Friday, January 21, 2011


Regina, Saskatchewan – The Regina Pats Hockey Club announced this afternoon that the 4th Trans-Canada Clash between Regina Pats and Moose Jaw Warriors alumni has been cancelled due to the Warriors' inability to field a team.

The event was to be played on Saturday, January 29th 2011 at 1 p.m. at the Brandt Centre.

Regina Pats Vice-President of Operations Cliff Mapes: “We are disappointed that we were forced to cancel this year’s Trans-Canada Clash alumni game but I am more disappointed for the fans that look forward to this game every year. I was confident that the team we had assembled this year would have put on a very good show for the fans and lead us to our fourth straight win. We are currently working with other WHL teams that are interested in pursuing a home-in-home Trans-Canada clash style alumni weekend and we hope to make an announcement real soon.”

The Pats alumni have won all three of the previous Trans-Canada Clashes with the games being played in front of full-houses at both the Moose Jaw Civic Centre in 2008 and 2010 and the Brandt Centre in 2009.

The weekend will not be completely void of hostilities as the Highway One rivals will face each other in their traditional late-January home-and-home series. Friday, January 28th, the Pats travel to Moose Jaw. Twenty-four hours later on Saturday, January 29th, the Pats entertain world junior star Quinton Howden and the rest of the Warriors at the Brandt Centre.

Saturday, January 15, 2011




by: Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston

Parts taken from the Regina Leader Post:

Mike Sillinger's lengthy hockey career had humble beginnings.

His parents, Bob and Anne Sillinger, lived across the street from an outdoor rink at Al Pickard School in north Regina. Mike was three years old when his skates first touched the ice.

"He would go over to that rink everyday and he would always come home crying," Bob Sillinger explained. "The older boys were picking on him ... but a couple of years later, those older boys would come calling on Mike to join them over at the rink. They wanted Mike to play with them."

Approximately 35 years later, Mike Sillinger earned the respect of the Regina Pats organization as his No. 16 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters of the Brandt Centre prior to Friday, January 14, 2011, WHL game versus the Edmonton Oil Kings.

"I played four fantastic years here with the Pats and have numerous memories from all of my hockey years (in the NHL), but I think this night will stand as one of the all-time great nights for me." Mike Sillinger said after the 30-minute pre-game ceremony.

"I have loved the game ever since I was six or seven years old. I wasn't pushed into it, I didn't have any special coaches. I just worked hard at it and I loved playing."

(Photo: by Rod

(L-R) The Sillinger family - Owen, Lukas, Cole, and wife Karla beside Mike

(Photo by: Don Healy, Regina Leader-Post)

(Photo by: Don Healy, Regina Leader-Post)

(Photo by: Rod


Mike started his career with the Regina Pats during the 1987-88 season. He played Centre and in his first season played in 67 games, scoring 18 goals, 25 assists for 43 points, finishing 7th in the teams scoring. Mike played with some great players in his rookie season; Craig Endean, Darren McKechnie, Mark Janssen, Mike Van Slooten. Of course we cannot forget that famous "Pup Line" that he played on in that rookie year, lining up with Jamie Heward and Frank Kovacs. Those three once again joined as a line during the 2010 Alumni Trans Canada Clash game against Moose Jaw Warriors. The three were a great hit in helping their club to a 7-4 victory.

For the next three seasons, Mike finished as the number one scorer for the Pats. In the 1988-89 season he finished with 131 points, in 1989-90 with 129 points, and in 1990-91 with 116 points. During those four seasons he played in 266 games, scored 178 goals, had 241 assists for 419 points.

The second year he was selected to the second WHL All-Star Team, the First All-Star team in 1991, and was selected Captain of the Regina Pats.

Mike was the captain of Team Canada at the 2000 World Championship at Petersburg, Russia. He Captured a gold medal with Team Canada at the 1991 World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Sillinger was drafted 11th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1989. He led the AHL in play-off scoring with Adirondack Red Wings in 1991-92 with 28 points in 15 games, was traded to Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1995, Vancouver Canucks in 1996, Philadelphia Flyers in 1998, Tampa Bay Lightning in 1999, Florida Panthers in 2000, and the Ottawa Senators in 2001. Mike signed as a free agent with Columbus Blue Jackets in 2002. In 2003 he was traded to Dallas Stars and then to the Pheonix Coyotes. In 2004 he was traded to the St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators in 2006 and was signed as a free agent by New York Islanders in 2006. He missed part of 2007-08 season and most of 2008-09 with a hip injury.

