Smithson signs Danish hockey deal

One year after practising daily with the Junior A Vernon Vipers, Jerred Smithson has revived his pro hockey career.

Vernon's Jerred Smithson is with a pro hockey team in Denmark this season.

Vernon's Jerred Smithson is with a pro hockey team in Denmark this season.

One year after practising daily with the Junior A Vernon Vipers, Jerred Smithson has revived his pro hockey career.

Smithson, 36, sat out last NHL season as a free agent, but will play for the Herning Blue Fox in the Danish Metal Ligaen this season. Herning is three hours from Copenhagen.

The defensive specialist is one of three North American imports – others are from Ontario and Wisconsin. Smithson weighed two offers to play in Germany, one other in Denmark and and others in Slovakia and England. He has played 606 NHL games for five teams, compiling 39 goals and 96 points.

The Blue Fox supply Smithson with a new car and a condo. He and his wife, Jaymie (neé Hackman) have a two-year-old son, Hunter.

“We chose Denmark for a few reasons but first was the country itself,” Smithson told The Morning Star. “Everyone that I’ve talked to had nothing but great things to say about the country and the quality of life. Making sure my family was safe and happy was the most important thing.

“Second was the organization in Herning. They have a very competitive team year after year and want to win a championship very bad. So far the team has done everything in their  power to make sure I have everything I need and my family needs to be happy and comfortable at and away from the rink.”

Herning head coach Mario Simioni feels the signing is significant.

“Clearly the wildest signing this season and rarely have we seen any in the league with as many games under its belt in the world’s best league of the world’s best players,” said Simioni on the team’s website. “At the same time, it is also great for the league to be able to pull such a name for it will certainly be interesting to follow him in the many upcoming matches.”

Smithson, who last played an NHL game in November, 2013 for the Maple Leafs, says the pace is fast.

“There is a lot more puck possession with a lot less hitting. We have a wide range of skill on our team with some players being as young as 17 and as old as 36. That would be me.

“It will take some time for me to adjust to the larger ice surface but I love the idea of handling the puck more and not being forced to dump it in as much as I had to in the past. I’m really excited about being back on the ice playing again and having the opportunity to travel the world with the family.”

Smithson plans to do some travelling during two national team breaks (13-day break in November and one 10-day breather in February). He hopes to meet up with buddy Lanny Gare and his family in Germany.

Added Simioni: “Jerred comes with massive experience to the team, and he will be able to take the lead through an upcoming exciting season. It is a role that fits the new player well and which are well in line with his previous roles at various star-studded teams. He has not merely looked on from the lower ranges. He has also been part of the power play setup needed and special situations in general.

“Jerred Smithson is a super solid two-way player who plays a direct and disciplined game against opponents. In Herning, Frans Nielsen (Dane with the New York Islanders) also plays the same type of game with solid two-way work. He also plays very clean, efficient and really great hockey. Smithson’s going to give the team very much for training, fighting and generally in all the season’s many facets.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country looks at big-ticket projects

Bottom Wood Lake Road construction are the biggest investments

Hillview Elementary students Emma Li and Mina Nadeau were awarded by the Premier’s office for winning the annual holiday card contest. (Karen Rogers photo)
Vernon students’ art featured on Premier’s cards

Hillview youth chosen for annual holiday card contest

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Oliver, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

A portion of 34th Street will be closed to through traffic as of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, while sewer upgrades are underway. (City of Vernon)
Sewer upgrades to close Vernon road

Motorists are to expect some delays around portion of 34th Street starting Wednesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun in Salmon Arm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccinations underway in Salmon Arm

Interior Health confirms vaccination of priority populations has begun

This is the location, 3240 Skaha Lake Road, of where BC Housing plans to build a four storey supportive housing project for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. (Jesse Day Western News)
Penticton mayor and MLA concerned about new BC Housing project

‘Penticton already has its fair share’ of BC Housing projects

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Most Read