The Smithers Steelheads are back and ready for a new season. The Central Interior Hockey League’s local team collapsed two years ago because there weren’t enough players but that’s changed recently and there’s a new team ready to hit the ice.
President of the Smithers Steelheads Eric Tevely said he moved to Smithers last year and joined a local men’s hockey team where he met another player, Jeremy Chadsey, who invited him to play for the Kitimat Ice Demons. They talked about starting the Steelheads up again because there were 10 players driving from Smithers to play for either Kitimat or Prince Rupert.
He said the new team will look different than it has in the past.
“A lot of the other guys [from the former Steelheads] they’ve had kids and stuff now and they aren’t interested in playing anymore,” he said.
“From the old team, we have eight players signed up that are coming out to play. The rest will be new faces, which is good, because the direction we want to take the team in is a younger team. One of my goals for the team is to give something for the younger generation to look forward to. After you are done playing midget hockey in Smithers there isn’t anything to go to. There are a lot of good players that don’t want to move away to play a junior style of hockey and a lot of players returning from playing junior AA and AAA. There’s a market for young talent here.”
Try-outs will be held on Sept, 8 at 9:30- 11 and on Sept 9, 11, 13 and 14 from 9- 10:30.
There will be seven teams playing in the league including a returning Hazelton team. The Steelheads home opener is October 26.