The average American Hockey League salary is US$90,000. Former Vernon Viper Adam Tambellini is looking to up his take-home pay in the NHL.
Tambellini, who skated in the Vipers’ training camp last summer, was taken by the New York Rangers in the third round of the 2013 entry draft after racking up 49 goals and 95 points in two seasons with the Vipers. He was traded to the Surrey Eagles late in the 2012-13 season.
Tambellini played 16 games of NCAA with the University of North Dakota before signing with the WHL Calgary Hitmen, where he registered 64 goals and 126 points in 102 games.
The 6-foot-3 forward posted 30 goals in two years with the Wolf Pack. He has 6-6-12 in 31 games this season, tied for sixth best with the Pack, who are seventh in the Atlantic Division at 13-15-3-3.
“It’s good to be back here,” said the man known affectionately as Tamby, at Vipers camp. “It’s good to see some of the young kids out here that are just coming into the league because I remember when this was me one day. This was an exciting place to play and a really good place to play Junior A.”
“Calgary was great for me. I got to come in there and play big minutes right away and it was a really good opportunity to prove myself as a pro player.”
His years in Hartford have been pleasant, but he would love to find a suite in Manhattan.
“Moving up to pro, I got a good look as a first year and my second year and hopefully this year, I get a call up to the NHL. Once you get into pro, it becomes a business and you have to come to the rink with that mentality every day. I’m not saying it’s not the same thing down here in Vernon, but obviously it’s a lot different with older guys and older players.”
Adam talks hockey year-round with his dad Steve and brother Jeff, both former NHLers, “seeing what works and what doesn’t.” He works out in the summer with Factory Hockey in Vancouver, but spent much of last summer’s down time living at Predator Ridge and skating with pros and college players from Vernon and Kelowna.
“I think I’m ready to make that jump and hopefully, get a look.”