Nothing spells playoffs like a case of the mumps.
While many teams around the WHL are studying the X’s and O’s needed for a final regular season push, the Medicine Hat Tigers are feverishly googling “mumps.” Web MD is probably not too friendly to them. It never is.
The team announced Tuesday that seven players and coaches have been diagnosed with the illness, which grew from just two a week ago.
Several weeks earlier, on Feb. 7 it was the Brandon Wheat Kings who were scrambling to contain the mumps. The Wheat Kings said in a statement just one member of the organization had contracted the illness.
Since then, neither the Wheat Kings or Tigers have been to Red Deer, nor have the Rebels travelled to either city.
The outbreak has so far been contained to the south zone of Alberta, but Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said the team is aware of the issue and has been advised about what to do moving forward.
“It’s been going around the league for a while. They had a situation occur in Swift Current, then it happened in Brandon and now Medicine Hat is dealing with it,” Sutter said.
“You just have to manage and control, making sure they are doing everything the right way. Everybody is informed from a medical side of it, what we have to do and as far as the teams. Hopefully Medicine Hat will get over that and it won’t carry on to another team.”
Nanaimo closing in on WHL
There appears to be just one major hurdle between the WHL and a move to Nanaimo.
If a March 11 referendum for a new events centre in the city passes, Nanaimo City Coun. Bill Bestwick pinned it as “100 per cent” certainty the WHL will come to town according to the Nanaimo News Bulletin.
In a statement Monday to city council, chief administrative officer for the City of Nanaimo, Tracy Samra, said that they have a memorandum of understanding with the WHL.
“That memorandum sets forward condition precedents that have to happen for the WHL to award a franchise to play in the city of Nanaimo,” Samra said.
She went on to explain that the city needs to make a number of decisions even if there is a yes vote for the new events centre.
Samra also noted, “One of the things that the city has made very clear in its discussions with the WHL is that we are looking for a 20-year, long term commitment of a WHL franchise to the community.”
There have long been discussions in the WHL about the potential of the Kootenay Ice moving from their home in Cranbrook to another city.
If that were to happen it would expedite the process of finding an ownership group for a potential new franchise in Nanaimo.
Regina Pats awarded Memorial Cup
After some debate in the CHL, on Saturday it was announced the Regina Pats will host the Memorial Cup next season.
The league has selected its oldest franchise to host the 100th edition of the national championship.
The CHL received bids from the Hamilton Bulldogs and Oshawa Generals of the OHL, as well as the Pats.
“The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup and the celebrations around this centennial event will truly capture, preserve, and enhance the legacy of one of the most prestigious trophies in all of sport, while honouring the brave men and women who served and continue to serve our country,” CHL President David Branch said in a league press release.
“I applaud our national site selection committee who were challenged with the decision of choosing between three outstanding bids. On behalf of the CHL we look forward to working with the City of Regina and the Regina Pats to engage the entire nation in what will truly be a historic event.”
The Pats began operations in 1917 and will also be celebrating their 100th anniversary next year. The 2018 Memorial Cup will be played from May 17-27 at Regina’s Brandt Centre.