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‘Roughly Translated’: Big E on Big E

I'm not swimming in bandwidth up here in the U.P., so this one comes to you via RedWingsFeed and Expressen's Alexander Nilsson: Jonathan Ericsson spoke with Norrkkoping's Tidningar's Christer Gustafson for a profile piece. Here's a rough translation of Gustafson's article:

"Jonte" may remain in Detroit

Ice Hockey. Norrkoping. The future of Jonathan Ericsson--it might well be in Detroit after his career. "We've become accustomed to the lifestyle," says the NHL pro from Norrkoping.

It's just like always in the summer, chilly, and although it wasn't raining at the moment it may as well have hung in the air. Jonathan Ericsson has just completed a session with physio Martin Janzon when he comes to Knappingsborg for a light lunch.

The man in the dark cap is in better shape than ever, when after the first time in several years he can properly train during the break at home in Sweden.

"The last few years I've always been injured," says "Jonte," and he tucks into his chicken and bacon salad.

This spring's broken big toe (which was why he turned down the World Championship) is healed, but problems with the left hip remain, however. But it's more under control now. An injury he learned about a long time ago and has had to deal with for a long time.

"It's like osteoarthritis, the hip ball is round but a little uneven. Last season, I was having a little difficulty even walking after games. But now we're using, among other things, a rehab that our fitness coach found that works. I still have bad days, but it's on a more even level. AN operation takes four months to recover from so I'd prefer to not have one," says Jonathan.

He's been in Sweden since before Midsummer, and he remains for more than three weeks. The season in the NHL ended earlier than he and his team hoped for, but there was something positive with it, which was in this case that his family, with his wife Evelina and his daughter Liv, almost two years old, had time to sort out a move in Detroit. In the same area but to another house on the same street.

"We get better and better over there. In the future we may be there; we've talked about it and started the process of acquiring U.S. citizenship to stay over there if we want to. It will take ten months and we started last year, but there's a lot of paper to fill in," says "Jonte" about the possibility of having dual citizenship.

Why did you start to think about it?

"We've become accustomed to the lifestyle. There's good access to everything and there are good schools, which is important because LIv will have time to start school before my contract is finished. Evelina also thrives better now. She's had to sacrifice a lot of time, I don't think I realized before what sacrifices she had to make. I've become wiser over the years and am very happy to have her."

Before the future is here, there's the present. Prior to this past season "Jonte" signed a new contract for six years. Now five remain. Of course he knows he can't be traded to another team for the next two seasons. The final three he can, under certain conditions.

You're in your ninth season now, did you think it would be so when you went over to the U.S.?

"I don't know what I was thinking, but if someone had told me that I would play in the league as long as I have, I would have been happy with it. When I went over, I hoped most probably to play in the NHL anyway. Now I'd love to win the Stanley Cup again. I don't feel completely involved in the former that I won," says "Jonte" about the coveted trophy which Detroit took home in 2008 when Jonathan Ericsson wasn't in the team but in the stands.

This season the team went directly into the first round against the Tampa Bay Lightning (lost 4-3 in games), who later went to the finals against the final masters in Chicago.

A heavy loss

"It felt good when the season started and we started very strongly. In the playoffs, I felt that we had a good chance. Over the seven games we were better than them (Tampa Bay), so therefore it was very hard that we went out. Looking at the games, it was we who had the game. I'm still a little disappointed, actually.

How did you play in all the games?

"That's what I look back at the most. I started with injuries and was worried that the body would work. But it went well, and I think I'd never be satisfied. But I'm playing against the opponents' top lies and shut them down. It's a fun challenge and I think I'm still developing. Experience is very important."

When he comes back after the summer, it's a somewhat new Detroit that he'll come to. On the coaching side, the legendary Mike Babcock has left (for Toronto) and Jeff Blashill takes over. He comes from the farm team Grand Rapids.

"He was an assistant with us three years ago. He's well-liked by the young players, but we'll see how he looks at me. Babcock and I have not always been [best friends], but it's he who decides and sometimes you listen and let it go out the other ear. He's hard on just younger players, which sometimes lowers self-confidence a little," says "Jonte."

"But he actually called me when it became clear that he was going to Toronto and thanked me for all these years. It was a good call. 'Don't feel sorry for yourself when we win next year,' I said to him, ha ha. And he said he hoped we'd win."

Is it still worth all the hard work given the injuries, the hip for example?

"Sometimes I don't know. I still want to be active when my career is over. Being with my children if we have more than Liv, then. There is a short time that we work and can earn good to indulge in, I think more and more of that. We have one player, Erik Cole, who got a concussion too much. He's forbidden to play on and is 36 years old. He tried everything to still come back, which I probably would not have done."

Do you expect that after these five years of the contract, the career will end?

"That's the idea now. As it felt before last season with the hip even I couldn't do it."

After that?

"I don't know, but I feel it would be fun to be a coach. But I also know that if I would I'd be away so much from the family once I quit. But it's something I want to hold onto."

It doesn't sound like your career will end with Vita Hasten?

"I would both like it and not. I don't know how much I'll have left in my body when the contract ends. We'll see, but it's not only to come home and dominate there just because I've played in the NHL. How much of a difference there is to come home and go around everyone nad score 40 goals?" responds Jonathan Ericsson, who then rises from the table for a moment of shooting at the stream.

Norrkoping's only NHL star still lives in the moment and is looking forward to his ninth season in the world's best league.

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alwaysaurie's avatar

(I hope I post before the anti-Ericsson comments.)

Thanks, George.

Glad to hear that he able to work out, I’m looking forward to next season and he’s one of the main reasons.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 08/04/15 at 11:24 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Babcock and I have not always been [best friends], but it’s he who decides and sometimes you listen and let it go out the other ear. He’s hard on just younger players, which sometimes lowers self-confidence a little,” says “Jonte.”

Very interesting for me!

And Jonte get the hip fixed sooner than later.  4 months is a long time for recovery but you have a life after hockey.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/04/15 at 11:41 AM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Forgot!!  Have a Damn Great Vacation. Those batteries need recharging once in a while.

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 08/04/15 at 11:50 AM ET

PierreC's avatar

..“Babcock and I have not always been [best friends], but it’s he who decides and sometimes you listen and let it go out the other ear. He’s hard on just younger players, which sometimes lowers self-confidence a little,” says “Jonte.”

Big E can thank Babcock for all the icetime he’s received over the years, ice time he wasn’t worth of….

Posted by PierreC from Montreal, Canada on 08/04/15 at 12:11 PM ET

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