Legendary Trail Smoke Eaters Player/Coach Bobby Kromm passed away on Wednesday -- the day after his 82nd birthday.
Kromm took the Smokies to the 1961 World Championship, 1963 Allan Cup and an Allan Cup final in 1960. He also took the Nelson Maple Leafs to the Allan Cup final in 1965.
As a player he was one of the all-time Western International Hockey League scorers with 783 points. Kromm was known more as a set-up man as he piled up 524 assists over his long career. He was also known as a very tough customer as both a player and a coach.
Anyone I've talked to about Bobby has told me he would accept nothing less but the best from his players. He was a hard man to play for, but he got results.
In some ways the more I read about Kromm's commitment to conditioning it seems like he was ahead of his time. That has become such a big part of the game these days. Coaches like Kromm proved how making sure you team was in top shape could give you an edge. Now proper fitness is a key aspect of how all the best coaches approach the game.
Kromm went from his time in senior hockey to the professional ranks. He won three Central Hockey League championships with the Dallas Black Hawks, an Avco Cup with the World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets and the 1977 NHL Coach of the Year Award as the bench boss of the Detroit Red Wings.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kromm at the Smoke Eaters Alumni Banquet last summer. Even while going thruogh a long battle with colon cancer Kromm made time to return to his adopted home for a couple of good causes. As we approach the 50th anniversary of that 1961 World Championship team I'm honoured that I got to introduce and shake hands with one of the men most responsible for that moment of hockey history.
I'm sure the whole community here thanks Bobby for his contributions to Trail hockey and will remember him fondly.
We'll have a special edition of Mountain FM's Overtime tonight in tribute of Bobby Kromm. I already know Seth Martin will join us on the show and I hope to line some more guests up throughout the afternoon. Join us from 6pm to 10pm at 104.1FM in Trail and at http://www.mountainfm.net/
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