In a blog post from the Swedish press from earlier this year, Nygren reportedly said the following about the city after asking to be sent back to his home club Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League last season:
- Hamilton’s unemployment rate is 33.5 per cent. (It was 7.1 in August of this year – down 0.2 per cent).
- That in Hamilton they "shoot people for $100.”
- That the team “doesn’t have very many fans.”
- That his car window was smashed out “by angry fans.”
- That the Bulldogs’ players were “more interested in dating than playing hockey.”
When asked about the interview that appeared in the Swedish hockey blog FBK-bloggen while at Copps Coliseum Tuesday morning, Nygren first blamed everything on Google Translate’s system twisting his words.
“When I’m talking Swedish to Swedish newspaper, a couple guys from here put my words in Google translate and, the text is, you know, a new text. It’s not my words,” he told reporters. “I don’t know what text you’re meaning about but, you know, I was frustrated. It’s not normal to turn back home. I want to be here and I want to spend my year here.”
'I never comment anything about people in the city'
CBC Hamilton asked a person who is fluent in both Swedish and English to translate the blog post, who said the translation was accurate. When a CBC reporter told Nygren that, he then denied he said anything about Hamilton in an interview and blamed the Swedish press.
“I never comment anything about people in Hamilton, and I’m not going to comment anything about people in the city. I was living in Burlington. I don’t know how many are working there,” Nygren said. “I don’t know how many are without work. I have no idea. I’m here for playing hockey, and what happened last year is past now. I’m looking forward for this season.”
Nygren played 16 games with the Bulldogs last season before getting injured and then requesting to go back to Sweden. Tuesday was his first appearance back in Hamilton as the AHL team's training camp officially gets underway. The team is off to St. John's, Newfoundland this week for a series of exhibition games with the Ice Caps.
Nygren scored one goal and had seven assists and was a -9 with 14 penalty minutes last season. Before heading back to Sweden, he was playing top four minutes on the blueline and spending time on the top power play unit.
Nygren, 24, is from Karlstad — a municipality that has just about 87,000 people. His Swedish team Färjestad BK is considered one of the best teams in the SHL.
Bulldogs coach Sylvain Lefebvre said the team wants to help Nygren progress and ultimately make the jump to the NHL.
“This year is a new year. You know for him, he’s a year older, he’s got more experience now, and he knows what to expect here in Hamilton. He knows the coaching staff and some of his teammates,” Lefebvre said. “I’m sure that Magnus is disappointed that he was cut from the main camp in Montreal, but his goal is to play in the NHL.”
“He’s here in North America now and his goal is our goal. We want him to be a very good player for our club here in Hamilton and we want him to move up.”