This certainly comes as no surprise. Swedish hockey had to do something after the World Cup disaster. STOCKHOLM (AP) - The Swedish Hockey Federation fired national team head coach Hardy Nilsson on Thursday following a disappointing performance in the NHL's World Cup earlier this month. At a news conference in the capital, association director Christer Englund did not name a replacement, but said team boss Claes-Goeran Wallin would lead the team until a new coach is named. ``We've lost our confidence in Hardy,'' Englund said, but he added that the decision was not based on the World Cup loss. Instead, he said Nilsson had not been active enough in promoting the team, known in Sweden as Tre Kronor, or the Three Crowns, to its sponsors and fans. ``A single game should not determine how we treat our employees,'' Englund said. ``But the confidence in the Three Crowns today has been blemished.'' Nilsson, 57, was heavily criticized by Swedish media and hockey supporters after the national team was routed 6-1 by the Czech Republic on home ice in the quarter-finals of the World Cup on Sept. 7. Canada went on to win the event. Nilsson had been the coach of the national team since 2000. With Nilsson behind the bench, Sweden also dropped back-to-back gold medal games to Canada at the 2003 and 2004 IIHF world championships. His performance has been frequently questioned by Swedish newspaper columnists ever since Sweden suffered a stunning loss to Belarus in the quarter-finals of the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. The 4-3 loss was dubbed one of the worst in the history of Swedish sport. Nilsson did not immediately comment on the firing, but Michael Englund, general secretary for the association, said Nilsson ``showed understanding for the decision'' when he was informed. Nilsson's contract was through 2006. It was unclear whether he will receive a financial settlement. Wallin will function as manager in three European tournaments this fall, but the team will experiment with different coaches in the tournaments. A permanent replacement will be named before next spring's IIHF world championship in Austria. Nilsson became known as Hard Hardy because of his spiky silver hair and steel blue eyes, but had lately been referred to as Loser Hardy in the media because the national team failed to win a major international tournament while he was the coach.