If you thought that the Lou Lamoriello vs. Sweden saga was over after yesterday’s botched media availability, you’re sorely mistaken. According to Sweden’s SportExpressen, who reported on the first half of this story yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs GM is on his way to Helsinki to speak with Peter Forsberg about several topics, including William Nylander’s usage post-injury.
“We’ve decided to get together and talk about a bunch of different things. That’s how communication has been between us since Toronto decided to release him. It’s a friendly conversation,” said Forsberg, who is the Swedish Ice Hockey Association’s vice-chair and has no relation to the former NHL great, who is the assistant manager of Nylander’s former team, MODO Hockey.
“I’ve had contact with him several times since William’s injury. Toronto is very pleased with how we’ve handled it all, and how we’ve been working with information from our doctors and theirs. It’s important for us to manage everything in a good way in order for us to receive players in the future. Now, Toronto has seen good proof of how we would handle a situation like this.”
The Leafs have the final say as to how Nylander’s recovery is handled and whether he continues to play in the tournament or not. “I’m not involved in the decision as to whether he’ll play or not,” said Forsberg. “It’s about whether he’s healthy or not. If he’s healthy he plays, if he’s not, he doesn’t. But it’ts our doctor and Toronto’s doctors who manage the dialogue.”
Despite the severity of the conversation, Forsberg is looking forward to their meeting. In the meantime, Sweden’s head coach Rikard Gronborg is also counting down the moments until his star player can return.
“William’s integrity and health is our first priority. Toronto is his employer and high on the list. Media availability is at the bottom of the scale. First, he must get healthy; it’s just speculation right now. But we know what William stands for, and he’s a spectacular player.”
SIHA officials have stated that Nylander will require a full-contact practice before returning to the lineup, so I wouldn’t expect him to be playing in tomorrow’s quarterfinal game against Slovakia, which starts at 9 AM. Dmytro Timashov, on the other hand, will probably still be with William’s brother Alex on the top line.
CORRECTION: This article originally made the mistake of claiming that Peter Forsberg was Peter Forsberg we all know from his days in the NHL. He is not. We apologize for the error.