Friday, April 08, 2005


Oh my god, they killed Kenny!

It sounds like Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson may be through with the NHL at tender age of 30. TSN story link.

Sweden's Sport-Expressen reported Wednesday that New York Islanders defenceman Kenny Jonsson has decided he will play the rest of his career in Sweden and not return to the NHL.

The newspaper, citing sources, said Jonsson's motivation centered around his family.
This isn't the first time that we've heard a Swedish NHLer cry about his love for home-cooked meatballs and 'family'. Kenny may be only 30, but he's already played 686 NHL games and has been with the Isles for 9 seasons.

Nicklas Lidstrom was very public about bringing up his kids in the Swedish education system, but ultimately the Red Wing$ showed him the money and he quickly forgot about home.

Markus Naslund has made the same proclamations, as has Peter Forsberg (who seems too competitive to just walk home and away from millions and the thrill of serious injury).

Nothing official is reported on the New York Islanders official website, and the Swedish tabloids aren't known for their accuracy, so I'll believe it when I see it.

Still, this would be a crushing loss for an Islanders team that is just barely above the playoff water level and was looking to make the leap forward. With Roman Hamrlik, Adrien Aucoin, and Janne Niniimaa and Jonsson, the Islanders have an exceptional top-4 grouping that can eat minutes like Paris Hilton on her T-Mobile cell phone.

Jorgen Jonsson, Kenny's older brother, played one year in the NHL and decided that he'd rather go back to Sweden and be a star rather than be a 'role player' in the NHL.

Kenny, on the other hand, is a well-paid star and doesn't have that same motivation to go back. I find it hard to believe that his kids are really suffering in the rich New York burbs, and that Kenny really wants to pay the insane tax rates that he'll get hit with back in Sweden.

Kenny's one big hit away from becoming part of a salad. Playing in the Swedish league lowers the injury risk (assuming he continues to play hockey).

He's definitely not going to be the only European not to return to the NHL, but I don't think his leave, along with possibly a few other Swedes, is any shocking (another assumption: that this story is true).
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