After what looked like a sure trip to play overseas, Hershey Bears unrestricted free agent Jeff Taffe looks to be returning to play in the AHL, quite possibly with the Hershey Bears for a second season. His contract with Linköping in Sweden was terminated as he decided to return to play in North America due to family reasons. Below are statements given on the team website.’
“I talked with Jeff several times in the last week and of course it’s sad that he will not represent the LHC, said Johan Hemlin in a translated article. “To still force hit Jeff would not be a good solution, and he remains in North America. Efforts to find a replacement is in full swing, as we have lost some time. Jeff looked forward to getting to Europe and Linköping, but events in the family means that he does not want to leave North America.”
“I wanted to tell you once again how sorry I am, but at this point I will not be able to come to Sweden for this upcoming season,” said Taffe. “ It was truly a hard decision but for family reasons I feel as if it’s best. I just want to thank you and the team personally for understanding. Your organization is a class act and I wish you and your players nothing but the best in this season and down the road.”
Hershey is already thin down the middle heading into next season already, with centers Mattias Sjogren and Ryan Potulny both signing overseas. Michael Latta, Peter LeBlanc and Mike Carman will all likely back at the center position heading into the 2013-2014 season for the Chocolate and White.