Grand Rapids Griffins Central Logo

The System
Message Board
Contact Us
Himelfarb Jets to Europe
Veteran Center Signs on in Switzerland...
By Jason Kasiorek

In the wake of a dispointing season by the Griffins, restricted free agent forward Eric Himelfarb became the second player to head to Europe yesterday when he signed a contract for next season with HC Lausanne of the Swiss National League. Despite being called one of the most improved players on the team this season by GM Bob McNamara and Coach Greg Ireland, it was unlikely that the parent Wings would have made him a qualifying offer to return.

The speedy Himelfarb was not able to parlay his NHL calibre skating and slick puckhandling into consistent production at the AHL level finishing with 46 goals and 60 assists for 106 points in 214 regular season games. After being signed as a tryout at the end of the 2003-04 season, Eric showed off his talent by scoring at a point per game pace the last 7 games of the season and then adding three assists in a four game playoff series. He followed that up by notching 19 goals and 43 points as a rookie, before injuries derailed his development.

Himelfarb follows backup netminder Stefan Liv who reportedly signed a three year deal to return to his former club in Sweden. After an up and down first AHL season, Liv was not happy with the prospect of playing only 20 games next season behind starter Jimmy Howard who is expected to see the majority of the action. After failing to secure a one-way contract to play in Detroit, the Polish born netminder jumped at the chance to return to the scene of some of his biggest successes.