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Mattias Sjögren: "They Really Believe in Me"

<em>photo via <a href="" target="new">Capitals Overtime</a></em>
photo via Capitals Overtime

Shortly after signing a two-year deal with the Washington Capitals, Mattias Sjögren spoke with Swedish media outlet Helsingborgs Dagblad about his new contract and playing alongside fellow Landskrona native Marcus Johansson.

There had been rumours buzzing about an NHL move for Mattias Sjögren for quite some time now, but which club he would play for hadn’t been determined until today when it was revealed that his new team is the Washington Capitals.

"They have showed an interest in me for a long time and now they gave me a good offer. I got a good feeling when I talked to the club and that’s where I want to play," says Mattias.

He arrived in Sweden yesterday after a trip to North America and this morning he sent off a signed contract to the club.

"They really believe in me. If they didn’t I wouldn’t have signed with them. But it's totally up to me to make something out of the opportunity they have given me," says Sjöberg.

The former Rögle player and another Washington player, Marcus Johansson have something in common: they both started their careers playing for the Landskrona-based club, Lejonet.

"I talked to him before I made my decision and even before that we talked some. He only had positive things to say about the club. To have someone that knows what it’s like over there obviously helped me a lot."

Mattias is three years older than Marcus so they never played junior hockey together.

"We were supposed to play together in Färjestad last season, but he left for NHL before we had the chance. So that left me with no other option than to follow him over there," says Sjögren with a laugh.

Has Washington been a favorite team of yours?

"I never really had a favorite NHL team. I just followed the teams that had Swedish players, it’s always more fun to watch when there are Swedes on the team."

Mattias' North American agent is none other than the former NHL great Claude Lemieux.

"Me and Johan and Micke (his Swedish agents) flew to Toronto because that’s were Lemieux lives. Then we flew to Washington and we also made a stop in Montreal. In Montreal I talked to some other clubs. Claude has really helped me a lot."

It was very obvious that he had a former star player at his side.

"When you travel with him you realize just how big he is. It’s good to have someone with that much experience and who knows what he is talking about on your side."

Sometime in August Mattias moves to the big city over there. But he doesn't seem to be all that worked up about it.

"It’s the usual. Ice rinks and hotels is all I’m going to see anyway."