What’s in a name?
For the Trail Smoke Eaters new mascot, the right name means everything: a monicker that represents the City of Trail as well as the hard-working community and hockey team whose rich tradition spans almost a century, a handle one can hold dear to the heart, a fresh title that’ll stick like cooked pasta to a fridge door.
“We just released our mascot name this morning,” said Rachel Swanson, Smokies marketing and sales assistant. “Which is going to be Stax.”
After almost 700 votes on the Smoke Eaters FaceBook page, the name originally put forward by Trail native Brad Buskey, was one of five options to be bestowed upon the soon to be iconic Smoke Eater. Stax beat out the next highest voted name, Carl, based on the player, Carl Kendall, who, in 1927 smoked a pipe thrown onto the ice, giving rise to the Smoke Eaters team name. The other name suggestions were Grinder or Guido Grinderello, Ben Venuti, and Fumo.
The provenance of the ‘Smoke Eaters’ name is still debatable and may have given the edge to Stax rather than Carl in the long run.
To celebrate, Stax, accompanied by Smoke Eater players, toured the area meeting residents and delivering ticket packages to businesses.
“Stax will be going out downtown with some of the players between Castlegar, Rossland, Warfield and Trail and even out to Waneta and they’re going to be delivering all the tickets for the corporate season ticket holders,” said Swanson.
The close to $2-million investment by owners Rich and Annie Murphy has ushered in a new era for the Smoke Eaters franchise, and injected renewed hope and excitement into the fans and the City of Trail.
Stax will usher in the 2017-18 season with over 700 season ticket holders, of which most also toured the new facilities on Tuesday. According to Swanson, close to 500 season ticket holders went on a tour of the Trail Memorial Centre, with tours running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. The Smoke Eater faithful were given an up-close and personal view of the upgraded locker room, weight room and players lounge, offices and training room.
“We were very happy with the turnout. At times it was a little overwhelming with so many people in the office, but it was really good and we were really happy. It was a very successful day.”
Leading up to the season opener on Sept. 8, Smoke Eaters staff are busy planning game-night activities, including a Teck sponsored tailgate party to kick off the season-opener against the West Kelowna Warriors.
“We’re just getting our game-to-game on-ice contests, prizes, what each night is going to be like, what we’re going to do to get people in the rink and all that kind of fun stuff and it’s been a really cool experience.” added Swanson.
Combined with the their mascot Stax, their hard-working staff, and the new additions at ice level and in the stands, the Trail BCHL games are sure to provide an entertaining night out for the whole family.
“We’re about three weeks away from the season opener, so it’s going to be good. It’s crunch time now so we’re getting excited.”