Former Tiger wing Brett Sterling signed a one-year contract with Red Bull Salzburg of the Austria-based Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, which includes teams in the Czech Republic, Hungary, northern Italy, and Slovenia.
Sterling most recently played one season with Sweden’s HV71 (43 games, 11 goals, 9 assists) before being traded to Örebro and then Kvalserien (combined 10 games, five points, two goals) for that league’s playoffs.
Sterling, a former Hobey Baker finalist, made 30 NHL appearances (Thrashers, Penguins and Blues).
The Los Angeles native has extensive amateur and professional experience. He won the world junior championships with both the U.S. U-18 and U-20 teams (2002 and 2004) and went on to pick up several personal awards in the American Hockey League (AHL), including 2006-07 Rookie of the Year. He won the AHL championship, the Calder Cup, with the Chicago Wolves the following season.
He went on to record 459 points in 492 AHL games before heading to Europe last season. Sterling is excited about the prospect of the Champions Hockey League this summer, which pairs the various league champions, including when the Red Bulls play HV71 in pool play.
“It is kind of funny that coming to EC Red Bull Salzburg means I get to play against my former team,” he said in a press release. “It’s always fun to play versus friends and ex-teammates. They have a great team and it should make for very exciting hockey games. More importantly I cannot wait to arrive in Salzburg and for the season to start. Last year with HV71 we played versus Vienna and I found out how the EBEL is great hockey with good atmospheres. After talking with several current and past EBEL players, they had nothing but great things to say about all aspects of the league. I look for forward to energetic games and passionate rivalries.”