By Warren Kozireski —
The Buffalo Sabres signed free agent Marcus Johansson this past summer to bring in a veteran with solid postseason experience to help mentor a young roster.
Another step in that leadership role and building team unity comes next week as he has invited all of the Swedish-native players from both the Sabres and Rochester to his home for Christmas.
“We’re going to meet up with all the Swedes in Buffalo actually and have Christmas dinner out there,” Rochester goaltender Jonas Johansson said. “Marcus Johansson invited us; it’s nice of him.”
“We’re having a Swedish Christmas kind of thing,” Rochester defenseman Lawrence Pilut. “The main thing is just being together and making some Swedish meatballs and Swedish sausage and just having some fun together.”
“We have a lot of traditions; there’s food, there’s music and opening presents; it will be nice,” Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark said.
“We call it the Christmas table in Sweden,” Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin said. “It’s a lot of Swedish treats and a great time—it’s really big in Sweden too, so it’s going to be great.”
According to the View Stockholm website, among the Christmas dishes served includes a Swedish julbord, which typically includes a spread of cold dishes, like pickled herring, pâtés, and cold cuts, followed by a range of hot dishes, like meatballs and ham, along with some pieces of bread and cheeses, and finally, a spread of delicious desserts.
Also sometimes included are spare ribs, potato casserole, red cabbage, red beet salad and rice pudding.
“Everyone except me, all the Swedes are going,” Dahlin said. “My family came in and we have a lot of people, so the house would be too packed if we made it there to his place.”