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Carl Gunnarsson to join Swedish second division squad

Nov 12, 2012, 12:07 PM EDT

Carl Gunnarsson

Orebro HK of the Swedish second division has signed locked-out Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Carl Gunnarsson, according to the team’s website.

Gunnarsson was born in Orebro and played in Sweden before heading to Toronto in 2009-10, so it’s not surprising that he would chose to head home during the lockout.

Gunnarsson is coming off of a solid season where he played primarily with Dion Phaneuf as part of the Leafs’ top defensive pairing. Gunnarsson led the Leafs in blocked shots and logged 21:42 minutes per game. He has also recorded between 15 and 20 points in each of his first three NHL campaigns.

Before the lockout, he was scheduled to make $1,250,000 in 2012-13 and become a restricted free agent this summer.

When the union and NHL finally agreed on a new CBA, Gunnarsson should resume his role as one of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ key blueliners.

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