Lightning embark on big recruitment campaign

Having left a lower than average season behind and destined to lose up to 10 players due to age bracket restrictions, Stettler Lightning is embarking on an aggressive recruitment campaign to attract talent from as far away as Ontario.

“We printed our brochures and we started a mail out campaign last week,” said Lightning head coach Doug Smith.

“We are addressing our campaign to guys playing in other leagues like Ontario to see if there are fellows out there who may be interested to play hockey here.”

“It’s matter of getting our name out there and attract the kids who might be available.”

Assessing the season behind, Smith agreed that the main weakness in the performance of the team was in the offensive end.

“Looking back at the year, the underlying tone of the year was the matter of offense,” Smith said.

“We have had some guys throughout the year step forward a little bit but there was lack of consistent offensive threat on our part.”

“We knew we had to play real good defense in order to have chance with the better teams in our league.”

Smith said some his younger players would leave the team to try their chances at higher levels while some of the 20-year old players would have to leave because of the restrictions with the number of 21-year bracket.

“We have got to find goal scoring players in all age groups,” Smith said in his reference to their recruitment drive.

“We will be alright in 21-year bracket but we will be short in 20-year age group and we will be looking for some guys in the 19-20 year old range,” he said.

“We aim to get enough bodies at the training camp for the next season.”

The Lightning hope to have their training camp again during the September long weekend this year.

Smith sent a special message of thanks to all the Lightning fans for continuing to support the team.

“It makes it hard for local teams to garner support when everybody is exposed to national hockey on TV every evening. But we did alright again this year,” he said.