Canadian women's nation team star Hailey Wickenheiser will return to men’s hockey after signing a contract with the Swedish third-tier team Eskilstuna Linden Hockey for the 2008-2009 season.
Chairman Patrick Lundstedt announced that she will arrive in Sweden on August 25 after the Summer Olympics in Beijing conclude. Wickenheiser is working as a softball commentator for Canadian television station CBC in Beijing. In addition to her numerous international hockey appearances, she also represented Canada in softball at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
She played two seasons (2002-2004) for Kirkkonummi Salamat in the 2nd- and 3rd-highest Finnish league, becoming the first woman to play professional ice hockey in a men’s league.
Last year, she went to IFK Arborga, also in the third-tier Swedish league, but didn’t get a contract after her first exhibition game. She was already under contact with Eskilstuna that time, but went back to Canada for family reasons.