Kelty Apperson has had a turbulent couple of months.
She won the Clarkson Cup as a member of the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno on March 24, one week before the league announced its closure on March 31. The CWHL ceased operations on May 1; the #ForTheGame movement began on May 2. Eight days later, on May 10, Apperson became the first #ForTheGame player to sign overseas when she joined SDE of the SDHL.
The Ice Garden spoke with her about the upcoming season in Stockholm, the challenges ahead, and her excitement for facing them head-on.
The Ice Garden: What made you choose SDE?
Kelty Apperson: I chose SDE because of the relationship I had built with the GM, Helene, and the coach, Shane. They both worked so hard to connect with me and make me feel welcome that it became a very trusting relationship that I could invest in.
How did the team connect with you? Were you familiar with either the team or the league before?
I knew about SDE from a couple old teammates and friends that have played against them and for them - they have not always had it easy in the SDHL but I believe they are moving in the right direction and I am excited to contribute to that.
What about SDE’s playing style appeals to you, and how do you think your game will contribute?
SDE is a hard working team - I am excited to be alongside players that have a passion for the game and are willing to grow as a team. I think my style of play can contribute to energy, offensive time and puck possession opportunities.
How has the front office offered to help you acclimate to Sweden?
SDE has been fantastic in working with me to get me comfortable. We are already on the visa portion. Everything happens in a timely fashion with no delays. They have been working behind the scenes so hard for me to get a great job, with a team support staff,
Karin, who is connected in the business community, has been extremely helpful in chatting about opportunities. Their goal as an organization is to not only have you as a hockey player, but to grow your resume in the working field with relevant jobs that will ultimately help you down the road.
Obviously there’s going to be adjustments, going from the Clarkson Cup champs to a team that’s fought off relegation and last-place finishes for multiple years running. What about this challenge are you most excited for?
Switching teams is never easy - the cultures, coaches, players and environment are different but what remains the same is the game. I am excited for SDE to light a fire of passion within me to help achieve our goals as a team and organization. I believe in the staff that is working there and I have trust that they are making the right calls in order for us to find success. I’m most excited about being able to overcome adversities we face as an organization and be able to create a culture that thrives off of challenges.