Notes and thoughts from a rare Silvertips practice day

The Silvertips held a quick skate session this afternoon in advance of Wednesday’s home game against the Spokane Chiefs. On hand was Calgary Flames player development coach Ron Sutter who is in town working with Tips rookie forward Eetu Tuulola whom Calgary selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL draft. Sutter is also the father of second-year Everett forward Riley Sutter.

I had the opportunity to speak to Keith Anderson and Cal Babych, Everett’s two most recent additions following the season-ending injury to Orrin Centazzo.

As I wrote in the article appearing in Wednesday’s Herald, Babych has strong hockey bloodlines from his father, Dave, and uncle, Wayne – both of whom had long careers in the NHL. However, unlike Dave who was a defenseman, Cal and Wayne each played forward.

“He always said I wasn’t smart enough to be a defenseman,” Cal said Wednesday with tongue firmly planted in his cheek and eliciting laughter from the assembled media. “He was the reason I chose to go to the Western league because he played here and is a big reason I dedicate so much to hockey.”

Cal was only three when his dad retired, but he remembers spending time at the rink as a toddler.

“Very personable, but on the ice he was a beast – a skilled beast I guess is the way people described him,” Cal said. “He was a different breed of person.”

In other news:

– Former Tips forward Remi Laurencelle was named to the Canada West All-Rookie Team following his debut season at the University of Manitoba. Canada West is one of four regional associations that make up U Sports – essentially the Canadian equivalent of the NCAA.

– Fellow former Tips defenseman Cole MacDonald was named to the Atlantic University Sport All-Rookie team for St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia. AUS is another one of the four regional U Sports associations.

– In a story we’ve been following as it winds its way slowly through the Canadian courts, the financial records of the WHL and OHL teams have been unsealed. Rick Westhead of TSN is the go-to guy on this as he’s been on it from the beginning.

The gist of the argument made by WHL and OHL teams is that they are developmental leagues for student-athletes and that if the teams were forced to pay players minimum wage many would fold. More than 400 former players and their lawyers argue that the teams are for-profit businesses and players deserve some of the revenue.

Yet several other tweets from Westhead indicate the CHL takes in millions from sponsorships and the NHL, evidently allowing some teams a few, shall we say, extravagances:

What isn’t clear is what is considered revenue and who gets paid what within any organization, and Westhead’s story quotes accountant Al Rosen who reviewed the financial statements of the OHL’s London Knights:

“It’s impossible to learn anything meaningful from the Knights’ records,” Rosen said. “They’re useless. They bundle everything into revenue without any explanations. We have no clue what they are including as revenue, and what they are not.

For what it’s worth, the unsealed documents show that the Silvertips generated $4 million in revenue in 2016 for a profit of $263,337.

– Lastly Episode 7 of the critically acclaimed “ThunderTips Podcast” dropped Monday night. It’s embedded below:

For the latest Silvertips news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter.

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