Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Norwegian Olympic roster selected

In the first post I made here I said that this "Norwegian Red Wings blog" would emphasise Red Wings and not Norwegian. And I think every post I have made (except for that first one) has been true to that mantra. Now is another one of those times where I have to talk abut Norway again, because we selected our olympic roster today.

Who the fuck cares aout Norway? You should! They might suck, and be a pretty easy victim for USA and Canada, but we've beat the Canadiens before (albeit in the Wrold Championships) and it's not gonna be as easy as many would expect to beat us. And after all we're the opening opponent of the Canadian team an we also meet USA and Switzerland (the only team we have a dacent chance against). And considering that I am not only Norwegian, but have played/trained with or against a few of the players on team, I feel that I owe my nation to write what will probably be the only analysis of this roster published outside of Norway. I will write a bit longer on the guys I know, since I have more info on them.

So here we go:

Pål Grotnes, Stjernen, Norway
Born: 1977. Height: 6 ft 2 (188 cm). Weight: 190 lb (86 kg).
This Year: 26 games, 13-12-0, 1 shutout, 2.95 GAA, .905 save percentage.
Grotnes is a veteran goalie, who has always been a measure of mediocrity. He's been decent in the Norwegian league, though struggling a bit on a weak team this year. INternationally he has a tendency to fall short, let in bad goals, annd quite frankly not measure up. Still he is the veteran goalie, and probably the sturdiest and safest of the three.

Andre Lysenstøen, Haki, Finland 2nd level
Born: 1988. Height: 194 cm. Weight: 112 kg.
I don't read finnish so I can't find any stats.
Andre was always a big guy and and extremely talented goalie. When I was a kid, my team was way better than his when it came to talent level, yet the games against them werealways hard, because Andre would play hard, and be at his best against us. Later he joined my team and I played with him for a few years. He sadly allowed himself to get lazy and not work hard enough and he also gained too much weight. In his first year of high school, he lived alone for the first time, but had to be sent home after a few months because of malnutrition. Luckily his later teams and the National team has been hard on him and upped his work rate. He is still very talented, big and quite smart, though lacking a bit in speed. His best asset and worst enemy is his head. He can be the nicest guy, then turn a fit. He is a winner head above all and can't take losing. This materialized itself badly in his international debut where he collapsed after a couple of goals, and also when he played with me, at which time he'd break his stick every time he let in a goal. But his will to win also leads to him giving his best performances in his biggest games, and he was great in the last year's World Championship.

Ruben Smith, Storhamar, Norway
Born: 1987. Height: 182 cm. Weight: 75 kg.
This year: 25 games, 14-10-0, 2.88 GAA, .908 save percentage.
Ruben is a guy who is yet again, fairly mediocre. Like the rest of the Norwegian goalies, he is no way near the best goalie in the Norwegian league. He's a good guy (as far as I know him), works hard and has a good attitude, but his international bouts so far haven't been great.

Alexander Bonsaksen, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 180 cm. Weight: 83 kg.
This year: No goals, 2 assists, 14 PIM. That's all I can find.
Bonsaksen isn't big, but he's a tough guy and a sturdy defender. He only has 2 National team games, but still his skill will elevated our defense.

Jonas Holøs, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 5ft 11 (180 cm). Weight: 210 lb (95 kg). Drafted: 170th overall in 08 by the Avs.
This year: 29 games, 0 goals, 10 assists, 14 PIM.
Probably the most talented young defender on the team, Holøs's great WC in 08 led to the Avs drafted him. He had a great season in Sweden after that, but failed in this year's WC and only got offered a two-way deal by the Avs. Thus he chose to see his 2 year deal out with Färjestad. He is a skilled defenseman, good with the puck and in all probability a future NHLer.

Tommy Jakobsen, Lørenskog, Norway
Born: 1970. Height: 173 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 29 games, 2 goals, 12 assists, +8, 46 PIM.
Don't let the size of this former German elite league player fool you. He can skate well, hits hard for his size and has neutralized big NHL stars in several WCs. He's the best, safest defender we have and will probably be the captain. Sadly he is winding down his career and is not at the level he used to be. He is also my dad's fav player (now that Fleury has retired).

Juha Kaunismäki, Stavanger Oilers, Norway
Born: 1979. Height: 187. Weight: 88 kg.
This year: 29 games, 0 goals, 5 assists, -2, 70 PIM.
This Finnish born defenseman is tough and good with the puck, but lacks the speed on his skates for international hockey. He takes way too many dumb penalties and should never have been on the roster.

