Corrigan Loses It Again

If there’s one thing Seattle Sailors coach Stewart “Popeye” Corrigan has become known for in his season-plus on the bench, it’s his explosive temper.  On multiple occasions, Corrigan has boiled over at referees or opposing players, earning himself fines and suspensions in the process.  The coach was at it again this week, getting himself ejected from a game after chucking his bench on the ice.

Stewart “Popeye” Corrigan

The eruption occurred in the 2nd period of Seattle’s game against the Michigan Gray Wolves.  Already trailing 3-0, Corrigan and the Sailors became upset at a perceived imbalance in the calls.  Seattle had just succeeded in killing off a 5-on-3 deficit when, with a little more than 2 minutes left in the period, LW Rod “Money” Argent was whistled for cross-checking.  It was the sixth penalty called on the Sailors, against only one whistled on the Wolves.

The penalty on Argent sent Corrigan over the edge. “Coach felt like Michigan was already strong enough, and it wasn’t fair that they were getting the calls too,” said Sailors D Benny Lambert.  “He started turning redder and redder.”

Corrigan directed a stream of obscenities at head referee Laurent Villiers, who largely ignored him.  But when Wolves C Wesley Knight potted a power play goal 9 seconds later to make it 4-0, the Seattle couldn’t take it any more.  He grabbed hold of one end of the wooden bench (causing several Sailors to scatter) and lifted it in the air before flinging it on the ice.  He followed that up with three or four sticks, at which point Villiers ejected him from the game.

The SHL imposed a one-game suspension on top of the ejection.  “The safety of our players and officials is paramount,” said SHL Commissioner Perry Mitchell.  “Flinging projectiles on the ice is unacceptable, as someone could easily have been hurt.  This is not an acceptable way for a coach to express his frustrations, as Coach Corrigan well knows, given the number of discussions we have had about his behavior.  It might be time for the coach to consider anger management counseling.”

The Seattle coach professed to be mystified by the suspension.  “I mean, it’s not like I threw the bench or the sticks at anybody,” said Corrigan.  “I made a point of hurling them at open ice.  What’s wrong with bringing a little color and excitement to a blowout?  And besides, I made my point.”  Corrigan noted that the remaining four penalties in the game were all whistled on the Wolves.  “I don’t think that was a coincidence.”

KC Expansion Team Unveils Name, Staff

The SHL expansion team taking the ice in Kansas City next season officially has a name: the Smoke.  The team also now has a president and a general manager, whom owner Hal Messinger introduced at a ceremony at the KC Live! event pavilion in the city’s downtown Power and Light District on Wednesday.

“We’re taking our first steps toward building a great organization that the whole Kansas City community can get behind,” said Messinger.

The team’s name was chosen from over 1,000 possibilities submitted by the fans.  Smoke won out over four other finalists: Crowns, Burnt Ends, Cougars, and Bluesmen.  The name “Smoke” obviously references Kansas City’s history as a barbecue mecca, but Messinger hopes the name will have a double meaning.  “We hope our players will be like smoke: elusive and hard to get hold of,” the owner said.

In addition to unveiling the team’s logo and distributing free merch to hundreds of excited fans, Messinger also introduced the team’s newly-hired general manager and president.

Garth Melvin

The Smoke’s GM will be veteran hockey executive Garth Melvin.  The 62-year-old Melvin has held various coaching and front-office positions for the last two decades, dating back to a stint as head coach of the ABA’s Long Beach Leopards back in the late ’90s.  Most recently, Melvin has been working in the league office as executive vice president of hockey operations, so he has a good sense of the league and its talent pool.

“I love jazz, blues, and ‘cue, so KC is my kind of town,” said Melvin, to wild applause from the crowd.  “I can’t wait to get to work putting together a team that can bring us home a trophy.”

Eddie Whitmore

Messinger’s choice for team president will make SHL history.  Eddie Whitmore is a Kansas City native who has been working as a vice president for Messinger’s basketball team, the Knights.  With his new position, he becomes the first African-American front-office executive in the SHL.

“When I was a kid growing up in Blue Hills, I never imagined that I would wind up doing something like this,” said Whitmore.  “I can’t even say it’s a dream come true, ’cause I never dreamed this was possible.”

