Niklas Kronwall is making the rounds with the Swedish media ahead of today’s English-language press conference. Here’s what Kronwall had to say to Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom, roughly translated from Swedish:
“I’m too restless to be able to live a Svensson-life
Los Angeles. Niklas Kronwall, 38, weighed in the pros and cons of the decision to retire.
With 953 games played for the Detroit Red Wings, he only had 47 games to play to hit the dream limit of 1,000 games played in the NHL.
“It’s definitely something I was thinking about. Having played a thousand games in the NHL gives you respect, that was what attracted me most to continue for another season. But there were other pieces in life that were more important to me,” he says in an interview with SportExpressen.
He can look back on a long and amazing hockey career, which took him into the exclusive “Triple Gold Club” after winning the World Cup, Olympic Games and Stanley Cup.
Kronwall can add two gold medals with Djurgarden as the cream on the top.
And a number of millions in the bank account.
But now it is over.
“The decision has grown for a long time. But deep down I have known for quite some time that it was time to put the skates on the shelf. I just didn’t want to make a hasty decision, so I gave myself all summer to be sure of what I’m doing right now so I don’t regret it.”
The Red Wings’ new GM, and your old teammate, Steve Yzerman, said he’d love for you to continue for another year?
“Yes, I got those signals, and it’s clearly great fun to hear. But at the same time it was nice to be able to decide for myself when it’s time to quit, and to be able to do it after a good season. And without injuries and other circumstances, which have been noted.”
Who did you speak with to come to this decision?
“The family in the first place, but it always came back to what I felt deep down and what I wanted to do myself. I am aware that I will miss the hockey life on the rink very much, but it’s time to move on in life.”
Kronwall about the future.
What are the best memories of the fifteen seasons in Detroit?
“It’s only when you get older that you really understand how big it is to win the Stanley Cup. I’m also proud to have played with such incredible players as Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, to name a few.”
Will you stay with the Red Wings? Tell me about the new job?
“I will be advising Steve Yzerman and it will be very interesting to see and experience the other side of hockey. Exactly what I will do, we’ll let that grow out, but of course it’s a kick. Not least because I get to work with Stevie, with whom I was a teammate for a year-and-a-half before he retired. He’s a very good person.
You’ll stay in Detroit?
“Yes, for at least another year. I’m too restless to be able to live a ‘Svensson life,’ so I’m really looking forward to this new challenge.”
You’re the last of the old stars to disappear from the Red Wings. Does it feel a little bitter?
“Yes, maybe, but it’s my turn to step down now. The generational shift is in full swing.
You had a good last season; what does that mean to you?
“I showed that I can still play at this level. The seasons before, I felt that when I had the knees that were messed up and I couldn’t do myself proper justice. So it was a bit nice for the ego to step away [healthy],” says Niklas Kronwall.