Category Archives: Calgary Flames Store

T. J. Brodie Jersey

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Two weeks after collapsing on the ice during practice, Calgary Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie is back on the ice, capping his heroic return to hockey with a goal on Wednesday night.

Against the Buffalo Sabres — his second game since making his return — Brodie absolutely clapped one to open the scoring.

The 29-year-old suffered an apparent seizure on the ice and had to be taken off on a stretcher before being transported to hospital on November 14.

He managed to make a full recovery, allowing him to return to the ice and score his first goal of the season.

The Chatham, Ontario, native now has a goal to add to his eight assists through 23 games in 2019-20.

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DENVER — Sean Monahan had just marked a significant games-played milestone.

Mikael Backlund was suddenly winging it.

For these unexpected linemates, the quips — and the chemistry — seemed to come easy.

“We were joking about it right away when we heard it — ‘Well, it only took them 500 games to figure it out, I guess,’ ” Backlund grinned prior to Monday’s matchup between the Calgary Flames and Colorado Avalanche in the Mile High City. “Mony was saying, ‘Of all the players, I didn’t expect you at all to be on my line today.’ ”

So far, this unlikely combo has stuck.

It’s been a week now since Flames interim coach Geoff Ward called Backlund into his new office at the Saddledome and floated an idea — that he’d like to experiment with using No. 11 on the right wing.

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As with most hockey rumours I catch wind of they typically initiate on the platform for chaos that is the depths of Leafs twitter. This week’s rendition saw Kasperi Kapanen come to CGY for Rasmus Andersson. At first instance I brushed it off, but then came the doozy of a new rumble that the Flames were looking to package up Dube, Andersson, and a first (In the best draft year since McDavids?!?!) for the rental of Taylor Hall. Such and absurd rumour has prompted me to come to the absolute defence of one of the Flames best defence, Rasmus Andersson.

A 2nd round pick acquired in the deal that sent Sven Beartschi to Vancouver, Andersson was quite the coin flip in development despite being a first team OHL all star the first year after being drafted. According to @Baderader’s NHLe model ( Andersson only yielded a 51% chance of being a regular NHL player when drafted, posting an NHLe score of 23.* His 3rd year after being drafted was where the first major step took place, earning AHL All-star honours and bumping his NHLe score to 32. The next season he would play the full year in Calgary and virtually cement himself as a solid piece for the foreseeable future.

*For those who don’t know NHLe stands for NHL equivalency and provides a score for what that players production would’ve looked like in NHL points compared to how many they actually scored in the league they were playing in. In Andersson’s case 64 points in 67 OHL games would’ve translated to 23 NHL points.

Fast forward to this year which has so far been less than ideal for a lot of reasons, but jumping to the conclusion of needing to trade our 23 year old right shot dman is a little drastic, especially when his numbers are actually quite good. Andersson has easily, far and away, the best corsi numbers on the D corps. Right now he boasts a 6.72 Avg. cd60 (Corsi differential per 60 minutes) which is 3.57 higher than our next best guy, Mark Giordano. This means that for every 60 minutes Andersson plays he sees 6.72 more chances going towards the offensive end of the rink. Very beneficial especially when you calculate those numbers came despite a 6 game losing streak and a 10-13-2 record.

This year he’s providing positive value across the board as evidenced by his current 0.3 WAR rating (from and a 1.7 GAR. (WAR is Wins above Replacement and GAR is Goals above replacement. Both values compare what a current player can provide when compared to a replacement level player. AKA positive numbers yield positive results) Razzmatazz sits 2nd and 3rd on the Flames D in those regards. Constantly competing with Giordano on a nightly basis to see who the Flames best Dman is going to be, which is no hard feat seeing as Gio has a bit of hardware in his trophy case now. Having him grow and excel, year after year is an excellent thing to watch, and very fun to see unfold on the ice.

While I know most of these rumours don’t initiate out of the Calgary fanbase, in the age of twitter things can gain traction fast. Im jumping in front of them now saying trading Rasmus Andersson would be a large mistake, and it’s no surprise why other teams armchair GM’s are targeting him as a potential want, but unless the return yields another young defender that can provide even more, I’m not interested, not even remotely.

