It looks like former NHL coach Marc Crawford won’t be coming back to North America.
The former Avalanche, Kings, Canucks, and Stars coach has verbally agreed to return to the ZSC Lions in the Swiss National League according to the team’s Twitter feed.
Crawford had been in the running for the head coaching jobs with both the Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins. But with the Panthers looking at Gerard Gallant and the Penguins moving on from Willie Desjardins and Bill Peters to other candidates, he’s not waiting around to see what they decide.
Crawford coached ZSC to the championship as well as the best record in the Swiss League. ZSC finished 20 points ahead of second place HC Gotteron and beat Kloten for the title. That’s probably more than you’ve ever read about the Swiss League.
Crawford won the Stanley Cup as head coach of the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and won the Jack Adams Award in 1995.
Gilbert Brule’s escape to Switzerland to play hockey ended poorly.
The guy most known for picking up a hitchhiking Bono was cut by the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League. There he played for former NHL coach Marc Crawford and wound up not scoring a goal and adding just six assists in 14 games for Zurich.
Brule has had a rather tumultuous career since being drafted sixth overall in the 2005 draft by Columbus. He’s been rushed to the NHL, had poor play and injuries sideline his career. His signing in Switzerland came at a time he was an unrestricted free agent looking for work after sort of getting his career back on track with Phoenix.
Now he’s free to sign anywhere once again, but you have to wonder if anyone will take a chance on him now.
Gilbert Brule’s run in the NHL is taking a sabbatical.
Brule has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the ZSC Lions of the Swiss league according to the team’s website (link in German). He had five goals and nine assists in 33 games last season with the Coyotes.
As you may remember, Brule is one of many failed first-round picks by the Columbus Blue Jackets, going sixth overall in the 2005 draft. Brule was chosen ahead of guys like Anze Kopitar, Marc Staal, and T.J. Oshie to name a few. Oops.
Brule could be heading to Switzerland to avoid any potential lockout issues or he’s reading the tea leaves the right way after it took him a while to land a job last season with Phoenix. Either way, he’ll see if he can hone his game in the Alps this season.
Marc Crawford fell short in whatever NHL head coaching races he was in this summer, but that won’t stop him from making big moves for a hockey club. Darren Dreger reports that Crawford will coach the Zurich ZSC Lions, a team that’s located in Zurich, Switzerland.
(The full name for the ZSC Lions is: Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions, by the way.)
Crawford spent the last season as an analyst for TSN after being fired following the 2010-11 season with the Dallas Stars. Crawford coached the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche for four seasons, the Vancouver Canucks for seven and the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars for two seasons apiece.
Beyond scratching that itch, you have to wonder if this sojourn in Switzerland will help him scrap his way back to the NHL. Do you think we’ll see him as a head coach again?