Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We are gone . . . visit us at NewsKamloops.com



We have moved . . . we now are located right here. . . . Hopefully, you will check us out.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wonder Woman to walk again . . . Rockets have a head coach . . . Medicine Hat gets keys to facility

NewsKamloops.com, the new home of Taking Note, is scheduled to go online today at 4 a.m.
In the future, in order to find Taking Note, you simply have to go to NewsKamloops.com and find it in the bar near the top of the home page.
Who knows? While you’re there, you may find something else that might pique your interest.

D Bretton Stamler (Seattle, Edmonton, Swift Current, 2003-08) signed a one-year contract with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL). Last season, he was had three assists in five games with the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL), was pointless in seven games with the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), and had a goal and 11 assists in 24 games with the Hamburg Freezers (Germany, DEL).
Dorothy, aka Wonder Woman, was rather excited in the
before our son, Todd, was married on July 4.

It’s that time of the year again. Yes, it’s almost time for the 2015 Kidney Walk and, yes, my good wife, Dorothy, is involved for a second straight year.
If you’re new here, Dorothy (aka Wonder Woman) underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. After encountering a few speed bumps, things have been pretty good for the past few months. In fact, Dorothy made her three-month visit to the transplant clinic on Friday and got her second straight excellent report.
As she says repeatedly, “I am one of the fortunate ones.”
Which is why she wants to give back to the Kidney Foundation and has chosen the Kidney Walk to do just that.
This year’s Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 27 and we will be there.
If you would like to be part of Dorothy’s team, just click right here and make a donation. The bus started filling up on Monday.

It is one of hockey’s dirty little secrets . . . really, really dirty. I am referring to a pinch between the cheek and gum. While it may not be as prevalent in hockey as it is in baseball, chewing and/or dipping is popular among hockey players, junior and professional, as well. . . . The WHL has moved to ban it, but it’s still there. . . . Meanwhile, the City of San Francisco is in the process of banning the habit in all city parks, including AT&T Park, the home of the Giants. . . . Perhaps, cities in which there are WHL franchises could ban dipping and chewing from public arenas. . . . There is more right here on the situation in San Francisco.
Considering what the City of San Francisco is attempting to do, it’s worth taking a look back at something former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling wrote for The Players Tribune about dipping and chewing. That story, in the form of a letter to his 16-year-old self, is right here.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

The Kelowna Rockets are expected to introduce their new head coach today at noon Pacific time. They have been looking for a head coach since Dan Lambert resigned on July 6. Lambert spent one season as the Rockets’ head coach, winning a WHL championship, after working for five seasons as an assistant coach in Kelowna. Lambert now is an assistant coach with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

The City of Medicine Hat has been given the keys to its new arena, the Canalta Centre. Collin Gallant of the Medicine Hat News reports that the facility was turned over to the city on Friday at midnight. . . . Gallant’s story is right here.

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Did Blue Jays win World Series already? . . . FIFA in Mob Museum . . . Hanks wants word with Flores

“Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that FIFA boss Sepp Blatter deserves the Nobel Prize,” reports Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post. “Everyone else thinks Blatter deserves the No-Bail Prize.” . . . Have you noticed how Tiger Woods is becoming golf’s answer to the Chicago Cubs? Like the Cubbies, Tiger now teases his fans with a good round or two before he falls back into the pack. . . . “Thank God for @KING5Seattle's weather ‘futurecast’,” tweets Ron Judd of the Seattle Times. “Because ‘forecast’ was just so confusing to so many of us for so long.” . . .
“A woman who won a $188-million lottery jackpot this year in North Carolina was busted last week for marijuana,” reports Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “You’d think with that much money she could afford to move to Colorado.” . . . Hough, again: “The Houston Astros have made Taylor Swift move her tour date at Minute Maid Park from Oct. 13 to Sept. 9 because the team may be headed to the playoffs. Wonder how long it will take for Swift to write a bitter song about the brush-off?” . . . With the struggling Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox playing on ESPN last Sunday night, Hough wrote: “I’ll take ‘Matchups that sounded a lot better when they drew up the schedule’ for $400, Alex.” . . .
After Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter against the Cubs, the Twitter account @Cubs handled it with: “Dexter Fowler walks twice in loss to Phillies.” . . . It’s fireworks season in Vancouver and Wednesday was Brazil night. Why? Because, as Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen explained, Brazil “had some money to burn between the World Cup and Olympics.” . . . The Seattle Seahawks signed quarterback Russell Wilson to a four-year, US$87.6-million contract on Friday. “Fortunately,” noted Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “Seattle citizens still have vastly less-important issues to hold their attention-like education, transportation and health care.” . . .
Is it just me or is Buck Martinez, the always-talking TV voice of the Toronto Blue Jays, trying hard to become the Canadian version of Hawk Harrelson, the professional cheerleader who calls Chicage White Sox’ games? . . . Why else would Martinez be screaming at balls to “get out of here” when a Toronto player hits a long ball? . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Yankees and Red Sox have to be disgusted by Blue Jays trying to buy an AL East title. . . . Did the Blue Jays win the World Series when they beat the bat-less Minnesota Twins on Monday afternoon? . . . Hey, just asking. . . . One more from SportsPickle.com: A-Rod says he wants to play until he’s 45 or baseball begins testing for rare steroid he’s using. . . .
“Jose Canseco says he will live as a woman to support Caitlin Jenner,” reports Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “He started by borrowing some leftover stash from Manny Ramirez.” . . . The Mob Museum in Las Vegas has said it will open a FIFA exhibit in September. That led Littlejohn to wonder: “How much did FIFA have to bribe them to get it?” . . . “The first photos of Jason Pierre-Paul's hand have emerge” Littlejohn writes of the New York Giants defensive lineman who suffered injuries during a July 4 fireworks accident. “It looks like we've found the long-lost cousin of Kermit the Frog.” . . .
Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News wonders: “Has any sports owner around here ever had to admit, as John Mara did the other day, that he didn’t know how many fingers one of his star players has?” . . . Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle has a question: “If Pete Rose were a Buddhist, would he be banned for more than one lifetime?” . . . Here’s RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com with a social note: “Tennis stars Maria Sharapova and Grigor Dimitrov have ended their two-year relationship. I can’t help thinking he took Sharapova for grunted.” . . .
Earlier this week, centre Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was seen serving coffee at a Tim Hortons outlet in Dartmouth, N.S.. That got Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong to wondering: “How does he sleep at night taking away much needed part-time work from CFL players?” . . . Actually, Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche were shooting a TV commercial. . . . “New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores was shown on TV crying after they told him he had been traded,” Chong writes. “The deal fell through but Tom Hanks still said he wanted to have a few words with young Wilmer.” . . .
Brendan Taman, the general manager of the 0-6 Saskatchewan Roughriders, gave his head coach, Corey Chamblin, a vote of confidence on Monday. . . . That only means that Chamblin shouldn’t be buying any green bananas. . . . Actually, the head coach is signed through 2017 and, while the Roughriders have money in the bank, they aren’t about to spend it by paying someone not to coach for two-plus seasons. . . . NFL training camps are in full swing. "As usual," NBC's Seth Meyers reports, "the New England Patriots camp began with the ceremonial burning of the rule book.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at greggdrinnan@gmail.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)
There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Taking Note on the move . . . Next stop: NewsKamloops.com

We’re moving!
In fact, the move has begun.
On Tuesday morning, a new website — NewsKamloops.com — will make its debut and Taking Note will be a part of it.
After being a free-standing blog since its inception, more than 5,000 posts ago, Taking Note is moving in under the umbrella of NewsKamloops. (You are able to follow NewsKamloops  on Twitter at @newskamloops.)
The three men behind NewsKamloops — Claude Richmond, Mel Rothenburger and Steve Ceron — approached me a couple of months ago and asked if I would be interested in being part of their project.
I thought about it for a second or two and agreed.
There won’t be any change to the content of Taking Note, which will continue to operate independently and focus on life in and around the Western Hockey League. You will still find links here to stories, columns and opinion pieces that catch my eye. Keeping Score, the compilation of quotes and tidbits, will still be here, as will The MacBeth Report and everything else.
I can only hope that all of you will make the move with me.

 There has never been a subscription fee for this blog, but if you enjoy stopping by here, why not consider donating to the cause? Just click HERE. . . and thank you very much.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Might sanctions hit at 2016 WJC? . . . Hitmen add experienced scouts . . . Silvertips lose their voice

F Denis Tolpeko (Seattle, Regina, 2003-06) was traded by Salevat Yulaev Ufa to Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod (both Russia, KHL) for 2016 second- and third-round picks in the KHL Junior Draft. Last season, with Salevat Yulaev, he had 10 goals and eight assists in 59 games.

