Hockey Canada Network |
News
Metropolit Plays Name That Logo
FROM FAST FOOD TO SLOW MAIL, HIS NEW JERSEY IS COVERED IN MORE THAN A DOZEN DECALS
Dave Stubbs
|
GN.025.10
|
September 14, 2010
|
|

Glen Metropolit figures he weighed about 190 pounds last season, soaking wet, when he played for the Canadiens.

Today, currently the leading scorer in Switzerland's National League A as a centreman for EV Zug, he guesses he tips the scales at about 215.

The weight gain would be 25 pounds of corporate logos he wears from his helmet to his shins.

"I'd say I could name you about seven," Metropolit said brightly yesterday from his lakefront condo in Zug, a postcard-pretty town of roughly 25,000 where he's scored four goals and added two assists only two games into his post-NHL career.

So Metro rattled off a throat lozenge, a bank and a luxury carmaker, stopping four sponsors short of his seven. He'd still have had about a dozen beyond that to complete the inventory that makes him look like a stock car on skates.

The logo list would include fast food, electronics, petroleum, energy management, Switzerland's national post office, a casino, a spice company, an appliance manufacturer, furniture maker, transportation service and, on the shaft of his stick, a company that packages fresh fruit nationwide, often sending a box of apples and bananas into the EV Zug dressing room.

No matter the kaleidoscopic jersey, Metropolit is having a blast in Switzerland on his 16th professional team, having signed on for two years.

He's earning probably half the face value of last season's $1-million Canadiens salary, but consider: not a euro of his pay is going into escrow, two of his three children are enrolled without cost in a prestigious English-language international school, he and his wife, Michlyn, are driving new BMWs provided for free, parking them in the driveway of a comfortable rent-free condo, and he pays no taxes.

"What a decision I made, coming here. I'm glad I didn't stick around in North America and wait," Metropolit said. "It's the best choice I've probably made in my life.

"It's caught me by surprise, what guys are signing for over there," he added, watching from afar as the NHL's dwindling pool of free agents agrees to salary-cap-squeezed contracts.

There is pressure to win in the 12-team Swiss league, Metropolit says. In order, it's the coach, the imports and finally the nationals who will take the heat if a team under-performs.

But stress is relative, the 36-year-old veteran says.

"Stress is playing four or five minutes a night -and having to do something before the trade deadline," Metropolit said without bitterness of his late-season days in Montreal.

Not figuring in the Canadiens plans for 2010-11, he briefly contemplated NHL free agency before deciding upon a return to Europe. Metropolit had played 97 games with Finland's Jokerit Helsinki from 2003-05, then was MVP and league champion with Switzerland's Lugano in 2005-06, scoring 24 goals and adding 39 assists in 63 games.

With EV Zug, Metropolit is skating for Canadian coach Doug Shedden, whom he had gotten to know in the NHL's minor leagues and professional roller-hockey, and with teammates Josh Holden, a former fellow Team Canada forward, and one-time Canadien Paul DiPietro.

Already, Metro is wearing the hues of his success in jersey 50, a number he adopted as a gag decades ago in Toronto ball hockey and has stuck with in Europe.

A team's leading scorer in the Swiss League pulls on a distinctively logo'd sweater and a gold helmet that's painted with a motif of fire, a charity initiative of a sponsor; he wears it until someone else takes the scoring lead, not unlike the yellow jersey in cycling's Tour de France.

"It's a target," Metropolit said, laughing. "Believe me, that helmet -the flame bucket -makes you stand out. But you have fun with it, even if you just shake your head at some of the things they do in Europe."

Teammates already are kidding Metro that he's on pace for 100 goals this 50-game season.

"Sure, whatever," he said, chuckling. "Right now, it's all about winning. I'd like to win another championship and I think we have the group here to do it. I'm just going to have fun, and if I play, I can make things happen."

The longest road trip is a three-hour bus ride to Geneva.

"You're not worried about turbulence," Metro jokes. "Instead, you're looking out the windows over the mountains. I'm home every night and I get to bring the kids to school every day."

The media attention is, well, somewhat less than it was in Montreal. The few reporters wait for the players post-game outside the dressing room, not venturing inside.

There's been little culture shock, with a superb local mall featuring the requisite McDonald's and a Starbucks, and just a few inconveniences -there's a waiting period to get a cellphone; the NHL and most English programming is an unknown to Swiss television; and every word on the family's oven is in German.

"We're Googling them to find the English," Metro said, admitting that some meals haven't quite worked out. "But even that's been fun."

Children Alivia, 8, Max, 6, and Esther, 4, are treating this as a grand adventure. They're seeing much more of their father than they did in Montreal, the final stop on his seven-team, eight-season NHL career.

Even as Metropolit looks forward, he casts a fond eye back at his time in this city, especially to the fans who loved him for his blue-collar game and a work ethic that was beyond reproach.

"Please tell the fans I wish I were still part of it," he said. "I'll miss them, and I hope they take it easy on the new guys, show them a little patience."

And then Metropolit laughed once more, considering his nomadic hockey life that has now brought him to the scoring lead in a funky jersey in a nation where, in just two games, he's a major star.

"Have you ever noticed," he said, "that no matter the country, the stickman in the IKEA instruction manual holds a wrench as big as his body?"


For more information:

André Brin
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557
abrin@hockeycanada.ca

Francis Dupont
Manager, Media Relations/Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4564
fdupont@hockeycanada.ca

Jason LaRose
Manager, Content Services
Hockey Canada
403-777-4553
jlarose@hockeycanada.ca

Kristen Lipscombe
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427
klipscombe@hockeycanada.ca

Keegan Goodrich
Coordinator, Media
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
kgoodrich@hockeycanada.ca

facebook.com/hockeycanada

twitter.com/hockeycanada

youtube.com/hockeycanadavideos

Videos
Photos
2014 WU18C: CAN 3 - SUI 2
Apr 24, 2014
Konecny’s late goal sends Canada to the semifinals in Lappeenranta.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 6 - FRA 3
Apr 24, 2014
A trio of Lady Wolves scores two goals each to lead Sudbury over Fraser Valley.
2014 Esso Cup: SUD 3 - EDM 2
Apr 23, 2014
A pair of power play goals in the second led Sudbury to its third win.
2014 Esso Cup: FRA 7 – MON 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Phantom fired 50 shots on net in picking up its first win of the Esso Cup.
2014 TELUS Cup: HAL 3 - CHA 7
Apr 23, 2014
Eight players had multi-point games to lead Châteauguay to its first win.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 4 - MJ 2
Apr 23, 2014
Marco Bozzo’s hat trick helped the Young Nationals to another win.
2014 Esso Cup: STC 3 - WEY 2
Apr 23, 2014
The Sabres scored three in the first and hung on to defeat the Gold Wings.
2014 TELUS Cup: OKA 1 - PA 1
Apr 23, 2014
Kjargaard and Bryshun traded goals in yet another tie game.
2014 TELUS Cup: MJ 3 - OKA 3
Apr 22, 2014
Another tie for both the Generals and Rockets, this time a 3-3 game.
2014 Esso Cup: WEY 3 - FRA 2
Apr 22, 2014
Caitlin Dempsey’st wo goals paced Weyburn past Fraser Valley.
2014 Esso Cup STC 2 – SUD 1
Apr 22, 2014
A shorthanded goal from Alexa Vasko late in the second was the difference.
2014 TELUS Cup: TOR 3 - HFX 0
Apr 22, 2014
Longo a marqué deux fois pour procurer un premier gain aux Young Nationals.
Schedule
Close
Credit  
Close
Photo Credit: