August 20, 2011
As in October 10, 2007.
Since 2007, he's been a goaltender for HC Lugano of the Swiss Nationalliga A. But Aebischer, owner of a 2001 Stanley Cup ring with the Colorado Avalanche, is making an NHL comeback of sorts via a tryout contract with the Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets confirm Aebischer will be in their training camp on a 'try-out' contract. Essentially, he is on loan from his club team in the Swiss league, Lugano, but is a real long-shot to unseat either Ondrej Pavelec(notes) or Chris Mason(notes) or even to be considered for a spot with the St. John's IceCaps.
The 33-year-old product of Fribourg, Switzerland was drafted by the Avs in 1997 and played for the Swiss at the 1998 World Junior championships when they shocked the international hockey world by grabbing the bronze (the year Canada completely collapsed and finished eighth). Aebischer was named the all-star goaltender in that tournament; Canada had Roberto Luongo(notes) and Mathieu Garon(notes) between the pipes, just FYI.
Tait said the Jets and Lugano would have to strike a financial deal should Aebischer win a spot on the roster — which Arctic Ice Hockey is admittedly skeptical about.
How random. Is this a favor to Aebischer? An insurance policy should some team come calling for Chris Mason's services (he's got one year left before going UFA)? An appeal to the Swiss community in Manitoba? A safety measure in case someone signs Neil Little?