Zanier steps up for Smokies

The Trail Smoke Eaters named Barry Zanier full-time assistant coach on Friday.

The Trail Smoke Eaters named Barry Zanier full-time assistant coach on Friday.

Zanier, a teacher at McLean Elementary in Rossland,  served as Smokies assistant coach on a part-time basis for the past eleven seasons but was able to commit full time due to a combination of an accommodating school board and fewer week-day games scheduled by the BCHL.

“The board has been great, I mean it’s all about community involvement,” said Zanier. “I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got a good group, and everyone is really excited to come back.”

Before joining the Smoke Eaters, Zanier coached at the pee-wee and bantam level in the Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association, and served as player-coach with the Senior Smoke Eaters during the 1980s.

As a player, Zanier skated with the Junior and Senior Smokies as well as the UBC Thunderbirds.

“Barry knows our program inside-out and will be a huge asset to have behind the bench full-time,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and general manager Bill Birks.

“He understands what it takes to win at the BCHL level and will help ensure we get the most out of our players this season.”

The Smoke Eaters are also thrilled to welcome Craig Clare to the coaching staff.

Clare, a former Smoke Eater, was named the BCHL Interior Conference co-Rookie of the Year in 1998. He spent two seasons in Trail before completing his BCHL playing career with the Victoria Salsa. Clare also played three years of college hockey in Alberta with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.

Most recently, Clare has been a coach with the Greater Trail bantam rep team.

“Craig’s really in touch with the up-and-coming players in our local system, which is huge for our future development,” stated Birks. “I’m happy to see him join our group and am excited to see what he can bring to our program.”