Every BCHL team’s first tweet


As a social media platform, Twitter was founded and launched in 2006. Since then, billions of tweets have been sent from millions of users. Most BCHL teams jumped on Twitter relatively early and the league started using the service about four and a half years after it launched.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the BC Hockey League and its teams are using social media to keep fans engaged at a time while all on-ice activities are canceled by Hockey Canada. I thought it might be fun to go back and have a look at the first tweets sent out by each team’s Twitter account.


Fun fact: Silverbacks forward Brett Knowles had four goals and four assists as Salmon Arm beat Quesnel and Prince George by a combined score of 18-11 to earn the player of the week honours announced in the tweet. He wrapped up his four year college career at Minnesota State University Mankato in 2015-16.

Alberni Valley Bulldogs

Fun fact: Of the seven Twitter accounts tagged in this tweet, Evan Hammond (@HamWilder) and Kaicee Trott (@AVBulldogsFan) are both still involved with the Bulldogs. Hammond is the play-by-play announcer and Trott is a corporate sponsor and team photographer. The BCHL’s former Twitter handle (@bchllive) has been taken over by a clickbait-y account not affiliated with the league.

Chilliwack Chiefs

Fun Fact: Gabe Gauthier scored the only goal in the game referenced in the tweet. It was a 1-0 win for Gauthier’s University of Denver Pioneers over the University of Maine in the championship game of the  2004 NCAA Div. I men’s hockey tournament. He played eight games in the National Hockey League with the Los Angeles Kings between 2006 and 2008.

Coquitlam Express

Fun Fact: The location referenced in the tweet is actually across the street from where the Express play at the Poirier Sports and Leisure Complex as the team’s offices are located in a different building. The Express announced it was moving from Burnaby in January 2010 and this tweet was sent less than two months later as the team prepared for its return to Coquitlam.

Cowichan Valley Capitals

Fun Fact: Kiefer Smiley, who played 43 games in Cowichan as part of a four year BCHL career, was skating for the Mississippi Surge of the Southern Professional Hockey League at the time of this tweet. Smiley has spent the last two seasons playing senior men’s hockey with Grande Prairie of the North Peace Hockey League.

Cranbrook Bucks

Fun Fact: The BCHL’s youngest team had sent 43 tweets (as of this writing) since launching their account in October 2019. The tweet above links to the league’s website announcing the Bucks as an expansion franchise for the 2020-21 season.

Langley Rivermen

Fun Fact: When the Langley franchise was sold to the Henderson family in late April 2011, the previous owners retained the rights to the Chiefs name and branding. As part of the purchase, the Hendersons needed to come up with a new name and brand for the team. This tweet came out four days after the new ownership and name were announced, but a day before the Rivermen logo was unveiled.

Merritt Centennials

Fun Fact: The Centennials had a previous Twitter account (@merrittcents) that started in May 2009 and grew to over 500 followers before the new account (@BCHLCentennials) was started in July 2012. The previous account is still being tagged in tweets as recently as last May.

Nanaimo Clippers

Fun Fact: The big news the Clippers teased in this tweet is that the team had added Calgary businessmen Paul Colborne, Kelly Hrudey, and David Moir to its ownership group of Ken Wagner and Bill Gallacher. The group put the Clippers up for sale in 2015 and sold it to the current owner Wes Mussio in 2017.

Penticton Vees

Fun Fact: Not sure what the “we’re back” the Vees Twitter account is referring to in this tweet, but it was the season in which Penticton won 42 straight games en route to claiming the Fred Page Cup, Doyle Cup and RBC Cup. That roster featured three future NHL players on it, so it’s good the Vees got their Twitter account sorted before the season started because they ended up with a lot of attention on it.

Powell River Kings

Fun Fact: The Kings are one of many BCHL teams who started their Twitter accounts during the off-season. Powell River had its best season ever in 2010-11 with a 46-9-3-2 record for 97 points. However, the Kings lost to Vernon in the Fred Page Cup Finals.

Prince George Spruce Kings

Fun Fact: The Prince George Spruce Kings Hockey School is still an annual event for kids in PG, 11 years after this tweet was sent. The 2020 edition of the school was from August 10 – 21, led by Spruce Kings head coach Alex Evin.

Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Fun Fact: The link in the Silverbacks’ tweet redirects to their Facebook page now, but the link tweeted out is actually to a Facebook post promoting former Salmon Arm play-by-play announcer Patrick Haas’s blog covering the team.

Posted by Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Thursday, 16 September 2010

Surrey Eagles

Fun Fact: The game against the Langley Chiefs was played before 1,072 fans at the South Surrey Arena on Sept. 11, 2009. The Eagles won 3-2, powered by a pair of assists from defenseman Doug Marshall, who only played 35 games in Surrey that season before joining Jersey of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.

Trail Smoke Eaters

Fun Fact: The Smoke Eaters, like many teams in their first few years on Twitter, used the platform to drive followers to their Facebook page. In fact, early adopters of Facebook linked their page to directly tweet any status update. It looks like that’s what happened with this tweet, as it is exactly what the Smokies posted on Facebook.

Congratulations to the Vernon Vipers for winning the 2010 Royal Bank Cup!

Posted by Trail Smoke Eaters on Monday, 10 May 2010

Vernon Vipers

Fun Fact: The Vipers roster for training camp in 2011 included forward Mike Zalewski, who played six games for the Vancouver Canucks from 2014-17. Zalewski would finish the 2011-12 season with 38 goals and 37 assists in 60 games for the Vipers before playing NCAA hockey at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for two seasons.

Victoria Grizzlies

Fun Fact: The game referenced above was played on November 4th, despite the tweet being sent in the early hours of November 5th. Victoria’s opponent that night – the Surrey Eagles – featured two future NHLers in the lineup in Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Tanev and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews.

Wenatchee Wild

Fun Fact: The Wild had an official Twitter account at @wenatcheewild, but that account posted its last tweet two months before this one launched. It makes you wonder if someone forgot the password or left the organization. Much like the Merritt Centennials’ old Twitter account, the Wild has had its old account tagged in tweets as recently as last January.

West Kelowna Warriors

Fun Fact: Hands up if you know what schmockey is. 🙋‍♂️ If you don’t know, schmockey is essentially hockey played on a field with a dodgeball. In the tournament referenced in the tweet, which is an annual event in Peachland, BC, the Warriors beat a team of local firefighters 2-0 to win the Schmockey Cup.