Friday, July 30, 2010

Season Ticket Drive

Click here for your Smokies Season Ticket Application.

Trail Smoke Eaters season tickets for the 2010/2011 season are now on sale.

  • Adult Season Ticket: $295 ($325 after July 31)
  • Senior Season Ticket: $265 ($295 after July 31)
  • Student (13-18): $209 ($229 after July 31)
  • Youth (6-12): $169 ($189 after July 31)
  • Child (5-under): FREE
  • Family (2 Adults & 2 Student/Youth): $800 ($900 after July 31)

You can also purchase a 15 game Flex Pack for use at any games you chose. Those start at $159 for Adults, $149 for Seniors, $109 for Students and $89 for Youth.

Support your home team and become part of 100 years of hockey tradition by buying your season ticket package. Fill out the application and you can either bring it to Re/Max in Trail or send it to:

Trail Smoke Eaters
P.O. Box 313
Trail, British Columbia
V1R 4L6

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beckwith Traded, Wheeldon Returns

The Trail Smoke Eaters have sent 20 year old goaltender Garrett Beckwith to the AJHL's Drumheller Dragons in a future considerations deal. The other shoe had to drop here. There was no way the Smokies were going to bring two 1990 born goaltenders into camp in September. A choice had to be made and the Smokies are going with Kiefer Smiley.

In this case I'd say that decision was made when Kiefer played lights out hockey in the last two months of the season. He was especially good in the playoffs and gave the injury-plagued Smokies a real chance in all the games against Westside. I'm sure Smoke Eaters fans are hoping what we saw of Smiley at the end of the season was a return to the form we saw from him as an outstanding rookie with the Cowichan Valley Capitals. If he is able to build on that Trail will have a very talented veteran to lean on this season.

As for Beckwith, I'm sure he's hoping that last season was just a slight bump in the road of what has been an impressive young career. I heard rumblings of some people wondering if he would go back to the KIJHL's Nelson Leafs, but what does he have left to prove there? It'd be near impossible to top a 2008-09 season in which he lost twice all year and took his team to a championship.

Garrett will get a chance in Drumheller to prove himself at the Junior A level. We saw some signs of that last year. However, what could any goaltender do with the kind of mistakes we were seeing on the ice early last season? After a rough start to the year confidence was likely a factor for both netminders. Garrett is a very talented and athletic goaltender. You can see it in the video I made for him to help with college recruitment. It's just a matter of putting it together with consistency. If he does, the Dragons will be very pleased with the deal they just made. Doesn't hurt that he's a quality young man as well.

Good luck to Garrett this year and I'm sure fans in Nelson and Trail will be watching the box scores.


Just when he thought he was out... they pulled him back in.

Former Nelson Leafs Coach and GM Simon Wheeldon has signed on as the Coach of the Major Midget Kootenay Ice. Chris Wahl has some details here. I was away yesterday but you can hear Chris' interview with Simon on Overtime tonight.

I'm sure most people thought that if Simon were going to take another coaching gig it would be with a BCHL or WHL team rather than midget. So what happened? Wheeldon resigned as Nelson's coach because he wanted to spend more time with his family. He has another full time job and was being stretched quite thin. However, the Major Midget program in the Kootenays was in real trouble. We were getting down to the final hour basically. If Wheeldon hadn't stepped up the program may have died. Once it was gone it would've been very tough to get it back.

It is still a huge time commitment, but I think it'll probably be a little less taxing. Most of the players are living with their parents. There is no trading involved here. I don't think the job is quite as complex. That being said, if Simon commits to doing something he is going to do it at 100%.

The realities of Major Midget in this area is that we don't have as much of a population base to draw from as some major markets. We are also far more spread out so it's hard to get some of the best talent from the East Kootenay to come play here. Is the team from this area ever to likely win a championship? Probably not, but they can compete. Brent Petrick had them playing .500 hockey in the second half of the season with a commitment to hard work and team play. Wheeldon has a terrific record behind the bench and should be able to build on Petrick's work with the program.

Simon is used to winning, but that is not the primary role of a coach in Major Midget. His job is to get these local young talents ready for Junior B, Junior A and Major Junior. Given the great work he has done with the Leafs I suspect the program couldn't ask for a better hire. The only question is how long is he prepared to do the job and will this program survive if they are desperately searching for a coach every summer?