Lars Erik Lund, Vålerenga, Norway
Born: 1974. Height: 187 cm. Weight: 95 kg.
This year: 23 games, 8 goals, 8 assists, +1, 10 PIM.
This veteran defender is tough, skilled with the puck and experienced. Sadly he's not the fastest guy around, which makes him a probable 3rd pairing guy.

Ole Kristian Tollefsen, Philadelphia Flyers
Born: 1984. Height: 6 ft 2 (188 cm). Weight: 211 lb (96 kg). Drafted: 65th overll in 02 by the BJs
This year: 10 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, -1, 17 PIM.
This former BJ defender is a tough guy. He hits hard, fights hard and is still moveable and decent with the puck. Saldy he has had a lot of injuries, but when he was healhty he played very well in Columbus. In Philly his injuries has hurt him and he has also been a scratch alot. Still our best defender by far.

Mats Trygg, Kölner Haie, Germany
Born: 1976. Height: 178 cm. Weight: 82 kg.
This year: 17 games, 3 goals, 3 assists, -7.
This small defender is a smart guy and has a bomb from the point. Has years of experience as Färjestad's top defender and is now doing well in Germany. Skates and passes well. Invauable to the team.

Morten Ask, Thomas Sabo Tigers, Germany
Born: 1980. Height: 185 cm. Weight: 91 kg.
This year: 28 games, 9 goals, 15 assists, 105 PIM.
Ask is a skilled, fast and hard player, who has been a stallwarth on the national team for years. Now he has established himself as a good pointgetter in Germany and he will be an important part of Norway's offense.

Anders Bastiansen, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1980. Height: 188 cm. Weight: 97 kg.
This year: Can't find stats, but last year he had 54 games, 10 goals and 22 assists for the same team.
I don't know that much about this guy. He is tough, a hard worker and is among the more average forwards in the Swedish league. The national team hopes he can provide grit and some offense.

Kristian Forsberg, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 183 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 1 goal, 1 assist, 10 PIM.
This guy is ranked as one of our better talents, but will probably not be among the ice time leaders in the Olympics.

Mads Hansen, Brynäs, Sweden
Born: 1978. Height: 183 cm. Weigth: 90 kg
Last year: 52 games, 14 goals, 8 assists, -4, 38 PIM.
This guy was a star in the Norwegian league before he moved to Sweden. There he has assumed a lower profile, but still does pretty decently on a regular basis. Sadly he is injurd and might miss the whole Olympic thing. He is an assistant captain in his club.

Marius Holtet, Färjestad, Sweden
Born: 1984. Height: 183 cm. Weight: 81 kg. Drafted: 42nd overall by the Stars in 2002.
LAst year: 49 games, 3 goals, 5 assists.
This former 3 year AHL-pro has established himself as a hard working, fast and skilled player in the Swedish elite league. He will be an important part of the Norwegian team in the Olympics, being one of the grinders.

Lars Erik Spets, Vålerenga, Norway
Born:1985. Height: 178 cm. 81 kg.
This year: 27 games, 11 goals, 24 assists, +27, 10 PIM.
This guy has been setting the Norwegian league on fire this year. He is fast and extremely killed with the puck. He makes smart plays and is a good finisher. It's gonna be exciting to see how he can do in the Olympics against better competition.

Mathis Olimb, Frölunda, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 179 cm. Weight: 79 kg.
This year: 33 games, 4 goals, 16 assists, 16 PIM.
After a couple of years in Germany, Olimb is now one of the best players on Frolunda. He's not big, but he is skilled and works hard. He's one of the guys that the team trusts to create some offense and hopefully he can be among our top playmakers in the Olympics. Smart player from a good hockey family.

Martin Røymark, Frölunda, Sweden
Born: 1986. Height: 184 cm. Weight: 86 kg.
This year: 33 games, 5 goals, 2 assists, 10 PIM.
Another guy from a great hockey family. He is a hard worker and maybe the most well trained Norwegian hockey player. He's got amazing strenght and a pretty good skillset and a good hockey head on top of that. Exciting talent.

Per-Åge Skrøder, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1978. Height: 180 cm. Weight: 92 kg.
This year: 12 goals, 12 assists, 31 PIM.
He has been one of the top forwards in the Swedish league for years and formed a deadly line with Nicklas Sundstrom and Mats Aasen for MODO last year. He is consistently among the leaders in points. In his younger days there were rumours of NHL offers, but he stayed in Sweden. Expected to lead Norway's offense in the Olympics.

