Ekholm’s Priorities Warped, Accepts Assignment to Sweden

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.

We are men of action.  Lies do not become us.

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.

4 thoughts on “Ekholm’s Priorities Warped, Accepts Assignment to Sweden”

  1. Agreed… at least Lundmark’s decision had some logical reasoning behind it. Ekholm’s decision is just plain dumb. Oh well, good riddance.

  2. If he comes back, can’t any team claim him because he played overseas? Maybe that’s his goal- to play someplace else when he comes back.

  3. I’m not sure which ways this is different than the Radulov situation, and I’m not sure how this (or the next CBA) would address it. I’ll let someone with some more patience with the CBA spell it out….I imagine one of the Nashville blogs will go over this in depth.

  4. Ekholm owes Nashville 3 years. He can’t play anywhere in North America without the Preds okay. His playing in Sweden puts him one step farther away from playing in Nashville and maybe anywhere in the NHL. He needs to play in Milwaukee next season or forget about the NHL.

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