The Ottawa Senators have confirmed that Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and Jakob Silfverberg are off to play for Team Sweden in this year’s IIHF World Championships in Finland and Sweden.
Alfredsson ambushed Karlsson shortly after the Game 7 loss to the Rangers:
Immediately after we were eliminated from the playoffs, I spoke with (Senators defenceman and fellow Swede) Erik Karlsson and asked him how he feels about going to the world championship […] I told him that I myself feel good about it. This week when I was off with the concussion (during the first-round series against the Rangers) made me feel rested now and ready to go.
Alfredsson also confirmed it may be a family event:
Family was a big part of the decision as my wife (Bibbi) will have to carry all the weight alone for a couple of weeks, but (she and their four sons) may come to Stockholm for the last week.
[Quotes are from the above-linked article on the Senators’ website]
The interesting, and unknown, part about Alfredsson attending the World Championships is what, if anything, it means about the chances of him returning to play for the Senators next week.
From one perspective, it could be the way he wants to go out — playing for his country on home turf. Or, alternatively, it could legitimately be that, recent concussions aside, Alfredsson physically feels good and is not prepared to hang up his skates just yet.
Another academic conundrum might be whether a Sweden win or loss would make Alfredsson more likely to return next season. A win by Sweden may be the perfect cap to his career and a nice winning note to end on. Conversely, a win might give the Senators’ captain the boost he needs for another summer of training.
There are probably too many hypotheticals to consider, but, needless to say, I think most of SensNation will be cheering Alfredsson (Karlsson and Silfverberg) on. Given Team Canada’s recent snub of Jason Spezza the consensus seems to be that Sweden is Ottawa’s team.
The IIHF schedule can be found here and Sweden’s first game goes Friday May 5th at 8:15 pm EST vs Norway.