Patrick Thoresen, Ufa, KHL
Born: 1983. Height: 180. Weight: 85 kg.
This year: 39 games, 14 goals, 27 assists.
This ex-Oiler and Flyer declined a two way deal from the Flyers, spent the first year in Switzerland and now he rocks the KHL. He is top 5 in points and number 1 in plus minus. Eat that Sergei! In the NHL he got more of a grinder role, but he is skilled with the puck and will be depended upon to create in the Olympics. First Norwegian in the NHL playoffs ever.

Tore Vikingstad, Hannover Scorpions, Germany
Born: 1975. Height: 191 cm. Weight: 93 kg. Drafted 180th overall by the Blues in 1999.
Can't find stats.
Gotta love a team named after the city's best band the Scorpions. Vikingstad has been the big star of the National team for years, and still is expected to produce big. He has been voted MVP of the German league, is technical, fast and extremely smart. Turned down the Blues in 99.

Martin Laumann Ylven, Linköping, Sweden
Born: 1988. Height: 190 cm. Weight: 95 kg.
Last year: 55 games, 1 goal, 1 assist, -7, 38 PIM.
Ylven is big and strong and goes a lot on his will. He is defensive minded and will be a shutdown guy for Norway. When I played against him he was a defender, and one you didn't wanna meet. He can bodycheck you into dreamland. Nice guy, but a bit cocky.

Mats Zuccarello Aasen, MODO, Sweden
Born: 1987. Height: 170 cm. Weight: 73 kg.
This year: 14 goals, 23 assists, 36 PIM
Aasen always was small and skilled. When we were kids he would go circles around us and outplay us every time. I remember how we feared his shot. During puberty he struggled because of his size, but as a senior he has been vicious. He is ranked not only as one of the best player in the Swedish league, but also one of the most promising. He is fast, magic with the puck and has a nose for the net. He will be essential to the team in the Olympics.


  1. I say this to Norwegian haters: What's not to love about Norway? In addition to this being my favorite Norwegian blogger, and in addition to my 7th grade chorus teacher, there are also the following to consider: Henrik Ibsen, Per Petterson, Edvard Munch, Roald Amundsen, plus all reindeer ever. Also, you guys have a kickass flag.

    In all seriousness, thanks for the crash course on the Norwegian Olympic team. I will feel like a total expert when I tune in.

    P.S. I meant to ask you this the other week, but I forgot (typing the above names made me remember): Someone of Swedish descent once told me that as a rule, Norwegians have -en at the end of their names, whereas Swedes have -on. (Larsen v. Larson) Is that always true? If so, Per Petterson is a fraud.

  2. Hehe, Don't really like Ibsen though. Knut Hamsun was a way better writer, but gets overlooked because of his politics.
    Gotta love the reindeer and he flag.

    -son is the Swedish and -sen the Norwegian/Danish way to end a name signifying son of... But due to migration and the fact Norway was united with Sweden for some time, the words have traveled across the borders.

  3. Thanks for clearing that one up. I wish they would keep the -sen ending because it's unique. So many languages have the -son...be different.

    Be honest: Do you have a pet reindeer?

  4. Well the son thing always comes from Sweden though. Still, here there are more -sens than -sons.

    Sadly my pet reindeer is dead. Honestly, nope, but I've seen some nice ones. I do however have a huge Alaskan Husky

  5. I'm going to go ahead and continue believing that all Norwegians own reindeer so I can also continue to be jealous.

  6. Thanks for the analysis!

    As I am probably 1/8 to 1/16 Norwegian (depending on who in my family you believe), I take an interest in the Norwegian squad.

    Also, you can find Tore Vikingstad's stats at:

    HockeyDB is my preferred site for player stats and draft histories.

    If you could direct me to any websites that specialize in Norwegian jerseys, that would be awesome.


  7. @natalie: haha okay

    @RWH: You're welcome.

    Thanks for the link

    I sadly have no idea about where to find Norwegian jersey's but I'll check around

  8. BTW: Norway's a small country count:
    Former teammate: Lysenstøen
    Played aginst: Ylven, Aasen, Holøs, Bonsaksen
    Trained a lot with: Olimb, Røymark, Smith
    Summer hockey camp coaches: Trygg, Hansen
    My mom's younger cousin's teacher for a year in elementary school: Jacobsen.
    Absolute douchebag, but good player: Thoresen

    Where are they now?
    Of the three former Norwegian NHLers not on the roster Bjørn Botta Skaare (one REd Wing shift in the 70s) is dead, Espen Knutsen is retired and coaches in the Elite League and Anders Myhrvold (8 or so Wing games a few years ago) is not on the team because of breach of team policy (drug abuse, refusing drgu test, threaths). He's playing in our elite league and is an absolute arse, though he was nice the few times he coached me.