Vernon Vipers head coach and general manager Jason Williamson has an early Christmas bonus.
Williamson has been named an assistant coach for Team Canada West that will compete at the 2014 World Junior A Hockey Challenge Dec. 14 to 20 in Kindersley, Sask.
“I was honoured,” said Williamson of his selection. “Anytime you can be part of Hockey Canada and a team like that, it’s a tremendous honour. I’m really looking forward to working with the guys and putting a good team together.”
Head coach of Canada West will be Trent Cassan, 31, head coach of the Yorkton Terriers who won the RBC Cup at Kal Tire Place in May.
Former Viper Luke Pierce, 31, head coach and GM of the B.C. Hockey League’s Merritt Centennials, is also an assistant coach with the team, as is Tim Fragle, 34, head coach and GM of the Alberta Junior League’s Sherwood Park Crusaders.
Williamson announced Monday that the Vipers have added Stanley Cup winner Eric Godard of Vernon as an assistant coach. He takes the spot vacated by David Robinson.
“Anytime you can bring in a coach that played at the highest level possible, it’s something you have to do,” said Williamson.
“He’s played in the NHL, knows what it takes to get there. He’s a Vernon guy, which is important to us. He fits with our staff well.”
Godard, who won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009, spent last season as an assistant with the Salmon Arm SilverBacks.
The Vipers open their main B.C. Hockey League training camp Friday morning at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon plays its first pre-sesaon game Saturday at home against the Penticton Vees.
Game time is 5 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.