The Predators made it official today — Mattias Ekholm has been assigned to a team in Sweden.
Ekholm had a clause in his contract that allowed him to go back to Sweden if he didn’t make the Predators roster, but to exercise the clause is so completely counterproductive to what we assumed was his goal: to play in the NHL.
It must not really be his goal. And if it’s not, then good riddence.
If the goal is to play in the NHL, it’s a lot easier to get back to Nashville from Milwaukee than it is Brynas.
If the coach says that the single most important thing he needs to work on is adjusting to the North American game, how exactly does he think he’s going to do that in Sweden?
Is it a money thing? According to capgeek.com, his NHL salary was $900k, but his AHL salary would have been $67,500. I have no idea what compensation would be in Sweden, whether Nashville is on the hook for some of that, or if Brynas would pay whatever they want.
Here are some of his quotes from the last month.
From the Predators Examiner
When asked Friday if he would consider going to Milwaukee, Ekholm was noncommittal.
“That is a tough question,” he said. “I haven’t really thought about it that much because I am still up here right now. It is two great opportunities to either play in Milwaukee or go back. It is two good leagues.”
You haven’t really thought about it that much? Really? Well that’s just simply not true.
From Inside Smashville back in early October:
“I will have a meeting with the coaches and see what they think. It isn’t just my decision. I know if I go back to Sweden, I will play 25 minutes a night, but Milwaukee is still a good place to be,” Ekholm said.
Ekholm said all the things he was supposed to say to the media, depsite dripping with absurd insincerity. But let’s all be honest with each other. He never had any intention of playing in the AHL. That’s why there was that clause in his contract, and that’s why he’s taking full advantage of it right now.
Ekholm signed a 3-year contract with the Predators. If he comes back for training camp next year, you think it’s going to be a fresh start for him? No. If he hasn’t burned some bridges, he’s certainly done some damage to their foundations, and I don’t know if this relationship will be able to be fixed.
This is more annoying than the Jamie Lundmark defection last year.