He waited his turn and now Brandon Manning of Prince George is back in the NHL.

The former Cariboo Cougars and Prince George Spruce Kings defenceman was a healthy scratch for the first six Edmonton Oilers games this season.

When his name was called to play against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, he responded
with a goal, two shots and a plus-one rating, making the most of his 15 shifts and 11:23 of ice time in a 6-3 victory.

The 6’1″, 205 lb Manning is back to the big leagues, based more on hard work, determination and attitude than skill.

A minor bump on the road last season was not going to deter him.

Despite being placed on waivers by Edmonton two days before the 2019-20 regular season, Manning made the Oilers as the seventh blue-liner out of camp after hitting rock bottom in 2018-19.

Not only was he sent to the Oilers AHL farm team in Bakersfield in mid-February, but he also ended up only playing eight games for the Condors, including none in the playoffs.

“In the summer you realize why you train and why you love the game and to be out there against Philly where I have a lot of good friends and to score and contribute was definitely special,” Manning told the Edmonton Sun.

“The way things went last year was disheartening but to come in here, get the opportunity to stick around … you appreciate it.”

The Oilers are off to a Western Conference-best 6-1 record with new coach Dave Tippett having a positive influence on the team.

Tippett appreciates what a physical player like Manning brings to the table.

“A great teammate who’s accepted his role and works hard. They understand that. A good veteran player who knows the league and when he scored against his old team, the players here were really happy for him,” Tippett said to the Edmonton Sun.

Manning is up to 247 NHL regular-season games played with the Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Oilers.

He has 48 points (14 goals) to go along with 237 penalty minutes and is highly motivated to remain in Edmonton, just 739 kilometres from his PG home.

The 29-year-old Manning is a great example of living the dream, while not getting discouraged when the dark days arrive because he understands there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.


This weekend is a hockey feast in Prince George.

The PG Cougars host Spokane twice at CN Centre with Saturday’s game having an Oktoberfest theme and a Mega Jackpot where someone will win a minimum 15-grand.

Next door at Kin 1, the Cariboo Cougars are home Saturday and Sunday against the Vancouver NE Chiefs.

Pink in the Rink will be the theme in the first game, a fundraiser for breast cancer.

The Major Midget Cougars will be wearing special jerseys trimmed in pink, recognized as the symbolic colour of breast cancer.

At the RMCA, the Prince George Spruce Kings will also be the home team against the Chilliwack Chiefs tonight and Saturday with this evening’s game Cancer Awareness Night.


This is season two of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that primarily features the PG Cougars.

My guests on the fifth Cat Scan in year two are Cougars defencemen, Cole Moberg and Rhett Rhinehart.

Moberg discusses the thrill of being drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring goals for the Cougars and his outlook on the team and his future.

Rhinehart talks about being ranked by Central Scouting for next year’s NHL Draft. In addition, he speaks about his prominent role on the team and travels on the Cougars new bus.


Bill Belichick’s second granddaughter just celebrated her first birthday. And even at one-year-old, the baby is more talkative than grandpa.

*Contributor Marc Ragovin 

A report says Antonio Brown wants his off the field issues resolved so he can return to the NFL. That would still leave any interested teams one big issue to deal with Antonio Brown.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

There were six penalty flags on six consecutive plays late in Dallas Cowboys-New York Jets game. But hey, doesn’t everyone pay their way into games or buy NFL Sunday Ticket to watch world-class officiating?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

San Francisco Giants prospect Jacob Heyward was ejected from an Arizona Fall League game for arguing a strike passed on to the home plate umpire by a robot. The next transmission from the robot following the strike call was, ‘..fourteen letter word…..does not compute.’

Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

San Diego Padres pitcher Jacob Nix was arrested and charged with criminal trespass in Peoria, Ariz. after he allegedly tried to enter a home through the doggie door.  It looks like he could use a little more work on his back-door slider.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/


A cheerleader performing at the Pan Am Games accidentally fell into a swimming pool. On the bright side, she did get the wave started.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com


Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca