Breaking: Two veteran NHLers bolt for Europe, sign in Switzerland

Another surprising move! These old guys just can’t get an NHL job these days…

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According to multiple online reports, Geneva Servette HC of the Swiss National League have signed veteran NHLers Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma. This, just one day after the team announced that it had also signed another former NHLer veteran in Shawn Mathias.

NATIONAL LEAGUE: Import-player quartet complete - Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma to join GSHC 

The 30 year old Wingels suited up for 57 games with his hometown Chicago Blackhawks last season, before being shipped to the Boston Bruins at the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline. He managed nine goals and 17 points in 75 games split between the Blackhawks and Bruins. The veteran of 448 career NHL games has also played for the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks. The former sixth round pick (177th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft) has 62 goals, 143 points in 254 penalty minutes in 448 career NHL games.

Bouma also spent that majority of his 2017-18 campaign with the Blackhawks, playing 53 games and scoring three goals and nine points along the way. he also managed seven goals and 14 points in 20 games with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Rockford IceHogs. The 28 year old former 3rd round pick (78th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft) is probably best known for his time with the Calgary Flames organization with whom he played over 300 NHL games. In total, Bouma has 30 goals, 76 goals and 210 penalty minutes in 357 career NHL games.

Wingels, in particular, was rumored to be in contract negotiations with the Blackhawks, but evidently those talks fell apart. No word yet on the term regarding his deal or whether he has an "out-clause" to come back to the NHL. Typically, a player will reserve the right to essentially tear up their European contract if and when an NHL team comes calling with a contract offer. Again, no word yet on whether either Wingels or Bouma has such a clause in their deal, but it would not be surprising if either player ended up on an NHL roster by the end of the season. Once the season starts and the injuries start piling up, a veteran player like Wingels and Bouma can look a bit more enticing to NHL general managers.