Wednesday, February 01, 2006

No Love For Naslund

If Team Sweden really wants Markus Naslund to play for them in the Olympics, they sure have a funny way of saying it:

"He has to come 100 per cent, I don't want 90 percent, that's not enough," said Gustafsson. "It's up to him. If he's healthy, I want him here. I don't want a guy at half of his ability. It's not doing anybody any good."
Fair enough. But I'd like to argue that a 90%-healthy Naslund is probably better than most of the other alternatives. Same with a 90% Peter Forsberg. And I don't hear Gustafsson airing the same sentiments there.

Gustafsson was also critical of Naslund's national team play in the past, saying that compared to the numbers Naslund puts up in the NHL, he is falling short with the national team. "They [Swedish media] look at the numbers; he hasn't in these big tournaments he's been playing, he hasn't put anything up," Gustafsson said. "He had a good tournament in '99 in Oslo, and that's really the only time he really put up some numbers in the national team. That's all their looking at; they all know he's playing great over there, but every time he puts on a yellow shirt he seems like he doesn't get the puck to the net the way he does in the NHL."

When asked if he hopes Naslund can come and play for Sweden, Gustafsson replied: "I sure hope so."
It doesn't sound like it, no? Though, as a Canucks fan, I'd personally prefer that Markus skips the Olympics anyway and rest his sore groin. Maybe these comments will steer him in that direction.

Postscript: I heard this interview on MOJO 730 yesterday, but thanks in part to my three-finger typing skills, couldn't keep up enough to take the full transcript. Thanks to Kukla's Corner for the pointer.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 5:24 PM


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