If you’ve ever wondered what happens to players when they disappear from the well-known professional hockey leagues in North America, and don’t turn up on any European rosters, the answer may be the ACH. Allan Cup Hockey, a senior A men’s league in Ontario, has a long history of bringing in ex-NHL stars to play in front of smaller, but still jubilant crowds across the province. The league’s season opener was held last Saturday, and the games continue this weekend.
This year, there will be some very familiar faces including at least one player fresh off a fairly successful NHL career. Chris Stewart, who played 54 games in the NHL last season split between the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames, has signed with the Hamilton Steelhawks for the upcoming ACH season, which runs through the middle of February. Stewart was a first round pick back in 2006, and played 652 games in the NHL. He’s also only 30 years old, and was once a dominant power forward in the league, that is now seemingly on his way out of professional hockey.