National League

The defenseman will be done with his active hockey career at the end of the season. He is still sticking around behind the bench.

A veteran of 1137 games in the highest two leagues in the country, Alain Birbaum is going to retire from professional hockey at the end of the current season.

A product of HC Fribourg-Gottéron's youth department, Birbaum made his debut in men's hockey at the age of 16 with the Düdingen Bulls, during the 2001-02 season. One year later, he made his first steps in the National League. It would take until 2014 for the defenseman to venture away from Fribourg. Via Ambrì-Piotta, Martigny, and Chamonix, Birbaum eventually ended up in Porrentruy as a member of Ajoie.

As the 38-year-old's on-ice career ends, his off-ice career is just taking shape. Already working as a coach in Ajoie's youth department for the last year, Birbaum will continue his tenure there. "More than a sport, ice hockey is a big part of my life", he notes. "I am looking forward to passing on everything I have learned throughout my career. I am delighted to be joining Tristan Vauclair and the entire HCA Academy staff to make my contribution to the development of our young players."

( 17 January 2024 | esi* )