The Silvertips’ Dawson Butt skates with the puck during a game on Jan. 6, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Silvertips’ Dawson Butt skates with the puck during a game on Jan. 6, 2019, in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Silvertips not panicking despite unfortunate circumstances

Poor results and bad news haven’t tanked Everett’s confidence.

EVERETT — From the outside, the Everett Silvertips may look like a team in turmoil.

If you ask them, things are just fine.

Sure, the Silvertips have won just two of their past eight games since returning from the Western Hockey League Christmas break, and just lost key players in defenseman Gianni Fairbrother and forward Dawson Butt to a season-ending injury and a 12-game suspension, respectively.

But the Silvertips aren’t putting extra pressure on themselves to right the ship heading into a difficult three-games-in-three-days stretch.

“It’s just a normal weekend for us,” Silvertips head coach Dennis Williams said. “We’ve had a really good week of tempo and talking. Just a real positive week. And that’s not to say we’re going to win hockey games this weekend either, but we have to take off some of the pressure and deflect them other directions.”

Williams and the team’s leadership have done as much as they can to lighten the atmosphere around the rink despite the recent circumstances. It involves gestures like ordering lunch for players on Wednesday and taking the team to the Immersion escape room in Massively for further team bonding.

The Silvertips host the Kelowna Rockets on Friday, the eventual host of the 2020 Memorial Cup, before hosting archrival Seattle on Saturday and returning the favor at the Showare Center in Kent on Sunday.

Everett will have to do so without two veteran contributors that logged plenty of ice time.

Fairbrother, a Montreal Canadiens prospect, was a top-four defenseman for Everett this season and recorded five goals and 25 points, the fifth-most amongst Silvertips’ skaters, before being shut down. Fairbrother was an all-situations player, logging significant minutes on the power-play and penalty kill, and was a team leader as an assistant captain.

“We obviously lose some leadership with Gianni there,” Williams said. “He plays a 200-foot game without the puck and some other guys will have to step up.”

Kasper Puutio, the 17-year-old defenseman the Silvertips acquired on trade deadline day from Swift Current, is expected to shoulder the roughly 25 minutes per game Fairbrother is leaving behind, in Williams’ estimation.

The Finnish blueliner is expected in Everett on Friday after competing in the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects game on Thursday in Hamilton, Ontario, although it’s uncertain whether he’ll be able to play against Kelowna that night.

Butt, a Buckley native, has 12 points in 38 games and adds a rugged presence to Everett’s middle-six forward group.

The key for Butt moving forward is staying out of the crosshairs of the league’s disciplinary office, as he’s been labeled a repeat offender with his recent 12-game suspension, the longest the league has handed down since 2014. Any other transgression could possibly warrant an even longer suspension.

“We’ve already talked to Dawson after the game and the league has talked to him,” Williams said. “Obviously it’s a lot of games. Dawson has played well all year. He hasn’t had any antics this year, as far as I’m concerned. In Seattle, he stuck up for Gianni Fairbrother when (Matthew) Wedman took a five-minute major with head contact, but other than that, it’s been a quiet year for him.

“He’s been able to play good hockey for us and he’s been focusing on playing the game right. What happened Sunday was unfortunate, but Dawson, he takes it just like any player would. I’m sure if he could re-think and re-do it, he wouldn’t have done that.”

Everett native Hunter Campbell is the next man up for Butt’s spot as Everett’s third-line right winger until Butt can return on Feb. 19 against Moose Jaw.


Over the Silvertips’ 2-5-1 stretch since coming back from the Christmas break, they are allowing 4.38 goals per game while scoring 3.63 goals per game in that same period.

The Silvertips’ scoring clip in that stretch is higher than their season average of 3.38 goals, but the over four goals allowed per game is almost two more than the team’s season average of 2.63.

Nonetheless, Williams is content with his team’s performance over that stretch.

“We’ve executed well. I think we’ve done a lot of good things,” Williams said. “I disagree with us not playing well. Are the wins there? No. But is the compete there? Yes. Is there urgency there during games? Yes. Have we quit on games? No. For that, I think we’ve done OK. Of course we want to win those games, but those haven’t fallen our way.”


