There once was a time that the Canucks have two sets of brothers on their team: those Sedins guys and the Sweatt brothers, Lee and Bill. Lee went undrafted and after some stints in the KHL and Austria league he signed on with the Canucks in the spring of 2010. A few months later brother Bill - selected 37th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2007 Entry Draft which I note mainly because P.K. Subban was selected six spots later and the entire league dodged a bullet there since the last thing the Hawks need are more defensemen - would sign on with the Canucks as well. Both brothers ended up playing under Claude Noel for the Manitoba Moose the next season, the first time a pair of brothers played for now defunct AHL franchise. Lee would suit up for the Canucks three times that year, score one goal and then ended up in Ottawa for about a week before abruptly retiring.
Bill, however, hung in there. He played for the 71 games for the Chicago Wolves in 2011-2012 (16G, 18A) before his first call-up to the Canucks in late 2011 as a replacement for Victor Oreskovich. He's appear in two games before being sent back to the Wolves. This past year was much the same: 66 games played for the Wolves (15G, 21A) before being recalled by the Canucks - along with Nicklas Jensen - in late March of this year. He'd appear in one game - a losing effort to the San Jose Sharks, imagine that! - before being sent back to Chicago.
An RFA heading into this summer, it was tough to see how Sweatt would amount to anything more than a pure depth option, even for a club with the its door wide open for younger players next season. So it's not surprising that - glove tap Cam Davie on the Twitter - the speedy winger rejected his qualifying offer and is taking his talents overseas to Brynäs IF of the SHL (formerly the SEL, or Elitserien, which as a Vancouver fan you know quite well by now). Hope you enjoyed yesterday's horribly translated Swedish because he comes some more:
It feels very good to Bill Sweatt is now ready for us in the coming season, says Brynäsgatan Sports Director Mike Sundlöv. We have had a good handle on Bill through various contacts we have there, and Anton Rodin has played with him for two years so we know what type of player he is and what strengths he has. He has an amazing skating which we hope he will be able to utilize even more on a larger rink.
Bill Sweatt (183/81) was born in 1988 and comes from Elburn, IL, USA. He played college hockey in the U.S. and as a junior, he was involved in many national internationals, both in the United States U17, J18 and J20-law. Season 05/06, he took gold in the JVM for J18, and where he was also named the tournament's best forward. The season after he was involved and took bronze in the JVM for J20. He was a top junior, and 2007, he was drafted by the Chicago Black Hawkes in the second round, as the 38th player. After college, season 10/11, he went to the AHL, and the Manitoba Moose where he played one season. The past two seasons, he has continued to play in the AHL, but then the Chicago Wolves with Anton Rodin.
Bill Sweatt is a player with good attitude and character whose main strength is his skating. He's the right age, and just at the beginning of his career, he wants something more, and he wants to continue to develop.
- Bill is a very skilled skaters, and more of a power player than a playmaker, says Inge Hammarstrom, Brynäsgatan recruitment group. He brings a lot of speed to the game, and he has a great capacity for work. He's a really good guy with a good character, and who is well liked by his teammates for his attitude and work capability. Bill was about to break into the Vancouver several times, and have always been on the brink, but Vancouver has had such a good team the last few years, so he has not really succeeded. I am sure he will do really well on a big rink, he's a very good skater.
Interesting to see Rodin's name dropped as he's played in the Brynäs organization for four seasons before last year's 36 pt campaign with the Wolves. He's set to join Sweatt in Brynäs this upcoming season as well.
For those disturbed by this crushing blow to the shared genetic pool of the franchise, there's always the outside chance the Westerholms - remember them? - will pan out in the not too distant future. Both are currently playing with the BIK Karlskoga of the HockeyAllsvenskan which, if you were so curious, is where Justin Pogge has been hiding.
Best of luck Bill. Happy Tuesday.