Even if you don’t particularly care about hockey, the potential return of the Smithers Steelheads can be seen as a good thing for the community.
Only a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of elite players ever advance beyond juniors. For some of those who don’t, a league like the Central Interior Hockey League is an opportunity to continue playing at a competitive level.
For younger players, it is something to aspire to and provides role models to look up to right in their own hometown.
For friends and family members, it is heartwarming be able to see their loved ones’ continued fulfilment in the game they love.
For the community at large, it is a chance to watch some pretty decent hockey and participate in some community pride-building.
But it goes beyond those things as well.
A hockey team is not just a sports franchise, it is another community organization that does good work beyond its primary purpose.
Already, the team has promised to fix the concession stand at the arena, which has fallen into disuse, improvements that benefit not just them, but the town as well.
They will undoubtedly lend their skills, energy and enthusiasm to other causes as the Steelheads of the past have. Whether it is mentoring or fundraising or whatever, they contribute to the overall health of the community.
They also bring in business. It may not be a windfall, but the other teams that come and bring their supporters eat in restaurants, stay in hotels, buy gas and shop in local stores.
The Interior News is happy to see so much enthusiasm for the revival of our hockey team. Our web poll last week, and reactions to our stories and social media feed indicates there is a lot of community support out there.