Smoke Eaters fire coach

The Trail Smoke Eaters relieved coach and GM Nick Deschenes of his duties.

Trail Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes was fired last week.

Trail Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes was fired last week.

Hard on the heels of a 9-3 drubbing to Salmon Arm Tuesday, the Trail Smoke Eaters fired head coach and GM Nick Deschenes last week.

The Smokies were in the hunt for a playoff spot at Christmas time, but with the playoff picture growing dimmer, having lost 14 of its last 16 games, the Smoke Eaters executive relieved Deschenes of his duties effective immediately.

“The team has been outscored by a margin of 22-3 in the last three games but more importantly, it is obvious that the players are not responding to him,” Smokies president Tom Gawryletz stated on the team’s website.

Deschenes was in his third season with the Smoke Eaters, and compiled 20 wins, to go with 32 losses and two overtime losses this season. In 169 games the Smoke Eaters had 49 wins, 106 losses, 12 overtime losses and two ties.  The Smokies finished in last place in the Interior division in 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons and currently sit in last place, one point behind the Merritt Centennials who have two games in hand.

The team will now be coached by former assistant Curtis Toneff, with Barry Zanier and Craig Clare remaining as assistants.