With Hedberg signing with Leksand and both Holmqvist and Salo also returning to Sweden we have several highly skilled goalies. How would you rank the Swedish goalies playing in Sweden (only excluding Tellqvist I guess)? Will Salo be available for Tre kronor and if he is, will he be our #1?
Since I'm no big Salo fan, I hope he doesn't want to play for Tre kronor. We have just as good but younger players on his position! A top ten ranking could look something like this:
1. Henrik Lundqvist
2. Johan Holmqvist
3. Stefan Liv
4. Tommy Salo
5. Daniel Henriksson
6. Johan Hedberg (although not a SEL player)
7. Björn Bjurling
8. Daniel Sperrle
9. Gusten Törnqvist
10. Andreas Hadelöv
With Lundqvist, Liv and Holmqvist in the National team, maybe Henriksson if he has a good season. Don't think Bjurling can challenge the others but he still could get a chance since he's a Djurgården player.
What do you guys think? Give me some input and give me your rankings...
1. Henrik Lundqvist (possibly Bengt Höglund)
2. Tommy Salo
3. Stefan Liv
4. Johan Holmqvist (tough to say, since I haven't seen him play for several years it seems)
5. Johan Hedberg
6. Daniel Henriksson
7. Björn Bjurling
8. Daniel Sperrle (underrated, a future starter in the SEL )
9. Andreas Hadelöv
10. Magnus Lindquist
When the offseason started I thought several swedish goaltenders would sign NHL-contracts, at least Liv and Lundqvist. But this is interesting, it'll be a really hard battle for the spots in the national team, although I think Henrik Lundqvist is the sterter to begin with. Johan Holmqvist could be a surprise, I think he has become better after his journey to NA. And if Stefan Liv continues to develop, Daniel Henriksson finds himself on his new team and Björn Bjurling bounces back from he poor finish of the last season, we have 5 quality goalies.
Tommy Salo and Johan Hedberg are both very good but I think at least Salo has done his with the national team. And it won't be in favour for Hedberg to play in the second tier league. Besides, it would be wrong not to play one opf the young guns mentioned above. Hopefully the will all inspire each other.
Furtherwhile, the national team as a whole looks very good for the next season. The fact is, no great swedish quality player has left sweden as of what I know, and none to North America, so all from last year will be avaliable this year. With the addition of Andreas Dackell, Mikael Renberg, Tony Mårtensson and the two WC-injuried forwards Per Svartvadet and Peter Nordström it looks like great depth among forwards. Plus former NHLers Andreas Karlsson and Jonas Höglund who both returns to Sweden.
National team depth:
Goalies: Lundqvist, Holmqvist, Liv, Henriksson, Bjurling, Salo
Defensemen: R Sundin, Hållberg, T Johansson, Frögren, L Jonsson, Oduya, P Gustafsson, M Johansson, H Jonsson, T Rhodin
Centers: Jönsson, Davidsson, Svartvadet, Franzen, Steen, Hagos, A Karlsson
Forwards: Nordström, Kahnberg, N Andersson, Dackell, Renberg, Hedström, Salomonsson, Höglund, Nordgren, Ölvestad, R Carlsson
My best team (or what I think would be the best team):
Goalies: Johan Holmqvist, Henrik Lundqvist
1: Hans Jonsson - Per Hållberg - Magnus Kahnberg - Jörgen Jönsson - Peter Nordström
2: Ronnie Sundin - Johnny Oduya - Johan Davidsson - Andreas Karlsson - Mikael Renberg
3: Jonas Frögren - Thomas Johansson - Jonathan Hedström - Per Svartvadet - Andreas Salomonsson
4: Per Gustafsson - Lars Jonsson - Andreas Dackell - Johan Franzen - Niklas Nordgren
It's hard to leave youngsters Hagos and Steen out of the team. Steen could with a good season scrach Karlsson, who I think will be a great surprise and be really good. Depth among goalies and forwards/centers are great but it's a little thin among d-men. This can open for some young surprises, and hopefully someone or all of Johnny Oduya, Lars Jonsson and Jonas Frögren will have their international breakthrough.