The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators play two games as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on Friday and Saturday. Senators defenseman Fredrik Claesson, who is from Stockholm, is a guest blogger for NHL.com. Here is Claesson's first entry after arriving with the team on Tuesday:
STOCKHOLM - We just landed this afternoon and went right to the rink and had practice, so I haven't been outside, had a fika -- a Swedish fika -- just trying to relax. [Note: a fika is a coffee break, and it is revered in Sweden.] That's what I'm most looking forward to, that and a home-cooked meal from my parents. It's a busy day, we're going to the Canadian embassy today and having a team dinner tonight, so it's always something the first day and I think after tomorrow it will sink in and feel like home.
I'm used to being over in North America now, it's my sixth year, but I never thought something like this would happen. Then last year Gabriel Landeskog called me, "Oh, I heard we're going to play against each other next year in Sweden in the Globe." So from that point I was like …. this is going to happen. Now we're here and I'm really excited.
We're best friends, me and Landeskog, we have like six guys back here that are really close and he's one of them. We work out and see each other every day. He lives like a minute from me. We do everything together. I can't really put words into how special that makes it -- we talk every day, just small things -- but it's something I didn't really think that was going to be possible. Especially here, this is our hometown. We live like two minutes from here, and that's just something that's really special for both of us.
On the off day, Wednesday, I'm going to take the guys for a little shopping. I've been talking a lot about Stockholm shopping and the city so I'm just going to take them for a little tour there and go for a fika, play tour guide. On Thursday, before the game, I'm going to get to go home for a while, just a day, go see my grandma at the hospital, do stuff like that. She's been there for a while -- to come home and go to see her there and see how she is feeling, that's something I've been looking forward to.
A lot of the guys were complaining about the jet lag, but that's something you get used to. I think if we can stay up a little longer tonight that would help so we can sleep in a little bit tomorrow. They'll get used to it, they'll figure it out.