Sedin Twins Join Tre Kronor at World Championships
A city's loss is a nation's gain.
Immediately after the Vancouver Canucks' traditional early elimination from Stanley Cup contention was accommodated in San José, Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin announced their commitment to join their countrymen in Stockholm to battle for the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Unfortunately timed to coincide annually with the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Worlds are actually a signficant tournament. All major hockey powers contend and usually have sufficient roster depth to keep the medals within their circle.
However, the Swiss have been banging at the elites' door for a few years now, maing serious inroads this spring by defeating -- and by now, it's defeating and not surprising -- both the Canadians (for the second consecutive year) and the Swedes in the preliminary round. While the elite countries basically use this round for seeding purposes, as they all assume they'll be meeting each other in the knockout rounds, anyway, these results have clearly sent shots across the bow.
(In fact, another salvo was fired today, as the napping Russians got ambushed by France.)
It's common in this tournament for NHL players to drift to their national teams once their North American seasons have concluded, and the Sedins' migration is simply a part of it. Rosters will look much stronger in the event's final stages.
Sweden is a co-host this year, and as goes Tre Kronor -- pronounced tray KROW-nur, the Three Crowns are a national symbol -- so goes the financial bottom line for the IIHF. Thus, the addition and high profile of the prolific Sedins is a welcome development for both the rabid blue-and-gold fan base and the tournament organizers. They'll arrive in Stockholm on Fri 10 May along with their less heralded Canuck teammate and countryman Alexander Edler, a solid defenseman whose presence will also be welcomed.
The new additions will take to the ice for Sweden's final preliminary matches on Sat 11 May against Slovenia and Tue 14 May against the Danes, two teams of whom Tre Kronor should make short work. Canuck face-the-music sessions with the Vancouver media will cause them to miss tonight's marquee match-up with Canada.
Next up on Sweden's schadenfreude wish list: Anaheim to knock out Detroit. That would release the likes of Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Mikael Samuelsson, and Johan Franzen while keeping Finn Teemu Selanne in a Duck uniform for at least another two weeks.
The knockout rounds start Thu 16 May with the championship game set for Sun 19 May.
By then, a host nation is hoping that no team will be more loaded for gold than they.