Sabres' Dahlin can't wait to play two NHL games in Sweden

Linus Ullmark and Alex Nylander are also excited about the announcement

Paul Hamilton
March 21, 2019 - 4:59 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - The NHL announced that the Sabres will be playing two games in Sweden next season. The games will be against Tampa Bay, which appealed to the NHL because the Lightning has star Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman.

Buffalo, of course, has Rasmus Dahlin, as well as Linus Ullmark, Johan Larsson, Alex Nylander and maybe Lawrence Pilut, Victor Olofsson or Rasmus Asplund. Dahlin lives about three hours outside of Stockholm and is thrilled, “I was so happy, to get a chance to meet my family and friends while in a season, it’s amazing.”

The NHL made the announcement at 5 a.m., which is the middle of the day in Sweden. Dahlin said he had got many early messages from across the pond, “I got a lot of texts this morning when I woke up and they were so happy and excited for the games.”

This will be a treat for them because they don’t get a chance to see Dahlin play too often, “A lot of my friends can’t see NHL hockey live because it’s over here and it’s expensive to fly, so I’m supper happy for them so they can see the games in Sweden.”

Right now, Hedman is more of a draw in Sweden than Dahlin is, and he’s glad the Lightning defenseman will be there, “He’s a star, he’s the best D-man in the NHL I think, so a lot of Swedish fans will enjoy that.”

When the Sabres played in Germany, the fans were amazing in both the preseason game and the regular season game. Dahlin said be ready for the same in Sweden, “It’s amazing, everyone loves hockey in Sweden, especially with the NHL coming, so everybody is so pumped and it’s going to be unreal.”

Alex Nylander will likely be with the Sabres if he isn’t traded before then. He was as happy as could be when he found out, “It’s unbelievable, it’s in my hometown where I’ve been a lot of my life, so I was just very happy to hear that all my family and friends will be there.”

Nylander spent much of his childhood in North America because his dad, Michael, played for Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Tampa, Calgary and Hartford. Nylander said his family would always go back to Sweden when the NHL season was over.

Linus Ullmark hasn’t played in Sweden since 2015. He said, “It was fun this morning. I got a lot of text messages from my friends and family, so it’ll be fun.”

Ullmark said his home is more than five hours away from Stockholm. Ullmark said, “With the team the Sabres are going to play against Tampa, there’s a lot of fans back home that cheers for Tampa because of Victor Hedman, but also all their stars, so I think it’s going to be a big party back home.”

Two defensemen were given maintenance days off on Thursday. Zach Bogosian and Matt Hunwick did not practice.

 

Thursday’s lines:

Sheary - Eichel - Nylander

Sobotka - Mittelstadt - Reinhart

Skinner - Rodrigues - Pominville

Girgensons - Larsson - Okposo

Thompson

 

Wilson - Ristolainen

Scandella - Nelson

Dahlin - Montour

 

Buffalo plays in Montreal on Saturday.

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