Halifax Mooseheads captain Biasca a rarity in team history


Halifax Mooseheads participant Attilio Biasca finds himself in choose firm as one in all solely a handful of captains from exterior of North America in team history.

Biasca, 19, is from Zug, Switzerland, and is the fiftieth captain in team history. While that quantity might sound excessive, some gamers did not serve in the function for lengthy.

Injuries restricted Biasca to 58 video games in his first two seasons with the Mooseheads.

He’s off to a robust begin this 12 months. He was third in team scoring with 11 factors previous to Saturday evening’s sport in opposition to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies.

He stated he was speechless when he was named captain.

“It was unbelievable,” stated Biasca. “All the reminiscences that I’ve with accidents and stuff, it simply all popped out. It was actually, actually emotional for me as a result of to be sincere, I did not see that coming.”

Biasca celebrates his objective throughout an Oct. 1, 2022, sport in Halifax in opposition to the Cape Breton Eagles. (Trevor MacMillan/Halifax Mooseheads)

Biasca is assessed as an import, which is a participant who comes from exterior of Canada or the United States. Teams in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are allowed to hold solely two imports on their roster every season.

Biasca is not the primary Swiss participant to have performed for the Mooseheads.

Swiss stars Timo Meier and Nico Hischier performed on the Mooseheads as imports. They each have been first-round picks in the NHL draft and are having fun with profitable professional careers.

Biasca was well-acquainted with the Mooseheads due to Meier and Hischier. When Biasca was drafted, he stated they contacted him and congratulated him.

Previous import participant captains

Biasca is simply the fourth import participant to function a captain for the Mooseheads. The others have been Meier, Tomas Knotek and Petr Vrana.

Team coach Sylvain Favreau stated coming into the league is an adjustment for any participant, which incorporates every day practices, video periods, a coaching routine and teachers.

But import gamers additionally face different challenges.

“Oftentimes with European gamers, we’re anticipating instantaneous outcomes and we typically neglect that it’s a change for them, not solely a totally different hockey league, a totally different nation, residing with billets,” he stated.

Favreau stated language could also be a problem, though that is not the case with Biasca — he speaks German, Czech, Italian, English and a “little bit” of Spanish and French.

Biasca celebrates a objective in opposition to Austria throughout third-period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship motion in Edmonton on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Biasca stated the most important changes he confronted have been getting used to taking part in on a smaller ice floor and simply how way more bodily the sport is right here.

The physicality of the QMJHL was additionally instantly evident to Vrana, the primary import captain in Mooseheads history. He suited up for the team from 2002-05

Vrana, a native of the Czech Republic, got here to Halifax at 17. He remembers how massive a few of his teammates have been and the way a few of them began combating in the course of the first scrimmage.

“I used to be in shock, you understand, did not know what was occurring,” he stated.

Halifax Mooseheads captain Petr Vrana, proper, checks Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic throughout a sport in Halifax on Dec. 6, 2004. Vrana was the team’s first European captain. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Vrana, whose prolonged skilled profession has taken him to the NHL, KHL and again residence to the Czech Republic, stated he spoke restricted English when he arrived.

“It wasn’t straightforward, however you study,” he stated. “You haven’t any different selection actually.”

He stated he thinks it is simpler for at this time’s import gamers to regulate. He stated he believes the youthful gamers have higher language abilities.

As nicely, with social media and fashionable expertise, it is simpler to remain related with folks from again residence. Vrana stated communication in his day was primarily by way of landlines as cellphones weren’t as widespread as at this time.

Vrana, proven in an Oct. 29, 2008, sport, celebrates scoring in opposition to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Vrana’s prolonged professional profession has included stints in the NHL, KHL and the Czech Republic, the place he performs at this time. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Favreau stated in on the lookout for this 12 months’s captain, coaches and administration regarded to see who have been the pure leaders on the team — senior gamers who take youthful ones underneath their wing on and off the ice to indicate what is predicted of them.

Favreau stated these components, in addition to Biasca’s maturity, social nature and resilience in overcoming accidents, are why he was named team captain.

Biasca stated he is as much as the duty.

“I wish to present by instance on the ice,” he stated. “I wish to be a massive participant this 12 months. I wanna take accountability to win video games and I do know I can do this.”

The team is off to a sizzling begin and was in first place in the Maritimes Division previous to Saturday’s sport.

Swiss hockey stars Timo Meier, left, and Nico Hischier, are additionally former Halifax Mooseheads. (Darren Yamashita/AP Photo/Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Biasca will play a key function in the team’s success this 12 months.

Twenty years in the past, it was Vrana. He helped the team to the league ultimate in 2002-03 and was fourth in team scoring with 83 factors.

Today, Vrana performs for Trinec Ocelari HC in the highest Czech league. Sidelined with a wrist harm, the 37-year-old stated he is nearing the top of his skilled profession, which provides him extra perspective on what it was prefer to be the captain for 120 video games, starting in the 2003-04 season.

“Those are the little issues that make you content and make you suppose, ‘OK, it was value it. You know, it was value it to make the transfer to go there,'” he stated.

Asked what recommendation he’d provide to Biasca, Vrana stated, “Just go on the market and benefit from the sport, get pleasure from your time there as a result of the years fly by.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here