This is barely relevant, but it’s too awesome not to use.
Image via hfboards.
It’s a safe bet that former Canucks captain and current Modo General Manager Markus Naslund is enjoying a bottle of bubbly in Sweden this evening.
During the summer, the Elitserien (Swedish Elite League or SEL) rather preposterously decided to forbid clubs from signing locked out NHLers to short-term contracts. That decision was over turned today by the Swedish Comeptition Authority, who ruled the Elitserien’s initial decision to be illegal.
As a result, Modo General Manager Markus Naslund is now free to recruit his former Canucks teammates, and other "Modo affiliated NHLers" to come play for a hockey team that has struggled immensely over the past two seasons. You can bet he’s breathing a sigh of relief!
Read on past the jump.
There’s still the possibility that any NHL players signing in the SEL could be delayed by an appeal. Explains Syzmon Szemberg:
Swedish league may appeal the anti-trust ruling, thus delaying any signings by 3 weeks.
— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) September 21, 2012
The spectre of an appeal and a possible delay hasn’t stopped Modo from reaching a deal with St. Louis Blues sniper Alex Steen (barring the resolution of an insurance and "registration" issue). According to Allehande.se, Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom might not be far behind.
Modo has a long history of producing NHL talent and also of thumbing their nose at the SEL when they’ve tried to barr NHLers from playing in the league during NHL lockouts. In 1994, for example, Modo’s former President Tore Erkén called the league’s bluff, and ordered his coach to dress Peter Forsberg in violation of the league’s rule preventing locked out NHLers from playing in the SEL. Other teams soon followed suit and that was that.
The Sedin twins had previously considered sitting out the entire season, and had gone on the record saying that they’d only return to Modo if the entire NHL season was lost to a lockout. They reiterated that stance to Brad Ziemer just yesterday:
The Sedins both think that rule could soon be changed, but the fact remains that Daniel and Henrik aren’t interested in joining Modo until they are convinced the NHL season is lost.
“Yeah, it would be fun to be able to help, but we talked this summer and told Markus we’d have to wait and see,” Henrik said after skating Thursday at UBC. “If it’s going to be a long lockout then we’ll make a decision.”
If the Sedins did decide to join Naslund’s club, they could form a "Seteen triplets" line with Alexandre Steen that would be pretty explosive – especially on the larger ice surface. With Tobias Enstrom manning one power-play point, and potentially Victor Hedman (also from Örnsköldsvik) manning the other, it’s a safe bet that they’d help Modo climb straight out of the cellar. Also, I really need to figure out how to stream SEL games…
As for Edler, oddly enough, he’s never actually played a game in the Elitserien in his career. Before coming to North America he played in the Swedish Third division for three years (Division 1) then played one season with Modo’s junior team before joining the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Could he make his Swedish Elite League debut shortly? If he does one would have to think that Modo would have the inside track on acquiring him.