Tuesday, December 10, 2013


F Tomas Netik (Medicine Hat, 2000-01) has signed with Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk (Russia, KHL) for the rest of season. He played with this club last season.

The Portland Winterhawks have scored a WHL-leading 156 goals this season. Not only is that the most in the WHL . . . it’s the most by 39 (Seattle and Swift Current each has scored 117 times). . . . Portland has four skaters among the WHL’s top 10 point-getters — Nic Petan has 66 points, one off the WHL lead that is held by Spokane Chiefs F Mitch Holmberg; F Oliver Bjorkstrand, 56; F Taylor Leier, 43; and, F Brendan Leipsic, 42. . . . Portland is about to lose five players to international tournaments. Leier, Petan and D Derrick Pouliot will attend the Canadian national junior team’s selection camp. Bjorkstrand (Denmark) and D Layne Viveiros (Austria) are scheduled to play in the World Junior Championship (Division 1, Group A) in Sanok, Poland. That tournament begins on Sunday. . . . And here's a teaser for you: I have no idea what might be announced today, but I have been told there is "big news coming out of Portland" today. So don't say you weren't warned!
F Jermaine Loewen, 15, practised with the Kamloops Blazers in Brandon on Monday. Loewen, a third-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft, may play against the Wheat Kings tonight. He has eight points, including five goals, in 21 games with the Interlake Lightning, a Manitoba midget AAA club. . . . The Blazers have last a franchise record-tying 12 straight games as they open a six-game East Division swing in Brandon tonight. . . . The Wheat Kings will have F Jayce Hawryluk back in their lineup tonight. He has served a two-game suspension for a hit on Regina Pats D Kyle Burroughs, who ended up concussed.
ECHLFormer WHLer Ned Lukacevic (Vancouver, Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has been suspended by the ECHL’s Reading Royals. From a Reading news release: “Lukacevic, an eighth year pro who was born in Podgorica, Montenegro, was claimed by the Royals from ECHL waivers on October 28. He played nine games with Reading and scored two goals. In 136 career games with the Royals, Lukacevic recorded 69 points (30g-39a). . . . It is the understanding of the team that Lukacevic intends to pursue an opportunity to play hockey in Europe.”
From Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post: “Regina has called up two players from the junior A ranks to fill holes created by injuries, bringing in F Dane Schioler, 17, from the MJHL’s Portage Terriers and D Nathyn Mortlock, 17, a recent list pickup from the AJHL’s Grand Prairie Storm.”
Ch-ching! Ch-ching!! Just in time for Christmas, the WHL has fined the Seattle Thunderbirds and Spokane Chiefs for a “multiple fight situation” during their game in Seattle on Friday night.”

F Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants will complete a three-game suspension tonight as his mates play host to the Victoria Royals, the third straight game in which these teams will have met. Houck drew a three-game suspension for a hit from behind that has left Kootenay Ice F Ryan Chynoweth with a concussion.
The junior B Revelstoke Grizzlies of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have gone through a coaching change. Darren Naylor left the team after Thursday’s practice, citing family reasons. He was in his first season with the team that is eight points out of a playoff spot. . . . Sheldon Nohr has stepped in as interim head coach. . . . Alex Cooper of the Revelstoke Times Review has more right here.
The BCHL’s Victoria Grizzlies unveiled a new ownership group at a news conference on Monday. Interestingly, as Mario Annicchiarico of the Victoria Times Colonist notes right here, general manager and head coach Bill Bestwick wasn’t in attendance.

Geoff Baker spent a number of years covering the Seattle Mariners for the Seattle Times. He recently left sports for investigative reporting. Right here, Baker takes a lengthy and intriguing look at goings-on in the Mariners’ front office. Brew a pot of coffee and settle in for an outstanding read.
Wes Welker, a receiver with the NFL’s Denver Broncos, suffered his second concussion in four weeks on Sunday. . . . Sports writer Jeff Pearlman penned a letter to Welker, asking the NFLer to retire. That is right here.
Just in case you weren’t aware, TSN is televising every game of basketball that involves Andrew Wiggins.

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