Analyzing Lias Andersson’s comments are leading to disturbing speculation

Andersson (Getty Images)

The internet and social media is a great tool for information. In today’s hyper speed information highway we can get weather alerts, crime alerts, or any alert imaginable in seconds. However, the same holds true for disinformation which usually spreads even faster.

That appears to be what is happening on the heels of Lias Andersson’s Swedish interviews. His comments about “mental health” and “injuries” have now been picked up by every major paper and blog covering the Rangers. We were one of the first on this side of the ocean to bring some key quotes to you, but we did so without interjecting our perceptions of his comments.

What We Know

  • Lias Andersson requested a trade
  • He left the Wolf Pack
  • The Rangers suspended him
  • He returned home to Sweden to be close to family and friends
  • He wants to play again
  • He will not talk about specifics
  • He’s dealing with injuries (foot/ankle)
  • He left to recover both mentally and physically

All Speculation

Here’s the problem and it started as soon as the Rangers sent him to Hartford. International reporters started to trash David Quinn and the organization about his development. In light of Andersson’s vague comments which lack specifics, they are compounding on it. They also cite what happened with Vitali Kravtsov as further proof. All this is done while ignoring the development of other young players like Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren and Pavel Buchnevich. Even more recently, the handling of Igor Shesterkin.

Furthermore, fans on some very popular message boards are spewing rumors that it’s not “mental health” but substance abuse related. Now there are people saying that there’s articles stating the Rangers forced him to take painkillers to play. When I’ve asked them to show me the exact article these quotes came from they can’t find it. Why? Because it was stated in a random person’s tweet and it is hearsay, rumor, and downright disgusting speculation.

All this nonsense makes its way off the boards and into social media feeds easily. Then people, who have a hard time (or no time) to distinguish from real news perpetuate it. It’s a big problem that goes well beyond sports.

Rangers Not Pleased

Last night I briefly spoke with someone in the Rangers front office about all these comments, specifically from Swedish media. When I asked about the perception that the Rangers don’t treat their players well the spokesperson got straight to the point. “I don’t know how many players I have been with [in my time here], but I am not aware of one other who not only would disagree with that, but say the exact opposite.”

Of course the detractors will dismiss this but they are also choosing to ignore almost every player that has gone on the record saying the Rangers are a first class organization that treats their players well. “Maybe they should reach out to others” he continued, “they aren’t hard to find.”

As for what’s happening right now, stop trying to interpret Andersson’s words. Eventually the truth will come out from both sides.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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