By Brian Cheeseman
Athletic Therapist, Edmonton Oil Kings

I hope this update finds you and your families healthy and doing well. All quiet on the western front since my last update but I do have some optimistic news to share. Last week the Western Hockey League has announced a projected start date for the season of January 8th, 2021. While this feels like an eternity from now I do hope that our WHL PHATS/SPHEM members are looking forward to resuming some sense of normalcy and returning to the jobs that we enjoy.

It hasn’t been an easy road to this point as many of our members have felt the effects of Covid-19 through layoffs and reductions in pay since our season came to a screeching halt in March. But hope is on the horizon!

Special shout out to PHATS members Rich Campbell (Portland Winterhawks) and Phil Varney (Seattle Thunderbirds) for all of the help and collaboration on the WHL Covid-19 Return to Play Protocol. On behalf of myself and all the WHL AT’s and Equipment Managers we say thank you!

On a personal note I would like to also express my gratitude to all of the amazing NHL AT’s and Equipment Managers, as well as Rich Villani from the NHL, who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with during their respective time in the Edmonton Bubble. I look forward to having the opportunity to catch up with you all again either here in Edmonton or at our next PHATS/SPHEM conference.

Until then stay healthy and take care of yourselves!

WHL

By Brian Cheeseman
Athletic Therapist, Edmonton Oil Kings

As I sit here writing this update on what would’ve been opening weekend of the WHL playoffs I can’t help but think about all of our PHATS and SPHEM members here in the Western Hockey League who work tirelessly behind the scenes each and every day. Long hours of dedicated work all brought to a screeching halt as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As disheartening as this all is I think we can all agree the cancellation was done in the best interests of not only our players but for our coaches and ourselves as well. A special acknowledgement to Scott Hoyer (PHATS) and Chaydyn Johnson (SPHEM) for all of their hard work behind the scenes for the 2020 Memorial Cup in Kelowna. Hopefully the opportunity will arise again for this prestigious event to be held in Kelowna in the coming years.

Congratulations to the CHL members of the 2020 IIHF U20 gold medalists for Team Canada: Brian St. Louis (SPHEM/Baie-Comeau QMJHL), Chris Maton (SPHEM/London OHL), Kyle Sutton (PHATS/Shawinigan QMJHL) and especially Mike Burnstein (PHATS/Vancouver WHL). Congrats on a job well done gentlemen! Shout out as well to Victoria Royals Equipment Manager and SPHEM member Matt Auerbach who recently worked his 1000th game.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Meeting this June in Orlando, Florida. A reminder to all new PHATS members in our League that you can obtain valuable CEU’s through the CATA or NATA for attending the conference.

WHL
WHL

By Brian Cheeseman
Athletic Therapist
Edmonton Oil Kings

As I write this article today it is hard to believe that we are already over a month into our season here in ?The Dub? and the race to the Memorial Cup in Kelowna is well underway. We have undergone quite a few changes in personnel here in the WHL this offseason and I would like to take the time to welcome our new members. On the PHATS side we have: William Sadonick-Carriere (Brandon), Mike Matthies (Prince George), JT Ward (Victoria) and Darris Hardern (Winnipeg). For SPHEM I?d like to welcome back Chayden Johnson (Kelowna) and extend a welcome aboard greeting to Riley Kosmolak (Saskatoon) and Jorge Lopez (Seattle). In addition to these personnel changes we have also seen the relocation of the Ice franchise from Kootenay (Cranbrook, BC) to Winnipeg. We wish Darcy and Darris all the best on their inaugural season in Manitoba?s capital.

I am excited to announce that all of our Athletic Therapists and Athletic Trainers have begun using the Athlete RMS platform this season. Special thank you to our team services committee members, General Managers and Governors for approving this platform. A very big thank you to Gaetan Lefebvre and his staff at Athlete RMS as well!

Best of luck to our PHATS/SPHEM members who will be participating in international duty with Hockey Canada in the coming months. PHATS member Brooke Kosolofski (Moose Jaw) as well as SPHEM members Ramandeep ?Chico? Dhanjal (Prince George) and Chayden Johnson (Kelowna) will represent Canada at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Mike Burnstein (Vancouver Giants) will be a part of the Team Canada Staff at the IIHF U20 World Championships this year as well.

Good luck to everyone across the league this season and I look forward to catching up with you all along the way.

WHL
WHL

By Brian Cheeseman
Athletic Therapist
Edmonton Oil Kings

As the snow melts and the days get longer, it?s hard to believe that another regular season has come and gone here in the Western Hockey League. Best of luck to the teams heading to the playoffs in pursuit of the Ed Chynoweth Cup, and the right to represent the WHL at the Memorial Cup this May in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

On March 12, 2019, SPHEM member and Red Deer Rebels Equipment Manager Dave ?Radar? Horning marked quite the hockey milestone having worked his 2,000th WHL game. On behalf of the PHATS/SPHEM members of the Western Hockey League, we would like to congratulate Radar on this remarkable accomplishment.

On a personal note, I would like to congratulate Ken Lowe on his induction into the PHATS/SPHEM Hall of Fame at this year?s banquet. Kenny has been a tremendous mentor to not only myself but to many other Therapists and Trainers across the CHL over the course of the last several seasons. Congratulations on the well deserved honour, my friend!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Annual Meeting this June in Austin, Texas. This year marks a mandatory attendance year for our PHATS/SPHEM Western Hockey League members and we are excited to have all 22 of our member clubs represented in the Lone Star State. A reminder to all new PHATS members in our League that you can obtain valuable CEU?s through the CATA or NATA for attending the conference

WHL
WHL

By Brian Cheeseman
Head Athletic Therapist, Edmonton Oil Kings

Another offseason has come and gone here in the west and the 2018-19 WHL season is underway. Belated congratulations to Jamie ?Butter? Leblanc of the Swift Current Broncos on all of his hard work on the road to their 2017-18 WHL Championship.

There are a lot of new faces in our league this year and I would like to take the time to welcome the following members to the Western Hockey League: RJ Kaszczij (Brandon Wheat Kings/PHATS), Nathan Hollinger (Calgary Hitmen/PHATS), Mitch Bain (Kelowna Rockets/SPHEM), Matt Dyck (Moose Jaw Warriors/ SPHEM), and Jorge Lopez (Seattle Thunderbirds/ SPHEM).

On behalf of our members here in the Western Hockey League I would like to express congratulate and acknowledge two of our members Khore Elliot (Victoria Royals/PHATS) and Mike Burnstein (Vancouver Giants/ PHATS) on their selection to Team Canada for the upcoming IIHF World Junior Championship this year.

We would also like to recognize PHATS member Greg Mayer of the Regina Pats on working his 1500th game last month. Congrats Greg!

Best of luck to all teams across all of our leagues on a successful and healthy 2018-19 regular season!

WHL
WHL