NHLPA.com’s Tim Wharnsby spoke with Red Wings center Frans Nielsen regarding the recent World Championship, which was held in Copenhagen and Herning, Denmark. The latter locale is Nielsen’s hometown:
“The worlds were great for Denmark,” the Detroit Red Wings veteran centre said. “I think we have gotten a lot of new fans that never watched hockey before. It got so popular they had to put our games on a [television] channel everyone in the country has.”
Hockey always had more appeal for Nielsen over Denmark’s two most popular sports, soccer and team handball.
You see, his father Fritz, coached the local pro team in his hometown of Herning and made it easy for Frans to fall in love with hockey. Herning played host to all of Denmark’s games in the worlds.
“My dad played and coached the pro team in Herning my whole childhood,” Nielsen said. “So basically I grew up in a hockey rink.
“It’s a small town of about 80,000 people. But it’s one of the only towns I would actually call a hockey town in Denmark. There always has been lots of hockey tradition here.”