Ference got on his Twitter and confirmed yesterday's Czech-language announcement that he will go play for HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice in a few weeks. He will go overseas on Oct. 7 unless the NHL agrees to a new collective bargaining agreement and ends the lockout before then.
It's a Mountfield reunion for Ference, who played there during the last lockout, but one thing is different this time: he's a father of two now and neither his daughters nor his wife will be joining him overseas on a regular basis. Depending on how long this Czech stint lasts, he said, they may come over for visits. Still, I can't imagine that the separation will be much fun for his two girls--sure, they're used to their dad traveling for work, but during a regular NHL season, he does return home more often than he might in this situation.
Keeping it light-hearted, Ference promised to buy any Bostonian or Bruins fan he sees in Ceske Budejovice a Budvar beer, the brewing of which is one of the biggest industries in the city.
Seguin's announcement that he will go play for Switzerland's EHC Biel came as more of a surprise to me because I thought it was more unexpected. EHC Biel is located in the German-French bilingual city of Biel/Bienne--that's the official name, slash and everything--a nice-looking city near three picturesque lakes and known for its proficiency in making watches.
EHC Biel, which has been around since 1939, is part of the Swiss National League A, but teams that don't perform well in A level can be knocked down to National League B. However, teams that then do well in National League B can earn their way back onto A. (Can you imagine if the NHL did that?) Biel was at B level for much of the 2000s, but won its reinstatement to A in 2008. Winning three straight B-level championships, and four total since its relegation, may have helped in its reinstatement.
Seguin said that he will join Biel next week. Ference, who won't be terribly far from Seguin when he goes to his European team, gave Seguin well wishes via Twitter and asked him to bring back some of Switzerland's famous chocolate. I wouldn't mind a bit of that chocolate, either.
So, that makes three Bruins who are definitely going to go to Europe. In the coming days, it's likely that more of their teammates could make their own announcements about new temporary teams, too. We as fans will just have to sit and wait.
Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins fan who has always enjoyed learning more about Europe--it's just too bad that these newest tidbits of European trivia come in the context of a damaging NHL lockout.
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