Bern has signed up forward Thomas Ziegler for a two-and-a-half year contract. The Bears beat out competition from Ambri and Kloten to get the Zurich player.
Ziegler is the latest Swiss hockey player to return to his homeland after an unsuccessful attempt to break into North America's National Hockey League. The 23-year-old was playing for the Springfield Falcons.
The Tampa Bay Lightning picked Ziegler in 263rd position in the 2000 NHL draft. He played five matches with the Florida team last season, spending the rest of his time with the Detroit Vipers, a Tampa Bay farm team.
The forward has decided to return to Switzerland to improve his chances of playing with the national team at the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City next year.
Before trying his luck in North America, Ziegler played for Grasshoppers Zurich, Zurich and Ambri.
swissinfo with agencies
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