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How Swede it is...

So much for the old days when European players were derided as soft and unsuited for the gritty world of the NHL. Heading into this season, it's likely that six teams will have Swedish captains - joining the incumbents (Mats Sundin, Daniel Alfredsson, Markus Naslund, and Mattias Norstrom, it looks like Niklas Lidstrom will follow Steve Yzerman as captain of the Red Wings, and that the Flyers want Peter Forsberg to wear the C in light of Keith Primeau's continued absence.

We've come a long ways from thirty years ago when pioneers like Borje Salming made a name for themselves in the NHL despite jeers of "Chicken Swede." Of course, we'll see how well these teams do, now that the pre-game meal is likely to be a Smorgasbord loaded down with meatballs and pickled herring...