Mattias Ekholm has taken a bit of a beating in the web-media after his assignment back to his Swedish team. I’m guilty of some of that, as I’ve piled on in previous posts.
And on tonight’s Admirals Center Ice radio show, Preds Assistant GM Paul Fenton explained to Aaron Sims and Wojo that there indeed was more to the story.
Turns out it wasn’t Ekholm’s decision at all.
The short version: The Swedish team, whose contract he put on hold to come play in North America, has the first right of refusal before Ekholm could be assigned to the AHL.
And Brynas wanted him.
So he goes to Sweden.
End of story.
So it’s not Ekholm who is stunting his own development by playing away from the North American game — it’s the Swedish team that’s responsible.
The podcast of the Admirals Center Ice Radio Show should be on the Admirals website Tuesday afternoon at some point (UPDATE: it’s there right now), and you can hear it explained in Fenton’s own words.
But wow, that perspective really changes everything.