Thomas Steen

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Thomas Steen
Born (1960-06-08) June 8, 1960 (age 54)
Grums, SWE
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Leksands IF (SEL)
Färjestads BK (SEL)
Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Frankfurt Lions (DEL)
Eisbären Berlin (DEL)
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 103rd overall, 1979
Winnipeg Jets
Playing career 1976–1999

Thomas Steen (born June 8, 1960) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey player and coach. Steen is the former city councillor for the Winnipeg ward of Elmwood-East Kildonan. Steen played professional ice hockey in the Elitserien, National Hockey League and Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

Hockey career[edit]

Steen was born in Grums, Sweden, and began his career with Grums IK (1975–76). He later played for the elite Leksands IF (1976–80) and Färjestads BK (1980–81).[1] Swedish coach Tommy Sandlin described him as "a particularly intelligent and competent player".[2] He was drafted by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League in 1978, but never played for the team.[3]

Steen was drafted by the National Hockey League's Winnipeg Jets in 1979, as their fifth-round choice.[4] He was signed two years later by John Ferguson,[5] and went on to become one of the most prolific players in the team's history. Steen played a total of 950 regular season NHL games, scoring 264 goals and receiving 553 assists.[6] In a 1987 interview, he said that his focus was on creating plays for others rather than scoring goals himself.[7] A 1990 poll of NHL players named him as the league's most underrated player.[8] Steen continued to play for the Swedish national team in World Championship games throughout his NHL career, and won silver medals at the 1981 World Championship in Gothenburg and the 1986 World Championship in Moscow.[9]

There were discussions about Steen being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in early 1994, but these ultimately came to nothing.[10] His record of playing fourteen seasons with only one team is unusual in modern North American professional sports. Steen retired in 1995, and his jersey number 25 was retired by the Jets. The number is still considered retired by the Jets' successor team, the Arizona Coyotes.[11] A 2005 article in the National Post newspaper listed him as the second greatest player in the history of the Winnipeg Jets franchise, after Dale Hawerchuk.[12] Unlike many professional hockey players, Steen was known throughout his career for his thoughtful responses to interview questions.[13]

Steen worked with Manitoba Entertainment Complex Inc. in 1994, when the group was attempting to find a new downtown arena for the Jets. Some players questioned his judgement in this matter: failed labour negotiations had led to NHL players being locked out, and some believed it was a conflict of interest for Steen to promote a project supported by management. Others supported Steen's decision, arguing that he was acting in the best interests of the team.[14]

He came out of retirement in 1996, playing seven regular season and playoff games for the Frankfurt Lions of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga at the end of their season. He then played three seasons for the Berlin Polar Bears team before retiring again in 1999.[15] Coincidentally, he announced his retirement on the same day as Wayne Gretzky.[16] In January 2001, he was named European pro scout for the Minnesota Wild.[17] He moved back to Winnipeg in the mid-2000s at the behest of his employer, and scouted talent in the American Hockey League.[18]

Shortly after losing a 2008 election in Manitoba (see below), Steen returned to Sweden as an assistant coach for Modo Hockey of the Elitserien.[19] Steen, however, later did return to Winnipeg and won a seat on the city council.

One of Steen's sons, Alexander Steen, is also a professional hockey player currently playing for the St. Louis Blues, playing left wing and serving as a home game alternate captain.

Charity and investments[edit]

Steen oversaw charity golf tournaments during and after his hockey career, with some proceeds going to children's charities.[20] In 1993, he helped set up an organization of five Junior Jets teams in Winnipeg for younger players.[21] In 2006, Steen and his son Alexander established an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.[22]

Steen and two partners purchased 50% ownership in the International Hockey League's Minnesota Moose team in 1996 and brought the franchise to Winnipeg the following year as the Manitoba Moose.[23] He ultimately decided not to oversee the team in an ownership capacity and was appointed as director of player development.[24] In 1997, he partnered with the team to create the Thomas Steen/Manitoba Moose Hockey School.[25]

