Reprising the Trail Smoke Eaters : men's hockey in a mid-twentieth century Canadian resource community

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Szilagyi, Steven
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education
The Trail Smoke Eaters hockey club remains the only Canadian club team to have won two World Championships. The 1939 and 1961 World Championship teams have become mythologized through narrative accounts and popular folklore that remain the focus of memorializing these teams. This study considers the impact the team had on the community and the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada, and who benefitted from this winning team. Relationships between company management, players, and the community are examined to aid in explaining the degree to which workers, who were also hockey players, structured their own lives and the degree to which their lives were structured by the company. Company support followed the success in 1939 in the form of gift giving and player recruitment. The Smoke Eaters became mythologized by narrative accounts in an effort to equate both victories and tie the 1961 championship to the community.
community relations , company relations , senior men's hockey , team relations , winning team folklore