Kronwall's new beginning

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Attention, Toronto Marlies.

Staffan Kronwall does not want you to be offended.

He enjoyed his time having you guys as teammates. He really did.

Having said that, the lanky Swede would rather be in a dressing room with Alex Ovechkin, thank you very much.

That's exactly where he was yesterday, less than 24 hours after being claimed on waivers by the Washington Capitals.

"He's a really funny guy," Kronwall said of Ovechkin yesterday during a phone interview from the Washington area. "He spent the entire morning cracking jokes.

"I'll tell you one thing: He's a lot bigger guy than I thought he was."

YOUNG SUPERSTARS

Kronwall spent the day being shown the city by countryman Nicklas Backstrom, part of the new beginning he hopes to embark on with the Capitals.

"It's a really relaxed room here full of young guys," Kronwall said. "The thing is, as young as they are, they are superstars.

"I just hope I get a chance here, I really do. I'm excited."

Kronwall, the 285th pick in the 2002 entry draft, had an injury-plagued stint in the Toronto organization. In 52 games as a Leaf, he had just one point -- an assist -- while spending the majority of time with the Marlies.

He did show signs of breaking out this season, registering 25 points in 42 games on the farm before being snapped up by the Caps.

'SAD TO GO'

"I have nothing but good things to say about the Toronto organization," he said. "I was actually kind of sad to go.

"I knew what my contract situation was this year. I knew when they sent me down that if I was to be called up there was the chance I would be claimed."

Asked if he received a fair shot to show his worth at the NHL-level with the Leafs, Kronwall replied: "I never really thought about it too much. I just always concentrated on my game and trying to get better.

"I see this as a new opportunity. I just want to make the most of it."

Kronwall said he must wait for some paperwork to be completed before he is able to make his Capitals debut.


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