It’s funny, because no one ever says to me: “Hey, how are you doing?”
OK. I’m kidding.
In all seriousness, words cannot express how much the support from all levels of the hockey community has meant to us.
Hey, you can’t imagine how thrilled Dorothy was to meet Dan De Palma, the Kamloops Blazers’ goaltending coach, in a book store one day and have him pay more attention to her than to me.
So . . . you’re wondering how Dorothy, aka Wonder Woman, is doing?
Well, she spends an afternoon or two each week doing volunteer work at Overlander Residential Care, taking residents on shopping trips or to medical appointments, or just helping out around the complex.
She also is a co-founder of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group that meets once a month and provides support for anyone with kidney disease and their families. As well, she is part of the organizing committee for the Kamloops Kidney Walk.
Every four months, Dorothy visits the renal clinic at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Her most recent appointment was on Friday and she passed with flying colours. In fact, she came out of there positively aglow because the nephrologist — Dr. Conley — was excited about her colour, her energy level, pretty much everything.
“Or maybe,” Dorothy said, with a laugh, “she was excited because she’s starting vacation (Saturday).”
If you know Dorothy like I know Dorothy, you know that Dr. Conley was excited because of what she observed as the two of them chatted.
Anyway . . . things are going well, really well, and the preparations have begun for this year’s kidney walk.
In fact, the first sign of support has shown up on her Kidney Walk page. Norm Weseen, a former radio personality and long-time junior hockey fan, got things started with a donation on Saturday. I feel shame because it’s the first time I haven’t made the first donation. LOL!
If you would like to support Wonder Woman, you are able to do so right here.


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A wild fire-fuelled night in B.C. ... Glass signs with Vegas ... MJHL players to pay development fee


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It’s been a wild and unpleasant night in the fire-ravaged areas of B.C. — north and west of Kamloops and in Lake Country, just a bit north of Kelowna.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those people who lost their homes and/or were forced to flee from the fires. 
As for Kamloops, the city is teeming with evacuees. There already were lots of evacuees here, including those from the Ashcroft, Cache Creek and 100 Mile House areas, when Williams Lake was hit with an evacuation order last night. Many of those people registered at the Sandman Centre upon arrival but, with Kamloops fairly bursting at the seams, others were to have been directed to Chilliwack.
Some of Saturday’s rogue fire activity was caused by winds from a cold front moving in off the Pacific Ocean. Who knows what awaits B.C. in the morning? The forecast is for cooler temperatures, perhaps in the low 20s, and higher humidity. It ain’t rain, but it will help.
In Kamloops, there were a couple of scares from grass fires last night, but quick action by fire crews got things under control.
We live 20 kilometres east of Kamloops, on the north side of the South Thompson River and haven’t been threatened. We also have had only two days of heavy smoke; in fact, the last three days have been sunny and warm with nothing but blue skies.
Yes, we are among the fortunate ones, at least to this point, and we know it.
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F Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks has signed his first professional contract — a three-year entry-level deal with the Vegas Golden Knights, who selected him sixth overall in the 2017 NHL draft. . . . Glass, 18, is from Winnipeg and is expected to return for a third season with the Winterhawks. He is eligible to play with the Golden Knights, but because of his age can’t be assigned to their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. . . . Last season, Glass had 94 points, 32 of them goals, in 69 games with Portland. That followed a freshman season in which he totalled 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games. . . . The Winterhawks selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft. . . . The Golden Knights had three first-round selections in the 2017 NHL draft; they signed the other two selections on Saturday, too. F Nick Suzuki of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack and D Erik Brannstrom. Suzuki is expected to return to the Attack, while Brannstrom, who won’t turn 18 until September, will play for HV71 in Sweden’s Elite League.
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Players wanting to play in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League will have to pay starting in 2017-18. Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun reports that the league will be implementing a player development fee. . . . “It’s a move sources say that will allow for the league to better advertise itself during its annual showcase, bringing in more scouts and more attention to the event. The move will also help provide better health and dental benefits for the league’s 250-plus players,” Billeck reports. “The league has yet to officially announced the development fees, which are said to be set at $500 per player, but sources say it is a move that has been in the works for a while. The league will take in just under $130,000.” . . . Billeck’s story is right here.
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The MJHL’s Steinbach Pistons have signed Paul Dyck, their general manager and head coach, to a contract extension that runs through 2020-21. Dyck, who is from Steinbach, has been with the pistons since 2010-11 when he was an assistant coach under Rich Gosselin. Dyck stepped in as head coach during 2011-12 and has been the GM/head coach since the summer of 2012. . . . Here’s Grant Lazaruk, the president/governor of the community-owned team’s board of directors, in a news release: “Paul’s coaching ability and what he has done for the club on and off he ice has been tremendous. I look at it as this ownership group has owned this club now for five seasons. In those five seasons, he has led the team to an MJHL championship, two appearances in the final, and two semi-final appearances, so in regards to his on-ice team performance, he has done a tremendous job.” . . . Dyck, 46, played two seasons (1989-91) with the Moose Jaw Warriors.
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The AJHL’s Calgary Canucks announced Saturday morning that James Poole, their general manager and head coach, is leaving the organization “to pursue other opportunities.” . . . Poole spent one season with the Canucks, going 37-19-4, the first time the team finished above .500 since 2009-10. . . . Anyone interested should send a resume to Pat Loyer at phloyer@shaw.ca.
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If you’re a regular here, and even you aren’t, feel free to contribute to the feeding of the Drinnan family by making a donation to the cause. You are able to do so by clicking on the DONATE button and going from there.
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).


