The Salmon Arm Hockey School will be under new management for 2017, but promises to keep up the same tradition of skill development and love for the game that has made them one of the longest-running hockey schools in B.C.

The owners of the hockey school announced on May 9 they had reached a deal with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks to sell the hockey school to the team effective immediately.

All of the hockey school’s 2017 programs will proceed as planned.

After 37 years of operating the Enderby/Salmon Arm Hockey School, co-owners Gord Mackintosh, Tom Marsh and Roy Sakaki felt it was time to move on.

In 1981, Mackintosh and Sakaki purchased the Enderby Hockey School from the late Rick Anderson. After 20 successful years working in Enderby, the opportunity came up to transfer the hockey school to the new facility in Salmon Arm. The school has operated at the Shaw Centre for the past 17 years.

Mackintosh said it makes sense with the ’Backs taking over the school as they can provide some outstanding instruction from their coaching staff, past alumni and local minor hockey coaches.

The outgoing hockey school owners say they wish the new owners the very best.

A press release from the Silverbacks on the subject said they are excited to be the new owner and operators of the hockey school, and referred to the outgoing owners as “three legends in our community.”

“Roy Sakaki, Gord McIntosh and Tom Marsh have been amazing ambassadors to this community for a long time and we are looking forward to continuing on the great hockey school that they started 38 years ago. We will be honouring these three gentlemen during our opening night ceremonies for the start of the 2017-2018 BCHL season,” the release reads.

According to the Silverbacks organization, lots of the team’s players and coaches will be helping to develop the hockey school’s young players both on and off the ice.

The release says nothing will change for the 2017 hockey school in August, but those interested should stay tuned for news about the future of the school in 2018.