March 23, 1958 |
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)|
|Played for||Division I
Swedish Elite League
National Hockey League
World Hockey Association
Erste Bank Hockey League
|NHL Draft||55th overall, 1978
Bengt-Åke Gustafsson (born March 23, 1958) is a retired Swedish ice hockey player. Gustafsson is a former head coach of the Sweden men's national ice hockey team, a post he held from February 2005 to May 2010. During his American career he was often called Bengt Gustafsson or Gus.
Gustafsson spent nine seasons in the National Hockey League with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals also selected Gustafsson's son, Anton Gustafsson, with the first of their two first-round picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Gustafsson started his career playing for Bofors IK in the Swedish third tier league and later transferred to Färjestads BK of the Elitserien. Gustafsson was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. Gustafsson chose to play the 1978–79 season in his homeland Sweden, but he signed with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers in March 1979. Gustafsson made his North American pro debut in the WHA playoffs that spring, picking up a goal and two assists in two games. When the Oilers merged into the NHL, the Capitals reclaimed Gustafsson's rights from Edmonton. In the season of 1986-1987 he played for Bofors IK in the second highest division and still was selected for the national team, which caused some controversy, before playing 2 more NHL seasons. After retiring from the NHL he first returned to Färjestads BK and later spent several years playing in Austria.
In 1987 he received the Svenska Dagbladet gold medal by participating in Sweden's national team, when they won the gold medal in the World Championships. He was involved in the game-tying goal against the Soviet Union in the final round, which lead to victory of the tournament.
Gustafsson has since his active playing career coached several teams, including two national teams.
- Assistant coach of the Swiss national team 1997–2001
- Head coach of VEU Feldkirch in the Austrian league 1998/99
- Head coach of SC Langnau in the Swiss national league 1999–2001
- Head coach of Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elitserien 2001–2005
- Head coach of Tre Kronor, the Swedish national team 2005–2010
- Head coach of ZSC Lions of the National League A, 2010–2011
- Head coach of Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL, 2011–
He has been reported as a "player's coach", listening to and arguing with his players rather than telling them what to do. In a SVT interview he stated: "[Ice] hockey is played on the ice, not behind the bench. As coach I can point things out to them and make them aware of stuff but they are the ones who play the game. As a player I have to confess that I didn't listen that much to what the coach said, and as a coach I don't expect them to do either."
He was criticised for asking various players whom they would like to see in the team and how they wanted to play and for asking players how they would like to see the lines formed. He then went in and adjusted the lines as the tournaments went on. The criticism has been somewhat subdued after his 2006 Olympic and IIHF WC double.
The Olympic and IIHF team only shared eight players. Most of the stars from Olympics was missing. Only Jörgen Jönsson, Kenny Jönsson, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Stefan Liv, Ronnie Sundin and Mika Hannula participated in both tournaments.
On May 6, 2011, Gustafsson was named the head coach of Atlant Moscow Oblast of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), becoming the first Swede to be named the head coach of a KHL team. However, after a disappointing start of the 2011–12 season for Moscow Oblast, Gustafsson was forced to leave the club on November 3, 2011. The team's then assistant coach Janne Karlsson took over the head-coaching job for Moscow Oblast.
Awards and achievements
- Named to the 1977 World Junior Championships All-Star Team.
- Named to the Swedish All-Star Team in 1983.
- Named to the Swedish All-Star Team in 1987.
- Awarded Guldhjälmen (Swedish Most Valuable Player) in 1990.
- Gold medal at the 1991 World Championships.
- Named to the Alpenliga All-Star Team in 1997.
- Swedish champion as head coach for Färjestads BK in 2002.
- Named as Swedish Coach of the Year in 2006.
- Set a Washington Capitals record (since broken) for points by a rookie with 60 in 1979–80.
- Scored the fastest goal from the start of a period (5 seconds in third period) vs. the Philadelphia Flyers on January 18, 1983.
- First coach in history to win the Olympics and the IIHF World Championship in the same year (2006).
- Scored the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in the franchise's first victory over the Montreal Canadiens on February 19, 1980.
- Became the first Washington Capitals player to attempt two penalty shots in the same season in 1980–81.
- Scored 5 goals to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7–1 on January 8, 1984.
- Played on the Swedish team that reached the Canada Cup final vs Canada in 1984.
- He played his entire nine-year NHL career with the Washington Capitals and notched 555 points (196 goals, 359 assists) in 629 games.
- Inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2003.
- Appointed head coach for the Swedish national men's ice hockey team in 2005
- Became first coach in history to win both Olympic and IIHF World Championship the same year during the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2006 Ice Hockey World Championship.
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's ice hockey|
In 1992 he represented Sweden in the Olympic Games in Albertville. Fourteen years later he was head coach for the Gold medal winning Swedish team in the Olympics in Torino. In the same year, 2006, he also won gold medal in the Ice Hockey World Championship as head coach.
- "Bengt-Åke Gustafsson till KHL" (in Swedish). GP. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
- " Bengt-Ake Gustafsson appointed new coach of Atlant Mytishchi | Sports.ru in English".
- Hultqvist, Daniel (2011-11-03). "Janne Karlsson tar över KHL-klubb". Jönköpingsnytt (in Swedish). jnytt.se. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
- (Swedish) Bengt-Åke Gustafsson årets coach
- "Bengt-Åke Gustafsson – player profile and career stats". European Hockey.Net. Retrieved May 19, 2006.