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Friday, July 14, 2017

P.G. gang comes through for evacuees ... Slovak signs with Chiefs ... Warriors sign an AGM


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F Curt Gogol (Kelowna, Saskatoon, Chilliwack, 2007-11) signed a one-year contract with Rubin Tyumen (Russia, Vysshaya Liga). Last season, with the Florida Everblades (ECHL), he had six goals and 11 assists in 37 games.
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A tip of the cap to the Prince George Cougars Alumni Association, the Prince George Cougars Society and the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation for their generosity in support of wildfire evacuees from their area. . . . The announcement was made before the alumni association’s annual Hospital Charity Golf Tournament got started. . . . A lot of the province of B.C. is burning up and you can bet that kind of generosity is greatly appreciated. . . . Should you want to donate to the Red Cross you are able to do so right here.
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F Milos Fafrak, a Slovakian, has signed a WHL contract with the Spokane Chiefs. He was a first-round selection in the CHL’s 2017 import draft. Fafrak, 18, had 39 points, 11 of them goals, in 44 games with the Slovkian U-18 team that played in the Slovak U-20 Extraliga last season. . . . The Chiefs also selected Czech D Filip Kral in the 2017 import draft. Kral, who is to turn 18 on Oct. 20, played last season with HC Kometa Brno in the Czech U-20 league and also got into 23 games with Kometa Brno in the Czech Extraliga. He has yet to sign with the Chiefs.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors have hired Jason Ripplinger as assistant general manager after losing Doug Gasper, their director of scouting, to the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. . . . Ripplinger, who is from Regina, spent the previous 17 years with the Vancouver Giants, first as head scout and then as director of player personnel, a position he had filled since 2008. . . . Gasper joined the Warriors in 2007. He was named assistant head scout in 2012 and had been director of scouting since 2015. According to the Warriors, Gasper has “accepted a scouting position” in the NHL. . . . Shortly after the Warriors issued their news release, Rick Dhaliwal of News 1130 Sports in Vancouver reported that Gasper will be joining the Canucks’ scouting staff.
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Todd Gill is the new head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack. He replaces Ryan McGill, the OHL’s reigning coach of the year, who left after two seasons to join the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights as an assistant coach. . . . A former NHL defenceman, Gill spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the AHL’s Stockton Heat. Before joining the Heat, Gill spent three seasons as the head coach of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. . . . Alan Letang, an assistant coach under McGill, will stay on with the Attack and work alongside Gill.
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A couple of notes involving junior teams from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League . . . The Kimberley Dynamiters and the WHL’s Kootenay Ice have joined forces in a deal that will provide ticket discounts to fans. Season-ticket holders for Ice games will get 15 per cent off individual tickets to Dynamiters’ games, while Kimberley season-ticket holders will get the same discount on tickets to Ice home games. . . . On Thursday, NASCAR promoted Brent Dewar from vice-chairman to president. Hired as the chief operating officer in 2013, he had been moved to vice-chairman in 2015. Dewar is only the fourth president in the history of NASCAR, which began under Bill France Sr. in 1948. Dewar is the brother of Kamloops Storm owner/general manager Barry Dewar.
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Luke Strand is the new head coach of the USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers. Strand, who spent last season as an amateur scout with the NHL’s Calgary Flames, takes over from Jay Varady, who was introduced Thursday as the head coach of the OHL’s Kingston Frontenacs. . . . Strand is quite familiar with Sioux City, having worked as the Musketeers’ GM/head coach for two seasons (2009-11) and as GM in 2013-14. . . . He also has coached with the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers and Madison Capitals, the AHL’s Houston Aeros, the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat and the U of Wisconsin Badgers.
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After the Calgary Hitmen filled out their coaching staff and front office earlier in the week, Hartley Miller had some fun with it all, especially the promotion of, as he calls him, The Dallas Thompson. . . . Yes, that Dallas Thompson! . . . Miller’s piece, from myprincegeorgenow.com, is right here.
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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).
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