Johan Rylander is the Frölunda Hockey beat writer for Gothenburgs daily paper ‘Göterborgs Posten’, and he got an exclusive interview with New York Rangers Lias Andersson after the Champions Hockey League semifinal on Tuesday night, you can find the full article here.
It was a guarded but forthcoming Lias Anderson that spoke about his situation. “People can say it’s an idiotic decision in regards to my hockey career - but they don’t know the whole story” is the opening quote from Lias, who is wearing a pair of slippers as he cant fit his feet into a pair of shoes, he played the last games with both Hartford and New York Rangers with injured feet. In the end he left USA on the first possible flight.
-”There has been many incidents, but I can’t divulge everything, I will do that at a later stage. There has been many incidents that has hurt me on a personal level, things that has made me struggle mentally. In regards to hockey this might be an idiotic decision but I have to think about my private life too.”, Lias falls silent, “I feel like I have lost the hunger and drive for [hockey] at the moment - and all these incidents has affected me. I feel like I have to get this under control first and foremost.”
-”I know I am good enough to play over there, I think I proved that during the preseason. I thought I grabbed one of the centre spots behind Mika Zibanejad, but...”, Lias falls silent again, “My hockey confidence is probably in there somewhere but mentally it has been tough due to some things. That’s the problem.”
-”There is a career that is more important than hockey, that career includes friends, family and my health. Hockey wise this might not be the smartest decision, we have to wait for the verdict a couple of years, if I want to play in the NHL. However, hockey is played in many places. Many people believe I have made a hockey decision but I have made this decision with my future health on mind.”
-”Dad understood why I left, and more people will. I have spoken with my friends and my agents they really do understand why I left. That feels comfortable. When you don’t know the whole truth this will look like an idiotic decision, but I am no spoiled brat who moans about not playing for the New York Rangers. That’s not the point there are other factors.”
Johan Rylander asks the question that comes to everyone’s mind, “We have seen a few coaches leave their NHL clubs during the season, Mike Babcock left Toronto Maple Leafs as an example, after it was revealed he was bullying players. Has it been a similar situation for you, have you been bullied Lias?”
-”I don’t know what to say, or how to answer. It has been tough, that’s it. I will say more when the time is the right.”
The Swedes on New York Rangers have been supportive, “It is sad when you have become so close on a personal level, and they get saddened when things like this happen. But my health comes first - and they understand that too.”
Translation done for SB Nation by Patrik Bexell.
*Editor’s note, “I thought I would grab” changed to “I thought I grabbed”