Friday, July 3, 2009

välkommen åter till calgary, freddie sjöström !!!!

to any long time reader of hitthepost, it will come as no surprise to hear that i'm a big fan of the swedes. my alltime favorite nhler is håkan loob, and i went through a decade-long era where i fawned something fierce over peter forsberg (note: this period is not quiiite over yet). with the latest nordic addition to my favorite team, i decided that i'd do an information and pictoral overview of a kid i've been following for the better part of his pro career. ;)

it's entirely because of this propensity towards scandinavian forwards that fredrik ("freddie") sjöström caught my eye while playing for the calgary hitmen between 2001 & 2003. in his sophomore year with the local major junior club, he produced 34 goals and 43 assists in 63 games and looked like a budding star... he remains the only vyable nhler to be drafted by the coyotes between 1998 (ossi väänänen) and 2004 (enver lisin), and was taken 11th overall in 2001.... like a lot of the late first round selections in his year (r.j. umberger, marcel goc, colby armstrong), sjöström became a decent utility guy, but never quite met the top-six potential he was thought to achieve with his promising whl numbers.

(so CUTE !!!! and so TINY !!!!)

after a few years in the ahl, sjöström was promoted to the bigs in the 03/04 season, where he spent some 4th line minutes on a basement team (which ended up with all of 22 wins). he spent the lockout in the ahl as a 21-year old, before returning to the coyotes for the next two and a half seasons. in 2008 he was traded to the new york rangers, where he continued to play low-end minutes (averaging about 12), got a few shots on goal/night, and ended up squarely in the minus column.

(still with the whl-era hair but putting on some bulk; yr 1 with the 'yotes, i think: 03/04)


(if i'm not mistaken, this would be 07/08; the year he got traded to NYR)

i think, at this point, that sjöström can be considered a poor man's jordan staal; he plays a physical, grinding game, has decent speed, and is useful on the pk. while i don't think he'll ever again be a top-six forward, he'll be a useful young (and cheap) veteran for consistant fourth-line duties. he notches the odd shorthanded goal, and takes far less penalties than most players near the bottom of the roster.... he's a good sutter-type guy who will take a hit to make a play, and ain't afraid to sacrifice the body.

(i'm quite certain this is last year: 08/09 in rangers' blue)


(taking some abuse to help his team to a 6-1 throttling of colorado in feb)

i'm not gonna pretend that i think sjöström's return to the dome will magically revert him into the player he was when he last donned the hometeam's jersey.... i WILL hope, however, that he can help the 09/10 flames by eating some 4th line minutes, contributing to special teams, and (with any luck) improving his career +/- statistics..... and if not ? hey, well at least darryl sutter's addressed the loss of matt lombardi and has finally provided the ladies with someone to look at....

;)


10 comments:

shep said...

good stuff.
he'll be a useful bottom sixer. always works hard and sacrifices his body. good skater

walkinvisible said...

i can't wait for the flames to release the third jersey this year, cause i'm gettin' a sjöström for SURE.

walkinvisible said...

ps: did i get my swedish right, shep ? feel free to correct it.... ;)

Kent W. said...

I assume it translates roughly to 'welcome to Calgary you studly bit of salty man-meat GROOOWWWLLLL...'

walkinvisible said...

uh, yeah.... *shrugs* ... pretty much.
:)

Colin said...

He is a pretty good lookin' dude...

walkinvisible said...

.... in which photo ?!?!!!?

shep said...

its all correct:)

walkinvisible said...

oh YAY !!!!!!! :)

Cassie said...

Very nice, the end made me laugh. But just in my opinion no one beats lombardi, haha but thanks for the thought there darryl