Whitmore hopes to draw a diverse fan base to Smoke games.  “I want to smash the image of hockey as a white man’s sport,” said Whitmore.  “Kansas City is a wonderfully diverse place, and I want to draw all kinds of fans to our games.  I’ve got some ideas how to do that.  But the biggest thing we can do is create a team and experience that’s a lot of fun.  I want to make this team a happening in our community.”

The Smoke’s home arena, Heartland Telecom Center, is located right across the street from KC Live! in the heart of downtown.  “I can’t wait for next year when I can get off work, head over over to the Power and Light District, get a couple drinks and some great food, then go see a Smoke game,” said 33-year-old Billy Rockwell of nearby Independence.  “It’s going to be epic.”

Hershey’s Kennedy Skates With the Kids

Gene Kennedy

Hershey Bliss F Gene Kennedy is one of the few SHL players who has yet to see any ice time this season.  Tired of waiting for a chance to skate, Kennedy decided to make his own opportunity in an unorthodox manner that raised some eyebrows in the Bliss clubhouse and around the league.

Between the first and second periods of Tuesday’s game against the Washington Galaxy at the Chocolate Center, the Bliss held their usual “Pee Wee Playtime” game.  The game is a scrimmage between two team of local youth hockey players, who relish the opportunity to spend a few minutes on the same ice and shooting at the same nets as their heroes.

Observers quickly noticed that one of the players seemed a little different than the rest.  It was Kennedy, who had decided to join the youngsters for their scrimmage.  At 6-foot-2, the 25-year-old Kennedy didn’t exactly blend in with the 7-to-8-year-olds who made up the rest of the players.

“He just came out of nowhere,” said Bliss PA announcer Steve Leadbetter, who posted pictures and narratives of the scene on his Twitter account.  “At first, the kids were just doing their regular thing.  Then all of a sudden, Kennedy just came out from the Zamboni tunnel and just started skating with them.  Nobody was really sure what to make of it.”

“I was just trying to get my work in,” Kennedy explained after the game.  “I mean, you’ve got to stay sharp.  Skating in practice is okay, but I really need to get some work in at game speed.  Practice isn’t the same.  And from what I could tell, this was my best opportunity to get some ice time in-game.”

With a significant speed and size advantage over his fellow players, Kennedy dominated the scrimmage.  He had no trouble skating by the pee wee players, muscling them off the puck on occasion.  Shooting at both nets, the reserve forward scored 3 goals.


At first, the fans assumed it was a deliberate joke, and reacted to Kennedy’s antics with laughter and cheers.  But as play continued and Kennedy hip-checked 7-year-old Jaylen Crossley and sent the young man sprawling to the boards, the cheers turned to boos.  At that point the Bliss mascot, Nibs, corraled Kennedy and ushered him off the ice.

“I felt bad about that,” Kennedy said of the check on Crossley.  “Totally unintentional.  I didn’t see him, but I felt him bump up against me.”  The winger signed his jersey and gave it to Crossley to make up for it.

Asked about Kennedy’s stunt, Bliss coach “Chocolate Chip” Barber quipped, “Well, I didn’t see it.  How did he look out there?”  The coach then added, “Look, I understand Gene’s frustrated about not getting to play. But all out forwards have been playing great.  Who do you sit?”

Kennedy’s teammates were more critical of his actions.  “It’s pretty unprofessional, if you ask me,” said Bliss C Henry Constantine.  “You’re not happy ’cause you’re not playing, fine.  Take it up with the coach.  Don’t show up your team and run the kids’ fun.  I know Gene’s kind of flaky, but there’s a limit.”

Barber said that he does not plan to discipline Kennedy for the incident, and he will look to get Kennedy some playing time.  “I’m doing it for the kids,” the coach joked.  “I’m trying to protect them from Gene.”

