It appears Matt Duchene’s time in Sweden playing for Frolunda is at an end.
Duchene scored the game-winning goal for Frolunda in a 3-1 win over Linkopings in Swedish Elite League action and Uffe Bodin of HockeySverige.se reports he will be leaving the team to play in Switzerland.
Frolunda’s website quotes Duchene after today’s game, and beware of the Google translation ahead.
“A lovely finish. Now I’ll go somewhere else and play, but it will be tough to top the Gothenburg. Now we have a Christmas party, it will be nice.”
Gothenburg, of course, is the city where Frolunda plays. Good to hear about the Christmas party though, stay away from the lutefisk.
While Duchene may have designs on playing in the Swiss National League, there’s always the chance the NHL and NHLPA can get things figured out and he can come right back to North America. We’ll see about that.
(Photo: Uffe Bodin via Twitter)
Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg is changing things up a bit while abroad during the lockout.
While he had been playing for Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League, according to reporter Andrey Osadchenko, he’ll be headed to Russia and the KHL next. There he’ll team up with Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin as well as former NHL’ers Nikolay Zherdev and Sandis Ozolinsh with Atlant Moscow.
In ten games with Frolunda, Stalberg had six goals and five assists. By joining Atlant, they’ll be hoping he can spark their offense as well as they’ve struggled so far this season.
St. Louis Blues forward Alex Steen has gone where no other NHLer has during the lockout — the Swedish Elite League.
The 28-year-0ld Swede has joined powerhouse club Modo, becoming the first NHLer to play in the SEL after the league reversed its earlier decision prohibiting locked out players.
The SEL website reported the news, confirming that Steen is eligible to play in Tuesday’s contest against Brynas.
Here’s more, from Matias Strozyk of Jatkoaika and Elite Prospects:
The move represents a homecoming of sorts as Steen played for Modo during the 2004-05 lockout year with a slew of NHL talent, including Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Peter Forsberg and the current Modo GM, Markus Naslund.
It’s not surprising that Steen’s pushed to get back into action. He missed 39 games last year with a concussion — though he did manage to rack up 28 points in the 43 games he played — and is looking to make good on the four-year, $13.45 million deal he signed with St. Louis in 2010.
Update: Steen is in the lineup for Modo against Brynas IF, wearing No. 20.
If you’re a locked out NHL player and you’re eyeing the KHL as a possible backup plan to play hockey, you may be surprised to find out you don’t meet their criteria.
The Russian pro league announced today they’ve got a set of qualifications to help thin the possible herd of incoming foreign players. While KHL teams can claim up to three players, said players’ resumes need to have a few curious things on it (link in Russian, Yahoo!’s Dmitry Chesnokov clears some things up):
— 150 NHL games played over the last three seasons
— Must have previous KHL experience
— A national team member in one of the last two World Championships, World Junior Championships, or Olympic teams
— A Stanley Cup winner or finalist or an NHL award winner of another kind
To add to this, the KHL will only pay up to 65 percent of an NHL player’s contract so even if you want to go get paid, you’re not going to get it all. On the upside for the Russian team, that salary doesn’t count against their league’s cap.
With the Swedish league not allowing locked out players in (or will they?) and the KHL having these restrictions, suddenly Finland and Switzerland are looking a bit better for lockout hideaways.
The Vancouver Canucks, nor the NHL, won’t have Samuel Pahlsson to kick around next season.
The longtime NHL veteran is headed home to play in Sweden after signing a contract with his former team in the Swedish Elite League (link in Swedish), MODO.
Pahlsson was a deadline acquisition for the Canucks in a deal with Columbus. Pahlsson had spent the previous two-and-a-half seasons with the Jackets before going to Vancouver. Before that, he was a Stanley Cup winner in 2007 with Anaheim and also spent time briefly with Chicago and Boston. Now after 11 seasons he’s returning to Sweden where he says he’s happy to be back home.
Pahlsson’s defensive play up front and ability to win faceoffs will be missed in the NHL, although not apparently too much by Canucks fans.