The Everett Silvertips take on the Spokane Chiefs for the final time this season tonight at 7:05 p.m. and the Tips are probably ready to be done with the youthful, pesky team that has frustrated them at times this season.
The Chiefs fell 5-2 at Seattle Tuesday night and are one loss combined with one Portland win from being eliminated from playoff contention. Seattle moved back into first place in the U.S. Division with the win, but the Tips can reclaim that spot tonight with a victory.
As always the Tips will need to keep this guy from beating them:
Spokane's 2nd of the night is Kailer Yamamoto (37th of the year) on the Penalty Shot, 19:07 into the 3rd period. pic.twitter.com/AKP4i3LQYJ
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) March 8, 2017
In other news:
– The Sportsnet March draft rankings are out and eight WHL players are projected as first-round picks including the aforementioned Yamamoto. Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings remains the consensus No. 1 pick while two Kelowna Rockets (Cal Foote, Kole Lind) and two Tri-City Americans (Michael Rasmussen, Juuso Valimaki) are projected first-rounders. Rasmussen actually moved up from No. 11 to No. 9 despite last week’s news that he will miss the remainder of the season with a broken wrist. I also count five Finns and four Swedes in the top 31 picks.
– Former Silvertip forward Brandon Ralph had a tremendous season with his hometown Fort McMurray (Albert) Oil Barons of the AJHL. Ralph had 32 goals and 30 assists in 57 regular-season games as the Oil Barons won the regular-season North Division title and have a bye in the first round of the AJHL playoffs.
– There was this interesting story looking at how a fall in the price of oil has affected hockey in Alaska.
– The CHL minimum wage lawsuit continues to meander through the Canadian courts. Rick Westhead of TSN reported last week that franchise values are what the courts are currently looking at. The plaintiffs contend that something doesn’t add up when teams that report losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars then go on to sell for millions.
– In continuing with the CHL suit Greg Harder of the Regina Leader-Post has this story in which the Pats ownership sees early losses as the “cost of doing business” as it hopes to eventually make money while providing quality hockey in Saskatchewan’s capital city. According to the unsealed financial records the Pats have lost about $2 million during the previous two seasons. They were purchased for $7 million in 2014.
– Remember about a year ago when Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Labor Minister Shirley Bond (who represents Prince George) signed B.C. government cabinet order quietly exempted the province’s WHL teams from having to pay players minimum wage? Well, according to Bob Mackin who runs The Breaker website, the Prince George Cougars donated nearly $6,000 to the B.C. Liberals a year after said cabinet order was signed. Mackin’s story also reported that Ron Toigo, who owns the Vancouver Giants and the White Spot restaurants donated nearly $195,000 to the B.C. Liberals between 2005-2016. You’re free to draw your own conclusions.
– Finally we have tonight’s live blog as the Tips take on the Spokane Chiefs. Follow along below and feel free to join in: