Almost a week has passed since last Sunday when it was reported that Winnipeg Jets' defenseman Tobias Enstrom, along with fellow countryman Alexander Steen would be joining Modo of the SEL. Both were set to see action on Tuesday against Brynas.
Well Tuesday came and went with no sign of Enstrom in the teams line-up. Online news was scarce, until yesterday when Jon Haggqvist of the Swedish news publication http://allehanda.se was kind enough to stop by Arctic Ice Hockey, clarifying the situation for fans.
Modo aren’t going to put Enström on their roster, at least not right now. At first the SEL decided that teams weren’t allowed to have lockouted NHL players, but the Swedish Competition Authority ruled that the league can’t have that sort of regulation. Modo then signed Alexander Steen. But the situation is still a bit shaky and Modo won’t add another NHLer if things aren’t changing.
The background: Teams had an agreement that they wouldn’t sign any lockouted players, but when Modo's Samuel Påhlsson got injured, the team wanted Alex Steen as a temporary replacement. A rule says that teams' can’t add players on short-term contracts – unless a key player is injured. But the league said that locked-out NHL players don’t apply to that rule and if Modo wanted to replace Påhlsson they had to search for players elsewhere. That’s where the Swedish Competition Authority stepped in and dismissed the league’s rule, creating an opening for NHLers to join the league – starting with Modo’s signing of Steen.
But still, teams had an agreement that they wouldn’t sign NHL players and since no one else seems willing to sign any NHLers right now, Modo is laying low. They got to replace Påhlsson -- as they wanted to -- and right now they’re just waiting for things to develop. If a flood of players [start joining the SEL] there is a big chance that they’ll let Enström play. And [Enstrom] is [currently] practicing with the team, that’s for sure.Jon Haggqvist - Sports Reporter Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, home of Modo and Enström.
And so we wait for more information to surface. A big thanks to Jon for his contributions.