Earlier this week, Tre Kronor announced several additions to the Swedish Olympic team this upcoming winter. Former Detroit Red Wings players Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg will serve as advisors to head coach Johan Garpenlöv during the tournament taking place in Beijing in February 2022.
The hirings were praised by the Capitals’ Nicklas Bäckström.
“It feels really good. They have experience from this kind of tournaments and have won, both in the NHL and on an international level”, Bäckström said about Kronwall and Zetterberg, both members of the Triple Gold Club. “They bring great insights that will help us as a team.”
It is not yet known who will be captain of the Swedish team, but one of the candidates is the Capitals center.
“Look at him on the ice. He’s like a locomotive pulling the whole team,” Niklas Kronwall said to Aftonbladet’s Tomas Ros. Making his teammates better. He knows what everyone does on the ice and where everyone is. There are few players like Backstrom. A top-class player I think every team in the Olympics want on their side.”
In the NHL, Backstrom has been a longtime alternate for the Capitals but has never served as captain of the team due to Alex Ovechkin.
Other candidates to receive ‘C’ consideration for Team Sweden are Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog and Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.
“It would be a huge honor”, Gabriel Landeskog said to Expressen’s Magnus Nyström. “But I won’t lose any sleep over it. To me, there are two or three other guys ahead of me. If it were a vote, I’d cast my ballot on someone else. If you have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe it’s crystal clear,” he said.
Predators forward Filip Forsberg threw his support behind Landeskog as captain, while Calgary Flames forward Elias Lindholm praised his fellow Gävle native Nicklas Bäckström.
“I think ‘Bäckis’ should get the ‘C’. He has a lot of experience and when he talks, you listen. I’ve felt that over the years”, Lindholm said laughing, referring to the respect he has for his hometown hero Bäckström.
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