February 10, 2015
Rough and tumble defenseman Jim Vandermeer was never drafted by a NHL team. This despite an impressive career in Red Deer where he captained the Rebels to a WHL championship and the Memorial Cup in 2001.
The Philadelphia Flyers signed Vandermeer as an unrestricted free agent. He soon established himself as a dependable and rugged depth rearguard at the NHL level. He had decent mobility and excellent work habits. His offensive contributions were rarely note-worthy, though he had a good sense on when to pinch in from the point.
In order to stick in the NHL Vandermeer found himself on the move quite a bit. In addition to Philly (with whom he played with in two different stints) he also played with Chicago (where he played with a rookie named Duncan Keith), Calgary, Phoenix, Edmonton and San Jose.
Chicago was probably Vandermeer's best stop. He got his break when Adrian Aucoin left the line-up with an injury. In addition to mentoring young Keith, he was noted for his overall leadership, wearing an "A" as alternate captain.
In 461 career games Jim Vandermeer scored 25 goals and 80 assists.