Gone are the days where Switzerland was an afterthought on the international hockey scene. The Swiss have become a significant threat to the traditional hockey powers. Last summer’s second place finish at the IIHF’s World Championships may have come as a surprise to some, but heading into February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Swiss won’t be taken lightly.
Simon Moser hopes to be a part of Switzerland’s Olympic team when it is named early in the winter.
Moser attended training camp with the Nashville Predators on a Professional Tryout Agreement, and on Sunday signed his name to a one-year, two-way contract with the team. The contract will pay him $550,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 if he is in the AHL. The two-way nature of the contract is standard for any player who signs an entry-level contract.
SC Bern, Moser’s Swiss league team, issued a press release Monday stating that Moser’s contract with the Predators contains an out clause which allows him to return to Switzerland if he is in the AHL as of December 15th.
Moser would have the opportunity to earn more money playing with Bern as opposed to the Admirals, but that was not his primary motivation for wanting the clause.
“It wasn’t that big, but it is nice to have it because of the Olympic year,” Moser said of the out clause in his contract. “If there is no Olympics, I don’t think that I would do that, because in Switzerland they rather take players from the Swiss League than from the AHL. That’s the reason why and it’s good to have it.”
After seeing Moser’s strong play in camp and in Nashville’s preseason games, the Predators made getting the Bern native under contract a priority.
Predators head coach Barry Trotz likes the way Moser’s game fits the North American style.
Monday afternoon, Nashville announced that Moser had been reassigned to Milwaukee.
How long Moser remains with the Admirals will depend on his play there as well as the health and effectiveness of the forwards who start the season on Nashville’s roster.
But getting to the NHL is something that Moser has dreamed of and worked hard to achieve.
"Growing up for sure, it was a dream," he said. "But three or four years ago, I would never spend a thought about the NHL being one time here. The last few years, I worked pretty hard and I am glad to be here now."