By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
Carolyn Smith, the wife of former Kamloops Blazers head coach Barry Smith, died unexpectedly Monday morning in Whitefish, Mont., of an apparent blood clot in her lungs. She was 47.
She had returned home after attending a reunion on her side of the family when she collapsed. She was taken to hospital in Whitefish, where she died.
Barry Smith was in Penticton at the time, and immediately returned to Whitefish.
She is survived by Barry, her husband of 20 years, and sons Maxl, 16, Gage, 14, and Hutton, 10.
A funeral service is scheduled for Friday, 11 a.m., at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Whitefish.
“It will be a big funeral,” one family friend told The Daily News. “Carolyn was very active in the community and very well liked and admired.”
Barry Smith, a former assistant coach with the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, signed on as the Blazers’ head coach prior to the 2008-09 season. He was fired early in his second season, immediately after a 1-5 East Division swing, and later replaced by Guy Charron.
The Blazers were 41-40-4-4 under Smith with an 0-4 playoff record.
F Colin Smith of the Blazers wasn’t successful in a bid to earn a spot on the Canadian U-18 team that will play at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic, and Piestany, Slovakia.
The eight-country tournament opens Monday and runs through Aug. 14.
Smith was one of 38 players in the camp, that began Friday and wrapped up Tuesday, at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary. The final roster comprises 22 players, with only four of those from the WHL. Those four are defencemen Myles Bell (Regina Pats), Ryan Murray (Everett Silvertips) and Duncan Siemens (Swift Current Broncos) and forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels).
George Burnett of the OHL’s Belleville Bulls is Canada’s head coach. The assistants are Jim Hiller of the WHL’s Tri-City Americans and Ron Choules of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
The Blazers last had a player on the U-18 team two years ago when F Jimmy Bubnick made it.