In 2006, Steen took part in a shareholder and creditor action against the directors of Maple Leaf Distillers and Protos International, seeking to have them repay $1.75 million invested over the last six years.[26] The action alleged that the directors had unfairly disregarded the interests of shareholders and used company money for personal expenses. They denied the charges.[27] Steen indicated that he felt betrayed by the directors, whom he previously considered to be personal friends.[28] In March 2007, the presiding justice found in favour of the shareholders and creditors and ordered the directors to pay $875,000.[29] The decision was upheld on appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada later declined to review the case.[30]

Many of the same investors later sued the Astra Credit Union, alleging that it was part of a "cheque-kiting" scheme that allowed the aforementioned directors to access millions of dollars in unauthorized loans. Astra initially rejected the charges as without merit.[31] Later, Astra launched a third-party claim against its former chief credit officer and the former directors of Maple Leaf Distillers.[32]

Steen donated an abstract painting/collage entitled Blood, Sweat, Tears, and A Lot of Love to a charity auction in Winnipeg in 2007.[33]

Political career[edit]

Steen indicated that he was considering a political career in January 2007, when he appeared at a news conference as a guest of federal Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews.[34] He later stood beside provincial Progressive Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen during the 2007 election, for an announcement that the PCs would bring NHL hockey back to Winnipeg if elected. The governing New Democrats described this promise as unrealistic, as did many in the local media.[35] The New Democrats were returned with a majority government on election day.

Steen was a candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada in the 2008 federal election, losing to New Democrat Jim Maloway in the northeast Winnipeg riding of Elmwood—Transcona.[36] His opponents argued that Steen, who lives in south Winnipeg, was unfamiliar with issues pertaining to the riding.[37] He was also criticized for missing several debates,[38] and for only reading from written briefings during a debate at Kildonan East Collegiate. One journalist, writing that Steen was "by all accounts and appearances a lovely and honourable gentleman", also noted that he was "radically out of his depth, muzzled by his party and unfamiliar with the issues".[39]

Two years after that election (with a coaching stint in Sweden in the interim), on October 27, 2010, Steen won election to Winnipeg City Council, representing the Elmwood/East Kildonan ward, in the 2010 municipal election.

Thomas Steen is not related to former Winnipeg Mayor Robert Steen or former Progressive Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba Warren Steen or professional wrestler Kevin Steen, all native Canadians unlike Thomas.

Awards and achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

Electoral record[edit]

Canadian federal election, 2008: Elmwood–Transcona
Party Candidate Votes % ∆% Expenditures
     New Democratic Party Jim Maloway 14,355 45.77 -5.08 $73,584.88
     Conservative Thomas Steen 12,776 40.74 +8.61 $60,628.72
Liberal Wes Penner 2,079 6.63 -5.68 $30,542.33
Green Chris Hrynkow 1,839 5.86 +2.23 $847.16
     Christian Heritage Robert Scott 312 0.99 -0.10 $2,735.85
Total valid votes/Expense Limit 31,361 100.00 $77,369.61
Total rejected ballots 100 0.32 -0.08
Turnout 31,461 54.04 -4.16
Electors on the lists 58,216
     New Democratic Party hold Swing -6.8

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1976–77 Leksands IF SEL 3 1 1 2 2
1977–78 Leksands IF SEL 35 5 5 10 30
1978–79 Leksands IF SEL 25 13 4 17 35
1979–80 Leksands IF SEL 18 7 8 15 16
1980–81 Färjestads BK SEL 32 16 22 38 28
1981–82 Winnipeg Jets NHL 73 15 29 44 42 4 0 4 4 2
1982–83 Winnipeg Jets NHL 75 26 33 59 60 3 0 2 2 0
1983–84 Winnipeg Jets NHL 79 20 45 65 69 3 0 1 1 9
1984–85 Winnipeg Jets NHL 70 30 54 84 80 8 2 3 5 17
1985–86 Winnipeg Jets NHL 78 17 47 64 76 3 1 1 2 4
1986–87 Winnipeg Jets NHL 75 17 33 50 59 10 3 4 7 8
1987–88 Winnipeg Jets NHL 76 16 38 54 53 5 1 5 6 2
1988–89 Winnipeg Jets NHL 80 27 61 88 80
1989–90 Winnipeg Jets NHL 53 18 48 66 35 7 2 5 7 16
1990–91 Winnipeg Jets NHL 58 19 48 67 49
1991–92 Winnipeg Jets NHL 38 13 25 38 29 7 2 4 6 2
1992–93 Winnipeg Jets NHL 80 22 50 72 75 6 1 3 4 2
1993–94 Winnipeg Jets NHL 76 19 32 51 32
1994–95 Winnipeg Jets NHL 31 5 10 15 14
1995–96 Frankfurt Lions DEL 4 1 0 1 2
1996–97 Berlin Polar Bears DEL 49 15 18 33 48
1997–98 Berlin Polar Bears DEL 43 4 7 11 20
1998–99 Berlin Polar Bears DEL 40 7 15 22 28
NHL totals 950 264 553 817 753 56 12 32 44 62

