Vernon’s Troy Mick has been rewarded with a five-year extension as president and GM of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
The B.C. Hockey League team’s board of directors made the announcement Monday afternoon.
“I’ll be able to pay my bills for the next five years,” joked Mick, who will also oversee the new Tier 3 Jr A franchise in the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League team located in Steamboat Springs, Col.
“I will be going to Colorado at least once a month as I oversee those operations too. We started talking about a new contract in January and then we put our energy into the Steamboat Springs team. Once that franchise was secured, we re-visited my contract. The arena is located just five minutes from the ski resort so it’s a great situation. The Rocky Mountain league is a U20 pay-to-play league and will be a great development model for us.”
Said the Silverback board of governors, in a prepared statement: “We are very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Troy for multiple seasons. Troy is an energetic, accomplished and experienced hockey professional who has instilled a culture of hard work throughout our organization.
“Troy and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team’s success over the last few seasons is a reflection of his excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our franchise.
“Troy Mick has proven himself as a leader who achieves success whether as a player or coach and has now demonstrated the same ability to succeed as a president and General Manager.”
Mick, a 47-year-old father of two, was head coach of the ‘Backs in the 2012-13 season and then headed upstairs as GM. He previously served as a head coach with the Western League Kamloops Blazers and Tri-City Americans, while spending one year as an assistant with the Portland Winterhawks.
Mick guided the Vernon Vipers to the 1999 Royal Bank Cup championship in Yorkton, Sask. after a few seasons as an assistant under Rob Bremner.
“It is an honour to represent Salmon Arm for another five years” said Mick. “This is a beautiful community for Junior hockey and the fans here are truly amazing. The biggest reward is seeing the fans fill the rink and the great corporate support we get.”
The announcement came one day after Mick’s son, Logan, and the Brooks Bandits earned a berth in the Royal Bank Cup starting Saturday in the border town of Lloydminster. The Bandits clipped the Portage Terriers of Manitoba 2-1 Sunday to finish second in the Crescent Point Energy Western Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask. The BCHL West Kelowna Warriors won the Westerns by ambushing the Bandits 6-0 Saturday.
“It was stressful watching the game on the computer,” said Troy. “They knew it wasn’t going to be another 9-3 (round-robin win for Brooks over Portage) game so it was a close one.”
Mick, who fell seriously ill coaching in hockey-crazed Kamloops, has learned to appreciate the culture of being a GM over the hired-to-be-fired mentality of coaching in Junior hockey.
“I like having more security in the GM role. I wear a lot of hats: I handle corporate sales and I sell tickets so it’s totally different than coaching.”
He credits the Salmon Arm fans for learning to treat him as one of their own.
“The first year was tough because everyone in Salmon Arm wanted to kill me. I had guys wanting to fight me in the parking lot. I still have the Viper tattooed on my heart, but to be accepted into the jungle in Salmon Arm is pretty special. It’s going to be kind of a weird synergy when our ’99 Viper team is inducted into the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame this summer in Penticton. The people in Vernon have always been gracious to me and I owe so much to Duncan Wray (Viper owner) for believing in me.”
A seventh-round choice of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mick spent three years in the ECHL but underwent multiple knee surgeries and was forced to retire. He rang up a staggering 212 goals and 346 points in the WHL – three years with Portland and his final 20-year-old season with the Regina Pats.
He and longtime buddy Dennis Holland, a linemate in Portland, were featured in a full-page The Hockey News article during their Winterhawk days.