The first coaching casualty of the season is in Everett where the Silvertips fired Mark Ferner last week. Ferner had been with the club for a year and a half leading the team to a 38-64-2-10 record. General manager Garry Davidson, who will replace Ferner behind the bench for the remainder of the season, said it was a difference of philosophies that resulted in the dismissal. Davidson wanted the Silvertips to be more offensive minded while Ferner stressed team defence. Ferner had a pair of unfortunate incidents occur that could have changed his fate as Everett was unable to convince Seth Jones to come and play for the team and captain Ryan Murray was lost for the season back in November when he injured a shoulder and required major surgery. Jones, of course, was a first-round pick of the Silvertips in 2009, but was traded to the Portland Winterhawks when it was obvious he would not move to Everett.
The organizing committee of the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup in Saskatoon announced this week that mini-packages will be on sale to the public beginning this weekend. Tickets for a pair of preliminary games on back-to-back nights will cost between $59 and $99 with fans being able to see all four teams competing for the national championship. A championship package is also available with tickets for the semifinal and championship final running between $89 and $149‚Ä¶Tri-Cities Americans have signed former NHL player Martin Gelinas‚Äôs son Matthew to a standard education contract. The younger Gelinas played a couple of games with the Americans last week, but will finish the season with the Calgary Royals of the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.
Tri-Cities captain Justin Feser could be the Western Hockey League‚Äôs new iron man if all goes well as the 20-year-old has moved into second place after playing his 292nd consecutive game earlier this week. If Feser remains healthy he will surpass the league mark of 311 games set by Dwayne Newman from 1988-92 while with the Brandon Wheat Kings and Victoria Cougars‚Ä¶There were some nasty exchanges between Regina Pats‚Äô head coach Pat Conacher and former player Dominik Volek when the latter returned to the league after being acquired in a trade by the Red Deer Rebels. Volek claimed that he wasn‚Äôt appreciated in Regina and that he had trouble with his billets while Conacher retorted that Volek was a lot of work.
A couple of impressive streaks are in progress as Swift Current Bronco captain Adam Lowry has recorded at least one point in 21 straight games while the Kelowna Rockets have won 16 straight games at Prospera Place. Lowry has a long way to go to catch former Prince Albert Raider Jeff Nelson who had points in 56 straight games in the early 1990‚Äôs while the Rockets are two wins away from equalling a franchise mark set almost a decade ago‚Ä¶The Prince George Cougars continue to have trouble in retaining players as Daulton Siwak has joined Alex Forsberg on the list of players staying at home and requesting a trade. With the trading deadline having passed, the 19-year-old Siwak is likely going to be playing in the Alberta Junior Hockey League for the remainder of the season while Forsberg has already reported to the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Speaking of the trade deadline, it was relatively quiet this year as most teams felt that the stakes were set too high from deals done earlier in the season. That didn‚Äôt stop the Saskatoon Blades from emptying the cupboard further as they will now not have a first-round draft pick until 2016 after spending top picks on securing Michael Ferland from Brandon and Collin Valcourt from Spokane. The Blades have yet to win since making a series of changes at the deadline last Thursday‚Ä¶Still with Saskatoon, when the Blades acquired Ferland, they had to move a 20-year-old as league rules state a team can only have three on their roster. Saskatoon decided Adam Kambeitz was the odd man out and when Red Deer called to see if they could reacquire their former captain, Rebels‚Äô coach and general manager Brent Sutter was told no because the Blades did not want him in their conference. Kambeitz was acquired by Saskatoon in October, but rather than send him back where he had played four seasons, he was sent to the lowly Seattle Thunderbirds.
Finally, a couple of tidbits from the did-you-know department: Prince Albert Raider general manager Bruno Campese‚Äôs son Matthew was summoned to the Victoria Cougars for a few games during the holidays. The younger Campese, who is playing midget hockey in Penticton, was a third-round pick of the Royals in last year‚Äôs bantam draft‚Ä¶Most 1995-born players have no-trade clauses meaning they have to approve a trade before it can be made‚Ä¶Raider defenseman Harrison Ruopp‚Äôs younger brother Sam has been called up by Prince George as an injury replacement since Christmas. The younger Ruopp normally plays with the Regina Pat Canadians of the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League, but it is unclear how long he will be with the Cougars.
Information compiled in the WHL notebook is obtained from information submitted by the WHL Writer‚Äôs Group.