Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

Blashill: Kronwall promised to prioritize Red Wings over World Cup

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Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings‘ top defenseman assured the team he would do everything he could to be ready for training camp, even if it meant missing the World Cup.

In light of knee issues that plagued his 2015-16 season, Niklas Kronwall won’t play for Sweden at the upcoming international tournament, focusing instead on getting back to form in time for a new NHL season.

And in so doing, he’s keeping his word, according to head coach Jeff Blashill.

“I’ve got great respect for our players having that opportunity to represent their country,” Blashill said Sunday, according to Taylor DesOrmeau of MLive. “But (Kronwall) also promised us that he was going to put the Red Wings first. If he didn’t feel like he was 100 percent because of the early start of the World Cup, he wasn’t going to play, and ultimately that’s what he chose to do.”

Blashill added, “His focus right now is being ready for camp. I expect him to be ready for camp. It’s a day-to-day business and we’ll see where that brings us.”

Hampus Lindholm has been given Kronwall’s spot on Sweden’s roster. Detroit’s training camp is set to convene Sept. 17.

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