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Oliver Ekman-Larsson Gets Special Visit by Friends, Fans from Sweden



Florida Panthers Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Florida Panthers defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson poses with a group of fans who flew to South Florida from his hometown of Tingsryd, Sweden at their Sunrise hotel. // Photo courtesy of Ralph Öhberg.

SUNRISE — As the Florida Panthers were making Thanksgiving plans, Oliver Ekman-Larsson got the opportunity to take a step back and realize how much he meant to his home country of Sweden.

Over the course of his 14-year NHL career, the 32-year-old has become one of the most famous Swedish players.

“It’s something I take a lot of pride in,” Ekman-Larsson said.

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Ekman-Larsson was reminded of his impact pretty quickly when a large group of fans — as well as some old friends — came to Sunrise to cheer him on during the team’s three-game homestand last month.

Many of them came from Ekman-Larsson’s hometown of Tingsryd, a small village of just over 3,000 people.

Two of them coached Ekman-Larsson when he was just a kid.

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