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SYDNEY, N.S. —It may not have been a slapshot from the point like her father, but Lauren MacInnis has finally found the back of the net.

MacInnis, the daughter of Al MacInnis of Port Hood, scored her first career NCAA goal last Friday with a wrist shot from the point for the Northeastern Huskies in an 11-0 victory over the Holy Cross Crusaders.

MacInnis, who was born in St. Louis, would later score her second goal of the game, while picking up an assist as well, to finish the game with three points.

Northeastern is currently first overall in the Hockey East standings with an 11-2-0 record.

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Over 500 years ago, a group led by Menno Simons in Northern Germany created the Christian denomination of the Mennonites. They were persecuted for their pacifism and Protestant connections, which forced them to flee several European countries. Today, Mennonites live all over the world, though many are still in areas where their ancestors settled, and have developed a culture of their own. Many have similar surnames and can trace their lineages back several generations, and have a fondness for fried and preserved foods. Most of all, they have become known as hard-working, honest people who have a strong sense of community.

These traits (aside from the fried dough) have made Mennonites top-notch athletes. They generally aren’t the biggest stars, but they are highly respected by their teammates and are invaluable to their teams. In the NHL, several Mennonites have made their mark throughout history, from setting records to having their names engraved on the Stanley Cup. As hockey continues to grow internationally each year, let’s take a moment and look at the stars who seem to avoid the spotlight. These are the 10 best Mennonites in NHL history.
10. Ray Neufeld

A relatively unknown player today, Neufeld was a promising star in the 1980s. Born in the Mennonite community of Winkler, Manitoba, he played for the nearby Flin Flon Bombers in the Western Canadian Hockey League (WCHL – the precursor to the WHL) in 1976. His best season in the WCHL came in 1978-79 as a member of the Edmonton Oil Kings, when he scored an incredible 102 points despite missing part of the season with broken ribs. The Hockey News ranked him as 1979’s ninth best draft prospect, but he wasn’t drafted until the fourth round (81st overall) by the Hartford Whalers.

Neufeld joined the Whalers full-time in 1982-83 after bouncing between the AHL and NHL for three seasons. In his rookie season, he broke out with 28 goals and 59 points, finding chemistry with Ron Francis. The young forward was soon a fan favourite in Hartford, and he always gave back, regularly tossing pucks into the stands after pre-game skates and he was involved in several charities in the area. After he scored the Whalers’ 1000th goal, it looked like he would be with the franchise for good.

However, in 1985, after getting off to the hottest start of his career (15 points in 16 games), the Whalers traded him to the Winnipeg Jets for Dave Babych. The veteran defenseman was immensely popular in the Jets’ dressing room, making it a tough adjustment for Neufeld. Along with the pressure to perform, a slow start, and not wanting to leave Hartford, Neufeld struggled in his home province and never again got close to his career-high 69 points posted in 1983-84. He was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1988-89 and retired in 1990.
9. Eric Fehr

Also hailing from Winkler, Manitoba, Fehr starred with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Brandon Wheat Kings from 2000 to 2005, putting up 277 points in 279 games. His offensive acumen made him a first-round selection in 2003 by the Washington Capitals. In his last season of junior, he won the Bobby Clarke Trophy for most points (111) and the Four Broncos Trophy as the WHL’s player of the year. He joined the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Hersey Bears the following season, helping them win the Calder Cup, with eight goals and eleven points in the playoffs.
Sharks center Eric Fehr

In the NHL, however, Fehr was relied on for his defensive game, becoming a top penalty killer with the Capitals. His best offensive season was in 2010, when he scored 21 goals and 39 points. In 2015, he signed a three-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins and was part of their 2016 Stanley Cup championship team, but injuries began to slow him down. He made brief appearances with the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild before joining the National League in Switzerland for the 2019-20 season.
8. James Reimer

The Arborg, Manitoba native began his professional career with the Toronto Marlies in 2008-09 after four seasons with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels. A fourth-round pick by the Maple Leafs in 2006, he quickly became one of the brightest goaltending prospects in the system, winning the ECHL’s Kelly Cup with the South Carolina Sting Rays in 2008-09, as well as taking home the league’s playoff MVP award.

