The Swedish men’s national team is one of the most successful programs in international hockey history, and now three of the country’s greatest players are now joining the front office staff. The Swedish Ice Hockey Association announced Tuesday that Mats Sundin, Nicklas Lidstrom and Daniel Alfredsson will all be aiding Sweden’s men’s national program going forward — and they’ll be doing so free of charge. Reason being, said the Swedish Ice Hockey Association’s development chief Tommy Boustedt, is the three legendary national team members want to give back to the program. “We have not talked about any compensation whatsoever,”
Boustedt told Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet. “All three have said they want to be involved and give back what they have received from the Swedish ice hockey.”
Sundin, Lidstrom and Alfredsson will undertake advisory roles, giving advice to the national team program as tournaments approach. Lidstrom told Aftonbladet that he was asked last summer about the possibility of joining the club in an advisory role. As for his expertise, Lidstrom says his knowledge and contacts from playing with the Detroit Red Wings will aid in his ability to help the Swedish team. “I know how the NHL works and I have decent track of how it goes for the Swedes,” Lidstrom said. The first order of business for Lidstrom, Sundin and Alfredsson is getting involved with the World Cup team in time for the September 2016 tournament. The challenge, Lidstrom said, was finding players who are open to accepting the roles that are expected of them, acknowledging that not every player can be a star on the national team and some will become role players. Swedish national team assistant coach
Peter Popovic told Expressen.se’s Mattias Ek that Alfredsson, who reportedly is nearing an NHL job with the Ottawa Senators, also has deep ties in the NHL and his experience at the 2014 Olympics can help when it comes to building clubs for upcoming tournaments. “I think they have pretty good track of NHL Swedes over (in North America) even though they do not play anymore, but they're working for organizations and go over to there several times per season and have some insight,” Popovic said. “We go on our scouting trips but they may have more time. ‘Alfie’ played recently and was actually on the Sochi Olympics last year. It means that he is closer to the game than (we are).” In the past 10 years, Sweden has won Olympic gold and silver medals, as well as two gold, one silver and three bronze at the IIHF World Championships.