Former Cowichan Valley Capital and Victoria Grizzlies forward Mike Hammond has died in a car crash while visiting family on Vancouver Island.
The single vehicle collision happened on Shawnigan Lake Road near Baden Powell Road in Shawnigan Lake, according to RCMP.
Cpl. Alex Bérubé said police got the call-out around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 19.
“Police attended and initiated an investigation into the collision. Early evidence collected at the scene indicated that the vehicle, a black Porsche Boxster appeared to have gone off the road and struck a tree,” said a news release issued by Bérubé.
The driver, Hammond, was found dead at the scene.
“Police continue to investigate the collision as well as the BC Coroners Service to determine the leading cause of the collision and death of the driver.”
Those with information related to the crash are asked to contact the Shawnigan Lake RCMP at 250-743-5514.
“The Capitals are devastated to hear of the passing of former Capital Mike Hammond,” said the team on social media. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike’s family and friends. RIP Hammy.”
Hammond played 55 games with the Grizzlies before being sent to junior B. He first joined the Capitals a few weeks into the 2009-10 campaign after starting that season with the junior B Victoria Cougars, but still ended up leading Cowichan in scoring with 68 points (27 goals and 41 assists) in 46 games that season.
He led the entire league in scoring the next season, finishing with 93 points (39 goals and 54 assists) in 57 games played. He had 66 points in 40 games with the Caps before a deadline-day trade to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
After aging out of junior, Hammond spent four years with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, posting 130 points in 111 games, then played a year in the ECHL with Cincinnati and Brampton.
Hammond went on to lead the U.K.’s Elite Ice Hockey League in scoring for the 2017-18 season, his second year in the EIHL after he put up 46 points in 43 games with the Braehead Clan in 2016-17 in Glasgow.
“Mike was a popular player with the Clan during his previous season with the club in 2016-17 and was due to be announced as re-joining the club for the 2023-24 campaign,” said the Clan in a tribute on their website.
The winger suited up with the Manchester Storm for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons before bouncing around to a handful of teams in Denmark and Germany.
Hammond also played for Team GB at the Ice Hockey World Championships in both 2019 and 2021.
Hammond was born in Brighton, England, but grew up in Victoria, where he had been visiting his mother and brother on holiday from England, where he played last season with the Nottingham Panthers of the EIHL.
“Our thoughts too are with all his former team-mates and everyone at the club is thinking of Hammy and his family right now,” said a notice on the team’s website. “Rest in peace Mike — you will never be forgotten.”
He was 33.