The Smithers Steelheads will not be taking to the ice this season. It’s plain and simple, there just wasn’t enough players to have a team.
The decision came down last week, after a desperate plea for players to sign up earlier this month.
Coach Tom DeVries said the decision to not have a team this year wasn’t taken lightly.
“We’ve been having meetings about it for the last three, four months — since the season ended,” he said.
Fans will be without the Steelheads for at least this upcoming season, which DeVries said is sad news.
“I’ve talked to a few of them and they’re disappointed. They’d enjoyed the hockey and being out on a Saturday and watch some good hockey and now it’s not going to happen.”
For the team to have made it to the ice, they needed at least 15 committed players. For now, the staff will be staying together and will be keeping the bus, sweaters and other equipment.
The team had played over 10 seasons in Smithers. Only time will tell if the Steelheads will take to the ice in the 2018-2019 season but, for now, DeVries remains optimistic.
“We’ll see what happens next year and go from there,” he said. “You just never know — all of a sudden a bunch of guys want to start playing again, playing some competitive hockey, then we’ll give it a shot. We won’t rule it out.”