Former Washington Capitals forward Marucs Johansson has been on the move since he was traded from Washington to New Jersey on July 2, 2017. With stops in New Jersey, Boston and Buffalo, Marcus is now off to his fourth team after being traded to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. Marcus spoke about his latest trade the following day with Gunnar Nordström of expressed.se
Reflecting on his season in Buffalo, where he recorded nine goals and 21 assists in 60 games, Johansson felt he could have done better. However he is already setting his sights on the future.
“It probably didn’t go as well as we had imagined for neither me nor the team, so I have to put last season behind me. But I liked Ralph Krueger, he is a really good coach and person. And Jack Eichel is a fantastic hockey player in every way. He plays at a high level day in and day out. His mix of size, strength and speed, plus the excellence he has, makes him special.“
The news of the trade came as a big surprise for Johansson. Now, a day later, he is looking forward to the move.
“I have been training with Jonas Brodin and Joel Eriksson-Ek in the summer here at home in Karlstad for a few years now, so it’s great to now be teammates with them in the NHL,” said Johansson.
The first thing Marcus did late Wednesday night when he received the news of the trade was to call Jonas and Joel.
“They were shocked and very happy. For me, it will be good to have two Swedish friends on the team, to lean against, when you come to the club as a newcomer. It will help me a lot.”
Another plus about the move is that he already knows Wild head coach Dean Evason.
“He was one of our assistant coaches on the Washington Capitals (2005-2012) during my first years there. A good guy that I like very much and from what I have now heard from the Swedes in Minnesota, he is liked and respected by everyone.”
For the first time in his career, Johansson will now be playing for a western conference team.
“It will be fun to face the teams there a little more often and get to know that half of the league better. I have had the impression that it has been a bit tougher game in the Western conference. The players are a little bigger and stronger, but it may have leveled off in recent years. Yes, the road trips will be longer, but an advantage is that you can now come to warmer places more often during the winter.”
Johansson, now back home in Karlstad, is eager to return to the states, but like all things in this world today, the timing is dependent on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to come over in good time to be able to meet my new teammates and arrange accommodation and schools for our children. But right now everything is so uncertain when the next season starts, so we wait a bit. We’ll take it as it comes.”
Johansson has one year left on his contract with an annual salary of 4.5 million dollars.