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Red Wings Teammates Declare Radio Silence

Sweden’s Raymond and Finland’s Maatta prepare for clash



Olli Maatta, Red Wings
Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond won't be talking to teammate Ollii Maatta until after Sweden plays Finland.

For the time being, Detroit Red Wings teammates Lucas Raymond and Olli Maatta aren’t on speaking terms. There won’t be any talking – not even trash talking – until after Thursday’s IIHF World Championship quarterfinal between Raymond’s Sweden and Maatta’s Finland reaches a conclusion.

“No, he will be in airplane mode,” Raymond told Swedish website of his Detorit teammate Maatta.

“I don’t think there will be much talk ahead, unfortunately. We can talk afterwards, if either of us feels like it.”

The Sweden vs Finland rivalry is one of the most bitter in all of international hockey. There’s bad blood, but also mutual respect.

“You have grown up and seen many classic matches against Finland,” Sweden’s Marcus Pettersson of the Pittsburgh Penguins told Aftonbladet. “There are many at home on the sofa in front of the TV who have lived through such things.

“There are probably many in our team who have met their players in the U16 national team and all the way up. It’s a rivalry and it’s going to be great fun.”

Red Wings Were Swedish Heroes

As recently as 2019, en route to winning the world title, the Finns edged the Swedes 5-4 in overtime in a quarterfinal that the Swedes were favored to win.

The situation is similar this time around. Finland finished fourth in their group. Meanwhile, for the first time in tournament history, the Swedes went 7-0 in pool play, capturing all available 21 points. Sweden enters the medal round as the top seed.

In 2006, when Sweden beat Finland in the gold-medal match at the Winter Olympics, it was Red Wings legend Nicklas Lidstrom who would score the deciding goal in the 3-2 victory by the Swedes. Sweden’s other two goals in that game were also scored by Red Wings players – Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall.

Raymond is among 18 NHL players on the Swedish roster. He has scored three goals for Sweden in this tournament. Maatta one of four NHLers with Finland, is playing in his third world tourney in four years.

He’s not the only Finnish player with a connection to the Red Wings organization. Finland goaltender Harri Sateri played for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins in 2018-19. As well, defenseman Oliwer Kaski was with the Griffins in 2019-20 and defenseman Villi Saarijarvi skated in Grand Rapids from 2017-20.