Swiss Hockey Update: Patrick Fischer, Kari Jalonen, Christian Dubé, More

Patrick Fischer gets a contract extension as the Swiss National Team head coach, Christian Dubé needs to have success or he will be dismissed after this season and why Kari Jalonen extended his contract with the SC Bern.

This morning, the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation had in Zurich a press conference. The focus was the contract extension of former Arizona Coyotes player and now head coach of the Swiss National Team Patrick Fischer. Both parties agreed to an extension for the next four years until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Fischer with a Large Salary Increase

Before they could reach the agreement, there was a consensus in the Swiss media that those talks could get tricky and would last until the beginning of the 2020 World Championships in Switzerland. As usual, the reason for this was the price tag for the new contract. With only around CHF (Swiss Francs) 250,000 (~$252,000 USD).—it seemed that Fischer would seek a salary increase and a long-term stay in his home country. As it seems now, they found the solution much faster than anticipated. The rumors about his salary will now start.

Patrick Fischer
Patrick Fischer, head coach of Switzerland national ice hockey team, during a friendly game between national ice hockey teams of Switzerland and Norway ahead of the IIHF 2018 World Championship, at the Ice stadium Schoren, in Langenthal, Friday, April 20, 2018. (KEYSTONE/Alexandra Wey)

In Switzerland, it is not common to discuss financial issues in public. This is a cultural thing here and opens the doors for rumors. As for now, it seems that he could double his salary and will receive CHF 500,000 (~$504,000 USD) per year. That’s still too little for such a charismatic coach who recently had great success with the national team. He won the silver medal at the 2018 World Championships in Denmark and the team played a strong tournament this year in Slovakia and only got eliminated by a late goal from Canada in the quarterfinals.

Now the Swiss Ice Hockey Federation needs to start the talks with his associate coach, Tommy Albelin. Both said early this year that they also would like to extend the contract with the Swedish coach.

Christian Dubé Needs to Reach the Playoffs

On Sunday, Fribourg-Gottéron announced that former national team member and ZSC Lions coach, Sean Simpson, will be an advisor for the rest of the season. This came as a surprise. Before that, general manager Christian Dubé was looking for a new coach. The board then decided to take an unusual path for the opening spot. And there was Simpson coming in. He will now help Dubé and Pavel Rosa with tips and tricks and will be on the ice in practice when needed.

If this should work out, and Dubé gets a playoff berth in February, Simpson could stay. If not, the club’s board says he has to leave the team. That’s even if his contract is still valid until the end of the 2020-21 season.

Kari Jalonnen Stays in Bern – Defense Needs to Improve

With Kari Jalonen, SC Bern has the contract extension they truly looked for. However, their head coach will have to get out from the trouble that the team has. Actually, the Bears are still not really god. They may have won the game against Ambrì last Tuesday, but are still struggling to get going.

Harri Pesonen, Niklas Schlegel, Ramon Untersander
Harri Pesonen of the SCL Tigers scores a goal against Bern’s Niklas Schlegel. Ramon Untersander can just watch the puck entering the goal. (PPR/Anthony Anex)

The main reason for this is that former goalkeeper, Leonardo Genoni, moved on to EV Zug and neither Niklas Schlegel nor Pascal Caminada seem to be on top of their games. After all, the champion needs to get more involved with the play in front of the net. Too many rebounds and some bad habits got into the defense. What seemed solved last season is no more than bad decisions or poorly positioned defensemen. The whole team is still not in sync and this leads to too many turnovers in the offensive zone and to really good counter-attacks for the opponent.

Kidney Transplant for Rapperswil Coach Jeff Tomlinson

In Rapperswil, head coach Jeff Tomlinson has to undergo surgery. Therefore he will miss practice and games at least until the end of November. The Canadian-German needs a kidney transplant. The new kidney he will receive is from his brother. Without that surgery, he may die soon. Tomlinson knew about this problem and he received the needed dialysis in the bus when traveling on the road or at a special office he had for this purpose.

We wish him that he will get soon well.