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titanium2

Ericsson: "I need to perform this year"

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http://www.nt.se/sport/artikel.aspx?articleid=6235147

http://blog.mlive.com/snapshots/2010/08/red_wings_defenseman_jonathan_1.html

"I need to perform this year."

He knocked a wasp away, talked about his decisive year ahead and took his black Mustang to the skerries. “One week left until things get serious," says Jonathan Ericsson

A stubborn wasp zooms between the tables at Fiskmagasinet (the Fish warehouse) and it tried, by all available means, to disturb him the middle of his fish soup. Norrköping's NHL star on the Detroit Red Wings got tired of it, got up and smashed the uninvited guest with one punch. It was a straight right punch, which fits all rinks on the other side of the Atlantic.

He's going back there soon

Contract year

Jonathan Ericsson is about to start his final year with the red machine in Joe Louis Arena.

"I have to perform. It's a contract year. I'm going to do everything I can. Detroit has always talked about building the team around me, and some of the other young guys, but we have to show more and take a step forward, he says."

Your goal?

"A long term contract. To have the bags constantly packed by the door and not knowing from year to year feels uncertain."

Are you nervous?

"No. Not yet, but if we're sitting here next year and I don't have a contract then it would feel a little uncomfortable."

Detroit disappeared early this spring in their battle for the Stanley Cup. The team got knocked out by the San Jose Sharks.

"It was a weird season with all the injuries. We never got into our game. It can only get better this year."

The early exit did however open for an adventure at the World Championships in Germany.

"I still feel a bit disappointed over the loss to the Czech Republic in the semifinals. It was really hard. The bronze was worthless then, but it's okay now."

If you get the chance [to play for the] Tre Kronor again...

"Then I'll take it at once. No doubt."

New teammates

Two new, but familiar and experienced faces will meet him in the locker room at Joe Louis Arena this autumn.

Center Mike Modano, 40, was aquired from Dallas. He is a playing legend in the NHL. No American has scored more points than Mike Modano, who has [registered] 1359 points in 1459 games. He won the Stanley Cup in 1999.

The defensman, Ruslan Salei, 35, has played 842 games with Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Florida Panthers and most recently the Colorado Avalanche. The Belarusian will, apparently, become "Jonte"'s new defense partner.

"It's leaning towards that. The coach will hardly move Lidström/Rafalski and Kronwall/Stuart, he says."

He will fly back to Detroit and the house in Novi in a week. On September 17th, the whole team goes to Traverse City for the tough prelude to the season.

"It will be tough - especially the first week - but I feel ready."

Summer house in the skerries

He has talked to Mike Babcock once after the season. He called, when Jonathan and Jimmie celebrated younger brother Jesper's 21st birthday in Las Vegas.

"I didn't hear who it was at first, just, 'Hey, buddy.' It was so unlike him. I asked who it was and got silent when it was the coach. He congratulated me for my effort at the World Championship," says "Jonte," and laughs.

He practiced with Vita Hästen this summer.

"They were really good practices. It could be an interesting season. They can take the step forward now. Their offense looks dangerous. They have four exciting scoring lines. Who's gonna take responsibility on their power play?"

He skipped Friday's practice.

"We have just bought a summer house out in the skärgården [the Stockholm archipelago] and we're going to go out and stay there for a while. We're gonna change some things, and want to plan a bit before I go back to Detroit and Evelina starts studying in Örebro. There's not much time left over," says "Jonte", who took his black Mustang to the skärgården.

The summer has also offered a grand wedding between teammate Henrik Zetterberg and Emma Andersson, a fishing contest in Norrland, new discoveries in Norrköping and a charity game with Niklas Kronwall in Järfälla.

"The wedding was unbelievable. It was grand. It was even like the weather was in party mode and gave us sunshine - even though all the forecasts predicted rain."

"I caught a 4.5 kilo pike by the cabin when we had the fishing contest. It wasn't enough, though. Daddy Sven aimed for a bass and won. It was the total weight of the catch that counted. I at least learned to fillet bass, which is a delicacy. Bass, boiled potatoes and dill sauce is one of my favorites."

