"The Godfather" says basta
Arguably the best hockey player ever to come from Sweden announced he was hanging up his skates.
Nicklas Lidström, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the league's best defenseman fought back tears as he made the announcement.
''My drive and motivation are not where they to need to be to play at this level,'' Lidström said.
The 42-year-old Swede set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He had put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts.
''I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Lidström had 34 points and a plus-21 rating that ranked among the league leaders last season. He had 264 career goals with 1,142 points and a 450-plus rating. After being incredibly durable for 19 seasons, he missed a career-high 11 games with a bruised right ankle and was out for another game with the flu.
''That didn't sway me one way or another,'' Lidström said. ''A couple weeks after the season is over, you start working out. Once I started doing that I didn't have the push I need and I can't cheat myself.''
He plans to move his family to Sweden and hopes to have an off-ice role with the Red Wings.
''Retiring today allows me to walk away with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me,'' said Lidström, whose oldest of four sons went to Sweden two years ago to attend school and play hockey.
Lidström was named the NHL's best defenseman last year for a seventh time, matching Doug Harvey's total and trailing Bobby Orr's record by one. When Lidström won his final Norris Trophy last summer, he was a finalist for the 11th time in 13 seasons.
His Detroit and national team teammate Tomas Holmström dubbed Lidström “The Godfather” as the Wings began amassing Swedish talent. At one time, Detroit had seven Swedish players. Lidström was instrumental in helping the new Swedish players adjust to life in the Motor City.

Uppsala snaps up American coach
Looking for the final ingredient needed to win it all, Uppsala wooed Norrköping head coach Kelly Grant from the Dolphins.
Grant won three titles with Norrköping, where he was the general manager. Norrköping also won the Baltic League Challenge Cup and reached the finals again this season but fell to Sundsvall. In 2007-08, Grant worked as sport director of the club and was head coach from 1997 to 2007. In 2003, he was named Swedish Basketligan Coach of the Year. With Norrköping, Grant reached the finals five times. The Dolphins also won four regular season titles under him.


Illness knocks out Söderling
Two-time French Open runner-up Robin Söderling will miss the French Open, Wimbledon and the Olympics while he recovers from mononucleosis. The Swede hasn't played a tournament since winning in Bastad, Sweden last July. He withdrew from the U.S. Open just before the first round.
"I really want to come back. I haven't turned 28 yet and hopefully I have many years left," Söderling said. "Hopefully, I'll get back into shape fairly quickly."
Söderling upset Rafael Nadal in the fourth round in Paris in 2009, ending the Spaniard's 31-match winning streak at Roland Garros. He is now ranked No. 65.
Söderling said he doesn't know precisely when he'll be back, but he wants to fully regain his strength before returning.
"I feel all right as long as I don't put too much stress on my body with heavy training," he said. "But I learned early on to not go back too quickly and I don't want another big setback."

Sweden defeated Iceland 3-2 in a tune-up match for UEFA European Championship
GÖTEBORG, Sweden (AP)—Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one goal and set up another to help Sweden beat Iceland 3-2 in the host's first friendly warm-up for the European Championship, thanks to a goal and an assist from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a tally from Ola Toivonen and a goal from Christian Wilhelmsson.
For Wilhelmsson, the goal marked a successful return to the national team. The winger plays for Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia and hasn’t been on the team for nearly six months. While he provided an offensive boost for the team, he found out the hard way that maybe not everyone remembered him. The property manager misspelled Wilhelmsson’s name as WILLhelmsson. The winger just shrugged it off.
"I haven't been in the team in a while, so I guess it's not that easy for the federation to get my name right,'' Wilhelmsson joked. "Hopefully it'll be fixed before the next game.''
As for the match, Ibrahimovic put Sweden ahead in the second minute, meeting a cross from Sebastian Larsson with a superb left-footed volley from just inside the area. He then delivered a perfect cross for Ola Toivonen to tap in from close range in the 14th as the hosts looked to be in a high-scoring mood.
However, the Swedish attack fizzled out after that, and Ajax striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson pulled one back for Iceland with a strong header just inside the far post in the 27th.
After a flurry of second-half substitutions, Wilhelmsson added the third with a right-footed shot from a tough angle inside the area in the 78th, and Hallgrimur Jonasson headed in a corner for Iceland in injury time.

Legend sees smooth seas for Swedish sailor
World-champion sailor Magnus Holmberg believes another Swede is ready to take his turn at the helm as a world champ.
Holmberg believes the current crop of Swedish match racers are not only helping to bring through the next generation of Swedish champions, but they have what it takes to challenge the world's best for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship title themselves, with Johnie Berntsson topping the list.
Holmberg, a three-time Olympian and multiple European and World Championship medalist knows what it takes to succeed in the competitive world of match racing, and in reference to Sweden's Alpari World Match Racing Tour prospects for 2012, he said, "At this season's Tour, Sweden will be strong with Berntsson having the opportunity to prove himself against the world's best. He’s a good sailor but definitely still has something to prove in taking a title and it will be exciting to see how the season unfolds.
Johnie Berntsson is one of the in-form sailors on the Tour, having placed second at the final two events in 2011—the Argo Gold Cup and Monsoon Cup. After a tough start to the 2011 Tour season, Berntsson Sailing Team finished third overall and went on to win the national title of "Swedish Sailors of the Year" in February 2012. Berntsson, who set himself the challenge of taking the ISAF Match Racing World Championship title within three years of holding a Tour Card, said, "The world title would be the pinnacle for our team. Having already taken titles in Scandinavia, the World Match Racing Tour would be the ultimate achievement for us and it's something we will work to make happen.