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship is scheduled for Helsinki, Finland, where games are to be played in two arenas, including Hartwall Arena.
Team USA and Canada are to play their round-robin games in an older arena that is owned by the city of Helsinki. The playoff round is to be played in Hartwall Arena.
But what if the U.S. government stepped in and told Team USA that it couldn’t play there? What if teams from European Union (EU) countries weren’t allowed to play there? What then?
Why would that happen?
Well . . . follow along here . . .
The MacBeth Report informs us that on Thursday the U.S. government added Roman Rotenberg, Kai Pannanen, Långvik Capital, Airfix Aviation, and two companies operated by Pannanen to its embargo list.
Rotenberg holds Finnish and Russian passports.
Pannanen is a Finnish citizen who is a member of the board of directors of the Jokerit hockey team.
Långvik Capital is owned by Arkady and Boris Rottenberg. Roman Rottenberg is Boris’s son and Arkady’s nephew.
Arkady Rottenberg owns the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow and is a childhood friend and judo partner of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Boris Rotenberg owns the KHL’s Dynamo Moscow soccer team. He also is a childhood friend and judo partner of Putin.
Airfix Aviation is owned by Gennady Timchenko, who owns the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg franchise and is the chairman of the KHL’s board. He holds Russian, Finnish and Armenian citizenship.
Which brings us to Arena Events OY, which owns Hartwall Arena and a majority interest, perhaps even 100 per cent, in Jokerit, which is to play in the KHL in 2015-16.
Arena Events purchased Jokerit and Hartwall Arena in 2012. At that time, Arena Events was owned by Långvik Capital and Timchenko. However, Timchenko, and Arkady and Boris Rotenberg soon found themselves on the U.S. sanctions list, so the ownership picture changed, with Roman Rotenberg becoming the owner of Långvik Capital.
The Finnish government asked the U.S. government about the inclusion of two Finnish citizens and four Finnish companies on the sanctions list. According to Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat, the U.S. told Finland “the list was expanded to include people and practices who support already-blacklisted magnates Gennadi Timchenko and Boris Rotenberg.”
Marko Lempinen, a columnist with Ilta-Sanomat, speculated that should Jokerit get added to the list the team might fold.
After all, EU companies aren’t allowed to do business with companies or individuals on the EU sanctions list.
Lempinen also wondered in print when Timchenko and Arkady Rotenberg will decide that such problems associated with Jokerit and Hartwall Arena aren’t worth the bother any longer. As Lempinen mused, they are billionaires and wouldn’t be harmed economically by folding Jokerit and letting Hartwall sit unoccupied for a year or two.
Which brings us back to the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The tournament opens Dec. 26, 2015, with Russia meeting Czech Republic in Hartwall Arena.
As mentioned, the playoff round is to be held in Hartwall Arena. Let’s assume that Team USA qualifies for the playoff round.
If Jokerit and Hartwall Arena are on the embargo list, can Team USA play any games in the facility?
In fact, if Roman Rotenberg is added to the EU sanctions list, along with Långvik Capital, can teams from any EU countries play in Hartwall Arena without violating the sanctions?
Ron Toigo, the majority owner of the Vancouver Giants, didn’t do anything Friday to quell the rumours of a possible move.
The Giants play in Pacific Coliseum where, he told Greg Douglas, who writes a Saturday column for the Vancouver Sun, that “the rent we’re paying is the highest in the league. It’s not working.”
There has been speculation that the City of Surrey is prepared to offer up some land if a developer wants to build an arena. That led to rumours that the Giants might be on the move.
“I keep hearing that a new arena in South Surrey is in the planning stages,” Toigo told Douglas. “But so far it’s just been a lot of talk.”
Douglas pointed out that the Giants’ attendance has fallen from 8,717 in 2008-09 to about 5,800 last season.
“Am I concerned about it? Absolutely,” Toigo told Douglas. “We’re starting to lose money. . . . The Coliseum is tired and needs capital funding but doesn’t get a subsidy from any level of government.”
Stay tuned. This story likely is far from over.
The Calgary Hitmen have added two former WHL general managers to their scouting staff. Roy Stasiuk has been named Prairie scouting director, while Dallas Thompson will work as B.C. scouting director. . . . The Hitmen also announced the retirement of Ray Payne, who was their travelling scout. He will continue to scout for the Hitmen on a part-time basis in the Vancouver area. . . . Stasiuk, from Edmonton, was on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ scouting staff for the past six seasons. He has worked in the WHL with Prince Albert, Red Deer, Edmonton, Kootenay and Lethbridge. He had a stint as general manager in Lethbridge, after working as assistant GM/director of player personnel with Kootenay. . . . Thompson worked for 10 years as the general manager of the Prince George Cougars. . . . Dan Bonar remains Calgary’s director, player personnel and oversees the scouting staff.
The Everett Silvertips have lost Travis Huntington, their play-by-play voice. He is leaving the organization for personal reasons. . . . “The decision to leave was a very difficult one motivated by a desire to be closer to family and friends in Colorado,” Huntington said in a news release, “but I will greatly miss being a member of this team and the friends I’ve made.” . . . Huntington, 32, was the director of broadcasting and public relations for four seasons. . . . He is from Platteville, Colo.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton . . .

