How Swede it is!

The Canadiens confirmed they’ve signed Swedish C/LW Mikael Johansson.

The official announcement:

Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today the signing of free agent forward Mikael Johansson to a two-way contract for the 2009-10 season. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Last season, Johansson won the Swedish Elite League playoff championship with Farjestads BK Karlstad. He registered four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 11 playoff games.
In 2008-09, the 23-year-old played his fourth season in the Swedish Elite League. Johansson, 5-10, 181-lbs., led his team with 28 assists and amassed 34 points (including 6 goals) in 49 regular-season contests.
In 2007-08, Johansson registered 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) and served 80 penalty minutes in 53 regular-season games with Farjestads BK Karlstad. He also finished second on the team with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 11 playoff contests.
Johansson was selected in the ninth round by the Detroit Red Wings, 289th overall at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Reports out of Europe earlier this week had Johansson signing a two-way contract for $1.075 million.

Please excuse the cheesy disco music on the video.


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How Swede it is?

Do you suppose this latest contagion of madness in Toronto may spur Mats Sundin toward seeking greener pastures?

Like at this end of the 401?

The firing of Paul Maurice – weeks after the season ends, months before a new general manager has been hired – is a wacky move, even by Leafs’ standards. With the draft, the June buyout window and free agency approaching, the Toronto organization has no coach and is being run by an interim GM who’ll be 73 in August.

Sundin will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Yes, he’s 37. But he had 32 goals, 42 assists and was plus-17 on a crap hockey team.

Yes, Canadiens fans hate the big lug – like those of us who are old enough hated Frank Mahovlich.

Sundin is a righthanded centre. He’s got size, skill and a mean streak.

Any questions?

In his end-of-season review on CKAC this morning, Dany Dubé said the Canadiens have too many forwards who are unidimesional – gritty guys, like Tom Kostopoulos and Steve Bégin, who play their guts out but can’t put the puck in the net.

This is an enduring problem with the club: the tough guys can’t score and the scorers aren’t tough. It’s why Bob Gainey courted Brandan Shanahan and Ryan Smyth.

The combination of grit and skill is rare in the NHL. Brenden Morrows don’t grow on trees – at least not this far above the tropics.

Dubé said the departure of Michael Ryder means Mattt D;Agostini will get a good look in training camp and would be well-advised to show up in the best shape of his career.

Ditto Kyle Chipchura, who has to improve his faceoffs and consistency.

He thinks Maxim Lapierre should be playing on the wing. And in talking about the Canadiens’ search for gritty centres, Dubé pointed out that the team has tried, with varying degrees of success, Joé Juneau, Radek Bonk and Bryan Smolinski.

• • •

Jacques Demers, in today’s Journal de Montréal, says the Canadiens need a tougthird line capable of contributing 40 to 50 goals per season.

He;s intrigued by the possibility of Sundin, saying it would "open many possibilities".

• • •

This has nothing to do with hockey. But we all need a laugh, and Canadiens have a Finnish captain and several Russian stars.


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