The Swedish Elitserien team Frolunda HC could possibly receive a big infusion of Swedish NHL talent in the face of the lockout.
The Swedish-language rumor mill is churning, bringing up the possibility that these four players could join Frolunda:
- Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)
- Loui Eriksson (Dallas Stars)
- Viktor Stalberg (Chicago Blackhawks)
- Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers)
During the last lockout in 2004-05, Frolunda celebrated its 60th anniversary and won the Swedish championship by defeating Farjestad four games to one. Karlsson’s Senators teammate and captain Daniel Alfredsson was with Frolunda, his hometown team, that year. Lundqvist was also on the 2004-05 roster and still holds the team record for most shutouts in a playoff season by notching six that year.
Sweden took in a lot of NHL players in 2004-05, leading some observers to claim that Elitserien was the best league in the world that year.
Frolunda also won the championship in 2003 and 1965. After not making the playoffs at all last year, they returned to the postseason this past season, though they lost in the quarterfinal round, but they did put together a winning season after two years of less than stellar regular season records.
For his part, Lundqvist said on his Twitter that he plans to stay in New York right now, but if the lockout goes on for a long time, he could go back to Sweden to see friends and family. Family–like his twin brother Joel, a center who captains Frolunda?
All four players could bring more talent to the Frolunda roster. It remains to be seen, though, if any of them will return to their native country to play.