Sabres in Europe: Vanek bids farewell to hometown 99ers
by Mike Repertorio/Correspondent
With the mandatory hockey recess in Europe in full effect, some of the NHL stars who have traveled overseas have returned home. Thomas Vanek, however, will not be heading back to Austria when play resumes.
In a series of tweets, Vanek expressed his appreciation for the opportunity but has made it clear that his working vacation is over. Looking back, though, it was not without its thrills. In 11 games, the Sabres sniper scored five goals and added ten assists for 15 points with the Graz 99ers.
While Vanek has left the door open on returning to Europe should the lockout continue, that’s not what’s foremost in his mind at the moment. More than just returning home to Buffalo, Vanek was returning home to family, his wife and kids.
The star left winger wasn’t the only overseas Sabre who made some noise this week though.
Christian Ehrhoff | Krefeld Pinguine & Alex Sulzer | ERC Ingolstadt
Ehrhoff is going into this break with 13 points in 16 games. He scored eight goals and added five assists for the Pinguine. Sulzer has also displayed strong play with six points (one goal and five assists) in seven games.
Originally, both were intended to be a part of the German roster for the 2012 Deutschland Cup (this year’s competing teams are Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Slovakia). It was just recently announced, however, that Ehrhoff would not be participating in the tournament. It appears the reasoning pertains to insurance costs. Sulzer, on the other hand, has cancelled his participation in the tournament, citing personal reasons.
Former Sabres prospects Felix Schutz and Philip Gogulla are both competing in the tournament for the German team.
Jhonas Enroth | Huddinge IK, Almtuna IS
Enroth finished his two-game contract with two solid wins, garnering a goals-against average of 2.50 and a .888 save percentage. It would appear as though he enjoyed his experience considering that he signed to play for Almtuna IS in Sweden. Sources report that Enroth has been signed to play until January 7, but the contact likely includes an opt-out clause should the NHL and NHLPA come to an agreement.
Tyler Myers | EC KAC
Myers, who got off to a somewhat slow start (one goal and one assist in six games), really came on strong in his last match before the recess. Picking up two assists in his most recent game, Myers upped his season totals to four points (one goal and three assists) in seven games.
Tyler Ennis | SC Langnau
Upon returning from his injury, Ennis came on like gangbusters for the Tigers. While he was held scoreless this week, the undersized pivot is still scoring at a point-per-game clip with five points (one goal and four assists) in five games.
Andrej Sekera | Slovan Bratislava
Sekera, like Ennis, didn’t find his name on the score sheet this week, though he still has some respectable numbers to show off. In ten KHL games, the offensive defenseman has scored two goals and four assists for six points.