Jose is ready to return to Switzerland with the Predators against SC Bern

The coach put him on point in the power game right away.

Raeto Raffainer was on the penalty kick that day, and he was impressed. Josie’s shot wasn’t that efficient or difficult at the time – he was a kid competing against the men – but he was cool as he passed the disc through the seams to his teammates.

“Usually when the little kids come in, the hacker flops,” said Ravenir, who is now CEO of SC Bern after playing 14 seasons as a striker in the Swiss top league and holding several executive positions. Team.

“They struggle, because they are nervous the first time with adults. You need to relax.” All is well. Just act naturally. you are fine. “

“Roman was fine and relaxed from the start.”

Ravener laughed.

“We saw, ‘Oh, that kid’s good,'” Ravener said.

Now Bern fans will get a glimpse of how good Josie is.

[RELATED: NHL Global Series coverage]

The Nashville Predators will play SC Bern on show at the PostFinance Arena on Monday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, BSSO) as part of the 2022 NHL Global Series Challenge, before the San Jose Sharks play back-to-back regular season games in Prague on Friday and Saturday as part of the NHL Series World 2022.

Josie won the Norris Cup voted as the NHL’s Best Defender in 2019-20. Captain Predators was the runner-up Cal Makar From the Colorado Avalanche last season, when he had 96 points (23 goals, 73 assists), the most by an NHL defender since Phil Husley scored 97 points (18 goals, 79 assists) for the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93.

Video: Josie and Hedman are 3rd and 2nd on the Top 20 Defenders list

The 32-year-old has more assists (402) and points (542) in the NHL than any other player born in Switzerland.

“It feels like our son is going home,” Ravener said. “Everyone goes home in the summer, but we don’t see them playing, and now Roman is going home and playing for the people. It’s great. People are so excited.”

Josie too.

Josie said: “I feel like I have a special bond with the fans there, because even in Switzerland it doesn’t happen often that someone starts playing in Bern at the age of 4 and then goes to extremes to make to the pros in Berne and then [the NHL]. It’s really cool to see where it all started and to be back out there at 32 and play a game.”

* * * * *

Bern, the capital of Switzerland, lies on a bend in the Aare, a river that flows from a glacier in the Alps. Founded in 1191, the city is now the fourth largest in the country with a population of about 144,000.

It is famous for its fountains, sandstone facades, covered arcades, narrow streets – and the bears that live in the park on display to the public. Bern means bear. The city flag is a black bear and has a long red tongue. The SC Bern logo is a reference to the flag, and the bear’s tongue is shaped like a hockey stick.

Among the museums is The Einstein House. You can see the third-floor apartment in Karamagassi in the heart of the old town, where Albert Einstein lived when he developed the theory of relativity in 1905.

“The old town is beautiful,” said Josie. “You can walk through town in 45 minutes, so it’s not huge. You can walk everywhere. It’s cool.”

Bern is also a city for hockey. The Schlittschuh Club Bern – figure skating club Bern, in English – was founded in 1931, seven years before what is today known as the National League. The team has won 16 National League championships, finishing second after HC Davos (31).

Defenseman Mark Streit was raised in Bern and played 786 NHL games – more than a Swiss-born player – for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins from 2005-18. He played 32 games for SC Bern during the 2012-2013 shutdown.

New Jersey Devils Center Nico Hescher He played three seasons in Bern, including 15 first club games in 2015-16, before becoming Switzerland’s first No. 1 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. He and the Devils defeated SC Bern 3-2 in overtime at an exhibition in front of 17,031 fans at PostFinance. Arena on October 1, 2018, at the 2018 NHL Global Series Challenge.

Over the past 20 years, Ravenir said, SC Bern has averaged 16,000 fans, more than any other team in Europe. About 9,000 fans cheer, sing and wave flags in a stand-up only section called The Wall.

“It’s like a big wall of people,” Josie said. “It’s one of the best arenas I’ve played in.”

