“Uhhh, can somebody pick me up?” (Photo credit: VF-Sport)
After sixteen straight hours of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to the framework of a new CBA at 5:45AM Sunday morning, effectively ending the lockout. Across the globe in Sweden, Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson, who had been playing for BIK Karlskoga of the second-tier HockeyAllsvenskan league, was on the bus heading towards Skåne for his team’s game against Malmö on Monday.
As Johansson and the team received word the lockout was over, the bus immediately pulled over at a Karlskoga gas station and dropped Johansson off. “It all happened very quickly,” cracked Johansson to the Swedish website VF-Sport (Värmlands Folkblad) an hour later.
Below, the jump, Jacob Ware (@JacobWare95) translates Johan Eriksson’s full conversation with Mojo, as the Capital travels home to Karlstad.
What happened on the bus?
I had received little information, like all the players. Then we read on the internet about everything that had happened, and the decision to get off felt right. It would have been wrong to go to Malmö and sit there for two days and then suddenly find out that it is time to go. We were lucky the bus didn’t get too far.
I assume you’re happy the lockout is over?
Yes, very. It feels so nice. That’s where I want to play and that’s where I’ve lived two years and made a life for myself. Most of all, it’ll just be nice to stop living in constant uncertainty.
Marcus, what was it like to play in Karlskoga and the HockeyAllsvenskan?
It’s been really great to play, especially on such a fun team. The actual hockey has been up-and-down, but the team has been good and we’re on top of the Allsvenskan.
Compared to other players, you must feel well prepared [for the NHL season]?
Yes, I’ve played some games and I feel in good shape.
When are you going to North America?
I’m not sure exactly when I’ll fly over, but it will be in the next couple of days.