Monday, 16 January 2017

Wong Named WHL Player of the Week

The Western Hockey League announced today that Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong has been named the WHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 15, 2017.

Wong registered 10 points (5G-5A) in four games to help the Hurricanes collect points in four consecutive games, going 2-0-1-1 this past week.

On Wednesday, January 11, Wong notched two points (1G-1A) in a 7-4 win at Edmonton. On Friday, January 13, he managed another two points (1G-1A) in a 6-5 shootout loss versus Prince George, being named third star for his efforts. The next night – Saturday, January 14 – Wong struck for two more points (1G-1A) in a 6-5 win versus Edmonton. He rounded out the weekend with a four-point performance (2G-2A) on Sunday, January 15, in a 6-5 overtime loss at Calgary and was named second star.

A 20-year-old product of Cochrane, AB, Wong currently sits fourth in the WHL scoring race with 66 points (33G-33A) in 43 games. His 33 goals are good for third in WHL goal scoring.

On Tuesday, January 3, Wong was named the WHL Player of the Month for December after posting 25 points (8G-17A) in 12 games, leading the Hurricanes to a record of 8-2-2-0.

The 5-foot-9, 176-pounnd right winger was originally a fifth round pick (101st) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft. In his fifth season with the Hurricanes, Wong has amassed 255 points (125G-130A) in 291 career regular season contests.

(From WHL)

Thanks,
Pat

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Trades, Trades, and More

Well, back to the grindstone after a week of holidays.

For the first time, I was away during the WHL's trade deadline, but was following the interesting and fast transactions leading up to and during the trade deadline a few days ago.

No one can accuse Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt of never being a willing trade partner. In his two years as GM of this team, he's made more deals than every other Hurricanes General Manager in the past seasons previous combined. Anholt has never been shy to pull the trigger on a deal, but he's certainly not the kind of guy to make a trade for the sake of making a trade.

Anholt certainly didn't disappoint this trade deadline either, making a number of deals including a blockbuster with Central Division rivals, the Kootenay ICE. Here's a run down on most recent deals:

* Hurricanes acquire 1998 born defenceman Brady Pouteau from Regina Pats for 7th round pick in 2018 WHL Draft

* Canes trade for 1998 born defenceman Kyle Yewchuk from Edmonton Oil Kings. The Hurricanes give up a 5th round selection in the 2018 Western Hockey League Draft

* The Canes acquired 1997 born forward Alec Baer from Vancouver in exchange for a 3rd round pick in the 2017 WHL Draft

* Hurricanes trade overage defenceman Shaun Dosanjh to Portland Winterhawks for a 9th round pick in 2017 WHL Draft. Canes also re-assigned 17 year old defenceman Ethan Kings to Junior "B".

* Canes deal overage forward Ryley Lindgren & a 6th round pick in 2018 WHL Draft to Swift Current Broncos in exchange for prospect Carson Dyck & 3rd round pick in 2018 Draft

* Hurricanes trade with Kootenay ICE and acquire overage forwards Matt Alfaro and Zak Zborosky and a 6th round pick in 2018 WHL Draft in exchange for forwards Kolton Kroker, Brett Davis, as well as a 2nd and 4th round pick in 2018 draft.

All that took place in just a few days.  Couple these deals with the ones that took place back in November and this Lethbridge Hurricanes team is a vastly different looking group than the one that started the season. In fact, it's not even close to the same team.

Again, some fans I read on-line were quite upset over the deals, but one thing I've realized about Peter Anholt is he won't make a deal just for the sake of making a deal as I said earlier. Let's see how this all plays out before jumping to conclusions. Remember in November, some people were quick to hammer the GM over some big name trades, but that seemed to work out quite well with the team going on its longest unbeaten streak of the season after that.

The Hurricanes will now make a run to the post-season with this current roster, so it'll be interesting to see how this all shakes down. They sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference as I type this blog post and are still very much within striking distance of Regina and Medicine Hat, two teams holding down the top two positions in the East at the moment.

Lethbridge also has a fairly comfortable lead in the standings on a few other clubs, so barring some crazy slide, the Canes should be a playoff team for a second straight season. Hopefully all the trades made over the past two months will get the Hurricanes past the first round of the playoffs. However, there are still two months two go in the regular season, so lets not put the cart before the horse here so-to-speak.

The point I'm trying to make and it's really the same as it was when I posted after all the trade activity back in November, is lets not be so quick to fire before we see if these deals will turn out to be good or bad.

Peter Anholt has a pretty good track record during his time in Lethbridge when it comes to wheeling and dealing, so I'm not one to criticize so quickly. If these trades prove to send the team into a spiral and find the club out of the post-season come mid-March, then Peter Anholt will have some questions to answer, but until then and if that happens, lets give him and this team the benefit of the doubt.

Let's be honest here. Beating Regina and Medicine Hat, but especially the Pats in a playoff series, I think is going to be really tough for any team in the Eastern Conference this season. The Canes, I think would fair much better against the Tigers if the two teams were to meet up in the playoffs, but again there's lots that can happen before then. I'm just saying that those teams have been hard to play against all season long for several clubs.