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Two former Chiefs on the move . . . Bobylev plays for Spartak . . . Lowdown on Deflategate

EIHL-UKF Chris Bruton (Spokane, 2004-08) signed a one-year contract with the Braehead Clan Glasgow (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, he had two goals and two assists in 52 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL). . . . Braehead head coach Ryan Finnerty said Bruton is "going to take advantage of the MBA course at the University of the West of Scotland." . . .

F Brad Schell (Spokane, 1999-2004) signed a one-year contract with Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, with Herning (Denmark, Metal Ligaen), he had 11 goals and 54 assists in 36 games. He led the league in assists, was fourth in the points race and was second in plus-minus, at plus-34. . . .
F Pavel Brendl (Calgary, 1998-2001) signed a one-year extension with Skalica (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, he had 13 goals and seven assists in 19 games.

KHLF Vladimir Bobylev was in the lineup for Spartak Moscow in a 4-3 exhibition loss to SKA St. Petersburg on Wednesday afternoon in Espoo, Finland. Bobylev, wearing No. 47, was listed as the fourth-line centre. A game summary wasn’t available, other than goals, and Bobylev didn’t score. . . . Spartak’s schedule had it practising in Espoo on Thursday and flying to Moscow today, where they will skate on Saturday. Spartak’s next game is scheduled for Thursday against Amur Khabarovsk in Moscow.
Bobylev, 18, played last season with the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, who released him earlier this summer. He then was selected by the Victoria Royals in the CHL’s import draft. They are expecting Bobylev to be at their training camp later in August.
CHLThe ECHL’s Quad Cities Mallards have signed D Kevin Gibson, a 25-year-old out of the U of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He is the son of former major league baseball player and manager Kirk Gibson. Marc Nesseler of Quad-Cities Online has more right here.

Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.

If you have been paying any attention at all to Tom Brady, the NFL and Deflategate, you should give this right here a read. It’s a column by Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post and it ties it all up rather nicely and puts a big bow on top. Good stuff!

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Name change in Kamloops . . . AIK gives its blessing to Kylington . . . Blades, Royals cut a deal

F Luke Walker (Portland, 2007-10) signed a one-year extension with the Graz 99ers (Austria, Erste Bank Liga). Last season, in 51 games, he had 19 goals and 12 assists. He led the team in goals and was second in points. . . .
F Jozef Balej (Portland, 1999-2002) signed a one-year contract with Piešťany (Slovakia, Extraliga). Last season, with Plzeň (Czech Republic, Extraliga), he had six goals and six assists in 47 games.

