Since the lockout is still alive and well, I thought I’d take a quick look at a team that could be in the running for more NHL talent in the event the NHL season is called off.
Genève-Servette Hockey Club is part of Nationalliga A, aka the Swiss National League A, which is part of the two-tier National League. That’s right – teams in the league face relegation to the B league if their team lands in the bottom four. Once the loser of the losers is determined, they play the champion B league club for the final spot in the A. There’s a third place league called the 1. Liga and I don’t know what you have to go to get relegated there but I think it involves stealing the wife of a player on an opposing team or stealing socks from the dressing room.
Geneva currently sits in second place with a 18-2-2-11 record, five points back from first place team HC Fribourg-Gotteron.
The NLA is well-attended amongst all European leagues, and as you can see from an earlier post on EHC Biel , the games look like they’re attended by displaced soccer fans. Things get pretty hairy. SC Bern actually boasts the best fan attendance record in the league, so it seems the Swiss really love their hockey.
With a rich history dating back to 1905, GSHC has won the Swiss Cup twice. In 2001 they won the National League B Championship and were promoted to the A league where they currently sit. The team is lead by Canadian head coach Chris McSorely. And the games are worth your 69.25 for the platinums, or if you’re like me, 21.65 for the nosebleeds.
Let’s talk about the mascot, shall we? It’s just another angry bird amongst a huge array of angry birds in European hockey, but….
What sets GSHC apart from the other teams that boast an angry mascot? They’ve got the REAL THING and they bust the poor little bird out before games. I fail to see the point but I think they’re saying WE’RE A HOCKEY CLUB AND WE’VE GOT A DAMN BIRD TOO! And that’s it, they’re better than all of you.
GSHC give their fans a show, game in and game out, there’s no question about that.
They also have pyrotechnics, and not just on opening night. For no damn reason, because they can. Do you want to go to a game yet? Because I sure do.
Logan Couture played with Geneva until he left, seemingly without warning. The team alerted fans to the fact that he hightailed it out of there for family reasons, but even they weren’t sure if he was going to come back. Judging by the Sharks forwards’ Twitter, I’d say (and I realize I’m no one) he has no plans of returning.
He immediately changed his avatar back to him with his NHL team, so it didn’t look promising for fans in Geneva right off the bat. He seemed lonely so maybe it was only a matter of time before he left. Sadly, their website still lists Couture, who notched an impressive 23 points in 22 games, as part of the team.
Currently, Habs dman Yannick Weber is the only locked out player on the roster and my weak French skills tell me he has 4 goals and 17 assists in 30 games played.
Meanwhile, they do great things for charity! And women! Their 2013 calendar raised money for Solidarité Femmes, an organization that helps counsel women and children who are the victims of domestic violence. Sure, a naked man may not be the best symbol to associate with violence against women, but nonetheless, it’s a great cause and partnership.
After taking a look at a couple of the teams in the Swiss league, I’ve added ‘attending a Nationalliga home game’ to my bucket list.