The Swedish Elitserien Hockey League Lifts Its Ban On NHL Players
The Swedish government Friday "declared illegal the Elitserien's ban on signing locked-out players to short-term contracts," so the influx of Swedish NHL stars to the 12-team league is on, according to Jeff Z. Klein of the N.Y. TIMES. In '05, almost 75 NHL players spent the lockout in the Elitserien, including Detroit Red Wings Henrik Zetterberg, Vancouver Canucks Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin and Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara. Daniel Alfredsson arrived from Ottawa to help Frolunda Gothenburg win that year's championship (N.Y. TIMES, 9/23). REUTERS' Philip O'Connor wrote that although the league as a whole had "decided to ban NHL players, individual clubs were secretly still keen on snapping up talent on short-term deals." Sweden Competition Authority Senior Counsel Per Karlsson said, "The hockey league's decision can be likened to a cartel. The decision means that ice hockey clubs that are affiliated to Swedish Hockey AB (Elitserien) must decide themselves if they want to sign contracts with locked-out NHL players or not." Dozens of NHL Swedes such as N.Y. Rangers Henrik Lundqvist, Washington Capitals Nicklas Backstrom and Vancouver Canucks Sedin brothers "could now return home during the lockout" (REUTERS, 9/21).