Vernon Vipers add two forwards
Mark Ferner spent hours working his phone and computer until nearly midnight Tuesday in Vernon.
With his assistant coaches Kevin Kraus and Kevin Pedersen on the bus to Prince George with the Vipers for tonight's game versus the Spruce Kings, Ferner managed to add a pair of forwards at the B.C. Hockey League trading/signing deadline.
Brody Dale, 17, of Quesnel, and Simon Sagissor, 19, of Stillwater, Minn., are now in the Snakepit.
"It's a pretty important time of the year so I stayed behind to make sure I could help our hockey club," said Ferner. "I signed Brody at about 11 last night. The trading deadline was 8 p.m. but we were allowed to add players who had been released or from Junior B until midnight. I let it be known that I had one card remaining after eight, and was on the phone regarding some other players as well."
Dale, who has played eight games with the Vipers as an affiliate from the Junior B Kelowna Chiefs, rang up 15 goals and 39 points in 26 KIJHL games, third best on the Chiefs. The rugged 5-foot-7, 150-pound winger amassed 77 penalty minutes.
"Brody is an intelligent player and has a great work ethic. He's a '99 (birthdate) so his numbers are pretty impressive. He's a skilled guy that plays hard and he's a terrific kid."
Sagissor has split this season between the North American Hockey League Madison Capitals (2G in 17 games) and Coulee Region Chill (1-3-4 in 10 games). He had 10 penalty minutes.
The 5-foot-11,175-pounder scored 17 times in 49 games with Stillwater over two high school seasons. Sagissor's father is a part-owner of the Madison franchise.
"Tom (Simon's father) and I played against one another for a brief time a long time ago," said Ferner. "He reached out to me a few weeks ago when I had other things going on."
Ferner had to tackle some major paperwork and go through a conference call with the Coulee Region officials, Hockey Canada and Sagissor before signing Simon.
"It was a bit of a smozzle but we got it done. Cooper (Viper defence man Watson, who played with Madison) says Simon is a good player and will fit in, and Niko's (Viper F Karamanis) brother knows him and said good things about him. It just wasn't a good situation for him in Madison so he ended up with Coulee."
Ferner said he did not want to disrupt the Vipers' culture with any blockbuster deals because he believes in this group.
The Vipers play the Spruce Kings tonight in Prince George and then host the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Friday and the Merritt Centennials Saturday night. Dale is ill and did not make the trip, while Sagissor is heading to Vernon Thursday. Both players will be in Friday's lineup.
Forwards Brett Witala of the Kelowna Chiefs and Hayden Dick of the KIJHL Kamloops Storm will play for Vernon tonight. Captain Riley Brandt and winger Luke Gingras are on injured reserve.
The Silverbacks, meanwhile, traded captain Mitch Skapski and Haydn Hopkins to the Cowichan Valley Capitals in exchange for the CJHL playing rights to Ryan Hogg and Trevor Ayre and future considerations.
"This was a very good hockey trade for both clubs," said Silverback GM Troy Mick. "Mitch will now get to play with his brother Marshall Skapski in Cowichan. Haydn will return to the Island and play in front of friends and family and contribute to the Capitals in a big way."
The Silverbacks coaching staff have now chosen Carson Bolduc of Salmon Arm as the new captain and added Elijiah Barriga to the leadership role for the club.
“Carson has been amazing for our hockey club since he has joined the Silverbacks from the WHL three years ago and is an amazing young man to lead this team into the second half of the season,” said Salmon Arm head coach Misko Antisin.
Salmon Arm also dealt former WHL d-man Carter Cochrane to the Trail Smoke Eaters for futures.