Mike played for more teams (12) in his NHL career than any other player in the league history. He scored 240 goals, had 308 assists in 1,049 NHL games, plus 11 goals and 7 assists in 43 NHL play-off games.

Mike finally retired in September 2009, joining the Edmonton Oilers as their new director of player development. Sillinger has made Regina his home.

Sillinger and Jamie Heward started in 2007, the Shooting Stars Foundation. Each year they have a street hockey tournament on Scarth Street in the down town area of Regina. The foundation supports something that is close to both their hearts.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brian Roy "Spinner" SPENCER

Given by permission: Joe Pelleiter from his Web Site - Greatest Hockey

Please note: anything that I (Ron "Scoreboard" Johnston) entered will be in blue.


The life of Brian "Spinner" Spencer was turbulent, fast and tragic.

He grew up in the Canadian backwoods and as every kid in Canada he dreamed of becoming a hockey pro, spending many hours in the local rinks.

Brian's energetic gung-ho style was appreciated by his junior teams and coaches.

"I can remember his first year of Junior Hockey, it started with our Regina Pats Team during the WHL 1967-68 season. He played the first 23 games with us, scoring 1 goal and having 2 assists. He was then traded to the Calgary Centennials and did quite well."

The following season he played for both the Estevan Bruins and Swift Current Broncos (WHL), scoring almost a point per game combined with his aggressive in-your-face hockey.

Brian attended Toronto Maple Leafs training camp in 1969 but didn't make the final cut. He was assigned to the farm team in Tulsa where he played most of the season. He got his first recall to the Maple Leafs on December 9, 1969 but didn't play. He had to wait until March 14, 1970 before he made his debut (vs. Boston 2-1). Brian saw the odd shift in another 8 games that season.

The next season Brian was a regular in Toronto for most part of the season. Unfortunately tragedy struck, and it would haunt Brian for the rest of his life. Brian told his parents that he would be a second period guest during Hockey Night In Canada's telecast of the Leafs game against Chicago on December 12, 1970. Brian's parents were extremely proud to have a son in the NHL, especially his father Roy.


Spencer’s first game to be shown on Hockey Night would be a major event for his friends and family back in Fort St. James, B.C. It turned out, Brian would be playing in the game, he called home to tell them even bigger news - he was going to be interviewed between periods! His family was quite excited. His father even installed a brand new television antenna to make sure the game came in clear!

Then the time for the game came…and things did not turn out the way they planned. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) decided to air a different game in British Columbia. They figured that the West Coast of Canada would prefer to see the Vancouver Canucks play the California Golden Seals instead of the Maple Leafs playing the Chicago Blackhawks.

Roy Spencer was displeased, to say the least. At the time, he was drunk, his decision-making skills were not at their highest. Spencer drove 70 miles. the nearest CBC broadcast station was in Prince George, British Columbia. Once there, he entered the CKPG station with his shotgun and demanded that they air his son’s hockey game. The station actually complied with his order.

However, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police encountered Spencer and a shoot-out ensued. While Brian Spencer’s Maple Leafs were defeating the Chicago Blackhawks halfway across the country, his father was shot and killed by the police at the age of 57.

The death of his father hit Brian hard and it hurt Brian for the rest of his life according to people around him, although he tried not to show it. It was his father's dream to have one of his sons playing hockey. Brian's twin brother Byron did not make it, but Brian did, and it made his father almost burst of pride.

Brian split the 1971-72 season between Toronto and Tulsa. He was then left unprotected in the 1972 expansion draft and was picked by NY Islanders. Brian spent the next 1½ years on Long Island before being traded to Buffalo on March 10, 1974.

Brian had his best offensive production in a Sabres uniform when he had 41 points, including 12 goals, in 1974-75. Brian played well in Buffalo and was extremely popular with the fans. His hustle, aggressive play and ability to hit was something the fans loved. Brian developed to a pretty good all-around player.

Traded to Pittsburgh in September 1977, his offensive production fell as he became more specialized as a checking forward. Brian's last NHL season came in 1978-79 when he played 7 games for Pittsburgh. He then finished his playing career in the AHL (Binghamton, Springfield and Hershey) and retired after the 1979-80 season.

The story about Spinner Spencer should end here, but unfortunately his life after hockey became a mess. Brian moved to Palm Beach, Florida right after he retired. He met the wrong kind of people in Florida and got involved with drugs and crime. He moved in with a prostitute who worked for an escort service. She accused Brian of committing a 1982 murder against a Palm Beach Gardens restaurateur named Michael Dalfo.

