On Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators announced that prospect Mikael Wikstrand would be loaned to Swedish club Färjestad for the rest of the year. Thus ended a long stalemate between the player and club. Wikstrand had collected money from a signing bonus from the Sens, but had suggested he was not interested in playing in Binghamton. He broke the details of that contract to return to Sweden, but later revealed that he'd returned because his brother had just been diagnosed with leukemia. Neither side wanted to back down, but eventually it seems the Sens decided that it was not worth wasting a year of his development and agreed to the loan.
Last night, Wikstrand played his first game for his new club. After the game, he answered some questions for Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet. Here is a translation of some of his answers:
On his first game:
"It was fun as hell to play again. It felt good I think, but I certainly was a bit behind game pace. I didn't know what to expect, but I worked well with [my partner Magnus] Nygren."
On the time in between:
"It's been hard. But it's gone faster than you think, and I've been upbeat the whole time. I was so excited when it was over, and called my mom right away."
On it taking a while:
"I did some things wrong. They did not back down and neither did I. I had to sit in the freezer for a while." (Is this a Swedish expression?)
On if he was treated harshly:
"It's not me who decides it. I knew that I had signed a contract."
When asked if he had contact with Ottawa since the loan agreement:
"No, my agent handled it. But I will send them a thank you email and wish them good luck. My dream is still to end up over there, but we will see if it will be next year, or four years, or ten."
On the relationship with Ottawa:
"They let go a bit... It feels like they pulled back a bit and we will bury the hatchet."
The article ended by saying that Wikstrand and his partner Nygren have a good chance to be defencemen for Sweden for the annual Euro Hockey Tour, but the coaches want to seem him in some more games. Still, the signs are mostly positive for the team and the player working something out in the near future.
Special thanks to Patrik B (@Zeb_Habs) for leading us to this article.