Inside the NHL: One year later, memories of Sabres’ Sweden trip

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Victor Olofsson of Buffalo Sabres scores past goalkeeper Curtis McElhinney of Tampa Bay Lightning during the NHL Global Series game in Stockholm on November 9, 2019. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP via Getty Images)

By AFP via Getty Images

Mike Harrington

A year ago at this time, months before Covid-19 changed the world and prematurely ended their season, the Buffalo Sabres were 4,000 miles from home in Sweden. Many of them were investigating this foreign land for the first time, several others were back on home soil.

Sunday marks the anniversary of their opening game in Stockholm. The Sabres played the eventual Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-back games at the Ericsson Globe, suffering 3-2 and 5-3 losses in games that were heavily billed as a matchup of Swedish defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Victor Hedman. November was a difficult time on the schedule for the club, but the memories of the trip remain indelible.

“I felt like that was something that was only going to happen once for me,” Sabres winger Victor Olofsson said on a recent video call. “To bring all my family and friends down to Stockholm to watch me live play NHL hockey is something I’m never going to forget. It was just an unbelievable journey for all of us Swedes.”

“It was a very, very fun time to get to experience Sweden together with my teammates,” added goalie Linus Ullmark…

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