The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have announced Derek Damon will be joining the team as assistant coach and director of player development. Damon joins the team following an extensive career playing hockey in Europe. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm Silverbacks welcome assistant coach

Seasoned forward Derek Damon to join team behind the bench

The Salmon Arm Silverbacks announced recent acquisitions who will be on the ice and behind the bench for the 2020-21 hockey season.

On July 3 the team announced the hiring of assistant coach Derek Damon, who will also be director of player development. The Bangor, Maine native recently retired from pro-hockey, having spent 12 seasons of his 14-year career playing in Europe where he tallied 500 career points.

The former University of Maine standout most recently served as captain for the Heilbronner Falken in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL 2) in Germany for two seasons, where he scored 38 goals and 83 assists for 121 points in 102 games, stated the Silverbacks announcement. Previously, the forward played in Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Finland.

Silverbacks general manager Brooks Christensen said hiring Damon was an easy decision.

“We had several calls from well-known hockey minds recommending Derek for the position,” said Christensen. “In my initial conversation with him, I knew right away he was on the same page as myself and the rest of the coaching staff.

“Anytime you can add a staff member with experience like Derek’s, it will not only help our organization, but the players he’s working with as well.”

Read more: Salmon Arm Silverbacks welcome Manitoba Junior Hockey League-leading rookie Carter Loney

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Read more: Salmon Arm Silverbacks bring in new forwards with trades

Damon attended the University of Maine from 2001-06, winning the Hockey East Championship in 2004 alongside future NHLers Jimmy Howard, Dustin Penner and Mike Lundin. The 5-foot-11 forward registered 51 goals and 60 assists for 111 points during his NCAA career.

Damon, who also holds a master’s degree in sports management, will be relocating to Salmon Arm at the end of August, after which he will be joined by his wife Andrea and their three kids (Elizabeth, Keith and Annabelle).

Damon said he’s excited for the opportunity to join the Salmon Arm squad.

“The Silverbacks are an organization with a rich tradition of excellence and I look forward to contributing to the club’s continued success,” said Damon. “I am grateful for the confidence placed in me by Brooks Christensen and I look forward to working with coaches Tyler, Tanner and Carter, as well as this talented group of players. My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Salmon Arm community.”

On July 17 the BCHL announced plans to begin regular season play on Dec. 1. Training camps will be permitted to begin as early as Sept. 8 under current mass gathering restrictions. BCHL venues are also preparing for protocols to be enforced once the buildings are open to fans again.

Once exhibition competition resumes, it will be streamed live on HockeyTV and live-scored on the BCHL website. Inter-division competition will be held in regions throughout the BCHL.

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