Swedish defender Staffan Kronwall, within the same season as his older brother Niklas, today announced his retirement from hockey after his club team, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, was eliminated from the KHL playoffs.
A late ninth round pick of Toronto in 2002, Kronwall joined the Maple Leafs following the 2005 NHL lockout after spending three seasons with Djurgårdens IF of the Swedish League, where he would alternate between NHL and AHL. After short stops with the farm teams for Washington and Calgary, toiling in the minors for five years, Kronwall returned to Djurgårdens in 2011, staying in Europe for good. Kronwall headed for the KHL next, first spending the 2012-13 season with Severstal Cherepovets before joining Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in 2012, where he would play out the final eight seasons of his career, the last five as captain. Over his pro career, Kronwall would capture a Calder Cup with Hershey in 2009, be named a KHL All-Star in 2013, and winning the KHL Gentleman Award in 2016.
Kronwall first joined Tre Kronor as a member of the Juniorkronorna at the 2002 World Junior Championship, but would not join the senior team full time until returning from North America in 2011. 2011 marked the first of four World Championships for Kronwall (2011-13, 2015), where he captained Tre Kronor to gold on home ice in Stockholm in 2013, also winning Silver in 2011. Kronwall also joined Sweden at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where Sweden finished a disappointing fifth after a shocking elimination from Germany. Despite their many appearances individually, Staffan only played with his older brother Niklas once on Team Sweden, at the 2012 World Championship.
Kronwall captured the IHLC eight times through the course of his seven-year senior team career, first winning the title in 2011 at the Channel One Cup, with his last coming with Tre Kronor at the 2018 Olympics. We wish Staffan and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!