Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Lisa Brown on 07/31/11 at 10:20 PM ET
The Edmonton Oilers have definitely tapped into the Swedish hockey market with exciting players such as Linus Omark, Magnus Pääjärvi, Anton Lander and 2011 NHL Entry draft selection Oscar Kelfbom. Fans of the Swedish elite league are happy to see their countrymen move on to pursue their dreams, but they are of course sad to see them leave their local rinks.
On July 30th, Anton Lander’s Swedish Elite league team Timrå held a farewell match to send off their latest two exports in Lander and Vancouver Canuck’s prospect defenceman Sebastian Erixon. The same game featured returning players such as Magnus Pääjärvi and Henrik Zetterberg.
I was unable to find any North American coverage for this game, but thankfully have a Swedish speaking friend in Finland, Yngve Elverhøi who also happens to be an Oilers fan. Yngve is one of the greatest resources a hockey fan can have in the summer; Yngve can help not only with the direct translation of hockey stories, but can also explain any cultural difference questions one may have.
These farewell games are not uncommon Yngve tells me, “Testimonial games are a part of life in numerous team sports. Soccer players have their testimonial game if they’ve played 10 seasons with one team (which isn’t as frequent any more). I guess Timrå combined the need to ease the players into match shape with saying thank you to two of their better players - even if their service records do not include a lot of seasons for the club.”
So, for you summer hockey reading enjoyment I present to you words from the Timrå coach on two of his most recent exports
It is soon time to bid farewell to Timrå‘s latest two NHL exports, but “Perra” Johnsson does not intend to give Anton Lander or Sebastian Erixon anything easy when they meet today. “You never want to lose, even if you’re just playing ludo (board game, tr.)” says the Timrå coach.
Johnsson was in Karlstad yesterday and travels to Timrå Saturday. He looks forward to the farewell game. “These guys have done a lot for Timrå in a short time and maybe they can contribute even more someday” he says and continues: “Hopefully it will be a nice and calm yet entertaining hockey game to watch.”
HYNNING BACK AS COACH
20 year-old Anton Lander hopes that today’s game will be a memory to take with him when he moves across the Atlantic.
“We don’t want to lose either. This means a lot to me and Sebbe (Sebastian Erixon) and it will be a memorable night” he says.
The coach for Team Lander/Erixon is another familiar face - Fredrik Hynning, who recently joined Skellefteå - and who hasn’t been on the ice since the last Eliteserie-match against Djurgården.
“Since I’ve recently joined a new team I could not risk skating. But it is nice to come here and take part for their sake” says Hynning.
Nashville goaltender Anders Lindbäck had looked forward to coming back to Timrå and minding the net, but left Friday because of a knee problem. Instead, Timrå will loan out some of their goalies.
BELIEVES IN HIS STUDENTS
“Perra” Johnsson thinks that the current Timrå squad looks better than last year’s squad. “At this point it seems we’ll be skating a lot this winter.
The guys really look raring to go. But we must keep in mind that we had a few guys that had surgery last summer”. The Värmland native thinks both Lander and Erixon have good chances of making the team with their respective NHL clubs - Edmonton Oilers for Lander and Vancouver Canucks for Erixon.
“Why not? The teams have acquired them for a reason, because they are interested” says Johnsson. “They are two different kids; Lander is very mature for his age, whereas Sebbe is more laid back, but in a very good way. I think they both know that if things are difficult they should just keep going at it and prove themselves.”
Both Erixon and Lander will have to prove themselves to their respective teams during training camp, but both are eager to take this step closer to their NHL dreams.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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