Every week during the BCHL season, local hockey guru Jacob Bestebroer provides his thoughts on the Chilliwack Chiefs and goings-on around the league. This week, he takes a look at the results of 50th anniversary all-time top-50 fan voting.
Congratulations to Chiefs alumni Shawn Horcoff and Jeff Tambellini, both of whom were named to the BCHL’s all-time Top 50 list last week.
Both were obvious choices, but when lists like this are decided entirely by fan vote you never know what the results will be.
Fans were asked to vote online for three players from each decade — a great idea, but it was impossible to skip a decade when voting.
For example I recognized many of the names from the 1960’s but didn’t feel I knew enough to vote. But in order to vote for the next decade, I had to.
This is most obvious when looking at the top 10 vote getters for the 1990s.
There are two very obvious omissions on this list.
Current Chiefs assistant coach Doug Ast scored 242 points in 161 games from 1991 through 1994 and Agassiz’s Kris Wallis scored over 300 points in four seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers.
Both are more deserving than Kelowna Spartan Willie Mitchell. Mitchell was a good BCHL defenseman, but when the Spartans folded in 1995, Mitchell moved on to Melfort, Saskatchewan and played his best junior A hockey there.
He made the list because people know his name and he played five seasons for the Vancouver Canucks.
How did Andrew Ladd make the top 10 of the 2000-2010 decade? He spent one season with the Coquitlam Express during which he scored 15 goals and 40 assists.
By the end of that season and into the playoffs he was an excellent player, but the following season he moved on to the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League. He went on to play for Canada in the World Junior Tournament and has won Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes. There’s no question he’s had one of the best post-BCHL careers of any player from that decade, but saying he is one of the 10 best BCHL players of that decade isn’t right.
Having said all that, lists like this are a lot of fun. They create fan discussions and that’s never a bad thing.
The Chiefs have partnered with Save On Foods to offer a Family Pack for just $39.95. Available at Chilliwack locations of Save On Foods, Price Smart and Coopers Foods, the pack consists of four tickets to a Chiefs game, four hot dogs and four cokes.
Lastly, thanks to Kris Abbott who pointed out that I had the incorrect empty net goal scorer in the Chiefs championship clinching game in 1995 in my article last week. It was Aaron Hoggan who scored the goal.
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