Team Canada made its first round of cuts Tuesday for the World Junior Championship, send Linden Vey back to Medicine Hat and Brad Ross to Portland.
Also returned to their respective teams were forwards Brendan Gallagher of the Vancouver Giants, center Joey Hishon and winger Garrett Wilson of the Owen Sound Attack and Chilliwack's Ryan Howse.
Defensemen Brayden McNabb of the Kootenay Ice and Owen Sound's Jesse Blacker also were cut from the roster.
Final cuts for the WJC will be today. If Team Canada goes with a 22-man roster, four forwards, three D-men and two goals will get the ax today.
Still in the mix is Tri-City Americans newcomer Carter Ashton, who was acquired last week. The 6-3, 200-pound forward was picked up Friday from Regina, but since he had to report to the WJC, he's yet to make an appearance in the Tri-Cities.
If Ashton gets cut today, expect to see him in an Americans uniform Friday when the Vancouver Giants come to town.
Speaking of the Giants, assistant coach John Becanic resigned Monday to take the reins of the Wenatchee Wild of the North American Hockey League. Becanic was head coach of the Everett Silvertips for two seasons and an assistant last year in Seattle before joining Hay's staff in August.
I can see John wanting to be a head coach again, but I can't see walking out on a job where you can learn from Don Hay — one of the top coaches in junior hockey.
Former Spokane Chiefs coach Hardy Sauter has landed in Boise as head coach of the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL. And right now the Steelheads are in a tight battle in the Mountain Division of the Western Conference, one point out of first behind the Utah Grizzlies.
Sauter, fired in May and replaced by Don Nachbaur, has the Stealheads off to an 11-7-2-3 start.
On the Ams alumni front, Mitch Fadden of the Florida Everblades leads the ECHL in scoring with 39 points — 10 goals and 29 assists.
In the CHL, goalie Alex Pechurskiy is 5-4-0-1 with a 2.79 GAA and a .900 save percentage.