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That’s why Leo Carlson wears number 21 – here’s the explanation • Hockey World Cup

Börje Salming, Peter Forsberg and Jörgen Jönsson – shirt 21 in Tre Kronor is the most legendary number.

Icons such as Nicklas Lidström and Henrik Zetterberg think the number should be retired.

Now it is worn by an 18-year-old WC debutant.

Leo Carlsson was assigned number 21 when he made his national team debut almost two years ago with Småkronorna in the Hlinka Cup. A number he also wore during the JVM last winter.

When he debuted with Three Crowns before the World Cup he had number 91, but when Los Angeles forward Carl Grundström joined the squad, he took over number 91 as he had more caps on his record.

So in the WC Leo Carlsson plays with number 21.

– I haven’t chosen it, to be honest. I’ve had it before with the junior national team and that’s probably why I got it now, says Carlsson himself.

So it was the national team management that decided?

– Yes it was. I didn’t actually get to choose for myself.

Who chooses that?

– I’m taking a chance on the materials but I’m not sure, but it’s usually them.

Leo Carlson.
Leo Carlsson.

“Lidas” and “Zäta” do not want the number to be used

It is a special number in Tre Kronor considering who has worn it.

– Yes, haha. Really. It’s cool to wear it of course, just thinking about who has had it so it’s cool.

Icons such as Nicklas Lidström and Henrik Zetterberg said in connection with Börje Salming’s death that they would like to see number 21 retired in Tre Kronor, so that no one will be able to play in that particular shirt.

Does Leo Carlsson also think that it should be done?

– Almost anyway. When you think about who has had that number. Then I don’t know if you have to retire numbers in the national team, I don’t have a very good grasp of that. Those three are legendary, well, I don’t really know, says Leo Carlsson.

What did you think when you were assigned just 21?

– Now there will be pressure, I thought… No, just that it was fun and an honor to have it.

Börje Salming with the legendary number on his back.
Börje Salming with the legendary number on his back.

Got rid of the number when Grundström came

Was there an idea to turn down?

– No, it feels better to try to carry the number as well as possible.

How does it feel to play in Tre Kronor with 21?

– Full of glory, Yes, indeed.

National team manager Anders Lundberg explains how it happened when Leo Carlsson was assigned number 21:

– Leo played with number 91 in the matches before the World Cup, but when Grundström came, we go to played international matches about who has “priority” on the number. In this case, it was actually me who said that he played with 21 in the junior national team and he takes that number now. We didn’t think too much about the history because we don’t have any jerseys on the roof, says Lundberg.

According to the ice hockey association’s chairman Anders Larsson, retiring number 21 is out of the question:

– Our way of paying tribute and honoring the greatest players, referees and leaders is through Swedish ice hockey’s Hockey Hall of Fame. We have not retired any jersey numbers so far and that issue is not currently on the agenda as we have the Hockey Hall of Fame instead.

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