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THOMAS STEEN - 1006 Spiele für die Winnipeg Jets", Berliner Zeitung, 7 April 1999, 43. Steen was in the army for 2 years in Sweden while playing for Färjestads. See William Houston, "Jet building program paying early dividends", Globe and Mail, 22 March 1982, S2.
  2. ^ NHL Player Search: Thomas Steen, Legends of Hockey, accessed 17 June 2009.
  3. ^ "Top midget selection eager to play again with Gretzky in Soo", Globe and Mail, 5 June 1978, S8.
  4. ^ "NHL draft", Globe and Mail, 10 August 1979, 32; Hal Sigurdson, "What's in this name? Not a heckuva lot", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 1995.
  5. ^ Bob Duff, "Ferguson loved hockey and horses; Habs Legend Dead At 68", National Post, 16 July 2007, S5.
  6. ^ NHL Player Search: Thomas Steen, Legends of Hockey, accessed 17 June 2009.
  7. ^ "Smiling Swede perplexes Jets", Globe and Mail, 27 October 1987, D4.
  8. ^ Gary Loewen, "NHL player salaries to be unveiled to public", Globe and Mail, 22 January 1990, C2.
  9. ^ NHL Player Search: Thomas Steen, Legends of Hockey, accessed 17 June 2009.
  10. ^ Larry Sicinski, "Cliff drops hints, but will Leafs deal?", Hamilton Spectator, 19 March 1994, C2; Don Campbell, "Upbeat Steen signs on for next year", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 March 1994.
  11. ^ John Douglas, "Grief, then denial for bereaved fans", Winnipeg Free Press, 5 May 1995.
  12. ^ Scott Taylor, "MacCulloch may just play ball again", National Post, 14 March 2005, S6.
  13. ^ Don Campbell, "Encores for Steen, a genuine good guy", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 1995.
  14. ^ Don Campbell, "Jets' players feel ambushed", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 November 1994.
  15. ^ Scott Taylor, "Steen mulls return to the ice", Winnipeg Free Press, 2 February 1996, C3; Scott Taylor, "Steen gets to enjoy two worlds", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 1996, C1; "Der europäische Traum des Thomas Steen", Süddeutsche Zeitung, 27 October 1998, 43.
  16. ^ Scott Taylor, "Great, but not for Jets fans Winnipeg's best couldn't get past", Winnipeg Free Press, 17 April 1999, C3.
  17. ^ Tom Jones, "Gain one, lose one", Star-Tribune Newspaper of the Twin Cities, 7 January 2001, 10C.
  18. ^ Scott Taylor, "MacCulloch may just play ball again", National Post, 14 March 2005, S6.
  19. ^ "Thomas Steen till Modo", SVD, 18 April 2009, accessed 24 June 2009.
  20. ^ Paul McKie, "Golf tourneys in rough", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 August 1995, C2; Tim Campbell, "Glendale's course, volunteers first-rate", Winnipeg Free Press, 20 August 1996, D3.
  21. ^ Ashley Prest, "Winnipeg Jets live...and they're champs!", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 July 2000, C4.
  22. ^ "Thomas, Alexander Steen establish charity fundraiser", Winnipeg Free Press, 30 August 2006, C2.
  23. ^ Kelly Taylor, "Will it be Winnipeg Rivermen or the Moose?", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 December 1995, D1; "Hockey Winnipeg gets Moose", Globe and Mail, 8 December 1995, C11; Kelly Taylor, "Winnipeg hockey hunters bag the Moose", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 December 1995, C1.
  24. ^ Scott Taylor, "Steen gets to enjoy two worlds", Winnipeg Free Press, 22 May 1996, C1.
  25. ^ "Fast fact", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 August 1997, C1.
