After spending last season under contract with the Ottawa Senators, goaltender Antoine Bibeau is heading overseas to continue his career with HockeyAllsvenskan’s AIK, per a report from Expressen’s Johan Svensson. Bibeau heads to the second tier of Swedish pro hockey after nine seasons of bouncing between the NHL, AHL and ECHL while under contract with six different NHL teams. The 29-year-old netminder will replace former St. Louis Blues prospect Niklas Lundstrom as the team’s starter as they try and gain promotion to the SHL for the first time since 2013-14.
Bibeau joined the Senators as minor-league depth last season, signing a one-year, two-way deal with the team in free agency. He would go on to post rather uninspiring numbers behind a poor AHL Belleville team, however, recording a 3.51 goals-against average, .894 save percentage and 9-10-2 record in 23 appearances. Injuries kept him in and out of the B-Sens’ lineup down the stretch and prevented him from getting a call-up to Ottawa when injuries took down their tandem of Anton Forsberg and Cam Talbot at the end of 2022-23.
The 6-foot-3, 216-pound goalie began his NHL journey in 2013, drafted 172nd overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs. After a final season in juniors split between the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders and Val-d’Or Foreurs and two full seasons with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, Bibeau made his NHL debut with the Leafs in 2016-17, stopping 51 of 55 shots in two games. However, his numbers with the Marlies dipped in that third season, and Toronto cut him loose by not issuing him a qualifying offer upon the expiration of his entry-level contract.
Before landing with the Senators last year, Bibeau spent time in the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, and Seattle Kraken organizations. His only other NHL action came in 2019-20 with the Avalanche, recording a 3.27 goals-against average and .881 save percentage in two games.
He now gets a chance to gain some stability overseas, especially if he can help turn around the performance of an AIK club that has finished under the .500 mark in four consecutive Allsvenskan campaigns. He’ll be backed up by 21-year-old Norwegian Tobias Normann, who joins AIK after two exceptional seasons in Norway’s top league.