Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Naslund New Manager of Swedish National Team

STOCKHOLM (CP) - Mats Naslund has been named manager of Sweden's national hockey team.
But the former Montreal Canadiens great downplayed his new job. "This role is not as big as a GM in Canada," he said Monday. "I'm not going to be picking the team or picking the coaches or anything. I'm just going to be the leader of the group in tournaments. It's not a big, big thing, the way I see it."
He'll be involved with the Olympic team but won't select the roster.
"I don't think so. I think (head coach) Bengt-Ake Gustafsson will be picking the team, I don't think I'll be involved in that. I'm not a GM."
Naslund said he's more like a consultant, hoping to help out any way he can.
"It's just an opportunity to get involved in the game again," he said. "It's not a full-time job. I've been out of hockey for the last four to five years so it's a way to get back in. But I don't ever see myself as a GM or a coach."
Naslund will join the team for the Ceska Pojistovna Cup in the Czech Republic in September, the first of four annual tournaments that are part of the European Hockey Tour.
Naslund, 46, was inducted to the IIHF Hall of Fame in May, as one of only 16 players to have won the Olympic gold medal (1994 in Lillehammer), the IIHF world championship (1991 in Finland) and the Stanley Cup (1986 with the Montreal Canadiens).
Naslund, who represented Sweden in 176 international games, also played in the 1980 and 1992 Olympics, as well as in three Canada Cups (1984, 1987, 1991) and in five world championships.
Naslund was the last Montreal Canadiens player to record a 100-point season (110 in 1985-86).

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