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John Persson on Alex Ovechkin, Brent Sutter and New York Islanders fans

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John Persson was sad to see Anders Nilsson go, and confirms that all Sutters are rather cantankerous.

"As Ovi predicted!"
"As Ovi predicted!"
Bruce Bennett

Hockeysverige has a great interview with John Persson (h/t Swedish reader and talisman David). If you don't know your Frolunda from your Lulea, we recommend you run it through the Google Translate.

That's what we did, and with that tool and a little bit of sorcery we'll distill a few of the nuggets below.

On Brent Sutter, his GM in Red Deer when he played in the WHL:

I did not see him so much. He was very tough, as he is known to be. He does not smile much, not even when his team wins. All seven Sutter brothers are said to be about the same, not too happy.

On rushing to his first NHL game, an emergency callup that required limo cabs and a flight after he'd already practiced in Bridgeport:

They told me that I absolutely could not stop if I could catch the flight. I had to ride a normal flight, stand in long queue and on the plane, sit in the middle seat and get sweaty not moving for three hours.

When I landed the Isles began to write text messages wondering if I would make it so they could write me into the lineup. If I couldn't make it on time, they had an extra defenseman who they could put up as a forward. Well, maybe I and said I was closer to the rink than I actually was!

There is more in there about his first game and the hectic route to get there.

On his first NHL goal, against the Washington Capitals, a puck the Islanders framed for him and is now back with his parents:

It was great. Alex Ovechkin is a player that I have always followed. We have the same financial advisor. I went and watched a match in which he played, and then I got to meet him afterwards. When we shook hands, he said that we'll see you on the ice later in the season.

I also got to play against him and it was a five o'clock match, which meant that there were many at home, mom, dad, and so on that could watch. So that made it even more fun to be able to get a goal too.

On whether there is pressure entering the final year of his ELC, and whether he's heard much from Garth Snow about what they expect:

No, they don't say much that way ... just to do your best every day and see what happens. I think I have played well even though I was injured last year. ...

There are a lot of forwards under contract so we will see at camp. There is an unwritten rule that if it's your "senior"/final year that you should get a chance if you have not had it before.

On the prospect of the team rising again after so many years of struggles:

I was up [for the 2013 playoffs] with the Black Aces in case there were injuries, and I have never seen anything like it in the arena. It was a hell of a push. So many good fans out there on Long Island.

Interesting that seeing the Coliseum host playoffs left a mark on even the young "black aces." Hopefully some of them get to repeat that experience one last time, and deeper into next spring.

Again, find the full interview here, with more topics and quotes than noted above.