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Belleville Senators are proud to honour military service members past and present

November 10, 2022

It is hard to overstate the importance of the Canadian Armed Forces in the Bay of Quinte Region. The area is home to CFB Trenton, the nation’s largest Air Force base, and many service members are proud to call the region home. Many civilians are equally proud of their connections to current personnel and veterans, as well. 

That relationship is one that the Belleville Senators celebrate throughout the season. After each win, the player of the game is given a Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot helmet to wear in honour of their work ethic in the contest, a tradition the club has honoured since Head Coach Troy Mann was appointed in 2017. 

The award is a badge of honour, a moment that the club particularly treasures because CFB Trenton donated it to the organization. The helmet is a sign of mutual respect and represents the strong bonds between the franchise, CFB Trenton and the community.

Belleville Senators forward Drake Batherson after receiving the player of the game award on November 9, 2018, vs the Toronto Marlies.

“I think, obviously, with the military base very close in Trenton. It’s always been something we pride ourselves on as an organization,” Mann said during his media availability. “We’ve always done the player of the game internally in our locker room geared towards the military. In our first year, we received a helmet from a combat unit, then we went back and got a fighter pilot helmet to give out, and I think that needs to stay within the organization for us. You look at teams like the Rangers; they have a theme based on New York City. My thoughts are in Belleville that we want our postgame award to be based around the military. That is how we think about it as a staff, and we’ll continue to do that here.”

Additionally, Mann is always diligent in explaining the significance of the military in the community to all incoming players and staff.

“We always talk about it in training camp. That’s one of the things we tackle in our general meeting. When any new players join us, we certainly always explain to them, when it’s handed out at the time of a win, why it is so important to us.

With Remembrance Day fast approaching, the organization is preparing to honour service members once more with Military Appreciation Night events to be held on Saturday against the Rochester Americans at CAA Arena (7:05 pm start). 

Tickets for Military Appreciation Night and all Belleville Sens home games are available via Ticketmaster or at the CAA Arena Box Office, with more information on group experiences, promotional packs and more available on the Belleville Sens website.

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