The defending Olympic champions come into the 2010 Olympics ranked 3rd.
Sweden will be looking to repeat their 2006 performance. They seem to have a Gold, bronze or 5th place mentality when it comes to the Olympics in recent years. They havent finished in a spot other than those three places since 1972. 2 golds, 3 bronze, 3 5th place finishes in that time.
The team will be coming in with a legitimate star studded team that could include the likes of Peter Forsberg if his comeback over in Sweden is coming along as well as he hopes it is. With the Sedin twins, Alfredsson & Zetterberg rounding out the top offensive units, you can expect them to be able to play a run & gun game with any country out there.
In goal, all world star Henrik Lundqvist will be front & centre. The back up role will likely go to NHLer Johan Hedberg. The 3rd string goalie may be NHLer Gustavsson if he is healthy enough to play, but its more than likely going to a SEL goalie, perhaps Markstrom.
On defense they have Nick Lidstrom. Do you really need more? Some of their younger guys like Enstrom, Edler & Stralman have all had terrific years & make their d-core much stronger than it might have been even a year ago.
Henrik Lundqvist- NEW YORK RANGERS (NHL) The top goalie in Sweden is undoubtedly Lundqvist. He'll be given the number 1 spot & even if he stumbles, its unlikely he'll be replaced.
Mikael Tellqvist- KAZAN AK-BARS/LUKKO RAAMA (KHL/FINLAND) A former NHL back up, Mikael started the year in the KHL did well there, but recently moved to Finland to play. I originally had Johan Hedberg in this spot, only to find out he isnt eligible for the tournament.
Jacob Markstrom- BRYNAS IF GAVLE (SEL) Barring injuury, Markstrom is probably just here to watch the tournament.
Nick Lidstrom- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) 6 Norros Trophies. Enough said.
Niklas Kronwall- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) If hes healthy enough, hes in for sure.
Tobias Enstrom- ATLANTA THRASHERS (NHL) Having an exceptional year offensively. Tobias will very likely be seen as a QB for the PP.
Alex Edler- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) Having the best year of his career so far, Alex has a minor injury right now, but is expected back in plenty of time for the Olympics. Will be primarily 2nd unit ES & PP.
Anton Stralman- COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (NHL) Another player having an exceptional career year, Anton will get some PP time & probable 3rd unit ES time.
Niklas Hjalmarsson- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) Expect him out there on most PK situations & ES.
Henrik Tallinder- BUFFALO SABRES (NHL) If the are looking for more defensive responsibility, Tallinder might draw in ahead of Stralman. Another PK option.
Daniel Sedin- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) After an early season injury that kept him out 6 wks, he has returned with a vengeance & has helped his twin brother vault near the top of the leagues scoring leaders.
Henrik Sedin- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) Right now 3rd in the entire NHL in pts. Henrik showed he isnt just an exceptional passer this season, but capable of scoring too. His brother & him will be 2/3 of the top line.
Nicklas Backstrom- WASHINGTON CAPITALS (NHL) One of the top players on one of the top teams, Nicklas has cemented himself as a probable number 2 centre. Only question will be if Forsberg is handed that spot instead.
Daniel Alfredsson- OTTAWA SENATORS (NHL) Whether its Forsberg or Backstrom, Alfie will be the other top end scorer on the 2nd line.
Henrik Zetterberg- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) Probable top line linemate for the Sedin twins. Question right now with a recent injury. If it is long term, he might not be added.
Peter Forsberg- MODO ORNSKODLSVIK (SEL) Absolutely dominating the Swedish league since returning. Peter could be the #2 centre, if not he'll at the least have the 3rd line spot.
Tomas Holmstrom- DETROIT RED WINGS (NHL) One of the best 2 way players in teh game, Tomas will be looked upon for offensive support, and defensive responsibility. A 3rd line lock who could fill in 2nd line duties if someone struggles.
Loui Eriksson- DALLAS STARS (NHL) An offensive contributor, will likely get 3rd line duties here.
Samuel Pahlsson- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (NHL) A checking forward who is a near lock for the teams checking line.
