Published reports out of Switzerland and [url=http://www.jatkoaika.com/smliiga.php?sivu=uutiset&id=4062]Finland[/url] speculate that RW Eero Somervuori will depart Karpat at the end of the SM-liiga season for the Swiss NLA league. According to the newspaper Kaleva, Somervuori has already signed to play for the club team Ambri-Piotta next year.
Somervuori is [url=http://www.sm-liiga.fi/tilasto.asp?otsake1=Kausi+2004%2D2005+runkosarja&sarja=1303&maingroup=0&group=1&parm=6&stats=70] currently third in scoring on Karpat behind Petr Tenkrat and Jussi Jokinen
with 12-22-34 in 48 games. [/url] The Finnish website jatkoaika.com points out Somervuori has struggled recently since being moved off a line with NHL veteran and former Lightning player Michael Nylander but Somervuori still places in the top-20 in scoring in Finland. Karpat is currently 2nd on the SM-liiga table 5 points behind Jokerit for the top spot in the waning days of the season. Their regular season ends on March 9th at Pori Assat before the playoffs begin.
There is no word as of yet whether or not Somervuori's contract has an opt out clause to come back to North America for the Lightning organization should the lockout finally and mercifully lift. Somervuori's decision to take the higher paying job in Finland last summer rather than stay to play and develop with the Springfield Falcons rubbed the Lightning organization the wrong way. The Falcons could definitely use an accomplished veteran scorer like Somervuori but his decision to sign a deal in Switzerland may make the Lightning unwilling to pay the kind of money necessary to lure Somervuori away from it. That is provided, of course, the Lightning still aren't angry at Eero and that Somervuori is even interested in returning to North America. It remains to be seen what interest lies on both ends of the equation.