Swedish Division I
Swedish Division I is a former Swedish ice hockey league that existed from 1944 to 2014. As its name suggests, it was originally the first level ice hockey league in Sweden. However over subsequent decades, it slipped down the Swedish ice hockey league pyramid, eventually finishing up as a third level league. The league was relaunched as the Hockeyettan in April 2014.
Between 1944 and 1975, Swedish Division I served as the first level ice hockey league in Sweden, replacing the earlier Svenska Serien. During this era the league was divided into a Northern Group and a Southern Group, with the top teams from each group meeting in a tournament to decide the league champion. Djurgårdens IF were this eras most successful team winning nine titles. From 1953 onwards, the winners were awarded the Le Mat Trophy and were recognised as national champions.
First Level Champions and Runner-ups
With the establishment of the Elitserien for the 1975–76 season, Swedish Division I was effectively relegated down the Swedish ice league pyramid. Between 1975 and 1999 it served as a second level ice hockey league.
The 1999–2000 season saw Swedish Division I slip further down the league pyramid when it was replaced as the second level league by the Allsvenskan. It subsequently served as Sweden’s third level ice hockey league until 2014. The 2014–15 season saw it reformed as the Hockeyettan.
The Swedish Ice Hockey Association released a schedule for the 2013–14 Division 1 season which merged Divisions 1A and 1B into a larger Division 1 Norra ("North"). That group consisted of 12 teams playing a double home-and-away series against each team in the group, for a total of 44 games per team. Unlike the traditional system used by the smaller groups which in January reorganized themselves into new groups based on their position in their group, the new Division 1 Norra continued playing into the spring, with relegation and playoff spots being decided directly from the new group. Reactions to this set-up were mixed, with Sollefteå HK for example suggesting that playing that many games would be strenuous for the clubs' finances, and that playing each opponent three times instead of four might have been more appropriate. In total, the 2013–14 Division 1 season consisted of 53 teams.
- Allehanda. 44 omgångar i nya division 1. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- List of Swedish champions on hockeyarchives.info