Next: The Winter Hawks open the month with three games in three nights: at Everett tonight, at Seattle on Saturday and against Seattle at 5 p.m. Sunday in the Rose Garden.
For the record: Ken Hodge wants to remain general manager and wants to keep Mike Williamson as coach. Williamson wants to see through rebuilding the team. Owner Jim Goldsmith says, 'I will never discuss in the media or on a blog the employment situation.'
Williamson has done a 'serviceable job' in the owner-dictated rebuilding mode, Goldsmith says. 'He's an intelligent, young, successful coach having an unpleasant season.' Hodge has an immaculate record, Goldsmith says.
All the hockey employees met in Portland last week to evaluate the staff, players, scouting, recruiting and upcoming drafts, and to discuss new systems and plans, says Goldsmith, who vows to be more involved in hockey operations.
Quote: Playing in run-down Memorial Coliseum and rebuilding, 'We knew we'd have to pay the price at the gate for having an unsuccessful team,' Goldsmith says. 'Hopefully we've earned some respect (with fans) the way we're dealing with things. We're seeking to dominate for a longer period of time. We're going to dominate in the Western Hockey League.'
One more quote: 'You know what? My product sucked this year,' Goldsmith says. 'That's never going to happen again, because I'm an animal. … We're going to do all the things that the elite teams in this league do. That's a promise.'
This and that: The Hawks' last two wins have been on the road (at Everett, Seattle). They have lost 11 consecutive home games since beating Prince George 3-2 in a shootout Jan. 10. … The Hawks have scored just 14 goals in the past 15 games, including five at Seattle at Feb. 3. … Winter Hawk President Jack Donovan met with fans last week at Stark Street Pizza. 'We know we can't anticipate expanding season tickets right now,' he says. He also says WHL Commissioner Ron Robison will visit Portland this month to enter discussions with the city about the team's arena situation and lease. And he says the Winter Hawks are preliminarily looking into adding radio coverage back to the mix, either on AM or high-definition radio. The next fan forum will be March 12 at Stark Street Pizza.
- Jason Vondersmith