Cheers,
Pat

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Away On Holidays

I'm away on holidays till January 12. 

I will recap the Hurricanes trades from the deadline this weekend when I'm back. 

Thank you for your understanding. 

Cheers,
Pat


Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Wong WHL Player of the Month in December

The Western Hockey League announced today that Lethbridge Hurricanes forward Tyler Wong has been named the WHL Player of the Month for December 2016.

Wong, a 20-year-old product of Cochrane, AB, registered 25 points (8G-17A) in 12 games to help the Lethbridge Hurricanes go 8-2-2-0 during the month of December.

In December, the Hurricanes’ captain put forth nine multipoint performances, including three points or more on five occasions. On Friday, December 2, he collected a goal and two assists in a 5-3 win versus Red Deer before notching another goal and two assists on Monday, December 5, in a 6-4 win at Edmonton. On Wednesday, December 7, Wong secured another goal and two assists in a 5-4 overtime win versus Regina before chipping in with three assists on Sunday, December 11, in a 6-5 win versus Kelowna. Wong wrapped up the holiday season with an outstanding five-point performance (2G-3A) in a 9-7 win at Medicine Hat on Friday, December 30.

Averaging 2.08 points per game during the month of December, Wong earned first star honours three times, second star recognition once and third star honours three times.

The 5-foot-9, 176-pound right winger is seventh in the WHL scoring race with 51 points (25G-26A) through 35 appearances this season.

Wong, originally a fifth round pick (101st) of the Lethbridge Hurricanes at the 2011 WHL Bantam Draft, is in his fifth season with the Hurricanes, amassing 240 points (117G-123A) in 283 career WHL regular season games.

(From the Western Hockey League)

Thanks,
Pat

Monday, 12 December 2016

Red Hot Hurricanes Rolling

It really baffled me how many people were all over Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt over the last three to four weeks when he made a series of trades to shake up his team.

I've had several people ask me what is going on?  Why would the GM be trading away high-producing point players? Why is he destroying this team one person asked me? Some of the other comments I read from some fans on Facebook criticizing Anholt's decisions surprised me as well. Anholt came in here two seasons ago and turned around a sinking ship. The Canes had an incredible season last year after missing the playoffs for several seasons prior. That was Anholt's doing. Remember, it starts from the top and trickles on down.

This year, the Hurricanes got off to a rocky start. The team quite frankly was all over the map and didn't seem to have an identity. Anholt takes charge and made, what some people called a few suspect trades. However, no one seems to be all over Anholt now. WHY???? Well since those trades were made, the Hurricanes have become the hottest team in the Western Hockey League. They're 11-0-1-0 in their last 12 games and have moved to within five points of the Central Division-leading Medicine Hat. The Hurricanes trailed the Tigers by nearly 15 points a month ago. Now the Canes are knocking on the door for first in the Division. No one is criticizing Anholt now.

I spoke with Anholt the other day about a number of things and you can listen to that below.



Sometimes trades happen for reasons other than a lack of production on the ice. It's about making your team better both on and off the ice. Anyone who's watched the Canes play during this streak can see plain as day this is a whole different team. They are confident from front to back and are playing as a group. There are no individuals on this Hurricanes team right now.

People are so quick to shoot and ask questions later. That's why I didn't think the criticism of Anholt by some people was justified. Anholt, in his time in Lethbridge has done nothing but bring back the respectability to the Hurricanes as an organization on the ice. Its just an important to have that cohesiveness off the ice. They go hand-in-hand. Whatever the reasons for the trades Anholt made recently have seemed to bring this Lethbridge team back from a deep sleep, because the Cane Train is chugging down the track right now, full steam ahead!

Thanks,
Pat



Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Hurricanes This Week

The latest edition of Hurricanes This Week is up for your listening pleasure, courtesy of www.110percentpod.com.

On the program this week, host Jordan Karst brings back former Hurricanes Board Member and Radio Colour Analyst Dick Gibson, Matt Battochio from Global Lethbridge, and Dylan Purcell (I think he still works in newspaper sports)

They recap recent Teddy Bear Toss, the Hurricanes recent hot streak, the upcoming schedule and the another blog from Joe McFarland (see I mentioned him this time) and I'll pop by for a quick interview with Canes forward Giorgio Estephan.



Thanks,
Pat

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Hurricanes Trade Brady Reagan to Calgary

The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club announced Wednesday that the team has acquired a fourth round draft pick in the 2017 Western Hockey League Bantam Draft from the Calgary Hitmen in exchange for defenseman Brady Reagan.

Reagan, 19, was originally acquired by the Hurricanes at the 2015 WHL Trade Deadline from the Regina Pats. In 123 games as a Hurricane, the Calgary product registered 30 points (8g-22a) along with 99 penalty minutes.


“I think the emergence of some of our young guys have enable us to do this,” said Hurricanes General Manager Peter Anholt. “Brady’s been a real strong Hurricane over two years. Unfortunately his play probably hasn’t been what we had hoped it would be this year and couple that with some of our young guys and us wanting to play some of the young guys more, it’s pushed us into moving him to another team.”

(From Lethbridge Hurricanes)

Thanks,
Pat