Saturday , 24 July 2021

Harvey Smyl returns to the bench to coach T-Birds

Back in the hockey groove

It’s been three and a half years since Harvey Smyl announced he was leaving the Chilliwack Chiefs. He served as the Chiefs coach for 21 years to that point. He has spent the years since working back in St. Paul, Alberta. Smyl is the younger brother of NHL veteran Stan Smyl. Now, Harvey is set to return to coaching. He will head the bench for the Frog Lake T-Birds of the NEAJBHL this year. It was a multi-month process to finalize the position.

“We’ve been working on it for about two to three months back now. Finally, [Harvey] agreed to coach here. He’s coached in the BCHL for a long time. He’s got a good resume.” T-Birds GM Wayne Dion explains.

“At this point, I have coached for a number of years. I have been out of it for a few years now. Just trying to get back in the groove with the coaching part. I let [GM Wayne Dion] handle all the off-ice stuff, and the recruiting. Just getting back in the groove,  and getting a feel for it.” New T-Birds Head Coach Harvey Smyl says.

Work done

The Frog Lake T-Birds have put in a lot of work this past off-season to improve on their finish in the 2016-2017 season. Smyl is the last piece of the puzzle, before the T-Birds hit the ice on Friday.

“It’s good. That’s always a big part of the learning curve. To see where you’re at with line combinations. Some players don’t necessarily look good in practice, but in game situations they make up for it with mind sets, and intelligence. Until you get into a real game situation where there’s pressure and those types of things, you can’t give those kids a fair evaluation.” Coach Smyl explains.


Frog Lake will visit the Cold Lake Ice to open both teams season’s. It’s game one of three this weekend for the T-Birds. They will be at home to the Onion Lake Border Chiefs on Saturday night, then hit the road on Sunday to play Lloydminster. Smyl says nerves are going to be a good thing for this weekend.

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