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HARTLEY’S HART ATTACK – (Lamb is right on the Mark) Jan. 12, 2024 EDITION 975

If one wants to suggest that Mark Lamb has been a good coach but a great General Manager for the Prince George Cougars it would be hard to argue.

Lamb joined the team in June of 2018 as the 6th G.M. in the history of the P.G. Cougars and a year later became the team’s 13th head coach.

Sure there were growing pains at the beginning but his long-range plan started to pay off in the 2022-23 WHL season and has further escalated in 23-24 where the Cougars sit atop the Western Conference standings with a record of 28-12 after 40 games.

It has been Lamb’s trades that have helped leapfrog Prince George to the top.

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The 2023-24 trade deadline was Wednesday (January 10th) and before that Lamb upgraded the team.

Here is a closer look at the deals the 59-year-old from Swift Current has made since June of 2022, only a year and a half ago.

2023-24 season:

1/10/2024 Brandon Evan Groening Prince George 10th Rnd. ’27


12/31/2023 Regina Borya Valis Prince George Tyson Buczkowski
4th Rnd. ’25
3rd Rnd. ’26 Cond.


12/27/2023 Lethbridge Chase Pauls Prince George 3rd Rnd. ’24


11/27/2023 Prince George Madden Mulawka Regina 7th Rnd. ’27


10/18/2023 Calgary Matteo Danis Prince George 4th Rnd. ’25


2022-23 season:

Date Team Transfers Team Transfers
08/16/2023 Everett Oren Shtrom
2nd Rnd. ’24
5th Rnd. ’26
Prince George Caden Brown


01/10/2023 Calgary Zac Funk Prince George Carter MacAdams
2nd Rnd. ’24
4th Rnd. ’24


01/05/2023 Prince George Ryker Singer Red Deer Arjun Bawa
2nd Rnd. ’23
7th Rnd. ’23


12/08/2022 Lethbridge Ross Stanley Prince George 6th Rnd. ’24


11/28/2022 Edmonton Jaxsen Wiebe
8th Rnd. ’26 Cond.
Prince George Noah Boyko
3rd Rnd. ’23
3rd Rnd. ’26 Cond.
4th Rnd. ’26
5th Rnd. ’26


11/04/2022 Regina Cole Dubinsky Prince George Zackary Shantz
3rd Rnd. ’23


2021-22 season:

08/09/2022 Prince George Prince George Craig Armstrong Red Deer_jpg Red Deer 2nd Rnd. ’23
4th Rnd. ’24
5th Rnd. ’25


07/25/2022 Prince George Prince George Jaren Brinson ICE_newlogo Winnipeg


06/10/2022 ICE_newlogo Winnipeg Chase Wheatcroft Prince George Prince George 4th Rnd. ’23


Of the 14 deals, there does not appear to be an obvious bad one.

Three have made a major impact on the team (acquiring Wheatcroft, and Wiebe as 20-year-olds for the 2022-23 season) and Funk, the WHL scoring leader and top goal scorer with 42, for last season and this one).

Two others (obtaining the 20-year-old Pauls and the 19-year-old Valis) could also end up being major acquisitions as the team pursues its first Western Conference championship in the 30-year-old history of the team.

Lamb also made a deal to acquire Carlin Dezainde in December of 2021 as part of a three-team trade with Medicine Hat and Saskatoon.

The 19-year-old Dezainde is playing a key role with the team this season.

What has been most impressive with these moves is the Cougars have significantly upgraded their roster without sacrificing a coveted first-round Prospects pick.

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Many teams have been unloading multiple first-round picks while looking at a short-term run.

There are many examples of this which you can find here.

The Cougars are very good this season and should be an elite team in 24-25 and possibly in 25-26.

The WHL-leading Saskatoon Blades are all in for this season and it will be championship or bust for them since they are carrying a whopping ten 19-year-olds to go along with three 20-year-olds.

The Cougars have eight 19-year-olds but their future is also aided by having two 17-year-old rookie of the year candidates in sniper Terik Parascak and goalie Josh Ravensbergen.

Lamb is a savvy hockey hound with over 20 years of coaching experience.

His work as G.M. has been superb and rewarded the ownership group which gave him a 3-year contract extension in the summer of 2022.

Sure, his job will not be complete until there is playoff success.

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There was a tiny taste of that last year, defeating the Tri-City Americans in round one but getting outmatched in round two against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Now for the next step.

The talent on the roster appears good enough for a deep run in the Spring.

Expectations have never been higher with the Cougars.

Mark Lamb would not have it any other way.


Cat Scan podcast:

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

This week my guest is Cougars associate coach Jim Playfair.



So the Miami Dolphins were leading 14-7 after three quarters against the Buffalo Bills and ended up losing 21-14. Now the Dolphins will have to travel to Kansas City this weekend for a wild card game where the temperature will be about -18 Celsius at kickoff (plus wind) and may go lower. Talk about going COLD for the fourth quarter.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California

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History tells us that Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s superb regular season will soon give way to playoff feet of clay, as in Clay(ton) Kershaw.
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California


The Canadian Mint chose a First Nation artist’s design for the flipside of a special five-cent coin. That reminds me: a new poll of music turnoffs was topped by Nickelback.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie

Environment Canada has issued an extreme cold warning for Prince George with temperatures in the minus 30s. That is colder than Aaron Rodgers’ relationship with Jimmy Kimmel.

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He is in his 10th season as the radio colour commentator for Prince George Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the airwaves in PG since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).


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