When Cristopher Nilstorp first moved to the United State his first purchase was Buddha statue almost a foot tall.
So when the Texas Stars celebrated their Calder Cup victory at the Cedar Park Center on Thursday, it was only natural Buddha got to celebrate with the Swedish goalie — who was wearing a hat and sunglasses to complete the unique outfit.
“I always kind of like the Buddhism thing, I always read about that kind of stuff,” Nilstorp said. “I like the way they see life and live your life and enjoy your life … it’s been with me for two years now, so he’s on summer vacation too now. He’s been a great guy for me, a great friend.”
While Nilstorp was willing to talk about the backstory behind the statue, he was non-committal when talking about his future as a hockey player in North America.
The 30-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and it appears the Texas Stars are ready to hand the goaltending reins to Jack Campbell. Nilstorp could become a back-up goalie in the NHL or he could head back to Europe — likely the Swedish Hockey League — where he won a championship in 2012.
“I don’t know, I’m going home (for the summer) and I’m going to relax for a bit,” Nilstorp said. “Maybe take a walk with my dog. I don’t know, maybe work on my English, maybe taking French, I don’t know. Right now I’m really happy to go home and see my family.”
If Nilstorp has played his final game in North America, he said the experience with the Texas Stars was still valuable to his career. In two years with the Stars he played 112 AHL games, winning 63, and posted a 2.17 goals against average and .919 save percentage during Texas’ championship run.
He also appeared in six games with the Dallas Stars over the past two seasons.
“The game is completely different, it’s a faster game. Guys shoot the puck well more, that’s things — if I’m going back to Europe — I’m going to take with me,” Nilstorp said. “I’m used to it now, I think I can handle better shooters and the experiences of a long season — 72 games plus playoffs is a long time.”
This is the first in a series of Texas Stars exit interview stories. Up next: Kevin Henderson.