Pete Vandermeer has given a lot to hockey over the years and this week, the hockey community recognized all his hard work.
The 44-year-old was selected Tuesday as the recipient of the Profesional Hockey Player’s Association Curt Leichner Distinguished Member Award.
The honour is presented annually to a member of the hockey community who has made significant contributions towards the advancement of professional minor league hockey and has continued to diligently serve the sport.
“Peter was often looked upon by other Player Representatives as a voice of reason, and earned the respect of management throughout the American Hockey League through his efforts and input during collective bargaining negotiations,” said PHPA Executive Director Larry Landon.
“The countless contributions he made towards the PHPA were instrumental to our success, and I am thrilled the Executive Committee is recognizing the great work Peter did on behalf of the players for so many years.”
During his 15-year career in professional hockey where he played 841 games, split between mostly the ECHL and American Hockey League, Vandermeer was a PHPA representative for 12 seasons and served on the executive for six years. He helped negotiate three AHL-PHPA Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“This is an awesome, incredible honour, and I was honestly caught off guard when Larry called me to tell me I was this year’s recipient,” Vandermeer said of the award call.
“I’m thrilled to be grouped together with those who have received this award before me. I always hoped the things I did and worked on would be of value and help out the PHPA. Looking out for my teammates is what I tried to do on the ice and is what I tried to do off the ice in my role with the PHPA. I’m so humbled to be receiving this award.”
Vandermeer continues to work in the game, helping mentor young players with the Eckville Minor Hockey Association. He will recieve the award in June at the 2020 PHPA Annual Meeting of Player Representatives.
Red Deer’s Ron MacLean also received the award in 2009.