This story is from BostonGlobe.com, the only place for complete digital access to the Globe.
Faster afoot than most NHLers, Bruins star forward Tyler Seguin will bolt to Europe during the NHL lockout and intends to play for Biel, just northeast of Geneva, in the Swiss Elite League.
“The wheels are in motion, so to speak,’’ said Seguin’s agent, Ian Pulver. “There are still details to work out — transfer card, all the usual paperwork stuff — but that is the plan. He should be on his way imminently.’’
With NHL training camps locked out and the league’s 2012-13 season in jeopardy, the 20-year-old Seguin could spend the entire season abroad. However, if the lockout ends after he joins Biel, he will be free to return to Boston and resume his NHL career.
According to Pulver, who just days ago negotiated Seguin’s six-year contract extension with Boston worth an average $5.75 million per season, Seguin could be on a flight to Geneva within a day or two. In recent days, the former No. 2 overall draft pick has been working out with a number of his Boston teammates, often using the rink at Harvard.
Seguin, on the books for some $3.5 million this season in the NHL, undoubtedly will earn far less with Biel. He is due approximately $40 million with the Bruins over the next seven years, and his future earnings will be protected by a hefty insurance policy, costing in the range of $25,000-$40,000 per month. Biel will pay that expense, standard practice among the various pro leagues that in recent days have started to add locked-out NHLers to their rosters.
Seguin, who will turn 21 in January, led the Bruins scoring chart last season with 29 goals and 67 points in 81 games.
“Biel was the club that expressed the most interest in Tyler,’’ said Pulver, noting that Seguin also drew interest from clubs in the Russia-based Kontinental Hockey League. “There are a few other Canadian boys on the team, too. So, all in all, it came down to feeling that Biel was the right fit for him.’’
Seguin has played a total of 175 NHL games, all but 20 in the regular season. Had that number been less than 160, the Bruins would have had the right to assign Seguin to the American Hockey League (Providence) during the lockout. As things stand, if fans of the Providence Bruins want to see him, they’ll be best advised to grab the latest copy of “Frommer’s Travel Guide to Switzerland.”
“These players have to make their own decisions,’’ said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, asked how he felt about his first roster player to head east, presumably for the duration of the lockout. “There are many variables involved, but just speaking in general, as a manager you like your players to play and be ready when play starts again.’’
It’s likely that one of Seguin’s Boston teammates, David Krejci, soon will play in the Czech Republic, probably in Pardubice. Other Bruins, including captain Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Dennis Seidenberg, also might consider heading overseas.
In Switzerland, some of Seguin’s games will be against Davos, where ex-Bruin Joe Thornton and his longtime pal, Rich Nash (now a Ranger), have been reunited. They played there in 2004-05, during the most recent NHL lockout before the current one began this past Sunday morning.