Melnyk might risk Karlsson at Olympics, if he was Canadian

Sportsnet gave viewers an appetizer of an interview with Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk set to air on Sunday.

As is customary when with an NHL owner, a reporter is required to ask about the Olympics. Ted Leonsis made headlines a few weeks back by giving his players permission to go play in PyeongChang even if the NHL decided not to participate.

On giving Erik Karlsson the same permission to go play for Sweden during the season, Melnyk replied in the most Eugene Melnyk way possible:

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Sweden survives last minute push by Russia to win opener

The Swedish national team was dealt a blow before the puck dropped in their first tournament game. They’d be without preeminent No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist who came down with an illness before the game.

Instead, it was Jacob Markstrom’s net. For 59:33, he had a shutout against the always offensively dangerous Russians. With a little good fortune going the Swedes way, they won the opener 2-1.

The first period between Team Sweden and Team Russia showcased the first real competitive hockey of the tournament; however, the goaltenders held court. Markstrom made eight saves against the Russians, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 10 shots from the Swedes.

In the second period, with the score tied at zero, Patric Hornqvist appeared to have the first goal on his stick. Bobrovsky turned him away with the glove hand.

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Sweden adds playoff performers to final World Cup of Hockey roster

The thing with Swedish national players is that they’re likely to be good, no matter who they choose to put on their World Cup of Hockey team. Heck, they could even ice a better than halfway decent secondary team with the players they left off the roster.

Here’s who the Swedes will be bringing to Toronto in September.

(Ed. note: Bolded names are final additions.)

G Robin Lehner, Buffalo Sabres *
G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
G Jacob Markstrom, Vancouver Canucks

D Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators *

D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
D Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
D Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning

F Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals
F Loui Eriksson, Boston Bruins
F Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
F Carl Hagelin, Pittsburgh Penguins *
F Patric Hornqvist, Pittsburgh Penguins *
F Marcus Kruger, Chicago Blackhawks *

F Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
F Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
F Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks *
F Carl Soderberg, Colorado Avalanche *

F Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues
F Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

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