Trader Matt strikes again … Seattle deals for goaltender … Blades settle on net pair

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F Matt MacKay (Moose Jaw, Medicina Hat, Vancouver, Brandon, 2008-11) has signed a one-year contract with the Heilbronner Falken (Germany, DEL2). Last season, he had one goal and four assists in 41 games with the Augsburger Panther (Germany, DEL).

Great to c Liam Belcourt at team BBQ after his injury last night. #AmsHockey pic.twitter.com/rSAuxWe710

— Robert (Bob) Tory (@BTORY) September 18, 2017

There was a time when Bob Tory, the general manager of the Tri-City Americans, was known in hockey circles as Trader Bob. Tory didn’t earn that moniker because he was afraid to make a trade.


Matt Cockell, the Kootenay Ice’s GM.

It seems, however, that the time has come to pass the moniker along to Matt Cockell, the first-year general manager of the Kootenay Ice.

Cockell and Greg Fettes purchased the Ice from the Chynoweth family, with the WHL’s board of governors approving the sale on April 27.

Cockell, a former WHL goaltender, made his first trade on May 24, acquiring G Mario Petit, 20, from the Everett Silvertips for a conditional sixth-round selection in the 2018 WHL bantam draft.

On Monday, Cockell swung his ninth trade, as he got F Alec Baer, 20, from the Lethbridge Hurricanes for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Here’s a look at all nine of Cockell’s swaps:

May 24 — Acquired G Mario Petit, 20, from Everett for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft. (The Ice released Petit on Sunday.)

June 28 — Acquired F Cameron Hausingrer, 18, from the Red Deer Rebels for a fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

July 5 — Traded G Declan Hobbs, 19, to the Spokane Chiefs for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Aug. 1 — Acquired D Jordan Henderson, 20, from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft.

Sept. 10 — Traded F Max Patterson, who turns 18 on Dec. 27, to the Swift Current Broncos for G Bailey Brkin, 18, and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 11 — Traded F Noah Philp, 19, to the Seattle Thunderbirds for fifth-round selections in the 2018 and 2019 bantam drafts.

Sept. 13 — Acquired G Kurtis Chapman, 19, from the Regina Pats for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 15 — Acquired F Colton Veloso, 20, from the Portland Winterhawks for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Sept. 18 — Acquired F Alec Baer, 20, from Lethbridge for F Jake Elmer, who will turn 19 on Dec. 31, and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 bantam draft.

Baer, from St. Louis Park, Minn., becomes the third 20-year-old on the Ice’s roster. He played three-plus seasons with the Vancouver Giants before being dealt to Lethbridge last season. He had 12 goals and nine assists in 30 games with Lethbridge, after putting up three goals and 15 assists in 39 games with Vancouver. In 270 career games, Baer has 56 goals and 70 assists.

Elmer, from Calgary, had seven goals and nine assists in 46 games with the Ice last season. He was a sixth-round pick by the Regina in the 2013 bantam draft, but was pointless in 20 games with the Pats over two seasons.

The Ice released Petit and Henderson on Sunday, leaving them with, at the time, two 20-year-olds in F Colton Kroeker

The Ice also released D Jordan Henderson, 20, who had been acquired from the Medicine Hat Tigers for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2019 bantam draft. Henderson played with three teams last season, getting into 15 games with Spokane, 20 with the Saskatoon Blades, and 26 with the Tigers. He totalled six goals and 21 assists in this 61 games.

With Petit and Henderson off the roster, the Ice was left with two 20-year-olds — F Colton Kroeker and Veloso. The acquisition of Baer leaves the Ice with the maximum three 20s, barring any future moves.

The Ice also released G Jesse Makaj, 16, from their roster on Sunday, leaving it with Chapman and Brkin as its goaltenders as it prepares to begin regular-season play on on Friday against the visiting Calgary Hitmen.

Chapman, from Airdrie, Alta., finished last season by helping the Portage Terriers to the MJHL championship. He was 2.94 and .905 in 16 regular-season games, then went 2.07 and .931 in 12 playoff games.

Brkin, from Sherwood Park, Alta., was with the AJHL’s Calgary Mustangs last season, going 5.19 and .890.

Of course, all of that could change should one of the 21 other general managers place a call to Trader Matt.

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With G Carl Stankowski injured and apparently a few weeks from returning, the Seattle Thunderbirds have acquired G Liam Hughes from the Edmonton Oil Kings.

In return for Hughes, an 18-year-old from Kelowna, the reigning WHL champions surrendered a fourth-round selection in the WHL’s 2019 bantam draft.

Hughes played in seven games with the Oil Kings last season, all before Oct. 29 when his season was ended by an undisclosed injury. In those seven games, Hughes was 1-4-2, 3.26, .895. One season earlier, his season with the major midget Okanagan Rockets was ended in early February by a lower back injury.

The Oil Kings selected Hughes in the seventh round of the 2014 bantam draft.

