Nottingham woke up to the news this morning that their English-born, Canadian forward, Mike Hammond, who spent last season with the Nottingham Panthers, had died in a single-vehicle RTC in British Columbia, Canada, on the night of Wednesday 19 July.
Hammond, who was 33-years-old, spent his formative ice years in Canada (2006-16), came to the British Isles first with the (Glasgow) Braehead Clan (Scotland), then two seasons with the Manchester Storm (England), followed by two spells in Germany with Lausitzer Fuchse, and Hannover Scorpions, sandwiching a spell in Denmark with Odense Bulldogs and the Frederickshawn White Hawks, along with a spell at the Coventry Blaze, prior to joining the Panthers just last summer.
Upon his arriving at the Panthers, then Head Coach, Gary Graham said that Hammond was proven at every level, exciting, and had a competitive mind-set with a will to win every game; Hammond would also make a number of appearance for the Great Britain team, claiming two, World Championship Gold Medals (2017/18, and 2022/23).
As the messages of condolences flooded in, from Nottingham, and around the sporting world, the Panthers led the way with a statement that read here
The Nottingham Panthers are devastated to report that forward Mike Hammond has passed away.
Hammond, who played for the club last season, died in a car accident on Wednesday in Canada.
The Panthers would like to send our thoughts to Mike’s family and friends at this very difficult time.
Our thoughts too are with all his former team-mates and everyone at the club is thinking of Hammy and his family right now.
Rest in peace Mike – you will never be forgotten.
Hammond was a Great Britain international and joined the Panthers last summer from German side Hannover Scorpions.
In Manchester, where Hammond spent two seasons, the Storm said –
We are all devastated by the loss of Mike Hammond. Mike was part of our Storm family for two seasons and he remained a good friend to many here in Manchester.
We were proud and excited to watch him play a big role in Team GB’s recent success. We send all our love and condolences to Mike’s family, friends, and team-mates. Thanks for all the memories, Mike – rest in peace.
Meanwhile, North o’the Border, at the Braehead Clan, where Hammond would first play Elite Ice Hockey, added their own tribute when saying –
Glasgow Clan are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Mike Hammond. Mike was a hugely popular player during his spell here in 2016/17 and was due to return in 2023/24. On behalf of the club, our thoughts are with Mike’s family and friends during this terrible time.
In regards the accident which resulted in the passing of the ice hockey star, occurred on the Shawnigan Lake road, between Elford and the Village, having allegedly lost control of the vehicle, colliding with the support beam on the side of Stoney Trail.
Hammond, whose father passed away five years ago, is survived by his mother, Janice, and brother, Steve, tributes continuing to pour in across the globe.
We at the Nottingham Sport add to those condolences, and our thoughts are with Mike Hammond’s family, friends, and of course the Nottingham Panthers and wider, ice hockey community, at this sad time.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @PanthersImages Mike Hammond pictured playing for the Panthers.