It’s been all over the fan boards this week that the Winnipeg Jets have signed goaltender David Aebischer, the former Avalanche/Canadiens/Coyotes prospect who has spent the last four years playing in Switzerland.
Technically, it’s true – the Jets confirm Aebischer will be in their training camp on a ‘try-out’ contract. Essentially, he is on loan from his club team in the Swiss league, Lugano, but is a real long-shot to unseat either Ondrej Pavelec or Chris Mason or even to be considered for a spot with the St. John’s IceCaps.
The 33-year-old product of Fribourg, Switzerland was drafted by the Avs in 1997 and played for the Swiss at the 1998 World Junior championships when they shocked the international hockey world by grabbing the bronze (the year Canada completely collapsed and finished eighth). Aebischer was named the all-star goaltender in that tournament; Canada had Roberto Luongo and Mathieu Garon between the pipes, just FYI.
In all likelihood Aebischer will be headed back to Lugano. If he was to stick, the Jets would have to come to a financial agreement with the Swiss club to get him signed to an NHL deal.
After Pavelec and Mason the Jets top goaltending prospect is Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel, who played for Sweden at the last WJC.
SICK MOVES: Check out this incredible shootout goal by Andreas Athanasiou at the NHL’s Research and Development Camp, courtesy NHL.com. Just click here.
QUOTABLE: Leafs’ GM Brian Burke on The Fan in Toronto today: "I loathe the shootout. I hate it. I detest it. I despise it. I don't know if I can be clearer."