The arena that is home to the Kamloops Blazers will have its name changed to The Sandman Centre, effective Sept. 1. The Blazers, the Sandman Hotel Group (SHG) and the City of Kamloops have announced a 10-year deal on the naming rights.
For the past 10 years, the arena has been known as Interior Savings Centre. The Interior Savings Credit Union paid $120,000 per year for the naming rights.
The arena is owned by the city, but financial terms of the deal with SHG weren’t revealed.
Tom Gaglardi, the Blazers’ majority owner and the owner of the NHL‘s Dallas Stars, is president of Northland Properties Corp., which owns SHG. Gaglardi also is chief executive officer of SHG.
Interior Savings Credit Union (ISCU) had hoped to keep the rights and, in fact, entered a bid with that in mind. However, Interior Savings was told a few days ago that the rights were going to SHG.
“We were keenly interested in continuing on,” Gene Creelman, ISCU’s senior vice-president, member of community engagement, told Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week. “There is a process the city follows. We had submitted a good proposal.”
SHG has two properties in Kamloops, the newest having opened across from the Interior Savings Centre in 2014.
“If you look at it from a management or a business perspective, we understand what’s needed there, if one reads between the lines,” Creelman told Hastings.
The arena also has been known as Riverside Coliseum and Sport Mart Place since opening in 1992.
Hastings’ story is right here.
The chances of Swedish D Oliver Kylington playing for the Brandon Wheat Kings improved on Wednesday when AIK said it wouldn’t stand in the way of him playing in North America. . . . Kylington was selected by the Calgary Flames in the second round of last month’s NHL draft. The Wheat Kings later selected him in the CHL import draft. . . . Kylington, who is from Stockholm, had signed a two-year contract with AIK, a Swedish professional team. . . . On its website, AIK general manager Anders Gozzi said: “We do not stop Oliver from the opportunity he has been given.” . . . Kylington is quoted as saying: “I went into this season with a full focus on helping AIK (in the) coming season. I really believe in the venture to which the club is now doing and I wanted to be a part of it.” . . . Kylington, 18, will attend the Flames’ rookie camp and then, presumably, main camp. Because he was drafted out of Europe, he could play for the Flames, their AHL affiliate, the Stockton Heat, or the Wheat Kings in 2015-16.
The Everett Silvertips have signed to two players they selected in the CHL’s 2015 import draft -- D Alexander Scherbakov and F Yan Khomenko. . . . Both are 1998-born Russians, although Scherbakov is a late birthday. . . . The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Scherbakov, from Moscow, had five goals and eight assists in 30 games with the U-17 CSKA Moscow side last season. . .  The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Khomenko, from St. Petersburg, had 30 points, 20 of them goals, in 33 games with the U-17 Dynamo Moscow side.
Got a tip or some information you feel could be useful to me, feel free to email me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com.


The Saskatoon Blades have acquired D Bryton Sayers, 19, from the Victoria Royals for a conditional fifth-round selection in the 2017 WHL bantam draft. Sayers, from Prince Albert, split last season between the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Victoria. . . . In 2013-14, he had 11 points, including four goals, with Lethbridge. Last season, he had 10 points, two of them goals, in 38 games with the Hurricanes, and a goal and an assist in 20 games with Victoria. . . . The Royals had acquired Sayers from Lethbridge on Jan. 10, in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . In 2012-13, he was the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League’s defenceman of the year while with the Prince Albert Mintos.

BroncosThe Swift Current Broncos have signed Ryan Smith as their new associate coach. Smith, from Winnipeg, replaces Josh Dixon, who resigned on July 8 and now is director of player development for CAA Sports. . . . Before signing with Humboldt, Smith was the general manager and head coach of the MJHL’s Selkirk Steelers for five seasons. . . . “He’s done a lot of coaching,” Mark Lamb, the Broncos‘ GM and head coach, said in a news release. “Ryan has been a coach and GM in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Ryan was short-listed last year when we were filling this position and is ready for this challenge.” . . . Smith spent last season as the general manager and head coach of the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos, who now are looking for a GM/head coach. . . . Smith went to Humboldt after Dean Brockman left to join the Saskatoon Blades as an assistant coach.
Randy Cunneyworth has been named head coach of the Rochester Americans, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. . . . This is Cunneyworth’s second stint as head coach of the Americans. He put up a 306-273-61 record from 2000-08. . . . Cunneyworth had been working as Buffalo‘s development coach. . . . He also played 377 games over parts of seven seasons with the Americans.
Garth Mitchell is returning as head coach of the midget AAA Yellowhead Chiefs, who play out of Shoal Lake, Man. Mitchell, who earlier was the Chiefs’ head coach for eight seasons, was an assistant coach with the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals for the past three seasons.
The NAHL’s Amarillo Bulls introduced Matt Nicholson as their new head coach on Wednesday. He takes over from Jon Rogger, who now is an assistant coach with the Bloomington Thunder. . . . Nicholson has been an assistant coach at Robert Morris U for the past six seasons.

The Tri-City Americans have signed F Brett Leason, who was a third-round pick in the WHL`s 2014 bantam draft. From Calgary, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder had 83 points, 43 of them goals, in 30 games with the Calgary Stampeders of the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League last season.

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