Swede memories of summer love

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:30 AM ET

Freddie Pettersson never stops smiling.

Even a few days after breaking up with his girlfriend.

The speedy winger reported to the Calgary Hitmen's main camp yesterday afternoon and just being back on the ice was enough to have the affable Swede beaming.

"It was probably the best summer ever," he said.

"I met a girl -- she was my best girlfriend ever.

"It was too bad we broke up before I left. She's a beautiful girl and she's going to college in the U.S. to play golf. I played some golf with her this summer.

"I want to focus on my hockey. That's No. 1 for me. But if we were meant to be together, we'll probably be together (in the future)."

Clearly, Pettersson didn't neglect his training regimen in favour of long walks in the park.

The 19-year-old was one of the stars of Saturday's fitness testing.

"I kinda like that stuff," he said. "It's not going to be easy for me to play hockey in North America.

"You have to be in good shape and work hard."

Pettersson will attend the Edmonton Oilers camp Sept. 9.

In the meantime, he's acting as a tour guide for countryman Robin Figren, who made his debut at Hitmen camp yesterday.

The two Swedes have been friends for years and live together here with the same billets (Glenn and Susan Gray).

"We used to play together in Sweden," Pettersson said. "We're buddies and we won two championships together. He's a great player."

Pettersson is looking forward to having Figren around this season.

"First, Freddie Sjostrom was here, then I came, now Robin. I don't know, maybe the Hitmen like Swedes."

Pettersson's enthusiasm appears to have rubbed off on Figren, a New York Islanders prospect.

"I'm so excited," Figren said. "In Sweden, we don't play in front of fans.

"Freddie has told me how good it is here. He really loves it."

ICE CHIPS: Will McMillan has taken over as the club's new trainer, replacing Mike Elchuk ... The annual Black & White Game goes this afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Don Hartman Northeast Sportsplex ... The Hitmen open their exhibition schedule Tuesday, Sept. 5 in Airdrie against their northern rival Red Deer Rebels.


Videos

Photos