Since the beginning of the NHL lockout, Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane held onto hope and didn’t join other NHL players right away as they made their way to the European leagues. Today, he gave in.
Kane announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he’d signed with EHC Biel in the Swiss National League A. He’s the fifth Blackhawks player to play in Europe, along with Michael Frolik, Michal Rozsival, Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell.
Kane had stated early on in the lockout that he was in no rush to head overseas, opting to wait and see when it would end. But last week, at the press conference for the “Champs for Charity” game to be held this Friday, Kane revealed that he had actually thought about signing a week before the announcement. The league’s new proposal and the charity game postponed his decision, but when negotiations fell through, Kane decided it was time.
Pat Brisson, Kane’s agent, stated that Kane will still play in Friday’s charity game before heading to Switzerland on Sunday.
Founded in 1939, EHC Biel has won four championships in the 2nd (B) league and three in the A league. They play at Eisstadion Biel in the city of Biel/Bienne, which is officially bilingual in German and French. The city is located on the eastern shore of Lake Biel in northwestern Switzerland and is a 30 minute drive from Bern, the country’s capital.
Kane will not be alone on the team, as he’ll have Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin as a teammate. So far, Seguin has 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists) in 9 games, and the team is in 7th place in the NLA standings.