World Junior talent has returned, the trade deadline has passed, and the action continues across the Canadian Hockey League has the second half schedule is in full swing.
Here’s a look back at some of the action from the past week.
Recognizing World Junior Returnees
49 CHL players competed in the Czech Republic at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and have returned to their club teams. Across the league, many of those players were recognized in special pre-game ceremonies at home and on the road honouring their various achievements.
New Faces in New Places
All three leagues across the CHL completed trade deadline activity last week saying goodbye to some familiar faces who will look to make their mark in new places during the season’s second half.
Touching Tribute for Thomas
Canadian World Junior hero Akil Thomas is the newest member of the Peterborough Petes and became quickly immersed in the organization’s history. Thomas chose to wear his favourite number 44 in maroon and white, the same number worn by the late Steve Montador during the 1999-2000 season, a decision made following a phone call to the Montador family who fully support the tribute.
Bears Fly for Thunderbirds
The annual Teddy Bear Toss tradition across the CHL is the gift that keeps on giving as the Seattle Thunderbirds and fans became the latest to support local families and children in need.
Tackling Hunger with Purolator
Purolator is the newest CHL partner and is teaming up with clubs from coast-to-coast to help tackle hunger in our communities. The first of many game nights took place in Kitchener where Rangers fans helped support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Petes Honour Colin Campbell
The Peterborough Petes paid tribute to one of the game’s most well-travelled and recognizable names on Saturday night, raising Colin Campbell’s banner to the rafters of the Memorial Centre. The current NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations is a former Petes defenceman part of Peterborough’s 1972 Robertson Cup championship squad alongside familiar names in Bob Gainey, Stan Jonathan and Doug Jarvis.
Another Day at the Office for Ottawa 67’s
Following the popular Dunder Mifflin Night introduced by the Ottawa 67’s a year ago, the club once again celebrated one of television’s favourite comedies. Office inspired jerseys and game night activities helped bring the show to life in the nation’s capital complete with a tribute to the program’s classic opening with 67’s players portraying their favourite characters.
Patriots and Physicians
Other theme jerseys to hit the ice over the weekend were seen in Tri-City where the Americans hosted their annual Military Appreciation Night, and the Sudbury Wolves who donned Physician themed jerseys in support of the Health Sciences North Foundation.
Warriors and Otters Fight Cancer
Cancer survivors in Moose Jaw and Erie took part in pre-game ceremonies helping the Warriors and Otters raise awareness and funds to combat the disease in two of the league’s latest Hockey Fights Cancer initiatives.
Byfield Launches Q’s Kids Program
Top NHL Draft prospect and World Junior gold medalist Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves has launched a new program, Q’s Kids, in support of Health Sciences North’s NEO Kids Children Treatment Centre. Young Wolves fans and their families will attend games as Byfield’s special guests throughout the second half of the season.
Gravel Gives Back
Halifax Mooseheads goaltender Alexis Gravel is also on a mission to help raise funds and awareness for cancer in support of his billet father. The Chicago Blackhawks prospect has started a GoFundMe page as part of the fight which has already raised over $2000.
Catching up with a Canadien
The schedule aligned perfectly for the Owen Sound Attack on a recent road trip to Ottawa where the club had the opportunity to see the Montreal Canadiens before they took on the Senators. The club was able to connect with former captain Nick Suzuki who is currently enjoying his NHL rookie season.
Records and Milestones
A 15-game point streak by Evgeniy Oksentyuk has set a new Flint Firebirds record, while out west Ethan Mcindoe of the Edmonton Oil Kings celebrated his 300th WHL game with a hat-trick performance. In the broadcast booth Calgary Hitmen voice Brad Curle called his 1000th game, and the Saint John Sea Dogs played in their 1000th contest to coincide with their 15th season.
With rosters solidified following trade deadline activity, several teams have named new captains and leadership groups for the home stretch. Now proudly wearing the ‘C’ for their clubs includes Luke Henman of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, Luke Bignell of the Barrie Colts, Derek Gentile of the Cape Breton Eagles, Ivan Lodnia of the Niagara IceDogs, Luke Moncada of the North Bay Battalion, Nathan Legare of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, and Yan Aucoin of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Additional roster moves by CHL clubs included commitments from Import Draft picks for the second half. 2020 NHL Draft prospects Jan Mysak (Hamilton Bulldogs) and Nick Malik (Soo Greyhounds) join that list along with 2021 NHL Draft hopeful Oleksii Myklukha (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies). Washington Capitals prospect Martin Has has also joined the Guelph Storm following a trade from the North Bay Battalion.
Tucker Tynan Update
Niagara IceDogs goaltender Tucker Tynan continues to recover following last month’s accident and has undergone another surgery to help get back to full strength.