Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smokies part company with Youngson

Word today that the Trail Smoke Eaters have not renewed the contract of Assistant Coach Brian Youngson. I was able to confirm that Brian would indeed not be back with the club. However, the Smokies didn't make an official statement on the matter.

As for Brian, I know he has been pursuing full time work opportunities in the community. He's a family man who welcomed a young son to the Youngson clan last summer. It strikes me that at this point that family is Brian's top priority. As much as hockey is a passion for him I think practical interests come into play as well. I know we all have those thoughts sometimes! Either way he'll be successful at whatever it is he does.

I know I'll miss having him around. Over the past 3 years I've certainly come to consider Brian a friend. I also owe him big because he introduced me to my girlfriend. That's a debt I can never repay. He's a great guy with a hell of a sense of humour who it is always fun to talk hockey with. I know he was always very accommodating to me whenever I needed something and I look forward to continuing that friendship away from the bus and the rink.

Youngson joined the Smoke Eaters for the 2006-07 season under Tim Kehler. The team had a very good season finishing 3rd and winning a playoff round. He's been with the club now for four seasons and has become ingrained in the community. I've always known Brian to have a good relationship with the players, but he won't pull any punches either. He's got a good eye for the game and I've learned a lot from our conversations. No one can say he didn't make a very solid contribution over his tenure with the team.

Youngson started his coaching career as an assistant with Fernie in the KIJHL. That's a team that Brian has been proudly associated with as a player and a coach. He had a good junior career and has proved to be a capable and personable coach as well. That booming voice alone can make an impression.

For whatever reason at this time both the team and Brian needed a change. Sometimes the same situation can get stale. I think it'll end up being good for all involved. I'm certainly curious to see what Coach Ingram and the club do in terms of filling that void.

For now I just wanted to say thanks for Brian for everything he's done for me and for the Smoke Eaters. I'm sure a lot of people in and out of the organization feel the same way.

1 comment:

Stefan said...

Just want to say a few words about Younger quickly here;

As a former player under Younger I just want to thank him for his four years of service with the Smokies and within the Trail community. I remember my first year as a Smokie, Younger was the first to approach me and make me feel right at home. Whether it was continuously driving out to Castlegar to get new skates or driving his players to their billets, Younger was always willing to do anything for his players. Their were numerous nights in my two years where Younger would not leave the rink untill the wee hours of the mourning and you would never hear him say a word about it. I had the pleasure of being coached by Younger for two years, and over those two years I developed a great friendship with him. Thanks again Younger and all the best to Sarah, Brandon, and your new born!

Stefan Decosse