THANK YOU TO ALL
The junior hockey game played at the Cominco Arena on Sunday, October 30 between the Trail Smoke Eaters and Victoria Grizzlies marked and end of an era. It was the last game the junior Smoke Eaters played as a community based team. The Trail Smoke Eater Hockey Club Society formed in 1991 had operated the hockey club for 25 years. In 1995 the team moved from the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey to the BCHL. Dwindling fans, rising operating costs and mounting debt forced the officers of the club to look for an alternative to the operation of the club. That alternative was the sale of its assets to a private owner. Fortunately, the board found a buyer that is community minded and not interested so much in the bottom line but in the longevity of the hockey team.
At this time the present society board members would like to thank all those individuals who supported the team over the last 25 years. They would like to thank the fans, the volunteers, the corporate sponsors and past board members for their contribution to the team. Let’s not forget that first executive that purchased the Bellingham franchise to move us into the Junior A ranks as part of the BCHL.
Moving forward the society still has a 10 % interest in the team and will operate to fund raise for the Smoke Eaters. They will still be operating the 50/50 at Smoke Eater home games, and various other functions throughout the year. The new name will be the Trail Hockey Club Society.
The present board members would like to stress that community support for the team should not waiver. It is imperative for fans to keep coming to the games, corporate sponsors to keep up their financial support and volunteers to keep up their dedicated and tireless work for the team. The new owners, Rich & Annie Murphy, Minnesota natives are all for the community and that is why they were so interested in our team, our history and our City. Let’s show them that never ending “Home of Champions” support that we are famous for.