Chicago Blackhawks: EHC Biel

Swiss team feeling pride over Kane, Seguin

June, 11, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Multiple text messages with the Switzerland country code of 41 popped up on Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin's cell phone on Tuesday.

Seguin didn’t have all the numbers saved into his phone’s memory, but he didn’t have to guess where they were all originating. Ever since Seguin and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane played for EHC Biel, a professional hockey team in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, during the NHL lockout, the two players have found themselves being treated as lifelong members of the community’s hockey family.

With Seguin’s Bruins and Kane’s Blackhawks now meeting in the Stanley Cup finals, EHC Biel’s coaches, players and even their fans have been reaching out to them and delivering congratulatory messages for what the two players have accomplished since leaving Switzerland in early January.

“Today, I got text messages from coaches and a couple players, even some fans who got a hold of my number somehow,” Seguin said at the Stanley Cup finals media day on Tuesday. “I think we had a home there for a certain period of time. It was also a pretty big hockey city. It was a lot of fun. It’s nice to see them still showing the support today.”

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Coach: Kane benefited from overseas stint

January, 24, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers
Patrick KaneBill Smith/NHLI/Getty ImagesEHC Biel coach Kevin Schläpfer believes Patrick Kane might have matured as a leader from playing in Switzerland.
EHC Biel coach Kevin Schläpfer may just take credit in Switzerland for Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's hot start to the NHL season.

Schläpfer coached Kane for 20 games during the NHL lockout, and now Kane started his NHL season with two goals and three assists in three games.

"Maybe I can say he had a good start because of me," Schläpfer said laughing during a recent phone conversation from Switzerland. "I have nothing to do with that, though."

From a hockey standpoint, Schläpfer isn't sure if he taught Kane anything during Kane's nearly two months playing in the Swiss National League A. Kane arrived a gifted player and departed one in Schläpfer's eyes.

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Patrick Kane
64 27 37 10
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 23
GAAC. Crawford 2.29