He may be a mere 21 years old, but Marco Bührer is being touted as the man to replace a living legend in Bern's hockey side. Bührer, currently goalie at Chur, has signed a two-year contract with the club from the Swiss capital.
The player is joining Bern just as Renato Tosio has announced he plans to retire at the end of the current season. Tosio is an institution for Bern fans, and a record-breaker into the bargain.
The canton Graubünden native joined the team during the 1986 season playoffs, and has played over 700 games - a Swiss record - since then. He helped them take the championship in 1989, 1991, 1992 and 1997, and his commanding presence left little room for another goalie.
Marco Bührer, who hails from Zurich, made his playing debut for B-league side Bulach in 1997. The following year he was a successful substitute goalie for Kloten, made a brief pause in canton Thurgau, and then joined his first top division side, current employers Chur.
Superstitious Bern fans will be hoping that this career track is a good omen. Renato Tosio was himself signed from Chur.
But hockey-watchers will be wary of making bets. Thirty-six year-old Tosio has announced his retirement before, although this time he has said it is "99 per cent certain."
swissinfo with agencies