Signing in Sweden - Andy Miele Moving to Malmo

Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey
Phantoms' top scoring forward heading overseas

Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook

While the Lehigh Valley Phantoms season ended on the last day of April, it's a quick turnaround for Flyers' pending unrestricted free agent forward Andy Miele.

He confirmed to Highland Park Hockey Tuesday morning during the Phantoms' locker room clean out day and exit interviews that he is signed with a team overseas in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) in Malmo.

Miele can still re-sign with the Flyers organization before June 25th if there is mutual interest between both sides, but it seems unlikely given the organization's current roster at the pro level with the influx of recent draft picks entering the pro ranks both in the last year or so and incoming rookies for the 2017-18 season.

"That will be a conversation, if they're interested, that we will have," Miele said Tuesday morning after his exit interview with the Phantoms' coaching staff. "If not, we'll be heading overseas pretty soon."

Miele, 29, recently finished his sixth year of hockey at the professional level this past season with the Phantoms. He led all forwards on the team with 57 points (13 goals, 44 assists) in 65 regular season games, also adding a goal and two assists in five AHL playoff games this spring.

In fact, Miele has amassed at least 53 points in each of his six seasons at the AHL level dating back to his rookie year in 2011-12. An elite AHL-level offensive weapon, with 368 career AHL points in 420 games, Miele is now three years removed from his last NHL stint - a seven-game taste with the then-Phoenix Coyotes. For whatever reason, he hasn't been able to get a legitimate shot to live out his dreams of playing in the NHL.

This move overseas isn't uncommon for players like Miele at a bit of a crossroads in their career. In fact, the Phantoms have seen some of their own decide to head overseas like Andrew Gordon after Lehigh Valley's inaugural season in 2014-15 among countless others. It's a part of the business.

"I'm extremely excited. I know my wife is extremely excited about living in Sweden and we did a lot of research, talked to a lot players," Miele explained. "It's a different game over there, probably a little more skilled game and less games which is good for the body and a couple more breaks."

"It's unfortunate that you have to do it before the season ends here, but it's your job and career and it's a decision you have to make it," Miele said, adding, "It's tough to keep out of your head, but when you come to the rink and you had such a great group of guys here it's easy to keep that aside. Once playoffs started and the atmosphere and just the excitement around it was pretty easy to keep aside."

While it has to be tough walking away from a life-long dream, Miele seemed to remain level-headed as he left the PPL Center Tuesday around noon. If his NHL dream doesn't come to fruition down the road, he still has plenty to play for besides his natural love for the game itself.

"Obviously the NHL dream never ends. When you go over there it's obviously a little different, but my whole life I wanted to play in the NHL. If that opportunity is still available, obviously that's my goal. My focus now is to win a championship over there. Obviously NHL teams want winners - if that brings an NHL opportunity after that then that's great. If not, I'll continue to play the game to win championships."


ironpigpen said...

Die schwedischen Steuersaetze sind sehr teuer. Die Vertrage sind nicht Steuerfrei wie in der Schweiz. Doch noch, alles Gute.

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