A scant day after I finally came to terms with the fact that the Wolves team I fell in love with last year will be replaced with a bunch of baby Canucks, I heard a rumor saying that Jason Krog was going to Europe. Upset, I Googled for confirmation–and found that HV71, his new team, broke the news about his return to the Swedish Elite League (SEL)Â eleven days ago.
Way to tell us things, Wolves.
HV71 welcomed Krog to the team in a news article that highlighted his leadership with the Wolves, as he has been their captain for the past two seasons and earned MVP honors in 2007-2008, when he won the Calder Cup with them. (He had two stints with the Wolves in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 before returning in the 2009-2010 season to play with them full-time until now.) Krog, who played in Austria during the Lockout, played in the Swiss and Swedish leagues the following season, spending some time with Elitserien’s own FrÃ¶lunda HC. HV71’s director Fredrik Stillman called Krog “a fit guy with good character who will easily blend into the team,” which definitely sounds promising. The center was also called “a fast skater and good shooter.” Â The contract is reported to be through 2012, with Krog expected to report to HV71 on August 14. (You can find the original, in Swedish, here.)
As sad as this makes me, I will say that I am happy for Krog–the Elitserien’s a great league and HV71’s a really good team, so this is a wonderful opportunity for him. That said, it is definitely throwing the future of the Wolves further into uncertainty. Yes, it would have been hard for him to remain captain over a group of guys that he essentially did not know, but his leadership and character have been good for the Wolves over the past two seasons. He was also great with fans and a good interviewer, and for those and many more reasons we are sad to see him go… and wondering what will happen to those of us who followed the team. Can we still love them as much and call them our Wolves when they are a team we cannot recognize and our most beloved players are gone?
Stay tuned, as we cannot answer that question until the season starts.