It’s been a pretty busy morning here at Kettler, so let’s recap the news:
* 2008 first-round pick has been loaned to Boras HC of Allsvenskan, the No. 2 league in Sweden. Earlier this week, George McPhee had said they were trying to find a team in Sweden for Gustafsson, who has been a healthy scratch all year for the Hershey Bears. There wasn’t a team in the Swedish Elite League willing to offer ample playing time, so Bengt’s son is back in the “Swedish AHL” for now.
Gustafsson cannot return to North America (for the Bears or Stingrays) until after his season is completed in Sweden. He might be on the Swedish entry in the world junior championships, which will be in Western Canada this year.
“The Bears have a pretty good team, and he’s only 19,” Boudreau said. “He played Division II last year in Sweden and that’s quite a jump. Some guys need to be 21, 22. Some guys make it as an 18-year-old, but there’s not many of them.”
* Keith Aucoin has been recalled from Hershey, but Boudreau said it was a precautionary move.
“We had a couple of guys banged up and we didn’t know if they were going to play or not,” Boudreau said. “It was more precautionary than anything. There’s a good chance that both of the guys who are banged up or not feeling well will play.”
It should be noted that by calling up Aucoin even if he’s not going to play, this means Michael Nylander wasn’t an option even in a pinch if Boyd Gordon couldn’t play.
* John Erskine has been placed on injured reserve, which means he is out for tonight’s game and for Saturday at the least.
* Tyler Sloan looks like the healthy scratch on defense tonight against the Sharks.
* Nicklas Backstrom launched his own website today, www.backstrom19.com. This same guy who designed Henrik Zetterberg’s personal site did Backstrom’s.
“It is interesting,” Backstrom said. “It is good for fans to follow the site. It is a little bit about my history and when I grew up with news and media clips about me. It is good for people who like me.”