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11.29.2012

Portland Gets Bitchslapped

I've said this a lot lately and it's really bugging me... but I've been super busy this past week and I have a credentialing exam tomorrow that has been absorbing a ton of my time. It is what it is... believe me when I say I haven't given up on writing more for the blog... it just isn't happening right now.

My quick take on what happened to Portland yesterday.


  1. Portland fans crying about the punishment need to remember that no matter the level of severity... you got caught. Plain and simple. You cheated, you got caught, you deserve to be punished.
  2. This may surprise many Tbirds fans but I actually do not believe the punishment fits the crime. Based on the information we have (more on that in a second) it appears to me as though the punishment is absurdly stiff. The violations that Portland claims to have broken seem minor in my opinion and the punishment doesn't appear to fit the crime. In addition, if the league is truly punishing them for things they believed happened but they can't generate proof of it... that's also unfair.
  3. However. I firmly believe there is more to this story than we are being publicly told. There is simply no way the WHL would have punished Portland this severely based solely on the information the Winterhawks are providing. My belief (along with others) is that Portland's press release is an attempt at saving face and the league simply doesn't want the public (or the NCAA) to know about the severity of the rules that were broken. Obviously this is just an opinion... but it seems logical to most that the punishment is pretty egregious if they were truly only guilty of the infractions that have been released publicly.
Portland will likely appeal the ruling and will also likely have the penalties reduced but the punishment will still be crippling to the franchise over the next 8-10 years. The lesson here is pretty clear... the WHL has rules and whether you like the rules or not you WILL follow them or the punishment will be quite severe. End of Story.

Some quick Tbirds notes.


  • The "DHL" line of Delnov-Honey-Lipsbergs has been outstanding lately but you didn't need me to tell you that.
  • I think Jared Hauf has looked improved lately. Development was always kind of expected to be slow for the tall 17 year old and things appear to be getting better. He's still getting himself in trouble at times when he isn't moving his feet (or isn't moving them fast enough) but I feel a lot more comfortable with him on the ice than I have previously.
  • The trade for Griffin Foulk was a bit of an odd one to me. Obviously the team feels he is a pretty good defender (and at this point I'm not going to argue) but I'm surprised the team felt compelled to go acquire another defender AND another 17 year old defender at that.  Injury? I know Wardley did not play on Tuesday and maybe there is something going on there.
  • Branden Troock is listed as being out for another 1 week on the injury report. Let's hope it's only another week and Seattle can get him back on the ice. The Tbirds have performed pretty decently in his absence but it goes without saying that his ability and offense would give the team a boost. Tyler Alos is still listed as day-to-day.
Tough, tough 3 games this weekend starting with the Cheaterhawks on Friday night in Portland followed up by red hot Kelowna at home Saturday and first place Kamloops on Sunday.

35 comments :

Anonymous said...

I saw Troock on Tuesday, he is still wearing the sling. I prefer to look on the bright side but I'd be surprised if he's ready to go in a week.

Anonymous said...

For punishment they should have been required to have Farwell for a GM.

Anonymous said...

I think you right on point... From the WHL release -"We believe the sanctions are not excessive given the repeated and systemic nature of the violations,” stated WHL Commissioner Ron Robison. “The independent investigation discovered an unprecedented number of violations. It is the responsibility of each WHL Club and General Manager to be fully aware of the WHL Regulations and to be in compliance at all times."

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many possible prospects this has cost the T-birds. Portland gives U.S. born player's family airfare. That player's family then tells families of other players back home coming up through bantam level. So when the T-birds don't offer those prospects' families the same deal, because the T-birds can't afford it, the prospects family says no to Seattle. Meanwhile, even though there is no official agreement between a prospect and the Winterhawks, the player signs with Portland because he knows he'll get the airfare perk because players already in Portland got that deal. Portland gets stronger while weakening an opponent. There's the harm caused and that justifies the sanctions.

Anonymous said...

From the content and tone of what the Portland organization is putting out to the press, I'm going to guess this one gets UGLY before it is all said and done. Though Portland may just be playing for whatever they can get out of the appeals process.

My guess is the reality is somehwere in the middle of 'OMG THEY bought every male in the Jones family a hooker' and 'The captain got a cell phone for personal use'.

While I can appreciate all the clamor for more information(lets face it, we'd all like to know the players involved) I can also appreciate the WHL not wanting to tarnish said players reputation for the bad decision making of the Portland organization.

I'll tell you this, there are some other teams out there that have to be scared shitless.



Kodi said...

My thoughts......