Mikael Samuelsson- VANCOUVER CANUCKS (NHL) I'm not sold on him being there, but due to a lack of other options (Bergfors ineligible & Franzen still injured) Samuelsson will probably make hiw way onto the team. If Franzen is healthy, he'll bump Samuelsson most likely.
Tom Wandell- DALLAS STARS (NHL) Will probably be another checking line addition with Pahlsson.
Mattias Weinhandl- MOSCOW DYNAMO (KHL) Strong contributor in the KHL offensively, Mattias might sneak into a top line spot with the Sedins where he has played & had success before.
Tony Martensson- LINKOPING HC (SEL) The top scorer in the SEL, Tony will probably be here more for image in Sweden than actual playing time. Might get into the line up, but will more likely be scratched most nights.
maybe- Jonas Gustavsson, Johan Holmqvist, Viktor Hedman, Doug Murray, David Petrasek, Johan Franzen.
Dallas Stars- Autograph report
Dallas was the first team of the season that I actually had a bit of stuff of....but I just didnt care unfortunately.
They were here for parts or all of 3 days. I put in probably less than 2 hrs going for them.
I had other tips for other things on those days that kept drawing me away from going for them. So the report is fairly incomplete since I didnt really try for most of the team.
MARTY TURCO- 2 autographs. The first time I saw him, he actually ignored & got in a cab...granted we were probably 40 ft away. The second time however, he signed 2 without hestitation. Hes always been a relatively decent signer, still seems like he is.
ALEX AULD- 0 autographs. I had no items. But I saw him sign for those that asked. Seemed willing to do multiples.
STEPHANE ROBIDAS- 0 autographs. I had no items. Was willing to sign practically whatever was asked of him for those that wanted him.
TREVOR DALEY- 0 autographs. The 1 time I saw him & he was asked, he ignored & went into a cab.
MATT NISKANEN- 0 autographs. Surprisingly, ignored multiple people asking him the 1 time I saw him. Heard from others he was the same even when I wasnt there. Certainly a poor signer this trip.
KARLIS SKRASTINS- 0 autographs. I had no items. Still a great signer. Happily did multiples for those that asked.
JEFF WOYWITKA, NIKLAS GROSSMAN & MARK FISTRIC- Do not have a report on.
MIKE RIBEIRO- 4 autographs. Each time I saw him, he was a willing signer of 2 per. Hes been consistently one of the better signing stars on this team.
LOUI ERIKSSON- 2 autographs. The 1 & only time I asked him, he did multiple item still.
FABIAN BRUNNSTROM- 2 autographs. He used to sign everything, now he seems to put limits to 2-3 items each. Still good about signing, still takes his time, just doesnt sign as many though.
JERE LEHTINEN- 2 autographs. Still a decent signer, did multiple items for people who had 2 or 3 items displayed.
JAMES NEAL- 0 autographs. I had no items. Seemed willing to sign, which was a contrast from last year where he seemed put out to sign.
JAMIE BENN- 0 autographs. I had no items. Happily did multiple items for people who asked.
MIKE MODANO- 0 autographs. In the past 2-3 seasons, Modano has gone from a "good" signer to downright horrible. Again, like many other trips here, he showed his newfound allergy to sharpies by again not signing even 1 signle item. In his defense, hes consistent at least... collectors, dealers, fans, adult males, kids, women, all got the same classless treatment by the future hall of famer. He even refused to sign the morning they left for the massive crowd of ONE that was there.
BRAD RICHARDS, BRENDEN MORROW, TOBY PETERSEN, STEVE OTT, BRYAN SUTHERBY, TOM WANDELL, KRYSTOPHER BARCH- Do not have a report on.
ANDY MOOG- 1 autograph. Surprisingly, hes turned into a really good signer of late. Even doing multiple items for people now.
JOE NIEUWENDYK- 4 autographs. Super class act. Willingly did 2 items per person without hesitation & didnt get worked up by people looping in for more afterwards.
Total autographs for Dallas- 17
Canadagraphs Hockey Blogs
From time to time I have something to say on hockey. Whether its the Vancouver Canucks, NHL in general, Womens Hockey or International Hockey...if I have something to post, it will be in here.