Forced to hire a completely new assistant coaching staff, Vernon Vipers GM and Head Coach Jason Williamson solidified his help behind the bench, just days before training camp is set to begin.
The Vipers announced earlier this off-season that they hired Kevin Kraus to replace David Robinson, who decided to step away from Vernon as Assistant Coach. Kraus, who played for the Vipers from 2007-08 to 2009-10, was an assistant in Salmon Arm last season.
Then when Associate Coach Kris Mallette left the Vipers last month to join the Kelowna Rockets as an Assistant Coach, Williamson found himself in the position of having to hire another assistant for the second time in three months. And once again, the Vipers looked north and picked up former NHLer Eric Godard to fill the role. Godard, like Kraus, was an assistant with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks in 2013-14.
The announcement of Godard’s hiring is on the 107.5 Kiss FM website:
Vernon Vipers start their BCHL camp Friday morning at Kal Tire Place, with coach and GM Jason Williamson saying it will be a new look team.
“It’s a totally fresh team, players that I have 100% recruited them all. It’s a fresh staff. I’m excited about working with Kevin Kraus (assistant coach), and officially we’ve actually brought Eric Godard on too (as an assistant coach), so I’m excited about that,” says Williamson.
The 34 year old Godard is a Vernon native who played 335 games in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Calgary Flames and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was known as an enforcer with 833 career penalty minutes.
“He’ll be a guy that works mainly with the forwards, but just an assistant to help with whatever we need, really,” says Williamson.
Both Kraus and Godard were with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks last season.