Swiss League

EHC Olten extends the contract of head coach Chris Bartolone and hires a new team manager, namely Marc Grieder. Changes in the team roster include eight players leaving and Lukas Haas (photo) signing a two-year deal.

Photo: Tobi Meyer /

Bartolone, who moved from assistant to head coach of a struggling Olten on February 4 when Bengt-Åke Gustafsson was fired and lead the team to the finals of the Swiss League, has signed a one-year extension.

Defenseman Marc Grieder, who has been with Olten for the last two seasons, has decided to retire due to knee problems. Instead, he will work for the Mice off the ice, as their new team manager. The 33-year-old is going to be accompanied in the first year. After that, he will do the job on his own.

Olten also announced another retirement. Forward Remo Hirt, who was with the team his entire professional career (apart from eight games on loan for HC La-Chaux-de-Fonds) will also stop playing hockey next season. In 658 games for the Mice, the 32-year-old recorded 423 points.

Another player with a long history in Olten, Cyrill Aeschlimann, who was with Olten since 2002, will not receive a new contract for the next term. The 34-year-old suited up in 766 games for the team. There will also be no new contracts for defenseman Joël Fröhlicher (53 games and twelve points for Olten), as well as for the two Canadians Brian Ihnacak (20 games, 17 points) and MacGregor Sharp (twelve games, six points). Longtime NHL-forward Jay McClement (48 games, 22 points) has neither received a new contract nor left the team yet.

Helder Duarte and Noah Matter are both expected to suit up for Olten's new partner team, EHC Basel. However, the two youngsters will be eligible to play for the Mice via B-license. Marc Sahli is not going to be with Olten next season either, but the club is looking for a B-license option for him too.

Another pair of youngsters, Joachim Vodoz and Stéphane Heughebaert, just finished their first season with Olten and are expected to stay with the team.

Last but not least, Lukas Haas is going to suit up for EHC Olten for the next two years. The forward, who already played 25 games for Olten via B-license this past season (six goals and 17 assists) joins the Mice from the SCL Tigers. The 30-year-old forward was with Langnau for eight years.

Last Update: 15 April 2018, 11:00 AM | esi/jca
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