  26. ^ Daniel Lett, "Protos investors seek $1.4M", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 November 2006, A1.
  27. ^ Daniel Lett, "Wolinsky denies misuse of money", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 2006, B1; Daniel Lett, "Ex-shareholder questions payments", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 July 2006, A7.
  28. ^ Geoff Kirbyson, "Steen sad to sue ex-pals over failed investment", Winnipeg Free Press, 29 November 2006, B6. See also Martin Cash, "Disgruntled investors lay out their evidence", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 January 2007, B5.
  29. ^ Geoff Kirbyson, "Protos investors awarded $875,000", Winnipeg Free Press, 23 March 2007, B4; Geoff Kirbyson, "Property-seizure bid in Ataliotis judgment rebuffed", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 2007, B10.
  30. ^ Geoff Kirbyson, "Court of Appeal rules in favour of Protos investors", Winnipeg Free Press, 6 December 2007, B3; Geoff Kirbyson, "Ataliotis, Wolinsky ordered to pay up", Winnipeg Free Press, 25 April 2008, A12; Geoff Kirbyson, "Ex-boss of Protos Wolinsky bankrupt", Winnipeg Free Press, 7 February 2009, B4.
  31. ^ Geoff Kirbyson, "Credit union sued for $5.9M", Winnipeg Free Press, 13 September 2006, B6; Geoff Kirbyson, "Investors' suit closer to trial", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 October 2007, B14; Daniel Lett, "Astra Credit Union remains tight-lipped on cheque scam", Winnipeg Free Press, 14 October 2007, A4; Geoff Kirbyson, "Lawsuit against Astra now near trial", Winnipeg Free Press, 26 January 2008, A9; Geoff Kirbyson, "Astra's bid to kill lawsuit rejected - Credit union may try Supreme Court", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 September 2008, B5.
  32. ^ Geoff Kirbyson and Dan Lett, "Astra files suit in alleged cheque-kiting scheme", Winnipeg Free Press, 16 December 2008, B2.
  33. ^ Lorne Roberts, "Winnipeg celebrities put Heart into Art", Winnipeg Free Press, 27 September 2007, D1.
  34. ^ "Thomas Steen hints at politics", Winnipeg Free Press, 9 January 2007, A5.
  35. ^ "Manitoba Tories promise to work to bring pro hockey back to Winnipeg", Canadian Press, 7 May 2007, 12:00 report; Mia Rabson, "Tories promise return of Jets Will keep youth in city: McFadyen", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 2007, A4; Lindor Reynolds, "City yawns as McFadyen promises return of Jets", Winnipeg Free Press, 10 May 2007, A5. Steve Lambert, "Skepticism abounds as Manitoba politicians talk about bringing back NHL Jets", Canadian Press, 18 May 2007, 5:54 report; "Bring-back-Jets boast backfires", Calgary Herald, 19 May 2007, D6.
  36. ^ Maloway replaces Blaikie, NDP holds three city seats, Winnipeg Free Press. October 15, 2008.
  37. ^ Bruce Owen, "Steen, Maloway facing off - Veteran MLA derides Tory 'Paris Hilton effect'", Winnipeg Free Press, 8 September 2008, A3.
  38. ^ Bartley Kives, "Celebrities vie for long-time NDP seat - Former MLA aims to keep out ex-Jets captain", Winnipeg Free Press, 4 October 2008, A14.
  39. ^ Mary Agnes Welch, "Don't give up hope... yet", Winnipeg Free Press, 12 October 2008, A6.
  40. ^ http://www.halloffame.mb.ca/honouredmembers/inductee.php?id=388

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dale Hawerchuk
Winnipeg Jets captain
1989-91
with Dale Hawerchuk, 1989–90
and Randy Carlyle, 1989-91
Succeeded by
Troy Murray