Josie grew up less than 3 kilometers from the square in a three-bedroom apartment on the ground floor on Forelstrasse in Ostermundigen, a town on the northeastern edge of Bern.

His father, Peter, was a football player. His mother, Doris, is a swimmer. His older brother, Yannick, is a hockey player. They played football, tennis and hockey. They would drive, bike, or walk to the plaza area, which has both outdoor and indoor snowboards as well as the main rink. Doris will be the only mom who plays with the boys.

Josie said, “My mom always said I wanted to play football, and the coach would say, ‘Why don’t you come play hockey? Come play hockey!'” And I said, ‘Okay, okay. I will be back to practice. Then I fell in love with the game.

When Josie rose through the youth and junior ranks in Bern, he often went to SC Bern matches. Sometimes, he would go with his mom and dad. Other times, he’d sell Ricola candy before the game to get a free ticket. When he was young, he trained with SC Byrne players and had a match next to one.

“It was always a big dream, to play with them at some point,” Josie said.

* * * * *

Jose’s dream came true in 2006-2007, when he played three matches with SC Bern.

The following summer, he trained with SC Bern to prepare for his full professional season. On Wednesdays, the conditioning coach gives players half a day off to play badminton or tennis. Ravener, then 25, invited Josie, who was 17 at the time, to play tennis.

Fatal error.

“I wanted to be a nice guy and play with the little kid, and he didn’t give me any chance,” Ravener said with a laugh. “I saw right away, right up to that match, how he reads it, what kind of hands he has, what kind of techniques he has. I saw how talented he was at everything he really was at the time.”

Video: Top 5 roman joussi Plays from season 2021-22

After Josie had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 35 games for SC Bern in 2007-08, the Predators selected him in the second round (No. 38) of the 2008 NHL Draft.

Josie played against an NHL team for the first time at the PostFinance Arena on September 30, 2008, when the New York Rangers visited Bern for an exhibition.

“It was really cool, just seeing the NHL team,” Josie said. “It was the first time I saw a practice in the National Hockey League and then it was great to play against them. We lost 8-1, but it was still fun.”

Jose scored 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 42 games in 2008-09, then 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 26 games in 2009-10. SC Bern won the National League Championship.

When Josie turned 20, it was time to come to North America.

He had 40 points (six goals, 34 assists) in 69 NHL games for Milwaukee in 2010-11. He reached the NHL in 2011-12, playing most of the season for Nashville and producing 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 52 games.

In 2012-13, Josie returned to SC Bern during the NHL shutdown. He had 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 26 games before the lockdown ended and he returned to Nashville.

It was the last time some of his family, friends and fans saw him play in person, including his paternal grandmother, Lydia. They’ve had to follow him from afar over the past 11 seasons, to celebrate his accomplishments: the Stanley Cup Final in 2017, the Predator captain a few months later, and Norris, the 96-point season.

“We have Nashville shirts in our home games, so it’s like the second shirt,” Ravenir said. “There are a lot of Roman Josie shirts.”

Fans appreciate Josie’s loyalty and modesty.

Josie has played for Switzerland in one Olympic (2014) and seven IIHF World Championships (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018). He and Street bought stakes in SC Bern in 2020. Street is a member of the board of directors; Josie’s father sits on the board in place of Josie while he plays in the National Hockey League.

Together with the predators forward Nino NiedretterJosie is due to speak to the media before training in Berne on Sunday, who has scored 181 goals in the National Hockey League, the most for a Swiss-born player. All Nashville players are expected to participate in a snowboard clinic for local youth players after practice that day. Jose had invited his junior coaches to the game on Monday.

“People and fans, [Josi] “He treats everyone the same,” Ravener said. “I love the way he moves around Bern, how friendly he is and how he takes time for children and people.

“This is it. This is Nino. This is Hescher, Street. They are superstars in the NHL, and when they come back to Switzerland, they are just kids of us, and that makes them so special.”

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