Oct 8, 2012, 2:00 PM EST
Could one of Sweden’s biggest hockey stars soon be coming home?
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist — a former standout in the Swedish Elite League — has been a target of SEL team Frolunda, the team he starred for at the junior and senior levels before coming to New York in 2005-06.
Now it appears Frolunda has overcome a big financial obstacle in bringing its local hero home.
This weekend Frolunda has put together financing to cover the cost of Lundqvist’s insurance, which is estimated at about $30,000 a month to protect the remaining two years and $13.75 million of his Rangers contract, according to reports from the Goteborgs-Posten and other Swedish news outlets.
All N.H.L.-paid insurance policies on players are suspended for the duration of the lockout, so separate insurance is necessary, and it is expensive.
Lundqvist was the Elitserien M.V.P. while leading Frolunda to the 2005 championship. He has said a number of times in recent weeks that he would consider returning there during the lockout. If he does, his insurance will be covered by a consortium of sponsors, a common practice among European clubs signing N.H.L. players during the lockout.
The Times reached out to Lundqvist’s agent, Don Meehan, who said there was “nothing to report” on Lundqvist and Frolunda — but if the club’s history is any suggestion, there could be soon.
Hiring NHL players on a short-term basis is still a contentious issue in Sweden, even though the ban was declared illegal under Swedish and European labor law in September.
As such, several Swedish players have opted to play in other leagues in the interim — Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg joined Swiss club EV Zug, Dallas’ Tom Wandell signed in the KHL and Erik Karlsson joined Finland’s SM-lliga.
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 4
- Bettman would be ‘kicking and screaming’ before NHL jerseys have ads 16
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 59
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 8
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 36
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5