Town league( hockey gearing up for stellar 2009-2010 season

 deadline December 11, draft December 13

Crested Butte town league hockey is right around the corner. I 
realize, with the recent spate of warm days, it’s hard to believe that 
but the fact is, town league registration is underway and will 
officially close on Friday, December 11. The draft will be held on
 Sunday, December 13.

While the moans of no indoor ice still resonate in the north end of 
the valley, Big Mine Ice Arena is still a spectacular venue for 
classic down home town league play and every year, it just seems to
 get better.

At the top of the talent heap there’s the Eaton family, Piccaro,
 O’Connor, Cuilla, Miller, Ryba, the Whitings, Tanis and many more.

Then there’s the rest, all quality in their own right that are getting 
better with each year thanks, in large part, to Crested Butte town

And let’s not forget the goalies, Harris, Schaub, Bock and Brother.
 Each worthy in their own right often saving games for their confused 

The commitment has increased exponentially as well. For years, players
 skated with skiing on their mind. But in the past few years, that has 
changed as I’ve heard more and more players skiing, with skating on 
their mind. In fact, last year I overheard one player say, “Crested
 Butte’s a hockey town with a skiing problem.”

A bit of a stretch yet still indicative of the hockey affliction 
rampant in this town.

After two years of playing together as teams, Crested Butte Parks and
 Recreation is hitting the reset button for the 2009-2010 season, 
throwing all the players back into the draft and making new teams. Players will be rated one to five based on ability level and then the draft will be on.

“What we want to do is make sure the teams are fairly even and employees get to play for their sponsors and barflies get to play for their bars like the Eldo, the Talk or the Brick Oven,” says recreation program coordinator Lauren Alkire.
Team sponsors will pick their captains and the captains are then required to show up for the draft. Sponsors that are locked in and paid up include the Eldo, Alpengardener, Brick Oven and the Talk of the Town with Mikey’s Pizza, the Bacchanale and Last Steep all verbally commited.

Last year, 77 players signed up for town league. Currently,
 registration is running a little thin with just 9 players signed up.
“The optimum number is 84,” says Alkire.
Eighty-four players will give each team 12 players. As always, goalies register for free. 

The current low numbers are fueling speculation that the indoor ice in Gunnison may be drawing 
some players down valley. If that were true, that could put the future 
of town league in jeopardy.

 Director of Parks and Recreation Jake Jones is not worried though.

“A lot of people still want to play close to home so we want to keep
 the league alive,” says Jones. “But, ultimately if we don’t have 
players, we won’t have a league. There’s something to be said for 
keeping it close to home.”

As we all know though, without ice you can’t have hockey and while
 Mother Nature has yet to cooperate, Jones sees good news on the near

“We’re hopeful for the end of this week and into next week for making 
ice,” says Jones. “We want to see nights in the single digits and days
 in the teens.”
According to Alkire, regular season play is slated to start right after the holidays.
“We’re not starting regular season play until the New Year but that will leave time open in December to practice,” says Alkire.
Games will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 and 8:45 p.m.
For more information or to register go to

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