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Papa Nilson to spend off-season in Sweden

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
-    Marcus Nilson has already had a very busy off-season. The Swedish-born forward signed a new, two-year contract with the Calgary Flames, got married and had a son, Eric, before heading overseas for the remainder of the summer.

On top of that, Nilson began training for the 2007-08 season shortly after the Flames were eliminated in Game 6 of the National Hockey League playoffs by the Detroit Red Wings.

"I pretty much started that right away, about a week after we got done and I'll keep going for the summer," said Nilson, who picked up some sticks and equipment from Flames trainers recently to continue his off-season routine in Sweden.

Nilson Video Highlights:

Nilson lives on waterfront property in his native Sweden so boating is usually part of his off-season routine. A workout and skate in the morning and a little boating in the afternoon to relax and unwind. But the birth of Eric, who is just a month old, may put a little dent in the time Nilson spends on the water over the summer.

"Yeah, that's going to make a difference," chuckled Nilson. "But his grandparents want to visit with him, too, so maybe I can get a couple of hours in on the water here and there."

Nilson, acquired by the Flames in 2004 from the Florida Panthers, has shown offensive promise and definite defensive qualities. In 2006-07 Nilson appeared in 63 games, missing time with a knee injury, and recorded five goals and 10 assists and a plus seven rating.

Decent enough numbers for a defensive player but Nilson, when asked if he was happy with his season, is quick to answer.

"No. I want to do a lot better obviously," said Nilson.

The Flames obviously like what Nilson brings to the table. Otherwise he may not have received a new contract.

"It's nice to get everything done right away and get organized," said Nilson. "I wanted to stay so we figured something out pretty quick."

Nilson, a first round pick in 1996, came to Calgary from Florida for a second round draft pick in 2004. While in Florida he played for new Flames head coach Mike Keenan.

The coach speaks highly of Nilson, particularly his team game.

"He has strong team skills and can adapt to many different situations," said Keenan. "He was a heart and soul type player. He is a total team guy."

While Nilson hasn't put much thought into goals for next season, there is one team objective.
"In the regular season you want to win the division and get home ice advantage. Once you make the playoffs though, anything can happen. But we are good at home and that's something we want to achieve," said Nilson.

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