With Hughes gone, the Oil Kings still have three goaltenders on their roster — veteran Travis Child, 20, who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings over the summer; Josh Dechaine, 19, who is from St. Albert, Alta.; and Boston Bilous, 16, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 bantam draft. With Hughes out last season, Dechaine backed up Patrick Dea and was 3-8-0, 4.41, .876 in 17 appearances. Dea, 20, now is with the Tri-City Americans.

In Seattle, Hughes joins Matt Berlin, 19, and Cole Schwebius, 16, as the goaltenders on the roster. Berlin got into 13 games (7-2-2, 2.82, .902) with the Thunderbirds last season after moving over from the Spokane Chiefs. Schwebius is a freshman from Kelowna.

Stankowski, a 17-year-old from Calgary, took the WHL by storm last season after Seattle starter Rylan Toth was injured. In seven regular-season appearances, he was 3-0-1, 2.18, .910. He then stole the show in the playoffs, going 16-2-2, 2.50, .911 in backstopping the Thunderbirds to the WHL championship.

However, Stankowski suffered an undisclosed injury over the summer and the acquisition of Hughes would seem to indicate that the sophomore isn’t anywhere close to a return.

The Tri-City Americans are down to four 20-year-olds and two imports, with Russian F Vladislav Lukin having left for the training camp of the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage. Lukin, who has played three seasons with the Americans, had 26 goals and 32 assists in 63 games last season. In 183 regular-season games, he has 54 goals and 64 assists.

The other 20-year-olds on the roster are G Patrick Dea, F Maxwell James, D Brendan O’Reilly and F Jordan Topping.

Dea is one of two goaltenders left, with the other being sophomore Beck Warm. One would think, then, that one of the other three will be moved before the Oct. 10 deadline for each team to declare a maximum of three 20-year-olds.

The two imports in camp are Russian D Roman Kalinichenko and D Sergei Sapego, who is from Belarus. The Americans also have D Juuso Valimaki, who will turn 19 on Oct. 7, on their roster, but he is in camp with the NHL’s Calgary Flames. Should Valimaki return — and he has to play in the NHL or be sent back to the Americans — Tri-City would have two weeks to move out one import player.

The Saskatoon Blades have their roster down to 26 players, including eight defencemen and 16 forwards, after releasing three players on Monday. Gone from the roster are G Nolan Maier, 16, from Yorkton, Sask.; D Zach Ashton, 16, from Calgary; and F Cole Johnson, 19, who is from Marwayne, Alta. . . . With Maier gone, the Blades are down to two goaltenders — veteran Logan Flodell, 20, and freshman Joel Grzybowski, 18, who was an 11th-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft. . . . Maier was a second-round selection in the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Ashton was selected in the third round of the 2016 bantam draft. . . . Johnson had one assist in 20 games with the Blades last season. He also played 44 games with the Swift Current Broncos over three seasons, scoring five goals and adding six assists. . . . The Blades are carrying four 20-year-olds — Flodell, F Cam Hebig, F Braylon Shmyr and D Evan Fiala, who has been released by the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and is on his way back to Saskatoon. With Flodell one of two goaltenders and Fiala having been named captain, it would seem that either Hebig or Shmyr will be moved when the Blades get down to the maximum of three 20s.

Meanwhile, the Blades announced plans to salute former captain Bruce Gordon at their home-opener on Friday against the Swift Current Broncos. Gordon has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be joined in pregame ceremonies by former teammates and friends from throughout the hockey universe. . . . Darren Steinke, the travelling blogger, was at the Blades’ news conference and writes about it right here.

The Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds will meet 12 teams in the WHL’s 2017-18 regular season. Nine of those games are to be televised by JOEtv, starting with a meeting in Portland on Sept. 30.

According to a news release, Ian Furness of 950 KJR/Q13 Fox News will be the play-by-play voice for most of the games.

Here’s the TV schedule:

Sept. 30, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Oct. 7, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 30, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Dec. 31, at Portland, 7 p.m.

Jan. 13, at Portland, 6 p.m.

Feb. 10, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

Feb. 11, at Portland, 5 p.m.

March 4, at Seattle, 5:05 p.m.

March 17, at Seattle, 6:05 p.m.

He loves the movie A River Runs Through It. He does the two-step and the Calgary Stampede. He runs, hikes, surfs and golfs. Dan Price also is the new head coach of the WHL’s Victoria Royals. . . . Cleve Dheensaw of the Victoria Royals provides an interesting look at Price right here.

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).

Calgary Canucks are now playing in the Ken Bracko Arena! pic.twitter.com/ua8ReJSgDC

— Calgary Canucks (@Calgary_Canucks) September 17, 2017

Where's all the @sskroughriders fans with their trolling tweets? Did y'all forget we play this upcoming weekend!

— Bo Levi Mitchell (@BoLeviMitchell) September 18, 2017

The post Trader Matt strikes again … Seattle deals for goaltender … Blades settle on net pair appeared first on Taking Note.

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