Birt, hockey Islanders part ways

Jason Malloy jmalloy@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 4, 2014
Trent Birt
Guardian file photo

Trent Birt is no longer with the Charlottetown Islanders hockey club.

The vice-president of operations’ last day was Friday following a restructuring of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team.

“I was obviously disappointed,” Birt told The Guardian on Tuesday. “I had a vision and a passion and spent a lot of time in the last three years getting us to where we wanted to get to, but business is business. They made the decision they thought was best for the team.”

Dave Trainor, chairman of the Islanders’ board, said it conducted a review after the first season under the new ownership group. The board has been reduced from 22 members to nine and it is in the process of hiring a president to report directly to the board.

“We evaluated what our need was and went out and tried to select the candidates that match that need,” Trainor said, noting Birt was able to apply for the position.

Trainor said it hopes to have the president in place in the coming days.

Birt was with the P.E.I. Rocket for two years prior to the name and ownership changes. He was one of the visible faces working to bring business people together to keep the team on the Island after the Savard family announced a year ago it had a deal in place to sell the franchise.

“I was proud of the work that I put in and the direction we were moving in,” Birt said.

Trainor said it was a tough decision as Birt “had a ton of passion” for the job.

A teacher at Colonel Gray High School, Birt took a two-year leave to join the Rocket. He opted to stay with the team after the leave ended.

“I always wanted to get into the operational side of business and got my feet wet in there and enjoyed every second of the last three years. That’s the avenue I am going to pursue right now.”