The gold coach’s major criticism of the Ice Hockey World Cup: “Needs more star status”

Finland’s Mikko Rantanen, Stanley Cup champion last season and 55-goal scorer in the NHL this season, is the only really big name in this year’s Ice Hockey World Cup.

Elias Pettersson had agreed to play and gave the tournament additional star shine. But everything crashed when the Vancouver star wanted to get his next contract – which is not yet finalized – insured.

SVT stated that it would cost the Swedish Ice Hockey Association over five million in insurance costs.

“It is nothing”

The IIHF, the International Ice Hockey Federation, pays roughly 200,000 kroner in insurance costs for the NHL players. The national confederations go in and pay for the rest.

— It’s nothing, what do they earn from a WC tournament?, Grönborg asks rhetorically in an interview with TT.

— The IIHF needs to step up if there is to be something extra. For me, it’s seeing these superstars. Although there are many good players in Europe, people want to see the guys from the NHL, he says.

Tre Kronor’s former gold coach Rikard Grönborg.

“Guilty Swedish people”

It was also his own focus when he led Sweden to two straight World Cup golds in 2017 and 2018.

— It’s an extra star shine, that’s why I tried to bring as many as possible, because we owe it to the Swedish people and the hockey world. So I really hope that William Nylander will come, says Grönborg, who has Tampere as his new hometown and then takes over the coaching job at the champion team Tappara.

He speculates that the pandemic has slowed down the NHL players and believes that then the IIHF must take responsibility.

— When we met the USA in the semifinals in 2018, they had both Patrick Kane and Johnny Gaudreau in the team. Canada also had a handful of superstars. Both (Connor) McDavid and Sidney Crosby have played in the World Cup. Every year we have had superstars in all these top teams, he says.

That is no longer the case.

— I think it’s a shame. When the stars aren’t here, it’s like any national team tournament. For the sake of the fans and if they are to continue buying these expensive tickets, we must get more star status, says Rikard Grönborg.

Source: by

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