This news broke late Friday night, and my plan was to write about it Saturday morning, and then I forgot…oops. Lias Andersson has decided he will remain in Sweden with HV-71.
Lias Andersson stannar i HV71. ”Jag är väldigt tacksam över att det gick att lösa en fortsättning med HV71, som jag trivs oerhört bra i”, säger Lias Andersson. #HV71 https://t.co/UuebrItJ0X pic.twitter.com/5c4UXw97lw
— HV71 (@HV71) July 24, 2020
The Rangers will have him on loan, so they can still recall him throughout next season. The Andersson drama continues, and it’s fun to pin the blame either solely on the play or solely on the team, but at this point the only right answer is there is blame on both sides.
The decision makes sense for Andersson, who will be the 1C with HV-71 and get big minutes. He simply would not have gotten those minutes at the NHL level. It’s also clear that Andersson prefers Sweden over the AHL. Quite honesly, the SHL has a comparable, if not better, NHL-equivalent to the AHL. So that’s fine. The downside is that Andersson doesn’t get adjusted to North American ice. We saw how Kaapo Kakko struggled with that.
From a development standpoint, this decision doesn’t move the needle much. It is seen as bad because he won’t be with the AHL, but it’s just optics. It’s clear Andersson was struggling with his mental health last year, and giving him time to get right is fine.
That said, all signs point to a trade at some point, perhaps before the draft. This relationship has soured greatly and no matter what the reports say, ending this relationship is in the best interest of both parties. The talk is an Andersson/Jesse Puljujarvi swap, but that has yet to come to fruition. Lias Andersson’s decision to remain in Sweden may actually help his trade value to get that deal done.