As speculated earlier in the week, the Hershey Bears confirmed the hiring of Bryan Helmer to Vice President of Hockey Operations.
Helmer enjoyed a 20 year professional career after going undrafted out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The journeyman defenseman became the AHL’s all-time leading scorer among defensemen in 2011, passing John Slaney. He has 562 points in 1,093 AHL career games, while also garnering 26 NHL points in 146 games.
Helmer, a one-time captain of the Hershey Bears, replaces Doug Yingst. “You left me some big shoes to fill,” Helmer said at the conference.
Despite only playing two seasons with the Bears, Helmer is remembered as the first hoister of the Calder Cup in both of those seasons — 2008-09 and 2009-10.
Upon retiring as a player in 2013, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native moved to the front office of the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterboruogh Petes. Since 2014-15, he has served as an assistant on Hershey’s staff.