Looking at what has been published I can see how some people including the Portland fans are upset. Yes they are talking about a large number of infractions (54) involving 14 players but as many people point out why is it so bad that a team flies a family in to see their child or offer additional off season training to a player that might be trying to get drafted to the NHL I mean this is a development league after all.

Well if all the teams were based out of cities like Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton, or Calgary then maybe there would be rules allowing this. The fact is the league is in many smaller markets like Prince George and Kootenay and their isn't a revenue sharing program (nor should there be at this level). That being said a smaller team might not be able to afford a plane flight to 54 family member over 5 years or offer special off season training. Additionally if the larger market teams are just allowed to let this happen then no player will ever want to play for a smaller market team and will just refuse to sign until traded.

The other thing this effects is the appearance that if you come to Portland you may get additional benefits so players that may have been on the fence about going the major junior route or NCAA may decide the path that offers benefits.

Lets have a hypothetical discussion. After a period of time (lets say 5 years of benefits) you may have a team that starts to win and look good on a regular basis. A player that wants to be drafted at the top of the NHL draft may look at his options and decide he has a better chance in the WHL then going to college. He may then become dejected if he is on a rebuilding team's protected list (lets call that team Everett). He then informs this rebuilding team he has no intentions to sign with that team as he doesn't want to play on a rebuilding team even if a player on this rebuilding team a year before gets drafted 2nd overall (Lets call him Ryan Murray). The rebuilding team then has to decide do they keep this player listed or do they give him to a team that is winning and take what they can get...... I mean this never happens.

Another thing to note is these benefits may have allowed players that weren't drafte or not listed because they had every intention to go the NCAA route to be picked up by Portland allowing Portland to trade high end draft picks like a 1st rounder for Cunningham in 2010/2011 from Vancouver or two 1st round picks for Marcel Noebels who asked to be moved to Portland.

On a final note I'm pretty sure when Portland got in trouble for Red 23 a few years back that they were told to report any violation they commit or benefit they give. Portland was already on watch because of this and since PORTLAND didn't report it the penalty was that much larger. (compare that to a college football team that may do something that is a secondary violation. They report it they get there hand slapped and if they don't then the penalty usually becomes a bit more.)

Anyway that is my take on it and I apologize in advance for any name or word that isn't spelled correctly.

Anonymous said...

I think the level of punishment isn't necessarily tied to the infractions listed, though who knows what 'other benefits' might entail.

I think instead these three words for those willing to read between the lines a little bit, tells us really what's going on:

'undisclosed player agreement'

The results of the appeal will tell the tale. I'm guessing though based on what was handed down, there's definately a smoking gun.

Anonymous said...

Typos I don't mind. I don't mind if you call me anal ( I probably am), but when talking about a player on your team, the team you follow closely, I just think taking the time to get the players name correct is important. On a side note, I stopped looking for errors when you spelled "hypothetical" correctly. Otherwise, your post is reasonable and sound....which means Portland fans would not understand it and would call your a conspirator.

Anonymous said...

You really think 'Hawks fans would be able to come up with a descriptor of that many syllables all on their own? Two maybe.....but four? Nah.....

Though I can certainly picture them all sitting at their computer, trying to sound out the word.

If there's one thing that will unite the folks on this site, it's going to be hatred for Portland.

Kodi said...

Alright after reading more comments from Portland Fans.....

I think the problem is that PDX fans that are upset or feel that the sanctions are too harsh aren't completely reading what has been published (the latest press release from the league).

Currently PDX fans are reading in the Winterhawk Release:
54 violations involving 14 players including
7-4 families were provided 2-4 flights per year
2 players were given one week training sessions over the summer
4 captains were given a cell phone
-Perception: Sanctions were WAY too harsh!

What PDX fans aren't reading in the WHL release:
Winterhawks had entered into an undisclosed player agreement which CONTRAVENED WHL REGULATIONS.
The violations all relate to providing players with benefits NOT PERMITTED UNDER WHL REGULATIONS.
The violations include additional parent travel, off-season training AND OTHER BENEFITS.
-Reality: A player entered signed with Portland getting special benefits. Portland broke additional league regulations and offered additional benefits without reporting those benefits to the league.

When it comes to sports and rules it's NOT better to ask forgiveness then permission.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they were just following the procedures the Oregon Ducks football team uses for recruiting.

Kodi said...

I think I need a week's vacation from the white board

Kodi said...

The Providence site actually added a bit of information that was previously not released. There is a Seattle connection.

http://tinyurl.com/cm5rpu4

Sorry if I'm not allowed to post links.

