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Red Wings’ Ericsson signs with third-tier Swedish team

Oct 7, 2012, 4:37 PM EDT

Jonathan Ericsson Getty Images

While many NHL players are taking their games to the major leagues of Finland, Russia, Switzerland, and Czech Republic – Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson is taking things in a different direction.

Bob Duff of The Windsor Star reports Ericsson will head to Sweden to play for Vita Hästen in the 3rd division. Comparatively, that’s like playing in that country’s version of the ECHL. He played for Vita Hästen in his first season of pro hockey back in 2002-03 as an 18 year-old.

While he had a breakout in the playoffs back in 2009, he’s had his ups and downs with the Wings since then. That didn’t stop the team from signing him to a three-year, $9.75 million deal in the summer of 2011.

With Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart in San Jose, he’s now by default one of Detroit’s top four blue liners.

  1. windmiller4 - Oct 7, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    This kid has potential to be good, maybe playing in this league will give him a little more confidence so he can play better when/if the season resumes

    • danphipps01 - Oct 7, 2012 at 5:38 PM

      “This kid” is 28 years old, and usually players don’t get drastically better after that. I mean, yeah, there are a couple of Ray Whitneys and such out there, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

    • hockinj25 - Oct 7, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      As a Wings fan I like to dream this is true but in reality it isn’t. He is never going to be as good as everybody thought after the 2009 playoffs.

      • hockeydon10 - Oct 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        That was his peak. He dropped down a little after that and has kind of plateaued.

        I know there was a lot of hope he’d have a higher up-side, having switched from center to defense, but it really looks like this is it.

        Here’s hoping he’ll develop a little more patience instead of turning the puck over in the d-zone so often when trying to make a quick play, which is something that sometimes comes with age.

  2. polegojim - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Sadly, he’s a very soft big man and don’t bet the bank on that drastically improving.

    Maybe some ‘back to the basics’ will help him… somehow… but I’ve NEVER seen playing against inferior talent ‘sharpen’ anyone’s skills.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Ya. Hopefully, like has been mentioned before with other players, he’s just doing it to stay in game shape. I’d hate to think of him falling out of game shape and then having a really short training camp and what that might do to his game.

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