Lastly I just wanted to say kudos to those who organized Bobby Kromm day at the Cominco Arena. I couldn't make it but apparently there were quite a number of people there to show their respect to the legendary coach. Look out for more planned tributes to the 1961 Smoke Eaters this year! Join our facebook group (link on the left side of the page) to stay on top of it all.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bobby Kromm Day

Trail has declared July 28th, 2010 as Bobby Kromm Day. There will be a gathering of friends, family and fans at the Cominco Arena at 2pm this afternoon. This is a chance to celebrate Kromm's life and share stories about the local hockey legend and former NHL Coach of the Year.

I talked on Mountain FM's Overtime last night with Norm Lenardon about what to expect today. I'll also re-post the tribute we did for Kromm on Overtime last month.

Norm Lenardon on Bobby Kromm Day

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Overtime's Tribute to Bobby Kromm

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Classic Audio: Drake, Quinn, Pogge, Mikkelson, Bennett

This is a picture of Rossland's Dallas Drake that I took at the Stanley Cup Celebration for him back in the summer of 2008. Drake was inducted into the BC Hockey Hall of Fame in Penticton on the weekend. I had the chance to chat with him before and after the induction. I also was lucky enough to help broadcast the Penticton Summer Classic charity hockey game on Saturday. The game included the likes of Drake, Dany Heatley, Duncan Keith and Trail Smoke Eater Wade Bennett. Wade looked good out there and even stopped Heatley on the door step. Thanks to Ryan Pinder and everyone at the event for inviting me for a second straight year. I had a blast.

Here is some audio I got from the game:

Dallas Drake on Friday

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Dallas Drake on Saturday

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Pat Quinn

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Justin Pogge

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Meaghan Mikkelson

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Wade Bennett

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Here are a couple of photos of Wade from the game. Thanks to Beth Harding for sending them!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Smokies in Sweden

(Scott Jacklin and Graeme Strukoff in Sweden)

My apologies again for the lack of updates lately. With my additional responsibilities as Smoke Eaters marketing director and my full time job at Mountain FM it's been hard to find free time for the blog. I'll try to get back in the grove as I have a lot of stuff to cover that I missed.

I did want to say a special thank you to everyone who came out to the Smokies Alumni Banquet and Golf Tournament this year. We raised a lot of money for the club and the ALS Society. Norm Lenardon and all the Smokies volunteers worked so hard to make the event come together. Thanks also to the sponsors and the specials guests for making the night what it was.

Also I wanted to mention season tickets are now on sale and there are details on the official team website. There's a strong push this summer to really increase the number of season tickets. Encourage your friends to get in on it early!

One example of the many things I wanted to blog about is the experience Graeme Strukoff, Scott Jacklin and Sam Mellor had in Sweden. The Smoke Eaters veterans got a chance to participate in a series of exhibition games with the Swedish 17U and 16U teams... in Sweden. I caught up with each of them for a quick chat on Overtime.

Graeme Strukoff

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Scott Jacklin

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Sam Mellor

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Great to see Strukoff, Jacklin and Mellor representing the Smokies, the BCHL and Canada in general over in Sweden. It sounds like it was quite an experience and they learned a lot over there. It also sounds like all three are excited about the prospects for this year's Smokies club.

That is just the first of what should be several posts coming up talking about a few of the items I've missed over the last month. Stay with us!

Also I'm going to be joining Penticton broadcaster Ryan Pinder at the South Okanagan Events Center this weekend for their Summer Classic. It's always a lot of fun. Check out the website here. Maybe we'll see a few of you in the Okanagan on Saturday. You should also check out Ryan's interview with Paul Kelly on his blog. Just a little plug to make sure he puts the beer on ice this Saturday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Holiday Back-Up

Just got back from holidays this week. A lot of Smokies related stuff has happened and I have a big back up of news and audio to get put up on the blog. However, I've had a lot to catch up on at work as well so my apologies for the lack of updates these past two weeks. We'll have something up here soon enough I promise. For now I hope to see lots of you at the Alumni Banquet and Golf Tournament this weekend!