With the Maple Leafs, Reimer continued to shine, earning NHL Rookie of the Month in March, 2011. Although the Leafs missed the playoffs, Reimer was selected to the IIHF World Championship roster that season, where he had a 0.920 save percentage over four games. His crowning achievement with the franchise was in 2012-13, when he helped Toronto reach the playoffs for the first time since 2004. However, it ended in heartbreak, after he allowed four unanswered goals to blow a 4-1 lead in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins after the Leafs had been up three games to one.

After the fateful loss, he struggled to regain his form with the Leafs and in 2015-16, he was traded to the Sharks. The change of scenery did him well, and he posted an impressive 1.62 goals-against average over eight games, which helped him earn a new contract with the Florida Panthers, splitting duties with Roberto Luongo. Now seen as a solid backup with the ability to start for long stretches, he joined the Carolina Hurricanes for the 2019-20 season to help out Petr Mrazek.

Author’s note: No, we aren’t related, as far as I know.
7. Dustin Penner

Public opinion is split on Penner. On one hand, he was a dominant power forward who won two Stanley Cups. On the other, he was difficult to coach and is remembered as the last player to be successfully signed to an offer sheet. Still, there is no denying his talent and impact. Penner grew up in Winkler with Eric Fehr, but while the latter was flying in the WHL, the former was struggling to stick with any team. Eventually, he made a small college team in North Dakota, which helped him get a scholarship to attend the University of Maine.

It was there that Penner’s fortunes changed. With Maine, he won the Hockey East championship over Boston College in 2004, which earned him a spot on the NCAA All-Star Team. It was enough to catch the attention of the Anaheim Ducks, and they offered the undrafted free agent a three-year deal in May, 2004, at 22 years old. In his first full season in 2006-07, he scored 45 points, earning him a handful of Calder Trophy votes as one of the league’s best rookies, and helped the Ducks win their first Stanley Cup that spring. That’s when the Edmonton Oilers came calling.

In one of the most controversial moves of the last 15 years, Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe signed Penner to a $21.25 million offer sheet, which Ducks GM Brian Burke was unable to match. Penner initially showed promise in Edmonton, but soon was clashing regularly with coach Craig MacTavish, who publicly criticized Penner’s fitness, and by 2011, he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings. He won another Cup with the Kings in 2012, but was hardly a factor, scoring 37 points over three seasons. Anaheim signed him again in 2013, but he joined the Capitals before season’s end and was reunited with Fehr before retiring in 2014.
6. Robyn Regehr

Regehr has the unique distinction of being the only Brazilian to play in the NHL. Born to Mennonite missionaries working in Recife, he spent his early childhood in Indonesia before coming to Canada at about the age of seven. His family settled in the small Mennonite town of Rosthern, Saskatchewan. Circumstance made him comparatively late to join organized hockey, but he was a quick learner and by 15 years old, he was a first-round selection by the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. Three years later, he was a first-round selection by the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

However, Regehr never played for the Avalanche, as he was traded to the Calgary Flames for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman in 1998-99, not long after winning a silver medal with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. That summer, Regehr suffered two broken legs in a car accident outside Saskatoon, which threatened to end his NHL career before it began. Yet four month later, he made his debut with the Flames, playing 57 games and scoring 12 points. That incredible accomplishment earned him a nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy for his dedication to hockey, the youngest nominee in NHL history.

During his 15-year professional career, Regehr was one of the NHL’s best defensive defensemen, helping the Flames reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2004, the first time since 1989, and serving as an assistant captain for several years. He won a gold medal with Canada at the World Cup in 2004, then a silver medal at the World Championships in 2005. In 2011, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in a cap dump, then to the Los Angeles Kings in 2013, where he finally won a Stanley Cup in 2014. He retired the following season, playing 827 of his 1090 games with the Flames, ranked third in franchise history.
5. Dave Schultz

Mennonites are strict pacifists, so to see some become hockey enforcers seems ironic. Yet in the 1970s, there were few meaner players than Dave ‘The Hammer’ Schultz, who came from the Mennonite community of Waldheim, Saskatchewan. With the WCHL’s Swift Current Broncos, he scored 101 points in 92 games over two seasons, prompting the Philadelphia Flyers to draft him with a fifth-round pick in 1969. However, the ‘Broad Street Bullies’ had a rough-and-tumble style, so Schultz adapted, registering 356 penalty minutes (PIM) in just 67 games with the Salem Rebels in 1969-70, his first 300+ PIM season.

