Petter Granberg, the latest Leafs signee, hails from Gallivare, Sweden. Take a look. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A4llivare
The Leafs signed Granberg to a three-year entry-level contract this week. He’s a nice kid, just 19 and his season included a trip to the final of the Swedish Elite League and a solid performance on the blueline as Sweden won this year’s World Juniors.
Gallivare is as the crow flies, about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. If you had a mind to, you could book a midnight tee time. The distance both in distance and in sensibility between Gallivare and Stockholm, 914 km, is the distance between Toronto and Hearst.
But the amazing thing about Gallivare, as the Wiki item illustrates, is its astronomically high incidence of congenital insensitivity to pain.
Granberg knew nothing of this and while full blown cases of CIP sounds like superhero stuff, it’s not advisable. You are supposed to know when your arm is broken.
That said it’s tough to argue that a little bit wouldn’t go a long way, especially for a player already considered at 19 one of the strongest among the men of the Swedish Elite League.
At six-foot-three, 205-pounds, Granberg can bench press 260-pounds. He had four points in 38 league games this season and one assist as the club played 19 post season games.
Imagine a very big, very angry Carl Gunnarsson.
“He’s more defensively-oriented than Gunner” said Leafs VP hockey ops Dave Poulin. “Gunner’s game is built more on angles and a good stick. Petter is more physical.”
“Thommie (Swedish scout Thommie Bergman) thinks he has more to give on offence,” said Poulin,” but he makes a good first pass and thinks the game well. We’re impressed with his maturity and the pure strength he brings.”
Granberg’s Dad is a firefighter. His Mom is a doctor. He started playing, outdoors, imagine, at four. “I loved it from the start and I still love the game today,” he said.
When he was 14 he moved with his mother to 400 km to play at Skelleftea. Yes, it was south. Granberg has been playing there since and is ticketed to return there next fall. From there, if things move smoothly along, he could be a Marlie by the 2013-2014 season.
“I am trying to improve every day,” he said. “I try to make a good first pass and be tough to play against and be strong in front of the net.”