Brian was arrested for a first degree murder in January 1987 but was acquitted in October 1987 after a 10-month trial. Needless to say, Brian didn't feel much better after that experience. In February 1988 Brian visited former Leaf teammate Jim McKenny, a friend of Brian who at the time was working as a Toronto sportscaster. Jim noticed how disillusioned Brian was.

"He walked down a lot of avenues people have never been. He experienced a lot of things people never have, " McKenny said later. " He thought he was the only bad person in the NHL, he felt he was the only person who failed. But I told him there were 200 other guys who messed up worse than he thought he had. I told him he shouldn't feel guilty. It's really tough to re-establish yourself after hockey. He was all alone. When he came here he was amazed at the interest of people. He was surprised people still cared about him. He thought he was the scum of the earth. But he really picked up when he visited Toronto. He wasn't your run-of-the-mill NHL'er. He was inquisitive about everything."

A book about Brian's life named Gross Misconduct: The life of Spinner Spencer by Martin O'Malley was due to be released and Brian was very happy about it. Finally his life seemed to turn around for the better.

But that never happened in Spencer's lifetime. On the night of June 2, 1988, Brian and his friend Gregory Scott Cook cruised around Riviera Beach, allegedly to buy a rock of cocaine. (which was later denied). After having made the buy they stopped a couple of blocks away when a stranger in a white car pulled up, walked to the driver's side window, demanded money (reportedly getting as little as $ 3) and shot the 38-year old Brian in the heart.

Cook, who escaped uninjured, rushed Brian to a nearby fire station. The paramedics took Brian to St. Mary's hospital in West Palm Beach where he was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m. June 3, 1988.

Brian's hectic life came to an abrupt end just as he was turning his life around. The curly haired Spencer was survived by his twin brother Byron, mother Irene, his two ex-wives, Linda and Janet plus his five children, Andrea, Nicole, Kristin, Jason and Jarret.

Hockey fans will always remember that curly hair and wide smile on his face when he hustled down the ice to nail somebody to the boards, his energetic style that earned him the nickname "Spinner". People will always remember "Spinner", on the contrary to what he always thought.

Friday, January 7, 2011



Billy scouted right up to his last days and at 85 years old, he could still pick 'em. He came to the Regina Pats in 1995, the same year the Parkers purchased the Pats. Bill spent much of his life in Flin Flon, Manitoba, where he was instrumental in minor hockey and working with the Bombers.

Maluta, was rightfully inducted into Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and entire family. We will miss you Bill.

From the Regina Pats WebSite:

Regina, Saskatchewan –
With heavy hearts and deep sorrow The Regina Pats are sadden to announce the passing of long time scout Bill Maluta. Bill passed away earlier this morning at the Brandon Regional Hospital; he was just 8 days shy of his 86th birthday.

Pats President Brent Parker, “we are all deeply saddened by the news this morning of Bill’s passing. He was a tremendous individual and he will be missed greatly by all of us. I don’t know anyone else like him and we will all miss his endless stories that were usually shared over a night cap. There is no doubt that the hockey world is a poorer place today without Bill in it ”

Monday, January 3, 2011




Monday, January 03, 2011

From the Estevan Bruins WebSite:

The Estevan Bruins executive would like to announce that effective immediately, Karry Biette is no longer the club’s head coach and general manager. Bruins’ President Jeff Pierson asked Karry for his resignation during a meeting Monday morning and at that time, he resigned.

Assistant coach Chad Leslie will take over as head coach for the remainder of the season. Sean Garagan will remain as assistant coach while the training staff, led by trainer Gerry Aspen, will also remain with the club. Chad and Director of Player Personnel Rick Oakes will handle the general manager duties from an on-ice perspective. Marketing and Operations Manager Becky Tait will continue in her role and handle off-ice business with the assistance of the executive. Pierson said the decision was not easy but one the executive felt was necessary given the team’s performance over the past month. “We remain confident that the club is among the most talented in the SJHL. However, the team has underachieved and we came to the conclusion that a change was needed,” said Pierson.

“Chad has an excellent relationship with the players and will bring a fresh perspective to the team. As an alumni, he is committed to seeing the club has a strong finish to the regular season and a long playoff run.” Pierson added the executive would also like to thank Biette for his service to the club. “It would be tough to find someone more dedicated to the organization than Karry. He has done an excellent job as general manager handling the day-to-day business of the club. However that has not translated to wins as of late and we felt it was time to make this decision.”