It appears the Swiss National League will soon benefit from the NHL lockout.
According to various sources, New York Islanders captain Mark Streit and San Jose’s leading goalscorer, Logan Couture, have both agreed to join Swiss league teams.
Streit will join SC Bern, his hometown club (Streit was born in Bern, the fourth largest city in Switzerland.)
It’s an interesting decision given the 34-year-old rearguard has suited up for a number of Swiss league teams, but never with Bern (at the pro level) — he’s played for Fribourg-Gotteron, Davos, Ambri-Piotta and ZSC Zurich, the latter occurring during the 2004-05 lockout.
Streit has one season remaining on the five-year, $20.5 million deal he signed with the Isles in 2008. In 2011-12, he became the first Swiss-born captain in NHL history.
As for Couture, David Pollak of the Mercury News confirmed reports that a deal is close to being finalized with Geneve-Servette HC.
Based out of Geneva, the Servette team has a number of familiar NHL names on it: Brian Pothier, Rico Fata, Dan Fritsche and Cody Almond, to name a few.
Couture is the second Sharks player to ink a deal overseas. According to Juha Hiitela of Finnish news outlet Ilta-Sanomat, defenseman Jason Demers has agreed to play for SM-liiga outfit Karpat.