F Carter Proft (Brandon, Spokane, 2010-14) has signed a six-week tryout contract with Grizzlys Wolfsburg (Germany, DEL). He was released by Adler Mannheim (Germany, DEL) by mutual agreement on Sept. 4. Last season, he had one goal in eight games with Mannheim. On loan to the Kassel Huskies (Germany, DEL2), he had four goals and seven assists in 42 games. . . .
F Ned Lukacevic (Spokane, Swift Current, 2001-06) has signed a one-month contract with Újpesti TX Budapest (Hungary, Erste Liga). He had been released by Jegesmedvék Miskolc (Hungary, Erste Liga) by mutual agreement on Sept. 4. Last season, he had six goals and four assists in 10 games with Katowice (Poland, PHL), and one goal and one assist in eight games with the Quad City Mallards (ECHL).
It was slightly more than two years ago when Ron Robison, the commissioner of the WHL, was in Lethbridge, recommending that shareholders in the Hurricanes sell to private interests.
“It’s not to say that this community organization can’t get things turned around,” Robison told reporters. “But we think, when you look at the franchise moving forward, that private interests would be in the best interest of the club.”
At that point, the Hurricanes had missed the playoffs for six straight seasons and had lost more than $1.25 million in the last five of those seasons. In 2014-15 along, the franchise dropped a cool $486,000.
Well, the Hurricanes’ shareholders chose not to sell; instead, they hired Peter Anholt as their general manager and charged him with getting things turned around.
It’s safe to say that Anholt has done that and more.
The organization held its annual meeting on Tuesday night and shareholders were informed that the Hurricanes had turned a $731,710 profit for the 2016-17 season. That’s up from $197,000 for the previous season.
What this means is that the Hurricanes not only are debt free, but they are ahead of the game by more than $320,000.
How important is it to the bottom line for a team to make a playoff run? The Hurricanes played 10 home playoff games last spring, resulting in a net income of $685,000.
Things continue to look up, too, because the Hurricanes have sold 2,125 season tickets for the approaching season. Last season’s figure was 1,950.
For more on the Hurricanes, Aaron Mahoney of LethbridgeNewsNow has a story right here.
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The Moose Jaw Warriors have acquired F Tristyn DeRoose, 18, from the Vancouver Giants for a sixth-round selection in the 2020 WHL bantam draft. . . . DeRoose, from Ceylon, Sask., had a goal and five assists in 55 games with the Giants last season. . . . According to hockey fights.com, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound DeRoose was involved in 15 fights last season, two fewer than WHL leader Riley McKay of the Spokane Chiefs. . . . Prior to last season, DeRoose played two seasons with the midget AAA Yorkton Maulers. . . . The trade leaves the Giants with 15 forwards on their roster, including three 20-year-olds — Jack Flaman, Brad Morrison and Ty Ronning. They also have a fourth 20-year-old in D Darian Skeoch.
The Saskatoon Blades introduced D Evan Fiala as the 58th captain infranchise history on Tuesday. Fiala, who is from Clavet, Sask., was acquired from the Spokane Chiefs in December. In 195 regular-season WHL games, he has 10 goals and 40 assists. . . . The Chiefs selected him in the first round of the WHL’s 2012 bantam draft. . . . An undrafted free agent, Fiala will go to camp with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings this week. . . . Fiala is one of four 20-year-olds on the Blades’ roster. With him having been selected as team captain, one would think one of the other three — G Logan Flodell, F Cam Hebig or F Braylon Shmyr — will lose out when the team gets down to three 20-year-olds, something that must happen by Oct. 10. . . . The Blades also unveiled their third sweater and it’s a winner. For a look, visit the Blades’ website right here.
The Kelowna Rockets got down to two goaltenders on Tuesday and appear ready to open the regular season with Brodan Salmond and James Porter on their roster. . . . Salmond, who turns 19 on Oct. 8, is from Calgary. He was a 10th-round selection in the 2013 bantam draft. Last season, he got into 23 games (12-7-2, 2.76, .891) while backing up Michael Herringer. . . . Porter, 17, is from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, and was taken in the seventh round of the 2015 bantam draft. He has played the past three seasons at the Edge School in Calgary. . . . In order to get down to two goaltenders, the Rockets released Cody Porter, who is not related to James, and Roman Basran. . . . Cody Porter, who will turn 20 on Sept. 23, is from North Vancouver, B.C. He has played the past three seasons in the WHL, getting into 42 games with the Vancouver Giants and 75 with the Calgary Hitmen. . . . Basran, 16, is from Delta, B.C. He played last season at the Yale Hockey Academy in Abbotsford, B.C., and is expected to open this season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets, who are based in Kelowna. The Rockets selected him in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft.
The Prince George Cougars have signed G Isaiah DiLaura, 17, F Brendan Boyle, 16, F Ben Coppinger, 17, and F Marco Mazza, 18, to WHL contracts. . . . DiLaura, from Lakeville, Minn., played last season for Lakeville South High School, going 13-8-1, 1.89, .914. . . . Boyle, from Vernon, B.C., played last season for the Pursuit of Excellence’s Midget Elite 15 team, putting up 10 goals and 15 assists in 28 games. He also played seven games with the midget varsity side, recording two goals and five assists. . . . Coppinger, from Winnipeg, won two straight Manitoba Midget Hockey League titles with the Winnipeg Wild. Last season, he finished with 24 goals and 29 assists in 42 games, then added seven goals and nine assists in 11 playoff games. . . . Mazza, also from Winnipeg, played only 18 games last season because of injury. He split the season between the MJHL’s Virden Oil Capitals and the Fort Garry-Fort Rouge Twins of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League. . . . Boyle will play this season with the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets of the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League. DiLaura, Coppinger and Mazza remain on the Cougars’ roster, which now is at 34.
The Portland Winterhawks appear to have released Evan Fradette from their training camp roster, leaving them with veteran Cole Kehler and sophomore Shane Farkas. . . . Fradette, 16, is from St. Albert, Alta. He played last season with the minor midget AAA St. Albert Flyers. . . . Kehler, who will turn 20 on Dec. 17, is in camp with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets as an undrafted free agent. From Altona, Man., he was a sixth-round pick by the Kamloops Blazers in the 2012 WHL bantam draft. Last season, he made 56 appearances with Portland, going 32-17-3, 3.10, .910. . . . Farkas, 18, is from Penticton, B.C. He was a fourth-round pick by the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the 2014 bantam draft. Last season, he got into six games with Portland, going 3-6-0, 4.66, .860.
At Kennewick, Wash., G Patrick Dea stopped 25 shots and F Nolan Yaremko scored his 10th goal of the exhibition season as the Tri-City Americans beat the Kootenay Ice, 6-0. . . . Dea, 20, spent the past three seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He was 48-55-8, 3.34, .890 in 123 appearances with the Oil Kings. . . . F Carson Focht had a goal and two assists. . . . Yaremko has 10 goals and two assists in five exhibition games. He goes into this season with 17 goals in 140 regular-season games. . . . Tri-City (4-2-1) was 2-4 on the PP; Kootenay (1-3-0) was 0-3. . . . G Bailey Brkin, in his first appearance since being acquired from the Swift Current Broncos, allowed four goals on 20 shots in 31:11 for the Ice. Mario Petit finished up by stopping nine of 11 shots.
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