Back during the summer of 1995, a player who collected 500 NHL appearances (371 points) came to Switzerland. A player that had the luck to play, among others, also alongside “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky.
He’s a player born on April 15th, 1966 and perhaps many of you weren’t lucky enough to watch him playing in our league. We’re talking about Todd Elik, Canadian forward who joined Lugano 15 years ago where he spent only one season… but what a season, and what an intense love!
Todd immediately put his class, his talent, his gritty play on display… and he even extended his “middle finger” to the fans, an episode that led to a lot of criticism. After that episode, however, it was true love between the Bianconeri’s fans and Todd Elik. A relationshipt that, however, lasted only one season. One season during which the Canadian forward tallied 77 points in 46 games, playoffs included.
That wasn’t Todd’s only experience in our country though. After his season in Lugano in fact, Elik firstly transferred to Langnau for two seasons, then to Zug again for two seasons and finally moved back to Langnau for a season and few games where he became not only an idol but also a real legend!
So, we reached the 2003-04 season, a season during which Todd Elik played 3 games with the Tigers before transferring to Davos for the rest of the campaign. At the end of which, he left the NLA in order to join Langenthal in the NLB.
Between 2005 and 2009 then, Todd played in the EBEL. Firstly, for HC Innsrbuck coached by the former legend of Bern Alan Haworth and then for Olimpija Lubljana. After that, he came back once again to Switzerland where he finished the 2008-09 season with Langnau… and where he started the 2009-10 season with Thurgau in the NLB, a season then finished once again in the EBEL with HK Jesenice.
At that point Todd Elik was 44 years old, and yet he found the strength to play one more season in Austria with ATSE Graz in the second division, right before hanging up his skates.
We mean, Todd Elik was some sort of globetrotter who was basically always the leading scorer of each team he played for in Europe. A sort of globetrotter that in Switzerland, in the National League, collected 315 appearances enriched with 458 points. We mean, he was a scoring machine. But he was “crazy”, a guy capable of being assessed a total of 1’274 penalty minutes… right, because Todd, who was a fantastic player capable of gifting the fans with moment of magic hockey, was also a player prone to play a tough game!
But he was also a player who left his mark wherever he played, becoming the idol of the fans… especially in Langnau, where his number 12 got retired by the club.
A player that perhaps wouldn’t find much space in modern hockey (especially if Finnish one…), made way too often of an extreme emotional control and discipline. And we think it’s a pity, because players like Todd are seriously able to be pure show. And we’d like ice hockey to remain a game in which emotions count more than anything else.
Anyway, as we said, in 2011 he hung up his skates. And then?
WHERE IS TODD ELIK NOW?
And then, starting from the 2014-15 season, he was the head coach of HC Saint-Imier-Sonceboz, where he stayed basically three seasons. His real chance as head coach, however, came right on the eve of this season.
Right, because last 4th of September 2019, Todd Elik was appointed the new head coach of the Meaford Knights in the GMHL (Greater Metro Junior A Hockey), team for which two Swiss players played between 2013 and 2016… we’re talking about Bryan Henriod and Steve Chollet.
Back to the present, the new team of Todd Elik is not doing particularly well in terms of results. The Knights in fact, earned 17 points in 22 games and are among the worst teams of the league. But it doesn’t really matter. It’s clear that an experienced guy like Todd Elik has a lot to teach the young guys who play for this league that includes mainly teams of the Greater Toronto Area.
Looking at the stats, the Meaford Knights are struggling during power-play opportunities (13.3%) but are rock solid penalty killers (83.6%). Moreover, the team got assessed 296 penalty minutes to date, which means that the Knights are among the teams with the lowest penalty minutes of the league… we mean, for those who knew Todd Elik as a player, this last data is even a surprise 🙂
Even though, it must be said, that if you watched some of Todd Elik’s interviews, it’s safe to say that he always appeared as a person of great values. Values that, we’re sure, he can transmit to his young guys.
All the best for your career, Todd. And perhaps… see you in Switzerland, again 🙂