2022 has become a vibrant year in the world of big-time sports. The epidemiological situation caused a long break, and after it, fans appeared in the stands again, and bookmakers resumed sports betting in full. However, both athletes and staff try to adhere to the personal safety rules, which greatly complicates the training process.
There is also good news for hockey fans: the Ice Hockey World Championship began on May 13. Finland has become the host country for the 9th time. The Ice Palace in Helsinki and the Nokia Arena in Tampere will be used by guest teams. The national teams of the host country and 15 other countries that took part in the last championship will take part in the race for the title of the champion.
This year there have been significant changes in the composition of the participating teams. Due to the political situation, the national teams of Russia and Belarus were temporarily excluded from the list of participants. France and Austria will take their places. That’s why tips for newbies in sports betting always include a section on live betting.
But the Swedish national team is experiencing a real shortage of personnel amid the World Cup: Yukhan Garpenlev did not manage to assemble the stellar squad he was counting on. A few days before the national team’s first match, the head coach received about 30 refusals from the best hockey players in Sweden.
Despite the team being incomplete, the Swedish hockey players show excellent results. On May 14, the Swedish national team entered the ice rink for the first time in the championship with an Austrian team as rivals. During the regular time, the Swedes managed to complete the game in their favour with a score of 3:1. And the very next day, they left behind the Czech national team with a score of 5:3.
May 17 was a memorable day for the Swedish national team, and even the head coach did not expect such an exciting and dynamic game. The British team simply did not have a chance: the match ended with a score of 6:0 in favour of the Swedes. This sounds very impressive considering that only 15 field players were announced for the first match.
Tre Kronor Defense
At the beginning of the championship, the coaching staff selected only 6 defenders. However, in this situation, the emphasis is not placed on the number of players, but on their skills. Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Vancouver Canucks alone is quite an impressive player. For the 30-year-old hockey player, this is already the 7th championship in his professional career, as he has been participating in the national team since 2009. Oliver is distinguished by the clarity and thoughtfulness of his actions, presenting a serious problem to the opponent’s attack. He is the owner of the silver medal in the 2014 Olympic Games and two world titles (2017, 2018).
One more defenseman that has to be mentioned is young Rasmus Dahlin, the first overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Rasmus began his career in big hockey in 2016 as part of the Frölunda team. The youth championship for Dalin ended with the assignment of the first number in the NHL draft. Now, the hockey player acts as a defender in the Buffalo Sabers team. Participation in the 2022 World Championship was the young hockey player’s debut.
Adam Larsson also confirmed his participation in the championship. This will be his 4th performance in the Swedish national team. The defender has 157 matches in the NHL tournaments and 87 in the Swiss championships. Even Eric Gustafsson will come at the request of Garpenlev.
Henrik Tommernes from Servette and Anton Lindholm from the Minsk Dynamo are closing the ranks of the defence team of Sweden. Sweden has not had such a stellar defence for a long time.
Sweden’s hockey offence
Everything is much more complicated with Yukhan’s attack. Only a few hockey players responded to the invitation of the head coach. Of the NHL hockey players, Emil Bemstrom and Rasmus Asplund confirmed their participation in the championship. Over the past season, the hockey players did not achieve anything special, having thrown 14 goals into the opponent’s goal.
This year, 106 Swedish hockey players took part in the NHL matches, which became a record for the country. Apparently, Yukhan Garpenlev mistakenly decided that due to the large number of NHL players who did not make it to the playoffs with their main teams, he had a large selection. Throughout the history of the national team, the head coach has had to think of completing the team. Yukhan delayed the confirmation of the players until the last moment, not wanting to include medium-level hockey players.
However, these assumptions are far from the real state of affairs, as each of the players had their reason for refusal. Filip Forsberg was the first to miss the World Championship this year. The main problem the 27-year-old forward of Nashville today was the right choice of team for the next few years. This summer, his contract is coming to an end, and Philip is entering the free-agent market, so participation in the championship this year is not a priority for him.
After the first negative answer, the rest followed. Eriksson Ek, the Minnesota Wild’s striker, blamed injury that will clearly interfere with his game. Hampus Lindholm also suffered an injury in the playoffs and is currently recovering. Markus Johansson referred to the end of the contract with the Washington Capitals, which is a good reason for saying no.
In his interview before the start of the first game, Yukhan Garpenlev expressed bitterness about the current situation. He hoped to receive participation confirmation from star players until the last moment. The head coach could not name the reason why such a situation with had occurred.
Sportswriters, players, and fans believe that the massive withdrawals may be related to the head coach’s conflict with NHL players last year. In the 2021 World Cup, luck was not on the side of the Swedish team: the hockey players did not even make it to the quarterfinals. Yukhan was extremely annoyed by this state of affairs and blamed the NHL players for the failure.
Garpenlev pointed to the athletes’ low level of preparation and the lack of interest in the team’s overall achievements. It is likely that the coach’s behaviour unfavourably affected the hockey players’ desire to represent their country. Even considering the injuries, bureaucratic inconsistencies, and other points, the number of refusals this year went through the roof.