The city of Everett will get its first look at the Memorial Cup hosts when the Rockets and Silvertips drop the puck at 7:35 p.m. Friday in the second of four meetings between the two squads.

Kelowna looks far different from when the Rockets thumped the Silvertips, 5-1, at the Prospera Place on Sept. 28, as Kelowna has made 10 trades since then. The most notable were the acquisitions of two overagers, former Thunderbird captain Wedman and Edmonton Oil King Conner McDonald.

Kelowna sits at third in the B.C. Division with 45 points.


The Thunderbirds are fourth in the U.S. Division standings, but have played well lately against the Silvertips, having won the past two matchups between the two squads.

Seattle netminder Roddy Ross has stopped 66-of-70 shots in the two wins, good for a .943 save percentage.

Josh Horton covers the Silvertips for the Herald. Follow him on Twitter, @JoshHortonEDH

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Rory McIlroy hits from the fairway on second hole at the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin / Tribune News Service)
Column: My storylines for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Part 1: The U.S. men’s and women’s basketball squads, golf’s Scheffler, Schauffele and McIlroy are my favorites to win medals.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Five things as Seahawks open first training camp of Mike Macdonald era | Analysis

The first day to evaluate the 90 campers begins Wednesday.

Lakeside’s Addie Streidl hits the ball during the girls gold doubles championship match at the Snohomish Summer Smash at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Sunday, July 21, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Wesco tennis players crowned champions at 2024 Snohomish Summer Smash

Shorewood’s Carlota Garibay Romero and Archbishop Murphy’s Cole Balen highlight the weekend with singles and doubles titles.

Boys Snohomish Little League 8-10 coach Aaron Barstad (kneeling) talks to the outfield during practice at the Snohomish Little League Complex in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, July 18, 2024. Barstad’s team claimed the Washington District 1 Little League title, securing a spot in the 2024 Washington State 8-10 Baseball tournament held July 20-27 at the North Kitsap League Complex in Poulsbo, Washington. (Taras McCurdie / The Herald)
Baseball history in the making: Snohomish Little League 10U boys team is state bound

The 2024 District 1 champions became the first Snohomish boys team to advance.

Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes catches a pop fly in foul territory during Friday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians. (Jefferee Woo / Tribune News Service)
Ranking the best Mariners trade targets as deadline nears

Seattle needs to fill the offensive gap by July 30.

Matt Calkins: Forget the slow start, the Sounders are showing they’re title contenders

Seattle’s 2-0 win over St. Louis City FC launched it into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald talks with the media after practice at Under Armour Performance Center. The Seattle Seahawks hired Macdonald on January 31, 2024. (Kevin Richardson / Tribune News Service)
Seattle Seahawks roster breakdown: One thought on Geno Smith and every position group

The next phase of Mike Macdonald’s debut season as head coach of… Continue reading

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners lean on college players, pitchers with ‘power arms’ as MLB draft concludes

Seattle’s 20 selections include 19 college players and one high schooler.

Jurrangelo Cijntje pitches at the 2022 MLB Draft Combine held at Petco Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 in San Diego, CA. Cijntje, from Mississippi State, was the Mariners’ first pick in the 2024 MLB Draft. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Mariners go college route on second day of draft, take 2-way player Grant Knipp

Seattle chose youth and selected eight college players.

View of T-Mobile Park from the Press Club. Ben Ray / The Reporter
T-Mobile Park at 25: Mariners fans share favorite ballpark memories

The venue turned a quarter of a century on Monday

Kamiak High School’s Victor Sanchez Hernandez Jr. puts on a University of Washington football helmet. Sanchez Hernandez, a three-star defensive end who’s heading into his senior season, committed to the Huskies. (Photo courtesy of Victory Sanchez Hernandez Jr.)
High school football recruiting: Here’s how Washington’s 2025, 2026 classes are shaping up

TNT sports reporter Jon Manley spoke with national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman.

Tyler Cronk performs in the slam dunk competition during the Everett 3on3 tournament in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday, July 14, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Recap, videos and photos: 2024 Everett 3on3 was another slam dunk

Everett alumni place second; skills contests, food trucks and vendors were also in full swing this past weekend to celebrate the basketball tournament’s third edition.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.