After two seasons in the AHL where he nearly hit 400 PIM each campaign, the Flyers brought Schultz aboard in 1972-73. As a rookie, he was the NHL’s most penalized player with 259 PIMs, and scored 21 points. The next season, he added nearly 100 more minutes, keeping his penalty minute title, along with scoring 20 goals as the Flyers crashed their way to their first Stanley Cup. Then, in 1974-75, he set an NHL record for most penalty minutes in a season with 472, and the Flyers repeated as Cup champions.

However, the career of an enforcer is generally a short one, and Schultz was no different. After being traded from the Flyers to the Kings, he struggled to establish himself as more than a declining fighter, retiring in 1980 after appearing briefly with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. Two years later, he penned an open letter to his son about his regrets at his style of play, recalling, “My (childhood) idol was Dave Keon, who won the Lady Byng Trophy for good conduct, and I believed I could turn the other cheek,” (from ‘Dave Schultz: A Letter to My Son About Violence’, The New York Times – Feb 7 1982). Despite his conscience, he was one of the best at his job and made the Flyers one of the toughest teams in hockey history.

4. Willi Plett

Plett was born in Asuncion, Paraguay, after his parents fled from Germany during World War II and where they joined a thriving Mennonite community. A year after Plett was born, however, his family moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, where he started to play hockey at the age of 12. He was a natural athlete, who also played lacrosse in high school, and developed a style comparable to the modern power forward. After 14 points and 63 PIMs in 22 games with the St. Catherines Black Hawks, the Atlanta Flames drafted him 80th overall in 1975.

In 1975-76, Plett’s scoring punch and physicality helped the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers win the Adams Cup. Then, in 1976-77, he won the NHL’s Calder Trophy, scoring 56 points in 64 games while racking up 123 penalty minutes. He quickly became one of the franchise’s early stars, setting records for most penalty minutes (288 – 1981-82), longest point streak (nine games – 1976-77 and 1977-78), and most goals by a right winger (38 – 1981-82) in a single season. He was also instrumental in the Flames reaching the 1981 Stanley Cup semi-finals, their highest finish at the time.

However, Plett began to feud with Flames coach Al MacNeil, which led to MacNeil’s firing and Plett being traded to the Minnesota North Stars. He fought with North Stars coach Bill Mahoney as well, demanding more ice time, but the result was more positive; he set a career-high in PIMs in 1983-84 with 316. His style was not easy on his body, and after several knee and shoulder injuries, he was traded to the New York Rangers in 1987, hen was placed on waivers and claimed by the Boston Bruins. He retired in 1988 with the NHL record (since broken) of 488 career playoff penalty minutes, and is 16th in career PIMs.
3. Jeff Friesen

Although Friesen was never the biggest star, he was a proven winner. Growing up in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, he excelled with the WHL’s Regina Pats, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1992-93 after scoring 45 goals and 83 points. The following season, he earned a spot on the Canadian World Junior U20 team as an 18-year-old, after scoring 118 points with the Pats, where he won a gold medal. His resume was enough for the San Jose Sharks to use their 11th overall selection on the talented sniper in 1994. He made his NHL debut in 1994-95, scoring 25 points in 48 games and was selected to the All-Rookie team.

Friesen won one more World Junior gold medal in 1995, then win a silver medal at the World Championship in 1996 and a gold medal in 1997, all before turning 21. Soon, he was one of the Shark’s top scorers, leading the team in points in 1997-98 and 1998-99. In the 2001 offseason, despite sitting third in all-time scoring with 350 points (although that has since dropped to seventh), he was traded with Steve Shields to the Anaheim Ducks for Teemu Selanne. His time on the West Coast was brief, though, as he was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2002-03, where he won a Stanley Cup that season, contributing three game-winning goals in the semi-finals.

