The move to Europe doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Earlier this month, word got out that the Flames weren’t interested in bringing Hiller back next season.
The 34-year-old was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. After he posted a 9-11-1 record with a 3.51 goals-against-average and a .879 save percentage in 2015-16, his NHL options would likely have been limited at best.
He enjoyed way more success last season, when he had much better numbers and led the Flames to the postseason.
Hiller will join former NHLers Maxime Macenauer, David Moss and Robbie Earl with EHC Biel.
Biel was the worst team in the Swiss-A League this season, according to Hockey DB.
As for the Flames, they’ll have to make some changes in goal if they hope to make the postseason again. Calgary’s four “main” goalies are all free agents going into the off-season.
Niklas Backstrom, who they acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, is 38-years-old and likely has no future with the team. Karri Ramo suffered a torn ACL during the season, but he wasn’t overly impressive in 2015-16 either. Joni Ortio is the youngest of the bunch and he’s an RFA. There’s a good chance he’ll be the only one back next season.
There won’t be a ton of quality goalies available in free agency this summer, so the Flames may have to bring one in via trade. Veteran free agents like Cam Ward or James Reimer could make sense at the right price.