The Trail Senior Men’s Smoke Eaters annual Christmas brunch is a go again this year, but with a different venue.
The event invites all Senior Smoke Eaters that played for the team during its tenure in the Western International Hockey League from 1946 to 1988.
But the brunch will move from its traditional venue at Cantons Restaurant to the Red Room at the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC). All attendees are asked to arrive at the event at 4 p.m. at the TMC.
“We’re going to get a tour of the (Trail Smoke Eaters) dressing room,” said organizer Wayne Florko. “And then we’re going to have our meal and our program there, and then go to the hockey game against Penticton.”
The WIJHL was comprised of teams from Trail, Rossland, Nelson, Fernie, and Cranbrook as well as Calgary, Spokane, Portland and Los Angeles playing in the league at various times throughout its history.
In an era when there were fewer NHL and minor professional teams and leagues in North America, winning the WIHL Shore-Montgomery Trophy (named after celebrities Dinah Shore and George Montgomery) was a difficult challenge, and the Allan Cup national championship trophy, a coveted prize.
The WIHL was considered among the best amateur hockey in North America. The caliber of play was excellent and many former top CHL, Junior A, university and pro-level players went on to compete for WIHL teams.
Trail won the WIHL championship’s Shore-Montgomery Cup seven times in 1948, ‘51, ‘52,’60 (World Championship), ‘62 (Allan Cup), ‘79, and ‘83.
All former Sr. Smoke Eater players are welcome to attend and can RSVP by calling Wayne at 368-5645. The cost for meal and game is $25 or $15 for those with Smokies season tickets. Meet at 4 p.m., dinner at 5 p.m., puck drop at 7 p.m..
Extra funds raised will go to the Trail Hockey Society’s scholarship fund.