In the past four days, two Boston Bruins have announced plans to play overseas: Anton Khudobin for the KHL’s Atlant Moscow Oblast and Andrew Ference for the Czech Mountfield Ceske Budejovice team.
Now it’s a hat trick: three Bruins have confirmed plans to play overseas. Tyler Seguin has signed a deal with the Swiss team EHC Biel.
Per Seguin’s Twitter:
Looks like I’m wearing number 9 for EHC Biel in Switzerland till the lockouts done. Excited to play next week. #illmissthebruinsfans
— Tyler Seguin (@tylerseguin92) September 20, 2012
EHC Biel is an interesting team. They play in the Swiss National League A, the highest division, but in a German-French bilingual city known as Bienne in French. Biel is located near the border with France and that is why it is a bilingual city. Technically, the full name is Biel/Bienne with the forward slash.
In the Swiss leagues, a team can be relegated to National League B if they don’t perform well, but can earn their way back to the A-league by doing well. EHC Biel won three consecutive championships from 2006 to 2008 as part of the B-league, earning their way back to the top tier.
EHC Biel has been playing since 1939 and has a celebrated local rivalry with four other teams: SCL Tigers, SC Bern, EHC Olten and HC Ajoie. Games between these teams often draw sellout crowds.
Seguin won’t be the only Canadian on Biel’s roster: Jacob Micflikier and Marc Pouliot (not related to Benoit Pouliot) also hail from the great white north.
Another Bruin set to leave North America for the time being wished Seguin well:
@tylerseguin92 Travel safe buddy, we’ll miss ya. Maybe you can do a speed date at a ski jump event in the Alps. Bring back some chocolate
— Andrew Ference (@Ferknuckle) September 20, 2012