Senior men’s hockey returns to Lacombe

The City of Lacombe, in partnership with the Lacombe Generals Senior Hockey Club and Wildrose Athletic Corporation, announced the return of competitive men’s hockey with the relocation of the senior AA North Central Hockey League (NCHL) Eckville Eagles to Lacombe.

“The City of Lacombe is pleased to continue its successful collaboration with the Lacombe Generals in recruiting a competitive senior men’s AA Hockey League team to the community,” said Mayor Grant Creasey in December. “The city’s support of its senior men’s team ensures residents can enjoy high calibre, competitive hockey in the community.”

“After 20 years of chasing the Allan Cup, and after four hard-won championships, we are proud to collaborate with the Wildrose Athlete Corporation to start the next chapter in the Generals hockey,” said Jeff McInnis, general manager for the Lacombe Generals. “We wish the new team all the best, and will endeavour to support them as they keep senior men’s hockey alive in our community.”

(L-R) Lacombe AA Generals Head Coach Jordan Koopmans, forward Scott Doucet, Lacombe AAA Generals Boyd Williams, Lacombe AA Generals General Manager Jared Williams, Lacombe County Reeve Paula Law, and City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey at the jersey handover ceremony. (City of Lacombe)

The Lacombe Generals Senior Hockey Club withdrew their team from the senior men’s AAA Allan Cup Hockey West League on May 27, 2019, as the league had failed to maintain a reasonable number of teams for viable competition.

The Generals subsequently advised the City that they had reached an agreement with the Wildrose Athletic Corporation, a hockey club owned by Lacombians and fielding the senior AA NCHL Eckville Eagles. The two clubs agreed to work together to relocate the Eagles to Lacombe.

“Going forward, we are going to work hard at putting the best product on the ice we can, as well as bringing a championship to the deserving volunteers, businesses and community that has opened its arms to our team and staff,” said Jared Williams, a director with Wildrose Athlete Corporation.

The Generals directors will not be active in directly managing the incoming team operations but will be responsible for managing events and the building lease agreement with the City. The intent of all involved is to retain the Lacombe Generals team name.

“The city is known for being able to attract and host successful events by building on existing partnerships with community groups, and this is a great example,” said Deborah Juch, Director of Community Services. “Experienced management of competitive sport in Lacombe gives us the best chance for economic benefit and spinoff, helping improve quality of life all around.”