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SJHL HOF induction includes surprise jersey retirement

No. 27 retirement honours Martin Smith and Kian Bell.
Kyle McIntyre, SJHL commissioner, Kian Bell, Martin Smith and Brayden Klimosko, North Stars coach, pose with the banner that commemorates the retirement of number 27, worn by both Smith and Bell.

NORTH BATTLEFORD — Martin Smith and Kian Bell knew they were attending the June 22 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Hall of Fame induction, representing the Smith family as inductees. However, the surprise that came in that evening’s program they were completely unprepared for.

The induction ceremony included a surprise jersey retirement, the famous number 27 that has graced the ice with the North Stars for two generations. Both Smith and nephew Kian Bell wore the number.

Long-time North Stars supporter and team doctor, the late Dr. Ian Smith, was certainly smiling down at the recognition as he was devoted for decades to the junior hockey organization, and took great pride in his son’s time as a player.

Smith joined the team’s roster for the 1987-88 season and said in several interviews he chose the number because it was worn by favourite Stars player Jerry Bick.

When Smith’s nephew Bell began playing for the North Stars, 27 was the only number he wanted on his jersey, carrying on the family legacy.

The SJHL, in a social media post following the induction event, stated, “Congratulations to the Smith family and classy move by the Battlefords North Stars on the retirement of the No 27 by the club! Marty Smith and Kian Bell combined for about a million goals and a million points so, makes sense. Well deserved and a beautiful addition to a great evening on Saturday.”