Don Hay, who had been the Winterhawks Assistant Coach since his arrival, has been elevated to Associate Coach. That position has been held by Kyle Gustafson, who has now moved on to the Vancouver Canucks of the NHL. Hay, who will now be entering his fourth season with the Winterhawks, will add his now 37 years of coaching expertise alongside Vice President, General Manager and Coach Mike Johnston and Assistant Coach Brian Pellerin who was last with the Tri-City Americans but had been with the Portland Winterhawks many years back.
Mike Johnston also revealed some changes to the roster, which many were expecting with the training camp just a week away. Jonas Brondberg will return to Portland to bolster the Winterhawks defensive corps. As an overage player, he is regarded as a “two spotter,” meaning on the roster, he would be both an import and overage player but won’t make any difference on the lineup at games. Joining him on the backline will be another import player, 17-year-old Marek Alcher, from the Czech Republic. Simon Knak, as reported earlier, was drafted by the Nashville Predators of the NHL and signed a deal as the captain of HC Davos in Switzerland, which will end his playing days of a Winterhawk.
Kishaun Gervais, who has been a favorite of fans in Portland, has been waived and will not be returning to Portland. Gervais is also an overage player, and the battle to gain one of now just two spots available with Jonas taking one of the three spots seemed a bit daunting. Kishaun will either look to another CHL Club to finish off his junior career or continue with his business dealings that he started just before the Pandemic.
The Portland Winterhawks sent out an email to all previous ticket holders and posted the information on their website. In the message, they spoke about the troubles that they have gone through in the past 17 months to get fans back supporting their team. Though the Winterhawks message sounds like it was created by the Winterhawks themselves, this is a policy that more and more venues are demanding to be put in place for both the safety and equality of everyone.
The Rose Quarter has instituted a “No Bag Policy,” which will have exceptions for medical, children’s bags, and clutches. The policy aims to streamline entrances to events.
All persons entering the facilities of the Rose Quarter must have a vaccination card showing both doses have been administered within 14 days of attending an event. Those unable or unwilling to provide the card must have proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours, and this will also apply to both religious and medical exemptions. Children under 12 are exempt from both the vaccine and testing.
Face coverings will be mandatory regardless if vaccinated or not while attending events at the Rose Quarter. The face-covering must cover both the nose and mouth while attending events at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Moda Center unless actively eating or drinking.
These policies have been echoed in posting on all three CHL league websites and are starting to show up on NHL sites. Expect all indoor professional leagues to require these policies now, and some will also be part of outdoor events. Portland Timbers and Thorns have posted some of these guidelines in recent days.
The Rose Quarter as has installed kiosks in both venues to act as cashless as possible. The Kiosks will create debit cards with no fee. This was put to the test at a recent concert in the Moda Center with vendors walking in the arena bowl selling food and drinks. It has not yet been announced if similar situations would occur at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
In addition, smoking has been banned on the campus of the Rose Quarter during events. In previous days, one could go to a smoking area that was gated off; however, this has been removed, so if fans head outside, they will not be able to get back in.
It appears that all of these policies have been put in place to limit congregations at any events going on at the Rose Quarter. In looking at other venues around the country, similar policies have been enacted as well.
The policies can be and will be re-visited at a later date subject to changes with both the pandemic and orders from the Federal down through the County level of government and the needs of the venues from now on.
Currently, fans are waiting on information regarding parking for the Neely Cup scheduled to begin Thursday through Sunday. Times from Thursday to Saturday will be 3 pm to 7 pm, and Sunday from 9 am to 1 pm with no events scheduled except Sunday with a heavy metal concert at the Moda Center featuring Megadeath, Lamb of God, and Trivium.
Parking information for the Neely Cup should be available in a couple of days. The Neely Cup event is free to attend but will also be a ticketed event meaning you must own a ticket to attend.