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Berglund In A Better Place

June 1, 2019, 2:20 PM ET [13 Comments]
NHL news by Garth • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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Titta, här står en framgångsrik man mitt i karriären och säger att han mår dåligt, att allt gått åt helvete. Han väljer att lämna karriär, pengar, drömmen. Han säger det högt så att alla hör. Det händer nu. Tyst, vänta, bara lyssna du också... Hörde du? Precis, det händer ingenting. Solen gick upp som vanligt, även i dag. Världen rämnar inte, bara för att en man lyssnar inåt, vågar känna efter och väljer att kliver av ett liv som får honom att må dåligt. Och säga det högt. Vem kunde väl ana! #rävsaxen #normer #mansnormer #maskulinitet #manlighet #machokulturen #tasnacket #feminism #ishockey #patrikberglund #psykiskohälsa #mänshälsa Källa: https://www.svt.se/sport/ishockey/patrik-berglund-talar-ut-om-uppbrottet-behovde-komma-bort-och-fa-hjalp

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Have you ever felt so bad and have been so emboldened by your unhappiness as to scatter a pile containing $13 million in guaranteed money into the gale force winds of Lake Erie?

Then walk away and never look back?

I never have either.

Inexplicably, Patrik Berglund did just that in December 2018 when he left a pile of cash and his NHL career in Buffalo. Berglund left Buffalo and returned to his native Sweden.

His heart was clearly not in North America. Nor was it in the NHL Buffalo Sabres.

The Berglund saga began last summer was he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres in the blockbuster deal that sent Selke candidate center Ryan O’Reilly to the St. Louis Blues. The Sabres took back Berglund and four other pieces including forwards Tage Thompson, Vlad Sobotka, a second round (2021) draft choice and the Blues' 2019 first round draft choice, which will be number 29 at the NHL Draft in Vancouver.

By his own admission, Berglund never vibed with this coaches, manager and teammates in Buffalo. After 23 games cruising on L3 and L4, and creating just 2G,2A the bleep hit the wall.

On December 8, Berglund played his last game for the Sabres against the Philadelphia Flyers.

From that point on, Berglund disappeared. He was hiding in plain sight.

"I was suspended for disciplinary reasons because I did not appear for practice and a game. It was a completely correct decision. I knew no other way to act. I needed to come home, get away from the hockey and get help, Berglund said.

As Berglund disappeared like Harry Houdini, so too did the Sabres.

On the morning of Sunday December 9, 2018 the Sabres (38 points) were sitting pretty in third place in the Eastern Conference standings behind the Lightning (47 points) and Maple Leafs (41 points).

After 30 games played with Berglund in the lineup, the Sabres were 17-9-4 and earned a .633 winning percentage. The Stanley Cup playoffs looked like a lead pipe lock for the Sabres on the day that Berglund bailed out on his team.

Coincidentally, the Blues were 10-14-4 and in 29th place in the NHL on 12/9/18.

Who knew then that the Sabres would struggle mightily and end the season with a putrid 16-30-6 (38 points) record in its final 52 games played without Berglund?

I'm not saying that it was Berglund's fault that the Sabres fell off the face of the earth. What I am saying is that it was a huge contributing factor.

On December 9, When he failed to attend a team practice without informing then head coach Phil Housley nor team captain Jack Eichel, Sabres GM Jason Botterill terminated Berglund.

Botterill released Berglund and in so doing deleted the remaining $13 million guaranteed U.S. dollars on his contract. Berglund left Buffalo and went home to Sweden where he was living off the grid for nearly two months.

In late January, Berglund told a Swedish newspaper he simoly lost his passion for the game of hockey after he was traded away from his comfort zone in St. Louis here he had played ten seasons with the Blues. Berglund was the 25th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

"I just knew I had to go home to find myself again," Berglund said.

"My contract and all the money I gave up means nothing," Berglund said. "I can give up that amount at any time to feel good inside."

Looking back on it, Berglund was not thrilled with the trade to Buffalo. He thought he had trade protection when he did not. He said he doesn't blame Blues GM Doug Armstrong for trading him. Instead, Berglund has some not so flattering things to say about his agent's role in Ryan O'Reilly blockbuster trade with the Sabres.

Berglund said he hasn't regretted one second of walking away from the Sabres and the NHL.

Not sure if I am ready to fully and completely believe him.

Berglund played 694 career regular season games for the Blues. He scored 168 goals and 154 assists for 322 while wearing the Blue Note. In 60 career playoff games, Berglund scored 10 goals and 16 assists.

Berglund never lived up to all the hype that surrounded him. He was an XL power forward who lacked the power element of his game. He struggled to throw around his 6'4", 220 lb. frame. He was branded as soft and skilled. He left his coaches and teammates wanting more.

In December, Berglund told his critics and employr to " take this job and shove it. I ain't working here no more".

Earlier this week, my former Hockeybuzz.com teammate Andy Strickland spoke with "Bergy" on his popular St. Louis radio show.

Berglund sounded like he was in a good place mentally and physicall. He said he is savoring watching his friends and former teammates battle for Lord Stanley's Cup against the Boston Bruins. Berglund also said he is preparing himself to play competitive hockey again tough he would not specify whether he would return to the NHL or play for his hometiwn team Vasteras of the Swedish Elite League.

"I haven't regretted it for a second", Berglund said told Strickland.

Berglund is a man of conviction.

I don't agree with this decision to skate away from his NHL career and millions of guaranteed dollars. However, I respect the man and am happy for him. Berglund sounds like he is in a better place today than he was six months ago. I wish him well in his future endeavors.

"The NHL door is still open, but I have a couple of doors open here in Europe too", Berglund said.

Money can't buy eternal, lasting happiness.

I love Berglund's answer to the question as to whether he would attend a Stanley Cup parade in St. Louis should the Blues defeat the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals.

"If they win, I'm goddamn Uber-ing and goddamn helicopter-ing over the Atlantic, and I will be there"

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