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May 31, 2012

Johan Hedberg

Adam Larsson

Henrik Tallinder


THE MODERATOR:  Henrik, did you want to talk about Nicklas Lidstrom.
HENRIK TALLINDER:  You could say it's a sad day for hockey.  But maybe it's a little bit expected.  I think it's probably one of the, if not the best, Swedish player to ever play the game is retiring.  He's been a great role model for every Swede growing up, myself included.  I had an honor to play with him a few times on the national team.
He's a great person, very, very professional.  I think it's someone that probably doesn't get the respect that he deserves in Sweden.  He's a low‑key guy that gets overshadowed by some more marquee personalities.
If there's anyone that people should want to model themselves after, it would be him.
THE MODERATOR:  Let's open it up to questions.

Q.  Adam, you were born in his second season in Detroit.  Can you talk about how you first became aware of him and why you idolize him.
ADAM LARSSON:  I think I watched him play in the national team and all that.  He's huge in Sweden, too.  I think all the young players in Sweden look up to him, try to play similar as he do.
What he have done so far is unique.  Hopefully I can look back after my career and see that I've done something good like he had.

Q.  Henrik, can you just share your thoughts about him, maybe the first time you met him, played against him, what that was like for you?
HENRIK TALLINDER:  Well, he's been an icon in Sweden for so long.  I mean, two decades is a long time playing in the best league in the world.  The things he has accomplished is remarkable.  In my eyes, he's the best Swedish player we've had over here.  No offense to Forsberg and Sundin.  Just with four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophys, that says it all, I think.
For me growing up, he wasn't my biggest idol because I was a little bit too young (smiling).  But once he started to make it in this league, I mean, who doesn't look up to him?  He's an icon.  Everybody wants to be like him, play like him.  Offensively, defensively, you name it, he does it all.
First time I played against him, I can't remember that, but we were probably playing Detroit and we were probably ‑ how do you say ‑ outed, killed by them (smiling).
But just watching him play, you would describe it once, it's like a symphony.

Q.  Adam, did you ever meet Lidstrom?  What was that like?
ADAM LARSSON:  No, I haven't met him.

Q.  How about your dad?  I think he played against him.  Did your dad ever say anything?
ADAM LARSSON:  No (laughter).

Q.  Henrik, do you want to give us an update on your status?  Do you think you can get yourself into this series at all?  What would that be like for you?
HENRIK TALLINDER:  I'm good.  I'm ready.  I don't know, I mean, the coach has to make the call.  But, as I said, I feel physically fine.  I don't have any issues.  I've been practicing for two, three weeks now, and I feel good.
I mean, if I get the chance, it's a dream come true.  This is where you want to play.

Q.  Johan and Henrik, you both said Lidstrom was probably the best Swedish player ever.  Would you say he might be the best European player ever?
JOHAN HEDBERG:  If he's the best European player?  Well, it's so hard to compare.  Look at a guy like, just in recent years, Jagr's accomplishments is a guy that should be put up there.  Probably plenty other guys names you can name being great.
In my mind, how he's been consistently great for 20 years, helped the franchise to four Stanley Cups, he never really been hurt.  He's been a mainstay and the backbone of that team for two decades.  That's very impressive to me.
I think that's what sets him apart from a lot of other guys.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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