2017 SHL Week 3 Team Stats

Team Totals

Team             GP    SH    G    A  Pts   PP%  +/-
Dakota           15   659   60  112  172  19.4    1
Hamilton         15   516   53  102  155  17.5    9
Anchorage        15   674   52   97  149  23.3   14
Hershey          15   540   50   93  143  21.1    7
Michigan         15   525   50   91  141   9.8   23
Saskatchewan     15   480   48   91  139  15.9   -3
Seattle          15   483   47   90  137  26.1  -32
Washington       15   536   39   75  114  15.2   11
New York         15   601   39   71  110  18.0  -22
Quebec           15   370   26   47   73  15.6   -8

Team             GP   W   L   T   GAA   SH   SV    SV%   PK%  PIM
Michigan         15   9   4   2  1.63  458  433  0.945  91.7  142
Washington       15   9   6   0  2.19  478  445  0.931  80.0  172
Quebec           15   5   6   4  2.28  505  470  0.931  87.3  158
Anchorage        15   8   5   2  2.50  487  449  0.922  84.4  163
Hershey          15   9   3   3  2.69  462  421  0.911  78.7  136
Hamilton         15   8   6   1  2.77  533  491  0.921  85.0  154
Saskatchewan     15   6   9   0  3.60  650  596  0.917  78.3  124
Dakota           15   7   8   0  3.77  558  501  0.898  74.4  105
New York         15   4  10   1  3.98  628  568  0.904  76.2  130
Seattle          15   3  11   1  5.20  625  546  0.874  79.7  152

Continue reading “2017 SHL Week 3 Team Stats”

2017 SHL Week 3 Leaders

Frye           HAM     31
Smyth          HAM     25
Alexander      HAM     21
Ericsson       ANC     20
Lafayette      HAM     20
Hart           HSY     20
Sweet          HSY     19
Stevens        SAS     18
Koons          ANC     17
Lidjya         DAK     17

Alexander      HAM     14
Koons          ANC     11
Frost          ANC      9
Frye           HAM      9
Valentine      HSY      9
Mango          SEA      9
Airston        DAK      8
Manning        NY       8
McNeely        WSH      8
Golynin        DAK      7

Frye           HAM     22
Ericsson       ANC     20
Smyth          HAM     20
Lidjya         DAK     15
Hart           HSY     15
Lafayette      HAM     13
Stevens        SAS     13
Sweet          HSY     12
Winchester     NY      12
Chamberlain    SAS     12

     Penalty Minutes     
Gromov         HSY     45
Hogaboom       WSH     38
Zhzhynov       QUE     35
Warriner       WSH     34
Frederick      ANC     29
Citrone        ANC     29
Hendricks      DAK     28
Kalashnikov    QUE     28
McCallan       SAS     27
Wesson         HAM     25

Alexander      HAM     17
Frye           HAM     17
Wesson         HAM     17
Lafayette      HAM     17
Smyth          HAM     16
Douglas        MIC     10
Knight         MIC     10
Zabielski      MIC     10
Poulin         MIC     10
Labrakov       MIC      9

       Goalie Wins       
Lundquist      MIC      7
Orion          WSH      7
Koskinen       HAM      6
Colt           HSY      6
Adamsson       DAK      5

Lundquist      MIC   1.23
Tiktuunen      QUE   1.46
Orion          WSH   1.72
Wampler        HAM   2.42
Stafford       HSY   2.45

         Save %          
Lundquist      MIC  0.961
Tiktuunen      QUE  0.956
Orion          WSH  0.941
Carter         NY   0.929
Kashiuk        SEA  0.927

SHL Player of the Week – Week 3

Roger Orion

The SHL selected Washington Galaxy G Roger Orion as its Player of the Week.  For the week, Orion went 3-1-0 with a 1.25 GAA and a .955 save percentage.  Orion’s steadfast performance between the pipers anchored a strong week for the Galaxy, allowing them to move into second place in the East.

Orion posted two shutouts on the week.  On Sunday, Orion stonewalled the Tigres in Quebec to secure a 1-0 win.  Then on Friday, he turned aside 31 shots in a 2-0 win over New York.

“I know guys like [Dirk] Lundquist and Riki Tiki [Tiktuunen] get all the attention when you talk about the best goalies in the league,” said Galaxy coach Rodney Reagle.  “But I’m an old goalie, and I’d take Roger up against anyone in the league.  He doesn’t waste any motion or get caught out of position.  And he doesn’t let bad games shake his confidence.  Just like me, he forgets about what happened yesterday.  In my case, it’s because I’m old and my mind’s going.  But for him, it’s because he’s a top-shelf competitor.”