"The whole matter reportedly came to a head last January when Seattle acquired Seth Swenson from Portland in a trade. Sometime later, it became apparent that Swenson had a separate deal with Portland outside the standard WHL players' agreement."

So let me get this straight. We received Swenson and two first round draft pick for Noebels and an investigation leading to multiple sanctions.

I think we won that trade.

Anonymous said...

Article regarding Cheaterhawk situation

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/hockey/canucks-hockey/Willes+Winterhawks+have+some+explaining/7636301/story.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#axzz2DlgFoGPX

Dean said...

OK, my child's 7th birthday is today,12/1. Lets go T-birds...we are attending the game to celebrate! Let us win one at home or make it it close!


As for Winterhawks....you cheat and you lose.

Anonymous said...

Once again, we played like a deer in head lights last night versus Portland, 1 for 7 on the power play? How can we beat Portland 5 to 2 on opening night then have this pitiful performance once again? Disapointing game and two more tough ones this weekend.

Anonymous said...

Portland pretty much does that to every team they play. Portland is just that much better talent-wise. Seattle has to play a near-perfect game to beat them and even then Portland would have to be off their game. Look what Seattle did against Kelowna, a team that had just won 8 of 10 and 5 straight. Seattle beat them and looked like the better team doing it. Seattle's problem is that they have Portland on their schedule 12 times. Nobody else does.

Anonymous said...

They traded for Foulk becasue he is best buddies with a prized prospect that the T-Birds are trying to sign Dylan Gambrell. I heard and read Gambrell and Barzal lit it up huge at this past training camp. Get Gambrell signed, get barzal signed. If those 2 sign, id bet my left n*# that Gropp signs. Those 3 along with the ridiculous amount of good young Dmen next season and in 2 years they will have a great team. Am i dreaming??? possibly...but then again there is a chance!!

Anonymous said...

Here's my view of Dec. 1 game...the team last year would have quite after giving up the tying goal. This year, the team battled back and won the game. Great birthday present to my oldest son. Go T-Birds! I see promise!

Anonymous said...

That's was a great weekend of hockey at the ShoWare Center. two nice wins over two very good teams and the T-birds looked very good doing it. Best I've seen of Glover this season too. What was up with the ice though? Looked like they were skating on a lake.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Anonymous two above me...last year's team would have had an "all is lost" attitude after the tying goal. This year, they just keep going at it hard - it's fun to watch. What a great hockey weekend!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tyler, are getting nervous about the Barzal situation at all?

Anonymous said...

Did the birds just win a game in Tri?

They did!

WooooohOOooOOOOO!

Anonymous said...

Kill those monkeys that have been on the birds back in Tri, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!Great job fellas!

Marc S said...

Can we just score 7 goals in the second and third period every game? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the boys have started the holiday break a little early. Oh well... at least we had Dec 1 win to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

Horrible game last night, up and down play will be the theme for this team the rest of the year, hence the 4 game win streak and now the 2 game loosing streak.

Anonymous said...

I agree, horrible game. As soon as the opponent puts a little pressure on them in their end, they panic and dump the puck any where. In my opinion, the problem is the "young" defense. But at least they are better than the previous two years. (Wouldn't take much however)

Anonymous said...

The young defense certainly makes things difficult, but the loss of a 19yo vet in Alos, and a drafted 18yo in Trook really hurt. Alos being done for good was sad and surprising, and now I am really concerned about Trook. The weekly report was saying 1 week to go, and now the most recent is stating indefinite. Alos was a good skater and came back on defense, while Trook creates offense. I wonder if they will make a trade or continue as they are now.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about how it works but can the Birds trade their import draft picks for next season since they won't need them? What are they worth?

Marc S said...

It sounds like Troock will be back after the break according to the pregame show.

I'll echo the defense has to improve a lot. I'd like the goaltending to be more solid as well and I'd like to see Myles get some more PT.

Anonymous said...

This team is much better this year than the previous 3 years. It takes time for 16 and 17 year old players to adjust to this league. The defence is going to be strong for the next couple of years and there is some good prospects coming up. When these young men are drafted at 14 it is very difficult to determine what they are going to be at 16 and 17.
The main goal is get in the playoffs and then it is an whole NEW season. Thats when the real hockey starts.
All the best to Alos in his future.

Anonymous said...

Lack of discipline lost this one.

Anonymous said...

Stopped playing, stupid penalties especially the one by Forsberg. I will stop bitching and whining now.

Anonymous said...

as proof for posts....we miss you Tyler. Your analysis is needed and something not provided by others, including KIRO. You are busy...but come back TYLER...come back! You have a great following...come back!

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