The Kelowna Chiefs entered last season’s playoffs as the number one seed after finishing first in the KIJHL. (Photo: Steve Dunsmoor/Dunsmoor Creative)

The Kelowna Chiefs entered last season’s playoffs as the number one seed after finishing first in the KIJHL. (Photo: Steve Dunsmoor/Dunsmoor Creative)

Emotional upcoming season for Kelowna Chiefs

Rutland’s team returns to the ice on Aug. 30

A centre piece of the pride of Rutland, the Kelowna Chiefs, experienced a massive loss before the start of the upcoming hockey season.

Chiefs’ general manager Grant Sheridan passed away in late July after a battle with bacterial meningitis, which will no doubt lead to an emotional season as the Chiefs are scheduled to return to the ice at the end of August.

READ MORE: Kelowna business, hockey leader passes away

The hockey season in Kelowna kicks off in just a few weeks with the Chiefs, West Kelowna Warriors and Kelowna Rockets all retaking the ice within a week of each other. The Chiefs are coming off their most successful season in franchise history last year with 42 wins in the regular season before being narrowly bested in the playoffs. They’ll look to continue that success when the 2019-20 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) season restarts.

In anticipation of the upcoming season, the Chiefs have partnered up with Stutters DKI Kelowna to offer free admission to home games for Chiefs fans under 12 for the entirety of the season and playoffs.

Making hockey affordable for families, as well as giving back to the community was something that Sheridan was passionate about in Rutland and it has been something the Chiefs have implemented in past seasons.

As well as making hockey easily accessible for families, Sheridan and the Chiefs make hockey accessible for players looking to play at a competitive level.

The Chiefs will hold open tryouts to all midget- and junior-aged players looking to continue and advance their hockey careers. Kelowna hosts three camps at the Rutland Arena on Aug. 12, 15 and 16. Registration info can be found at kelownachiefs.com

READ MORE: Kelowna Rockets’ goalie coach joins Hockey Canada staff for Hlinka Gretzky Cup

It will be the 10th year for the Chiefs this upcoming season, one which will have the players, fans and organization forever remembering the late Grant Sheridan.

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