Smokies send captain packin’

Proulx joins former Trail Smokie Eaters coach in Cowichan.

The Trail Smoke Eaters continue to shake things up in an effort to salvage their season.

The Smoke Eaters traded local veteran and team captain Logan Proulx of Trail to the Cowichan Valley Capitals for future considerations.

The only homegrown talent remaining on the team is forward Luke Bertolucci of Montrose and Nelson’s Adam Wheeldon.

Proulx played two seasons with the Smokies, scoring 66 points including a goal and three assists in 14 games this season.

Former Smokies bench boss Jim Ingram coaches the Capitals and was thrilled to get Proulx.

“He’s the perfect fit for us,” said Ingram. “I definitely know he’s a real solid kid on and off the ice, so anytime I can add something like that, especially knowing him like I do, it’s a real benefit for our hockey team.”

Proulx was in the line up for the Capitals on Sunday for their game against Prince George, and spent the last two years in Trail under Ingram’s tutelage.

Proulx will take on a checking role with the Caps, killing penalties while contributing his leadership qualities without the added pressure of the “C” on his jersey, said Ingram.

Cowichan currently sits in fourth place but are only three points out of first in the very tight Mainland Division.

The Capitals beat the Smoke Eaters 7-1 last weekend, but Ingram did not relish the victory so much as he understood the difficult situation the team and coaching staff is in after losing their six top scorers from last season.

“I think Billy (Smokies’ coach Bill Birks) is headed in the right direction bringing in some real good young kids, and I hope that the community and the fans will stay with him, he needs their support. It’s easy to get down on people when they’re losing and I had a couple of really tough stretches in Trail and certainly know what he’s going through, but he’s got my support for sure.”

The move coincides with another former Smokies’, Rajan Sidhu, return to the BCHL.

The Smokies’ dealt Sidhu to the Drumheller Dragons of the Alberta Hockey League for goaltender Jamie D’Andrea, the Dragons then traded him to the Coquitlam Express Friday.

The Smokies also acquired 19-year-old forward Connor Tiechko from the Prince George Spruce Kings for future consideration.

Tiechko played 110 games in the league with Nanaimo, Surrey, Prince George and now the Smokies.

He has one assist in six games with the Spruce Kings this year.

The Smoke Eaters were on the road Sunday playing in Kelowna against the Westside Warriors.