A little read for everyone, if you don‘t care, just skip it, but I have to share it - it‘s about my hometown-team EHC Biel.
For those who don‘t know, we have a whole other system here. We have 2 professional leages NLA and NLB. NLB already is only semi-professionel I‘d say almost 50% of all players if not more have like a 50% job. You have to think that Switzerland has less inhabitants than most of the big Cities in the US (about 8 million).
Every season, there are 12 teams in each league. NLA has 8 playoff-spots and 4 relegation-spots. The relegation-teams play a play-out, and the „winner“ (so the team, which loses all) has to play league-relegation against the champion of NLB. The winner of the Series plays NLA next year, the loser NLB
3 seasons ago, my EHC Biel won the league-relegation against the NLB-Champ in 7 games. 2 seasons ago, my EHC Biel won the league-relegation against the same NLB-Champ as the previous year in 7 games. 2 mintes before overtime they score the gamewinner - imagine the crowd, they absolutely freaked out. Since Biel has the lowest budget of all NLA-Teams (like 2-3 mil / year), it was not surprising that we might play league-relegation, but no one wanted such thrillers. If a team relegates, it‘s turning semi-pro, and about 15 years, to get a real shot at NLA again.
Anyway, we then got Reto Berra, once drafted by the Blues. He came to us, because he was promised, that he plays every game he wants to play - if he sucks, well shit, but he know he played again the next game. He played absolutely spectacular the whole year last year, and it was a real miracle, we made the play-offs (which also made sure that we play NLA next year (so actually this season)). It‘s like a farm team plays NHL-Play-offs. Since the few good players we had were targets of richer teams of course, we already planned with play-out for this year again (remember 2-3 mil a year). Since Reto Berra only wanted to get „traded“ to an NHL-Team, and this did not happen, we had him again this year. Well, he played good again, but not spectatcular. It was a thrilling 50-game-season (we had no lock-out
) again, always somewhere between 7-10 seed. some 8 games before regular-season end we were 9th, 4 points behind. with 3 games left, we climed up to 8th - yesterday we won the 3rd straight (the first time in a bazillion year), and holy cow, I still can‘t believe it, we see play-off hockey :D
Congrats to me! yay!
P.S. feel free to move to off-topic, didn't know where to post
P.P.S. We have ugly jerseys, we all know :D