In 2004, Friesen won another silver medal at the World Championships, but when the NHL resumed in 2005-06, he struggled with injuries and was shuffled from the Capitals, back to Anaheim, then to the Flames. After spending 2007-08 in the AHL, he tried out for the Sharks but failed to make the team. He decided to go to Germany where he joined the Eisbaeren Berlin, with whom he won the German League’s championship in 2011 before retiring.
2. Garry Unger

Mennonites have long been defined by their work ethic, and Unger is one of the hardest working players in NHL history. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Unger made a name for himself playing for the London Nationals of the Ontario Hockey Association, scoring 73 points in 48 games in 1966-67. The Toronto Maple Leafs gave him his first shot at the NHL, playing him in 15 games in 1967-68, but they decided to trade him mid-season to the Detroit Red Wings in a massive eight-player blockbuster that included Frank Mahovlich, Norm Ullman and Paul Henderson.

In Toronto, Unger had managed just two points but with the Red Wings, he emerged as a star, scoring 15 points in 13 games. Accompanied by his care-free style and good looks, he quickly became a fan favourite and one of the team’s most reliable and talented players. However, he and the team clashed with their incredibly strict coach, Ned Harkness. When Harkness was inexplicably promoted to general manager in 1970-71, he traded away nearly half the team due to past grudges. Among the trades was Unger, who was sent to the expansion St. Louis Blues for veteran Red Berenson.

On a team without a bona fide star, Unger rose to the occasion, becoming the heart and soul of the Blues. From 1971 to 1979, he never scored less than 30 goals in a season and led the team in scoring in all but three of those campaigns. Despite only playing eight seasons, he still sits fourth in all-time points (575) and goals (292). Unger also never missed a game while in St. Louis. From February 24, 1968, with the Red Wings until December 23, 1979 with the Atlanta Flames, Unger played 914 consecutive games, nearly 300 games more than the previous record holder.

Unger finished his career in 1988 after appearing with the Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and even a brief stint in Britain. Although his record was eventually broken by Doug Jarvis’ 964 consecutive games, he will always be remembered as the original Iron Man.

1. Jonathan Toews

It’s no surprise that Toews tops our list; not only is he the most talented Mennonite to play in the NHL, but he’s arguably one of the most successful Canadian hockey players in the modern era. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Toews quickly demonstrated he had a talent not many others had, and at the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft, the Tri-City Americans drafted him first overall. However, he had other plans for his future, instead leaving for the esteemed hockey school Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Minnesota, and later the University of North Dakota.

Although he took a less traditional Canadian path to reach the NHL, it never hindered Toews. He was selected to the Canadian U20 World Junior Team in 2005-06 and 2006-07 winning gold both years, and was selected third overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2006. In his second appearance at the World Juniors, he was one of the best in the tournament, scoring three shootout goals against the Americans to advance to the finals. He joined the Blackhawks the following year, scoring 54 points in his rookie season and was third in the Calder Trophy voting behind teammate Patrick Kane and Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom.

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New Zealand may well have solved one of cricket’s toughest mysteries – how to get Steve Smith out.

It took a piece of brilliance in the field but once again, Kiwi quick Neil Wagner had Smith’s measure.

The former Aussie skipper made patience his priority on an opening day that saw him unbeaten on 77.

However, that patience appeared to crack after the drinks break during the opening session on day two when he was again undone by the short ball.

The Kiwis used the short-pitched tactic superbly in the opening Test and vowed to continue the approach at the MCG.

On day one, Smith was able to withstand the barrage and looked destined to notch up his 27th Test century on Friday when he moved into the 80s.

However, Wagner had other ideas – banging in a wicked bouncer that leapt off the MCG pitch and caught Smith off guard.

The ball looped up off Smith’s gloves and into the gully where Henry Nicholls took a superb one-handed catch to send the 30-year-old packing.

Nicholls appeared to have misjudged the flight of the ball but managed to snaffle the catch by his fingertips as Smith fell to Wagner for the third time this series.

The incredible moment left viewers in awe on social media.

