Niklas Kronwall spoke with Aftonbladet’s Per Bjurman this morning, and here’s a rough translation of their conversation:
“On the inside I’ve known it for a while”
Niklas Kronwall’s message that he is leaving
BORLANGE, Sweden: His active career is over.
But Niklas Kronwall isn’t leaving hockey.
He will continue as an adviser to the Detroit Red Wings team this upcoming season.
“It will be really exciting to be part of it and learn more about how that part of the business works,” says the newly-retired defenseman to Sportbladet.
“He has to take however long he wants to make a decision,” said Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman when he was questioned this summer as to whether he thought veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall would sign a new contract or not.
So now, he’s made his decision:
“Kronner,” one of only four Swedes to win both the Stanley Cup, the Olympics, the World Championship and the Swedish Championship–ends his glorious career.
“Hard to believe? Well, both. Hockey is still tremendously fun and I will definitely miss playing a lot. But deep down I’ve known for a while that it’s time to make a stop,” he says by phone from Detroit before Wednesday’s official 3 PM press conference.
“Everything has its time and now it’s time for a new chapter in life. My sons are getting older, I want to spend more time with my family.”
“The Peak of Everything”
The 38-year-old stalwart defenseman from Jarfalla is, as I’ve said, one of the most successful players in the entire history of the blue-and-yellow hockey, after a career that included 15 seasons, 953 games in the NHL, plus 109 in the playoffs–many highlights to look back on.
“The Stanley Cup in 2008 stands out, of course. It was the like the ‘peak’ of everything,” he continues.
“But winning the World Championship and the Olympics was also incredible, as was taking the gold with Djugarden. I really must emphasize that my years with Djurgarden were important–I still get goosebumps when I think of the crowded Globe Arena during big games. We have very special fans, that’s for sure.”
Niklas Kronwall will not leave hockey now. On the contrary, he will remain in Detroit for the time being, where both sons attend school, and will work in an advisory role for Steve Yzerman and the rest of the Red Wings’ leadership.
“There are several older players who’ve jumped on that swing, among others, Stevie started so well himself. It will be exceedingly exciting to be involved and learn more about how that part of the business works,” he explains.