James Patrick Vandermeer
Born February 21, 1980 in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Defenseman for the San Jose Sharks
Like Emma, I checked that “frivolity” on Hockey-reference and found that Jim and I are birthday twins, so I thought I’d salute the newest Shark.
Jim played junior hockey with the WHL’s Red Deer Rebels (beloved team of Emma’s and my friend Nicole) and was captain of the team when they won the Memorial Cup in 2001. Then he signed as a UFA with the Philadelphia Flyers.
He stayed with the Flyers for three years before starting a journey that would bounce him around the league:
- 2004: he and Colin Fraser were traded to the Blackhawks for Alexei Zahmnov. He was there for three years and played for their AHL team during the Season That Never Was. They even made him an alternate captain for a few games.
- 2007: he went back to the Flyers, and the Hawks got Ben Eager.
-2008: he was traded to the Calgary Flames for a 3rd round draft pick the next year. Later that summer, he signed a three year contract with them.
- A year later, he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes and was named their Man of the Year.
- 2010: He was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for Patrick O’Sullivan. While in Edmonton, he scored his 100th career goal with help from Jordan Eberle and was given an alternate captain nod for some games.
- This summer, he became a UFA and signed on with the San Jose Sharks for a year.
But there’s more to Jim than just hockey. He hosts the annual Young Guns Charity Golf Tournament in Alberta with the Islanders’ Trent Hunter and the Blue Jackets’ Kris Russell, and money raised goes to several local charities such as the Stollery Children’s Hospital, The Lending Cupboard, The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Society and Red Deer Minor Hockey. The Phoenix Coyotes named him their Man of the Year for his contributions to the community, and when he was married in 2009, he and his wife asked that contributions be made to the Teammates For Kids Foundation and the Calgary Flames Foundation For Life in lieu of presents.
This is one awesome guy with a big heart. San Jose will be richer with him in town.