June 30

Local hockey products called to NHL ‘s big stage

1999 was the year two local players made another mark in Home of Champions history.

As the Trail Times continues to celebrate 120 years of reporting local news, we’ve browsed through fragile aging newspapers in the city’s archives and written about landmark events such as building the new bridge (Old Trail Bridge) to the post-war flu pandemic, the 1939 World Ice Hockey Championship, major floods and the new Trail hospital.

This month, the front page feature brings the story back to sports, and the year two local players made another mark in Home of Champions history. Besides the story, there’s something special about the front page photo of Steve McCarthy and Barrett Jackman wearing their NHL team jerseys.

Sixteen years ago on June 30, McCarthy, a Trail native and Fruitvale’s Barrett Jackman returned to the city following the NHL draft in Boston. Both young men were selected to the NHL in the first round draft.

Former sports editor Guy Bertrand interviewed the players after McCarthy was first pick for the Chicago Blackhawks and 23rd player chosen overall; and Jackman, the first player chosen by the St. Louis Blues and 15th overall among the best 18-year-old hockey players in the world.

Jackman said his knees buckled, he had to grab the railing to keep from falling over, and didn’t remember talking with St. Louis GM Larry Pleau.

McCarthy said it was a childhood dream realized, and a thrill for his family members who were by his side.

From hockey to taxes, another front page story is still written about every June, and that’s the annual municipal property tax rates, usually due by Canada Day.

Back then, Trail taxpayer rates, compared to surrounding communities, fell mid-range at $564, based on the average home assessed at $100,000. Rossland topped the list, with homeowners paying $1,008 based on a $100,000 home.

Even the top story about the Hugh Keenleyside expansion has been echoed in the past few years, though the location moved downstream to the Waneta Dam.

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