Smokies sign Dever

Former Vernon Viper assistant coach Bob Dever has landed a similar job with the B.C. Hockey League Trail Smoke Eaters.

Bob Dever has been hired as an assistant coach with the BCHL Trail Smoke Eaters

Bob Dever has been hired as an assistant coach with the BCHL Trail Smoke Eaters

Former Vernon Viper assistant coach Bob Dever has landed a similar job with the B.C. Hockey League Trail Smoke Eaters.

Dever guided Miskolci of the Hungarian MOL professional league to a semifinal appearance in the 2010-11 season.

Dever and Smokies head coach/GM Bill Birks were teammates for one season with the BCHL’s Merritt Centennials in the late 1980s, after which Dever got into coaching, holding assistant coach positions with the Centennials and Vipers.

He was also a head coach during a stint with the KIJHL’s Creston Valley Thunder Cats.

“He’s spent the last three years coaching in Hungary but wanted to be a little closer to home. It’s a perfect fit,” said Birks.

“He’s got many contacts across North America, and a lot of different ideas which I’m more than willing to bring into the fold here.”

Dever, who has been in Vernon most of the summer, will be with the club for training camp Aug. 26-28 at the Cominco Arena.

Meanwhile, the Smokies and Prince George Spruce Kings have completed a deal which sees the playing rights of F Todd Skirving (‘92) plus future considerations to the Smoke Eaters for the playing rights of D Ben Matthews (‘91).

Skirving, of Thunder Bay, Ont., split last season between the Vipers and Spruce Kings.