Nelson’s Geoff Kinrade capped off a hockey season to remember last week when his Bern club captured the Swiss-A League championship before 16,000 faithful fans.
Bern defeated Fribourg-Gotteron 5-1 on Wednesday to capture the Swiss-A League post season title.
It’s the second major hockey title in the last four months for the former Nelson Minor Hockey standout and Nelson Junior Leafs defenceman. Kinrade was a member of Team Canada over the Christmas holidays and helped that club capture the Spengler Cup.
After winning the Calder Cup with Binghampton Senators in 2011, Kinrade made the decision to pack his bags and head across the Atlantic.
Kinrade started the 2011-12 season in the Czech League with Plzen HC where he played 34 games.
Bern called Kinrade up at the end of last season to help with injuries during the playoffs. When the season started back in September he stuck with Bern in a season that saw the team add many locked-out NHL players like John Tavares.
“Bern needed another defenceman for playoffs due to injuries,” Kinrade told the Star earlier this year of his move to the well-respected Swiss-A League. “Bern contacted Ottawa and other scouts to get some reviews on me and I guess they liked what they heard. They made me an offer and contacted my Czech team’s player manager Milan Tichy and asked if they would release me. Knowing it was a great opportunity for me, they released my rights with no problems. I owe them a lot for what they did.”
Kinrade grew up in the Nelson Minor Hockey system and led the Nelson Junior Leafs in scoring as a 16-year-old rookie. After two seasons with the Leafs, Kinrade made the jump to Junior A where he played two seasons with the BCHL’s Cowichan Valley Capitals. The speedy blueliner then spent four seasons of NCAA college hockey with Michigan Tech.
Upon graduating from college, Kinrade signed on with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL and played his first (and at this point only) NHL game late in the 2008-09 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
Kinrade signed with the Ottawa Senators for the 2009-10 season, attended their training camp and was assigned to the Binghampton farm team.