Sports 'n' Things

Sports ‘n’ Things: 2015 Trail Smoke Eaters: a scholastic success story

About half of last season’s roster will heading off to college to play and learn.

Everybody, “knows,” the Smoke Eaters had a bad year. There were some on-ice upsides – the team was entertaining as well as frustrating and was led by local kids for the most part – including how much eventually disappointing fun was had by Smokie fans.

Off the ice and outside of still-perilous finances, 2014/15 was a rousing success on at least one front – the very important educational aspect to kids choosing junior A hockey over the pro junior leagues.

About half of last season’s roster will heading off to college to play and learn. If you buy into, and I do, the concept that giving young men access to educational opportunity is a big reason for junior A hockey to exist, then the 2014/15 Smokies recently completed one of the most successful seasons in the team’s realtively brief history.

The eight division 1 NCAA scholarships (along with more limited ones to Canadian Schools) to be used by Smoke Eaters from last season’s roster rank the club fourth on the list of  BCHL clubs, right up there with Vernon and Salmon Arm in terms of directing and helping kids who pass through the league on their way to educational opportunity.

For the record, Penticton Vees and Chilliwack Chiefs each iced 16 scholarship winners – their on-ice successes a result of their emphasis on that educational link.

A few more wins, and a little longer season, would be a nice improvement in the club’s fortunes moving forward,  but there is little doubt that we can look backwards to last year as having been a good one and look forward, for as long as finances allow, to more and better.

• The announcement that the busiest international trade link in the country (Windsor/Detroit’s new bridge) will be named after, “Mr. Hockey,”  comes as a politically-motivated surprise, but will please almost everyone involved in Canadian hockey.

Gordie Howe is as universally liked by hockey people, off the ice, as he was once both admired and detested and feared within the boards. The link between Canada and the city in which he enjoyed most of his hockey success will build on that affection.

•Canada/Czech semi-final at the world’s in Prague, to be played, I believe, not far from the statue of Trail’s Mike Buckna, “The Father of Czechoslovakian Hockey.” The NHL season is done for most of  us, so something fun to do on Saturday morning.

Just Posted

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Extensive road repair nears completion in Fruitvale

The scope of work includes new water and sewer service connections as well as road resurfacing

Community invited to check out mining trade show in Trail

Trade show free and open public on Wednesday and Thursday in the Trail Memorial Centre

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Christmas blooms in downtown Trail

The Artisan Craft Co-op recently celebrated its 30th anniversary in downtown Trail

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read