Ericsson looks forward to playing with his brother in Sochi
DETROIT — Playing in the Olympics is a dream come true for Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.
That dream was doubled for Ericsson when he learned his older brother, Jimmie, also made Team Sweden, the only non-NHL player to do so.
"It’s going to be an amazing experience overall," Ericsson said. "Just for our families, too, to be able to watch us. It’s going to be really cool and something I will remember forever."
Jonathan Ericsson is 29, four years younger than Jimmie, a forward.
The brothers were supposed to play together before but bad luck prevented it from happening.
"I haven’t really played with him, except for a charity game," Ericsson said. "We were supposed to play with each other in 2010 World Championships but he got hurt. I came in kind of late in the tournament and he got hurt the same game I got back so we haven’t really had a chance to play with each other."
That year, the Wings lost to the San Jose Sharks in the playoffs and Ericsson went to Germany with some of the other Swedish Wings for the World Championships.
Jimmie was injured on his first shift and was not able to play the rest of the tournament.
A similar thing happened in 2012.
So now the Ericsson brothers are hoping for better health in Sochi, Russia next month.
"It’s going to be in the Olympics, too, which will make it more special," Ericsson said. "I always wanted to play with him and hoped there was going to be a chance with the last lockout here but the Swedish (Elite) League decided not to bring in any NHL players. But that would have been a good way to play with him. We tried in the World Championships before in 2010 and ’12 but he got hurt, both of them. So this will be, third time’s the charm, you say."
Since most non-Swedes haven’t seen Jimmie play, Ericsson offered a quick scouting report on his brother.
"He’s a pretty overall guy, he plays in all kinds of situations — power play, penalty killing, kind of has that (Tomas) Holmstrom role in front of the net on the power play, doing a lot of heavy work," Ericsson said. "He plays a tough game and from what I hear from everyone else, he’s a player that everyone loves to have on their team but hates to play against so that’s a good quality to have."
Ericsson is one of six Red Wings on Team Sweden.
Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will serve as Team Sweden’s captain. Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson, Johan Franzen and Jonas Gustavsson also made the squad.
"It’s something that I really look forward to and it’s pretty cool that we’re all going," Ericsson said. "Not just the Swedes, Pavel (Datsyuk), Howie (Jimmy Howard), other guys are going, too. It’s something I really look forward to."
Although Ericsson has played in the World Championships, this will be his first Olympic appearance.
"I think just World Championships have been really special for me to play and represent my country," Ericsson said. "I also think I got cut in the last couple of D-men in the last Olympics, and having a chance to play here will be really special. Of course my brother’s on the team and that makes it even more special. To go there and hopefully I’m going to play with Kronner (Kronwall), that’s what they were talking about, at least, and that will be a really cool experience, too, for me to play with him.
"It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I got the call that I made the team."