Oskar Sundqvist took home the latest incarnation of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Media Award this past season. Despite English not being his first language, it never stopped him from letting his personality bleed through.
It was a crowded field of legitimate contenders for the award, though. Cameron Gaunce always gave well thought-out analysis on any number of topics he was presented. Tom Sestito is consistently brutally honest. But Sundqvist routinely providing reporters with his unique perspective without mincing his words and developed into a reliable go-to quote for reporters after a big win, a tough loss, unforeseen circumstances, etc.
In honor of Sundqvist’s Media Award title, here is a collection of some of his best quotes he delivered to scribes throughout his second year with the Penguins…
REVERENCE FOR HIS ELDERS
Tom Kostopoulos had a spectacular season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, leading the team in goals (24), points (54) and games played (74) in his 18th season of professional hockey. In the last regular season issue of Breakaway, Sundqvist expressed his appreciation for Kostopoulos’ contributions on the scoresheet.
He said simply, “The old man has still got it.”
Not sure if his captain would be too keen on his word choice there, but it’s the thought that counts, I suppose.
In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Atlantic Division Semifinal series against the Providence Bruins, Sundqvist was involved in a skirmish with Bruins forward Sean Kuraly that resulted in Kuraly recieving a whopping 17 penalty minutes at once.
After the game, Sundqvist remembered the moment fondly. He couldn’t remember how the disagreement started, but he was certain of how it ended: not well.
Sundqvist: I don’t know what happened. I got beat up though. But that’s hockey. I wasn’t prepared for it, but I got beat up pretty good.
— Seth Lakso (@CVSethLakso) April 28, 2017
In a culture that celebrates toughness and machismo, a little self-deprecation from Sundqvist was refreshing. It’s not the only time he’s decided to poke fun at himself, either.
ALL WE DO IS WIN, WIN, WIN, NO MATTER WHAT
Following a victory over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms that propelled the Penguins to the 100-point threshold, Sundqvist took a more serious tone and expressed his thoughts on the season to that point. In the face of injuries and call-ups to the team’s parent club, “… it just doesn’t matter. We just keep winning,” he told the Times Leader.
That night was also the evening in which Sundqvist earned the 100th point of his pro career. However, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to mock himself yet again when he realized he could have had point No. 101 that same night.
“Oh yeah, I shanked on that one,” he said in reference to a net-front chance set up by Ryan Haggerty early in the game. “I should do something with that.”
In late December, players around the AHL get a five-day break mandated by the Professional Hockey Players’ Association to celebrate the holidays however they wish before games resume on the 26th. Sundqvist didn’t exactly plan his holiday break to perfection.
Because of a wrinkle in the schedule, the Penguins actually ended up with eight days off before their next contest. Instead of flying home to Sweden, he brought his family to Northeastern Pennsylvania… with no games for them to watch him play in.
Sundqvist lamented his error to the Times Leader, saying, “I kind of screwed up.”
There’s always next year, Sunny. Just don’t screw it up then, too.
FOUR IS ENOUGH
Sundqvist made history by scoring four goals in a single game against the Hershey Bears on Dec. 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. He became the third player in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history to achieve such a feat. However, he had the opportunity to secure the franchise record with a fifth goal during the third period. His shot ultimately went wide, but Sundqvist was too concerned. After the game, he had this to say about a potential fifth tally:
Was he thinking about it? “Not at all, actually. I was just tired.”