Vandermeer steps up to key dual role at Belfast Giants
Adam Keefe has filled two important pieces in his Belfast Giants jigsaw with the re-signing of just one man. The coach has bolstered his defensive ranks by handing a new deal to veteran Jim Vandermeer and the former NHLer will also join the team's staff as a second player-assistant coach.
Earlier this week Keefe confirmed that popular forward Brandon Benedict will work alongside him as a player-assistant and Vandermeer will now join them to plan the pursuit for a first Elite League title in four seasons.
The 37-year-old's experience of 482 NHL appearances with six different clubs during a 16-season professional career will be key for the Giants both on and off the ice in the season ahead.
"I am excited to bring Jim Vandermeer back to Belfast," said Keefe.
"I know our fans love his style of play and the size he adds to our blueline.
"Jim brings a lot of NHL experience to our locker room and he will be a great fit for the player-assistant coach role."
Vandermeer played 50 times last season, chipping in with eight goals along the way.
Vandermeer's return brings to five the number of defencemen on Keefe's roster and he is likely to add one more before the season opener away to the Dundee Stars in the Challenge Cup on Saturday, September 2.