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Chiefs move toward preseason

The Spokane Chiefs dive into their seven-game preseason schedule starting Friday at Everett's tournament. Read story

Chiefs’ Helewka plays wait-and-see game

Adam Helewka realizes all too clearly that one of the Spokane Chiefs' four 20-year-old players will have to go. Read story

Optimism abounds at Chiefs camp

This first day of fall camp for the Spokane Chiefs is a time brimming with hope. Read story

Young hockey players exempted from some labor laws

OLYMPIA – Young hockey players for the Spokane Chiefs and other WHL teams in Washington will be exempted from certain labor laws which would have restricted their practice and playing time and made them subject to the minimum wage.

Without the law signed Monday by Gov. Jay Inslee, the league's Washington teams might not have been able to operate, although the league is facing similar questions about labor practices in other states and provinces, WHL Commissioner Ron Robinson said.

The bill effects all players between 16 and 20 years of age who play for a team in a regional, national or international league, but it’s designed specifically to answer a complaint with the Labor Department about young WHL players in Spokane, Seattle, Everett and the Tri-Cities. The complaint contends the players are professional athletes who should be subject to all wage and hour laws.

The investigation by the Labor Department “did catch us by surprise,” Tim Speltz, general manager of the Chiefs, said after the signing. “We operated the way we've always operated.”

The changes are particularly important for 16- and 17-year-olds who are developing their talents in hopes of moving up to the National Hockey League. Under the strict hour-limitations of standard child labor laws, they might not have been eligible to play late games or do the additional physical training they want, Speltz said.

“These are guys that want to do extra. They know what they're doing,” he said. “Athletes want to compete.”

Inslee said the revisions of labor law was an issue that he considered, but ultimately agreed with. “The situation is sufficiently unique to warrant this particular circumscribed treatment,” he said.

Robinson said the league has faced similar questions from labor departments in the other states and Canadian provinces where it has teams, and those legislatures or parliaments are considering similar changes to labor laws. Saskatchewan already passed a law similar to the bill signed Monday, and Oregon was waiting to review the Washington legislation, he said. 

Chiefs select Smith with No. 1 pick

The Spokane Chiefs follow the expected course and took defenseman Ty Smith of Lloydminster, Alberta, with the first pick of Thursday's Western Hockey League bantam draft. Read story

Chiefs hope for big boost from bantam draft

Thursday holds an important moment for the Spokane Chiefs. For just the second time in franchise history, the Chiefs have the No. 1 pick in the Western Hockey League's bantam draft. Read story

Spokane Chiefs season in perspective

Before leaving town, Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur analyzed the just-completed 2014-15 hockey season. Read story

Chiefs stretched season as long as they could

The Spokane Chiefs played more than 103 minutes of hockey on Tuesday night in their attempt to force a Game 7 in Everett. Instead, Everett will play a Game 1 Friday at home against Portland. Read story

Chiefs return home for huge Game 6

Taking it one step at a time, the Spokane Chiefs hope a home win in Game 6 on Tuesday will give them their shot in Game 7. Read story

Chiefs battle through to force Game 6

The Spokane Chiefs could have given up on their Western Hockey League playoff series, trailing Everett 3-1 in games and being 3 minutes away from elimination Saturday at Everett. But they didn't give up. Read story

Chiefs need three consecutive wins

It's a daunting task. The Spokane Chiefs' season will be over unless the team can muster three consecutive victories against the Everett Silvertips. Read story

Chiefs fight to return to Arena next week

The Spokane Chiefs need one win in their next two playoff games with Everett to force a Game 6 that would be played Tuesday in Spokane. Read story

Game 3 may haunt Spokane Chiefs

If the Spokane Chiefs don't bounce back to win their Western Hockey League playoff series against Everett, it's likely that Wednesday's double-overtime loss will be seen as the major factor. Read story

Physical WHL series shifts to Arena

Maybe they should refer to Game 3 of the WHL playoff series between Spokane and Everett as Round 3. Read story

Chiefs steal away Silvertips’ home-ice edge

What began as a best-of-seven series with the second-seeded Everett Silvertips holding home-ice advantage has developed into a best-of-five series with the Spokane Chiefs seizing the edge. Read story

Chiefs must forget, move on to Game 2

The best strategy for the Spokane Chiefs heading in to Game 2 of the Western Hockey League playoffs is to toss away the memory of Everett's five-goal third period Friday night. Read story

Chiefs end win one, lose one regular season

Before the focus falls on the Spokane Chiefs' playoff series with Everett, a few numbers from the just-completed regular season stand out. Read story

Chiefs receive playoff assignment: Everett

The Spokane Chiefs will complete their Western Hockey League regular-season schedule Sunday night against visiting Everett. Five days later, the Chiefs will open the playoffs against the same team, but on the road. Read story

It didn’t matter much, but it still hurt

The Spokane Chiefs can't move up or down in the WHL standings in their final regular-season games, but Friday's 7-2 loss to Seattle still left a bad taste in the mouth with the postseason approaching. Read story

Chiefs could affect playoff assignment

Nothing they do can change their playoff seeding, but the Spokane Chiefs may determine their first-round opponent. Read story

WHL notes: Chiefs have good shot at No. 1 pick

The final Western Hockey League notebook of the season leads with the Spokane Chiefs reaping the benefits from a trade made two years ago. Read story

Chiefs’ playoff picture comes into focus

The final postseason puzzle for the Spokane Chiefs is whether their first-round opponent will be the Everett Silvertips or the Portland Winterhawks. Read story

Chiefs slow down Winterhawks

The Spokane Chiefs' Western Hockey League regular season is down to six games in the next nine days. Friday's win over Portland should give them high hopes for postseason. Read story

Chiefs’ end-of-season play will affect playoff matchup

The Spokane Chiefs will play their final seven WHL regular-season games in the next 10 days. The outcome of those games will have a strong bearing on playoff assignments. Read story

WHL notes: Chiefs’ celebration placed on hold

The Spokane Chiefs could have clinched a postseason berth on Wednesday night despite not being on the ice. But the Kamloops Blazers won and delayed the Chiefs' official clinching, which should come soon. Read WHL notes

Ranked Portland next for Chiefs

The Portland Winterhawks, the Spokane Chiefs' opponent Friday at the Arena, have worked themselves back into the Canadian Hockey League's Top 10 rankings. Read story

Chiefs prepare for No. 2 Kelowna

The Spokane Chiefs are on a roll, having won four straight games by a combined score of 22-2. Their next three games are on the road, including Saturday at Canadian Hockey League No. 2 Kelowna. Read story

Chiefs put past behind them

Despite a five-week stretch, mostly in January, in which they lost 11 of 14 games, the Spokane Chiefs have reached the 62-game mark of their Western Hockey League schedule with as many wins (31) as regulation, overtime and shootout losses (31). Read story

Chiefs enter March on good roll

The Spokane Chiefs had the best week possible, providing them a boost as the Western Hockey League's regular season enters its final three weeks. Read story

Chiefs could give Everett a run

If the Western Conference playoff seedings don't change in the next 3 1/2 weeks, the Spokane Chiefs could do worse than a first-round matchup against the Everett Silvertips. Read story