Smith spent the previous week perfecting his answer to short-pitched bowling after being caught out by New Zealand on the pull shot in his last three innings against them.

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Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Everyday until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.

Last time we talked about a guy who may have been outshined by his brother at times. And by “at times” I mean basically all the time. Yes, we’re talking about #44 Rob Niedermayer.

Today, there is only 42 days left until the season starts! And that’s not even including pre-season. So really there’s less than a month until we can watch some Flames hockey again. But with 42 days left, let’s take a look at #42 Sergei Makarov.

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Randy Manery was a 6’, 180 lb. defenseman from Leamington, Ontario. Born on January 10th, 1949, He played three seasons in the WHA with the Hamilton Red Wings, totaling nine goals and 48 assists in 155 games, earning 193 penalty minutes. Starting with the 1969-70 season, he played most of three seasons with the CHL’s Fort Worth Wings (211 games, 23 goals, 82 assists). He also appeared with the Detroit Red Wings for three games. The Flames claimed him in the Expansion Draft on June 6th, 1972.

In 1972-73, Manery was one of five Flames to play in all 78 games for Atlanta. He led the blue line and ranked sixth on the club with 35 total points, with 30 assists and five goals on 159 shots to his credit. He also earned a minus-2 rating and 44 penalty minutes. His 6.9 point shares ranked him behind only goaltender Phil Myre. The Flames went 25-38-15 on the season.

1973-74 would see Manery again appear in all 78 games for the Flames. He again led the blue line and again ranked sixth on the team, this time with 37 points. He scored eight times on 189 shots with a team second 29 assists. He led the club with a plus-15 rating and was third on the team with 75 penalty minutes. He set a career high and again led the team with point shares, with his 8.3 falling behind only goaltender Dan Bouchard. Atlanta went 30-34-14 on the season, then lost in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four straight games to the Philadelphia Flyers. Manery earned two assists and four penalty minutes over the short series.

Manery led the blue line and ranked eighth on the team with 32 points in 1974-75. He played in 68 games, according five goals on 118 shots with 27 assists, a team-second plus-18 rating, and 48 penalty minutes. He tied for the team lead amongst all skaters with 6.8 point shares. The club earned a 34-31-15 record but missed the playoffs.

In 1975-76, Manery was eighth on the Flames with 39 points. He played in all 80 games, scoring seven goals on 139 shots with 32 assists. He earned a plus-2 rating and 42 penalty minutes. He earned 7.1 point shares, finishing second on the club and on the blue line. The Flames closed shop on the season at 35-33-12, good enough for third place in the Patrick Division. They lost in two straight contests in the opening round of the postseason to the Los Angeles Kings.

1976-77 would be Manery’s last season with the Flames. He appeared 73 times and scored five times on 108 shots. He would add 24 assists, a minus-2 rating, and 33 penalty minutes. The Flames finished at the definition of average, with a 34-34-12 record. They lost to the Kings in the first round, in three games. Manery went scoreless.

After the season, the Flames traded Manery to the Kings for Abe DeMarco Jr. He played three seasons with the Kings (202 games, 20 goals, 64 assists) before retiring.

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A Kentucky police officer has filed a lawsuit against the city after he says he was discriminated against after coming out as gay.

Officer John Burgraff has served as the Louisville Metro Police Department’s LGBTQ Liason Officer for four years without any reported issues. But conflict began in December of 2017, when he spoke to a Youth Police Advisory Committee, comprised of 14 to 18-year-olds. During his talk, he mentioned his position as liaison, which prompted his commanding officer, Lieutenant Phil Russell, to order a reprimand.

According to the lawsuit, Russell “claimed his remarks were not appropriate for a youth event, and that Officer Burgraff was looking at a young male inappropriately.”

Russell instructed another officer, Sergeant Corey Robinson, to discipline Russell. In turn, Robinson consulted with colleagues, who advised him not to discipline Burgraff. But Robinson did inform Burgraff of the complaint about him.

Burgraff took time off of work, using built-up vacation time, to avoid conflict with his commanding officer. Upon returning, he brought up concerns about Russell with another supervisor, but was told that Russell’s complaint “was not that bad.”

In response, Burgraff filed a complaint with the department. According to the lawsuit, Russell made comments indicating that another officer, Michael Sullivan, would “make sure [the investigation] went away.”

In May of 2018, the investigation concluded, finding that there was insufficient evidence to prove any wrongdoing on Russell’s part. Bergraff says he wasn’t informed of the investigation’s outcome until August 2019 and his request for a copy of the investigation was denied.

In the interim, disciplinary charges were filed against Bergraff, though he says he wasn’t informed of them until a reporter called him seeking comment.

He was also denied a promotion, with a supervisor telling him that he couldn’t be promoted due to “a lawsuit hanging over his head.” No lawsuit had been filed at the time.

Jessie Halladay, head of the public information unit, allegedly told Bergraff “we don’t want to look like we just gave [the job] to you.

Burgraff’s lawsuit claims discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, as well as retaliation, and a violation of the Whistleblower Act.

In a similar case, a jury determined last month that the St. Louis police denied a promotion to an officer because of his sexuality, with one supervisor telling him, “the command staff has a problem with your sexuality… you should tone down your gayness.”

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) – Recently, Ralph Krueger put Johan Larsson between Jeff Skinner and Conor Sheary. Of course, all the amateur coaches on Twitter howled that the Sabres coach had no clue what he was doing just like they did with Phil Housley, Dan Bylsma, Ted Nolan and Lindy Ruff.

It’s interesting that in three games, Larsson has four points, Skinner has three points and Sheary had a pair goals against New Jersey, scoring for the first time in 20 games.

Fans are convinced that Skinner is furious that he’s not playing on a line with Jack Eichel and is sorry he re-signed in Buffalo. Skinner has 11 goals in 28 games and is on a 32-goal pace. He said with a laugh, “I don’t think I’m really upset. I just want to win games, and everyone here wants to win games, including the coach. He puts out the best lineup that he thinks is going to win the game and as a player, you go out and play and try to help the team win.

“Lines change over a course of a season and we just try to focus on winning.”

Skinner started the season playing with Marcus Johansson and Vladimir Sobotka. Skinner liked being with them, “For me, you just try to find some chemistry with your linemates and work together to get on the same page. But in the end, you have to worry about your own game and what you bring to the table and that line had some success.”

Skinner has talked about how much he enjoyed playing with Sobotka because he’s a smart player that gave support to him and Johansson on both sides of the puck.

As far as playing with Larsson and Sheary, Skinner said, “I think the line’s playing well. It’s a good combination. Obviously Shears and Larry, they work really hard, they’re hard on pucks, they’re quick to battles and they win a lot of battles. For me, I just try to read off them, and hopefully we can keep it up.”

This line spends a lot of time in the offensive zone with the puck. Skinner said it’s because of the way they get in on the other team’s defense, “For those two guys, it’s a pretty big strength in their game. Shears, in particular, he’s fast on the forecheck, he’s annoying to play against and he puts a lot of pressure on opposing teams’ defensemen. As the second guy in, it makes your job a little bit easier because they’re under a little bit more stress, and that’s been a positive in our line.”

With Larsson, you know what you’re getting, and that makes it very easy to read what he’s going to do. Skinner said, “He competes extremely hard and he wins a lot of his battles. I think as a winger, when you have a centerman that does that, it’s definitely easier to read, and right now he has a lot of confidence and he’s making some really nice plays with the puck. It’s fun to be on his wing right now.”

J.S. Dea won’t be going with the team to Western Canada has he was sent back to Rochester after Wednesday’s practice. Dea dressed for one game and played 5:53.

Krueger said Kyle Okposo is going on the trip and is still day-to-day. Evan Rodrigues has been cleared and is available to play if needed.

Rasmus Dahlin is still progressing from his concussion, but he will stay behind and won’t play in Calgary, Vancouver or Edmonton.

Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November. The Sabres’ 2017 second round pick was 6-2-1-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

Luukkonen had back-to-back shutouts during the month and is third in the league in goals-against average and fifth in save percentage. Luukkonen didn’t start playing for Cincinnati until November because of offseason hip surgery.