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‘Roughtly Translated’: Niklas Kronwall gives lengthy interview to Expressen

Niklas Kronwall spoke with Expressen's Jonatan Lindquist in a very lengthy interview, and here's a rough translation thereof:

Niklas Kronwall: "Then there will only be one team"

Djurgardens IF is the only team Niklas Kronwall would play for in Sweden.

But the star defenseman doesn't plan on finishing there--the plan is to continue in the NHL until his career is over.

"It's my hope that I can keep a decent level straight through and then know, 'Enough is enough,'" says Kronwall.

It's almost past 10:00, but Niklas Kronwall is already sitting and eating lunch in the best construction work style. Possibly with the small difference is that probably quite a few construction workers have tuna and quinoa salad in a lunch box.

Detroit's first defenseman is as usual home in Stockholm over the summer. With the exception of a few weeks with his mother in Ystad, this is how Kronwall spends his summer, hard training with other NHL stars such as Gabriel Landeskog, Johnny Oduya and Markus Kruger during physical training in Andreas Ohgren's gym.

"It's actually incredibly nice to be home, even though the weather could have been a little better," says Kronwall.

"One way to give back"

One of the few commitments during this summer is his own charity game in Jarfalla where he brings NHL stars Johnny Oduya, Patrik Nemeth, Nicklas Grossmann, Oliver Kylington, William Nylander, Rickard Rackell, Marcus Kruger, Patric Hornqvist, Jacob Josefsson, Carl Hagelin, Alexander Wennberg and Joakim Nordstrom.

The revenues from the game and various lotteries surrounding it go to Jarfalla HC.

"It's a way for me to give back to the team where it all started. I have Jarfalla HC to thank very much for being where I am today. This game is one of the highlights of every summer," he says.

The roots of Stockholm are still strong with Kronwall. But right now there are no plans to play in Djugardens IF again (Kronwall has a contract with Detroit until the 2018-19 season).

"Not as of yet. Hopefully I have a few years left here. It's clear that a lot can happen, but I haven't thought that far. But if it's so that it becomes so, then it's just a team that could be."

"The timing was damn hard"

"It's my hope that I can keep going at a decent level straight through and know when "enough is enough." But a lot can happen.

This past year's season ended earlier than Kronwall wanted. Detroit had a good regular season, but were against the prospective final team Tampa Bay in the first round and lost in seven games.

"It felt like we just as easily could have won the series. I may be one-eye, but it felt incredibly tight. The season as a whole was a step forward, our younger guys took another leap."

Kronwall himself missed the seventh and deciding game because in game six he hit Tampa forward Nikita Kucherov. Despite the Kron Wall's hit lust, it was the first time in his career that he was suspended.

"Due to the years gone by, perhaps it was only a matter of time. But the toughest part was when it came, the timing was damn hard if I may say so."

From a purely personal perspective, he gives a bit of a mixed bag to his season.

"It was neither really good or really bad. Fairly stable throughout."

Were there any Swedes who impressed you extra this past season?

"Victor Hedman received the Gold Puck award and deserved it. It's rare to see someone be so dominant on both sides of the ice. It's true for Erik Karlsson then. It's been *#$%@& awesome to follow his development. Then there was Oliver Ekman-Larsson who had a cruelly good season despite the team doing a little worse. It's not often that a defenseman wins the points title and the fact that he scored 23 goals is unreal.

"I think this new generation is incredibly fun to follow. 'Foppa' (Fillip Forsberg) had a cruel season in Nashville, you have (Jonas) Brodin in Minnesota. It looks good in the long term for Swedish hockey.

"Clearly it's a big responsibility"

You went on about it. What do you say about the Swedish defense going on right now?

"I think it all goes back to what happened before. For Swedes, overall, I believe we have an incredibly good reputation here, and that started right on the back side with (Borje) Salming and Lidas (Nicklas Lidstrom). After that, it just rolled along."

"Since the development curve began, starting earlier and developing players on technical and business terms...When a player is 18, today they're ready, not only physically but also mentally, to take the leap and become professionals. They have a complete picture of diet, sleep and exercise as was had 15 years ago."

The professionalism of Kronwall came from self-learning as Hall of Fame legends Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman operated when he came over to Detroit twelve years ago.

"There was a general view, that's counterproductive at home, and it was quite a big difference. When you trained and one trained, it wasn't just quantity, but quality. Everyone went to the gym after the game, there was no one who jumped in the shower. The same stretching, sleeping and such. Professionalism all around was different. Many can be really good players, but if you don't have the whole picture you won't reach your full potential."

Now it's Kronwall, with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, who carry the tradition.

"Of course it's a responsibility, and we are the three trying to work on it every day. But I also think that such a thing comes naturally. When we came over we looked at Lidas, Yzerman and so on, and we were taught how it works. I hope that the younger ones look at how we treat the fans, media, teammates and coaches."

"It's probably the same everywhere, but it's right with the Red Wings, it's a privilege to put on the jersey, and with that comes certain responsibilities."

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Comments

Temo's avatar

“Hit lust”  LOL

Posted by Temo from La Capital, Míchígán on 07/31/15 at 11:55 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.