Ahh, let the speculation begin.
Jim Toth of Winnipeg radio station CJOB reported Sunday via Twitter that True North Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, “recently met with a #WHL franchise about purchasing the team & bringing it to #Winnipeg.”
The second half of Toth’s tweet read: “#TNSE deal for #WHL franchise did not work out, they are not currently searching for a team. Door is left open for the future.”
Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press reported: “True North spokesman Scott Brown would not discuss the matter, saying only the organization would not be addressing the report.”
Lawless also quoted Kelly McCrimmon, the owner and general manager of the Brandon Wheat Kings: “Certainly Winnipeg could be on the radar at some point given that the model has worked well in Calgary and Edmonton. It did not however come up at our recent board of governor meetings."
The WHL’s board of governors met in Las Vegas on Feb. 11 and 12.
The Tri-City Herald’s Best of the West poll results are right here. The most interesting part of it? A quarter of the participants left blank the part asking for the name of the WHL’s top referee.
The matchups, if the WHL playoffs opened today:
Edmonton vs. Lethbridge
Saskatoon vs. Swift Current
Calgary vs. Medicine Hat
Prince Albert vs Red Deer
Portland vs. Everett
Kelowna vs. Seattle
Kamloops vs. Victoria
Spokane vs. Tri-City
In Edmonton, F Michael St. Croix scored twice and added an assist as the Oil Kings dropped the Victoria Royals, 5-2. . . . The Oil Kings surrendered the game’s first two goals. . . . The Royals now have lost four in a row. . . . St. Croix, who has 30 goals, now has 299 career regular-season points in 267 games. . . . F Curtis Lazar also got his 30th goal for the Oil Kings. . . . F Brandon Magee, who is from Edmonton, drew two assists for Victoria, while F Steven Hodges had a goal, his 25th, and an assist. . . . G Michael Herringer made his WHL debut with the Royals, replacing Coleman Vollrath after Edmonton’s fifth goal. Herringer was brought in from the junior B Victoria Cougars to back up Vollrath after starter Patrick Polivka was injured in Red Deer on Friday. . . . Herringer faced just one shot in 13 minutes. . . .
In Calgary, F Victor Rask drew three assists as the Hitmen dumped the Regina Pats, 5-2. . . . Calgary F Zane Jones scoerd twice, giving him 20. He hadn’t scored in his previous nine games. . . . Calgary F Brady Brassart scored his 25th goal in his 53rd game. The 19-year-old from Vernon, B.C., had 25 goals in 70 games last season. . . . Calgary F Colten Mayor, who hadn’t scored in 14 games since being acquired from Regina on Jan. 10, finally broke the ice with his 13th goal of the season. . . . The Hitmen have won seven in a row on home ice. . . . F Morgan Klimchuk and F Lane Scheidl each scored his 30th goal for Regina. . . .
In Kent, Wash., F Luke Lockhart scored a shorthanded goal at 1:56 of OT to give the Seattle Thunderbirds (of Kent) a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Giants. . . . Lockhart has 17 goals. . . . F Alex Delnov, with his 19th, gave Seattle a 1-0 lead on the PP at 4:32 of the second period. . . . F Brendan Rouse tied it at 19:11, with his 11th. Rouse, 20, was waived by Seattle on Jan. 10 and picked up by Vancouver. . . . The Giants needed extra time for a third straight game — they won one of those, beating host Seattle 3-2 on Friday. . . . Seattle now has sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
From former Tri-City Americans F Patrick Holland (@PattyShwayz): “Every so often you get a fortunate combination of bread and cheese to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. Today I have been blessed.”
Holland, 20, has 14 points in 47 games as a freshman professional with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.
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