Viper defenceman Jason Bird is now property of the Merritt Centennials.

Viper defenceman Jason Bird is now property of the Merritt Centennials.

Vipers trade Bird to Cents

The Vernon Vipers have traded defenceman Jason Bird to the Merritt Centennials for the playing rights to d-man Dylan Chanter.

The Vernon Vipers have traded 20-year-old defenceman Jason Bird and future considerations to the Merritt Centennials in exchange for the CJHL playing rights of 18-year-old defenceman Dylan Chanter.

The Vipers must now complete a deal with the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the 16-team USHL where Chanter had been playing this season before he can officially join the Vipers.

Chanter, who is from Armstrong, had spent the last two seasons in the BCHL with Merritt prior to joining Dubuque.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder  has secured a scholarship to the University of New Hampshire Wildcats for next season. He has one goal and one assist, along with 21 penalty minutes, in 14 games with the Saints. Chanter pocketed 11 goals and 33 points in two full seasons with Merritt.

Chanter made headlines across North American after he was hurt in an Oct. 12 fight with Corey Petrash of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the corner behind the Dubuque net.

Chanter lost his balance and fell backward, hitting his helmetless head on the ice (dyed pink for a cancer promotion) and dislocating his left shoulder.

The crowd cheered until seeing Chanter begin to severely convulse. His full-body seizure lasted at least two minutes, as team trainers and the RoughRiders’ team doctor rushed to him.

He remained on the ice until paramedics arrived on the scene roughly 15 minutes later.

The incident sparked renwed debate on fighting in amateur and pro hockey.

Bird will join his third BCHL team after also spending time in Coquitlam.

The veteran defenceman was enjoying a great offensive season with five goals and 18 assists in 35 games.