Friend of the blog, Mans Karlsson (@manskarlssonyao), a journalist with the website Hockeysverige.se; posted his reaction to the Oscar Klefbom interview fiasco early this morning here. It is in Swedish and I’m sure someone will go in and translate it differently because English is a f*cked up language in that it’s possible to translate something a multitude of different ways so that it appeases all crowds if some were to want it that badly.
With that being said, Mr. Karlsson has offered the English version of his reaction to yesterday’s interview between Ola Winther and Oscar Klefbom to us and we’re pleased to publish that for him. Poor guy is on vacation and still has to deal with this… Brutal.
Just to preface the article here. I did ask Mr.Karlsson if it was common for players to speak about former teammates in Sweden in the same sort of fashion Klefbom did yesterday with Hall and he said, “Not at all actually. It’s pretty common to talk about coaches but not players.”
So it’s not just a foreign thing here and what Klefbom said isn’t excusable just because he’s in Sweden or is Swedish. The code between players exists beyond borders.
SHIT AUTHORITY PROVOKES ME!!
I really dislike to be away. I have worked almost every day this summer, and once I get my free week I celebrate it by sitting here and writing anyway. And this is not even my first text today…
Yesterday I sat calmly out of my parent’s house in Knutby, Sweden and was enjoying a generally great holiday. When I checked into the flow of news from the day I discovered that hockeysverige.se was in the middle of the hockey world’s absolute center. NBC had mentioned site. Edmonton Oilers supporters in all corners of the world linked like crazy to Ola Winther’s interview with Oscar Klefbom. The interview in which the Swedish defender said,
“Taylor (Hall) has been our best player in recent years, but it’s also hard to tell what he has contributed. He never played his best matches against the tougher teams, when we really needed it. However, he was fantastic when we met the inferior teams.“
I think that the Swedish players underestimate how quickly the news spreads across the Atlantic now. After a click on Google Translate fans in North America are able to read everything we write on hockeysverige.se. On the other hand, I do not think Oscar Klefbom thought there was a chance that his comments during the interview would garner much attention. What he was doing was praising a trade that his team has made and since the trade involved a Swedish player, it lead to him sounding biased. Also, saying the player that left was amazing but he was not particularly well against good teams. I understand, like any other, that that is an unusually open response. But I can’t wrap my head around the reactions afterwards.
Oscar Klefbom is a really nice guy. That being said, I’ve never interviewed him myself, but from what I have heard (when interviewed) he’ll be incredibly nice and straight. If a journalist asks him a question, he answers it. Just as it should be. Yesterday we got the proof that the NHL clubs certainly do not want that. They want you to answer the questions without answering. Like the politicians.
After the interview with Klefbom was published and had spread to North America, Oscar felt misunderstood and wanted to do another interview to clear the air. That being said, Oscar still stands for his opinions, even if he felt like he needed to say it in a different way which in turn resulted in the follow-up interview here.
In my opinion, Klefbom handled the situation great. The Edmonton Oilers organization, however, made fools of themselves in total. Oscar feeling the need to make a new interview gives the whole thing even more attention. I could understand it if Oscar Klefbom said “Wayne Gretzky likes strangling cats in his spare time”, or if he said that “Connor McDavid is the worst first overall pick since Patrik Stefan”. But the only thing Oscar is doing is talking about a player who left the team. A player the Edmonton Oilers chose to ship away for a Swedish defenseman that has yet to reach his potential. They didn’t think Taylor Hall was worth more than that. Isn’t that saying it all?
Doesn’t it more or less prove that everything Oscar Klefbom said was true? And why would the Oilers make such a big deal out of Klefbom talking about a player they themselves have chosen to trade away? In an interview with an innocent little news-site in Sweden no-less. Small quotes where Klefbom was asked about a trade involving a player that isn’t even on the team anymore, yet I believe the Edmonton Oilers got so freaked out by them that they asked Oscar to redo the interview and change his tune about what he’d said earlier. But that’s just my opinion.
I guess Peter Chiarelli and the others in Edmonton sit and watch this clip day by and say, “Now this is how you deal with the media!”