Fredrik Janelid of Göteborgs Posten spoke with Mattias Norlinder yesterday after the Montreal Canadiens defenceman was sent to the Laval Rocket. The Swedish paper was released at 5am local time this morning and has stirred some heated arguments online.
The Swedish defender stated clearly in the article that he had wanted to go back to Frölunda and the for a while.
Lämnade Frölunda för NHL-drömmen – hoppas nu få återvända till Göteborg. https://t.co/7z509Vz8ok— GP-sporten (@GPSporten) December 8, 2021
“In all honesty, I have been wanting go home for a while,” he said. Norlinder also explained that after he had recovered from the injury he suffered against Toronto Maple Leafs on September 27, the plans changed.
“After my injury I thought I was going home, that was the way it sounded. Instead I got sent down to get a few games. At the same time it has been special for Montreal as it hasn’t gone the way the club expected. Then, last week, I wanted to know the plan, but then they fired the GM and almost the whole staff.”
The club stated on Tuesday that they would listen to Norlinder’s opinion when deciding what to do with the rest of the season following three games in Laval. In the interview with Janelind, it is clear that Norlinder wants to go back.
Norlinder does express positive thoughts about the experience gained in the NHL, especially the debut in front of the Bell Centre crowd: “Incredible and special, even if we lost. Especially as we played at home in front of all the fans.”
Frölunda is currently at the top of the SHL, Norlinder would go into one of the top two pairings, and would probably get his role on the first power play unit back as Frölunda has rotated defenders on that position since Norlinder left. Frölunda won the first leg of the Champions Hockey League quarterfinal with 5-2, and is reigning champions of the tournament.