He has hopped back and forth between restaurants in Norrköping.

"A lot has happened, with many good new places since I went out to eat the last time I was here. It's cool," says "Jonte", who is going to continue to be Norrkoping's Tidningar's man behind the curtains of the NHL this year.

A diary of the most important season of his career.

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $$ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

RedWingsin2011 and cupforwings like this

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $$ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

Stole the words right out of my mouth.

cupforwings likes this

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $$ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

The year before he performed quite well, though in a limited role on a stacked team. And what can you say about last year? He played with Brett 'hey guess what im gunna pinch in at the stupidest times' Lebda, he needed to be playing with someone who was more of a veteran presence to keep his game more in line and to cover for any mistakes. Rookies make mistakes, every last one of them, its the guys around him and the coaching staff that make or break a kid with this kind of potential.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

To be fair it also existed in plenty of the games he played during the 08-09 year.

Frozen-Man likes this

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I agree with Shaman that Ericsson suffered from Lebda-itis at times, but he's right about performing his best. Needless to say, a season without half the team injured at any given point in time would help everyone look better.

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He needs to put on some weight more than anything. He's way too skinny for his frame. Almost Kopecky-like.

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $$ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

I don;t think his problem last year was lack of effort - it was lack of confidence leading to mistakes & brain-farts

Frozen-Man and Hockeymom1960 like this

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $$ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $$ comes into the picture.

That is where a 2-3 year contract filled with bonuses based on performances comes into play. I think with players like this who acknowledge it, should get those types of contracts.

"If you didn't play well, could we renegotiate and pay you less?"

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He needed to perform last year, and the year before that. I'm pretty annoyed at players that play balls to the wall during their contract year. It gives the impression that they were half-assing it in previous years. I mean I understand that players want to make the most $ they can. But if you're a professional athlete, getting paid to do your job, you should be playing balls to the wall every night, every season.

That being said, I definitely hope big E kicks it into another gear this season. Even if it's financially motivated, I'll be happy to see the Wings give him a pay raise if he steps it up and plays like a beast. Although it still annoys me that this magical new "gear" didn't exist until potential big $ comes into the picture.

Now to be fair, he said he has to perform well this year if he wants a contract. He didn't say "I'm going to try harder this year because I want a contract" or "Last year I was terrible because I was busy thinking about Z's wife when the other team was rushing the puck" so to lay the label on him of only playing when it gets him extra money might not be accurate.

Hockeymom1960 and Frozen-Man like this

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He always seemed to have his best games when he was playing physical. When he got scratched one game, he came back, played great against the sharks, fought Clowe and was throwing around the body. He was playing better when he was playing that style

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ericsson would be 10X better if he hammered people in front of the net instead of standing around with his finger up his ass

He needs to learn to fight more. All hockey players MUST fight.

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The Big E should be a tank out there. He is very capable of leveling guys; he just needs to relax and play his game. I remember watching him in the Worlds and thinking WTF...where has THIS Ericcson been? He was hitting everything and moving the puck so well...

C'me on Big E, no more Lebda as a liability- its time to step it up!

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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He needs to learn to fight more. All hockey players MUST fight.

It wouldnt hurt his game to actually fight more. When he is playing more physical his game seems much better then when he is trying to be Lidstrom out there. If he plays more physical he'll probably fight more as well.

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It wouldnt hurt his game to actually fight more. When he is playing more physical his game seems much better then when he is trying to be Lidstrom out there. If he plays more physical he'll probably fight more as well.

Physicality is a HUGE yes... fighting... the idea of a fighting Swedish defensemen give me flashbacks to some event in the recent past...

Edited by Shaman464

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Physicality is a HUGE yes... fighting... the idea of a fighting Swedish defensemen give me flashbacks to some event in the recent past...

The Pain train will be arriving on time at MI Central, 8:10 PM.

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There's nothing wrong with suggesting that Ericsson should fight a little more.

He's the biggest guy on our team, and he's shown that he can handle himself alright. If it adds more of a mean streak to his game, then I'm all for it.

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