(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)

UPDATE: Eckville Eagles move to Lacombe made official

Team currently deciding between Generals, Merchants for new name

The Eckville Eagles have announced they will be relocating to Lacombe this season.

Team Co-owner/Manager Reed Watts said moving the team to Lacombe was more difficult than he thought.

“I knew it would be a task but I didn’t think we would be rejected by the league,” he said.

The request to move the senior AA NCHL team was initially turned down earlier this summer by the league and Hockey Alberta, however a subsequent review during league meetings this fall led to an approval.

“In June, we didn’t have Hockey Alberta support because we weren’t aware we needed to use them for a relocate. In the fall, we had their support and they were critical to helping us move,” he said.

Watts said his group will continue to run the team in Lacombe — with some coordination from the group who ran the AAA Lacombe Generals. The team will not play for the Allan Cup, which is a AAA trophy and requires intent, which the Eagles do not have.

The team continue to play under the Eckville Eagles name until a new name is decided and is approved by the league and Hockey Alberta.

“We have narrowed it down to either the Generals or the Merchants. The Merchants are a historical name and the Generals are obviously a popularity thing,” he said.

The Eagles will play their first game on Oct. 12 in Westlock. The rest of the schedule has not been released.

Watts said it is awesome as a team to move to Lacombe, but is personally bittersweet for him — who grew up and played minor hockey in Eckville.

“There is a high level of excitement. We have an agreement with the City to use the room that the Generals and the City built,” he said.

Watts added the move is not an indictment on Eckville.

“The upside of Lacombe is so high that it was almost impossible to say no,” he said.

Watts said the Eagles are looking to piggy-back off the success and popularity of the former AAA Generals group and intends to field a roster of new and returning players.

“We want to get back to our winning ways. Last year was a down year, but we are hopeful we can duplicate our regular season success an finally punch a ticket to provincials,” he said.



todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

TC Energy enlists Alberta to help finish US$8-billion Keystone XL project

Alberta government has agreed toinvest about US$1.1 billion (C$1.5 billion) as equity in the project

Sylvan Lake’s Flags of Remembrance ceremonies cancelled due to pandemic

The flags will fly along the lake and Highway 11 under the name “Flags of Unity”, Sept. 12-Nov. 12

Agriculture critical during and post-epidemic, Ag Minister says

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen held a call-in town hall meeting Monday night

Open Letter on the Temporary Adjustment to K-12 Education Funding

Canadian Parents for French is a nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization

VIDEO: 17 COVID-19 cases in central Alberta

March 23 update from Dr. Hinshaw

Alberta’s energy war room to spend only on ‘subsistence operations’ due to COVID-19

Alberta’s energy war room to spend only on ‘subsistence operations’ due to COVID-19

Father of Humboldt Bronco disappointed Saskatchewan has relaxed trucking rules

Father of Humboldt Bronco disappointed Saskatchewan has relaxed trucking rules

Alberta education minister resists Opposition calls to rescind mass layoffs

Alberta education minister resists Opposition calls to rescind mass layoffs

Alberta Medical Association calls health-care changes irresponsible during pandemic

Alberta Medical Association calls health-care changes irresponsible during pandemic

Crosby, McDavid favourites again in NHLPA annual poll

Crosby, McDavid favourites again in NHLPA annual poll

Toronto not banning sports events through June yet, but other measures in place

Toronto not banning sports events through June yet, but other measures in place

Too little too late? Experts decry Mexico virus policy delay

Too little too late? Experts decry Mexico virus policy delay

Hope floats: Alberta town ravaged by flood rolls out parade float for COVID-19

Hope floats: Alberta town ravaged by flood rolls out parade float for COVID-19

Most Read