|Växjö Lakers Hockey|
|2014–15 Växjö Lakers season|
|League||Swedish Hockey League|
|Home arena||Vida Arena|
|Colors||Blue, orange, white
|General manager||Henrik Evertsson|
|Head coach||Sam Hallam|
Växjö Lakers Hockey Club (often simply referred to as the Växjö Lakers or VLH) is an ice hockey club from Växjö in Sweden. The club plays in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL; formerly Elitserien), the top-level league of Swedish ice hockey, and made its debut there in 2011–12. They play their home games in the Vida Arena. Their official supporter club is Lakers Lakejer.
The club was founded in 1997, after Växjö HC went bankrupt that year. Växjö Lakers originally played in Växjö Ishall as their home arena, but prior to the 2011–12 season they moved to Vida Arena. The construction of the Vida Arena was finished in summer 2011.
The club began play in the 1997–98 season. Starting in Division 4, four divisions below the Elitserien/SHL, Växjö worked its way to HockeyAllsvenskan within 6 years, being promoted 3 times. With a perfect record in the 2002 HockeyAllsvenskan Kvalserien, the club qualified for HockeyAllsvenskan. Sensationally, during their debut season in HockeyAllsvenskan, the club acquired Shjon Podein, an NHL-merited North American player who played 699 NHL games and won the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. The acquirement was described as "årets värvning" (acquirement of the year) by some people. During Podein's years in Växjö he became a crowd favorite. Prior to the following season, the 2004–05 season, the team also acquired Brad DeFauw, another NHL-merited North American player who played 9 NHL games and 154 AHL games. Both Shjon Podein and Brad DeFauw left the team after the 2004–05 season.
The club would spend 8 seasons in HockeyAllsvenskan and, during that time, reach the Kvalserien qualification for Elitserien three times. Växjö did not manage to promote to Elitserien in the 2009 and 2010 respective Kvalserien qualifications, but after winning the 2010–11 HockeyAllsvenskan season for the first time in club history and earning a third consecutive trip to Kvalserien, Växjö secured promotion to the top-tier league Elitserien in the eighth round (of ten) in the 2011 Kvalserien. The team finished the 2011 Kvalserien with 26 points, which is a record in the Kvalserien history.
The team formerly used red, yellow and blue as its colours, both in the team's logo and the team's jerseys. On 18 April 2011 it was announced that the club had changed the colours of their jerseys to blue and orange prior to the 2011–12 season. At that time it was also announced that the club's logo had been changed to an orange shield containing the name of the club beneath a lion holding a crossbow – an image from the Småland coat of arms.
Games in Elitserien
The club's first game in the Elitserien league was played on 13 September 2011, losing 0–2 to Frölunda HC in front of an outsold Scandinavium. Two days later, the club historically took their first points in Elitserien, beating Luleå HF on away ice 3–2 in a shootout, despite trailing by two goals in the third period. Their first home game was played on September 17, against Linköpings HC, in front of an outsold Vida Arena. Linköping won the game 4–2. Former Växjö Lakers crowd favorite Shjon Podein watched the game in the arena. Their first home points and regulation-time win came on September 27, when the Lakers won 4–1 against Modo Hockey. The Lakers' first shutout came on away ice when Modo were beaten 2–0 on 25 October 2011.
Växjö Lakers played the first Småland derby game in Elitserien history, which was on away ice against reigning regular-season champions HV71, on 8 October 2011 in front of an outsold Kinnarps Arena—exactly 7,000 spectators—in Jönköping. Växjö Lakers came out on top with a 3–2 victory in a shootout. Växjö Lakers forward Mike Iggulden scored three penalty shot goals in the game, two of them counted in the statistics.
|This list features the five most recent completed seasons. For prior seasons, see List of Växjö Lakers seasons.|
|Playoff to Elitserien qual.||—||4–1||2,952||1st round: 2–0 vs Troja/Ljungby, 2nd round: 2–1 vs Almtuna|
|2009 Elitserien qualifier||5th||3–0–1–6||2,639|
|2010 Elitserien qualifier||6th||1–1–1–7||2,790|
|2011 Elitserien qualifier||1st||7–2–1–0||3,521||Promoted to Elitserien|
|Swedish Championship playoffs||—||6-8||5,619||Lost in semifinals, 2-4 vs Färjestad BK|
- "Änderson om avund" (in Swedish). Lakers Lakejer. 2003-11-04. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- "Shjon Podein har landat i Växjö" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. 2004-10-19. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- "Orange revolution i Växjö Lakers" (in Swedish). Smålandsposten. 2011-04-18. Retrieved 2011-04-21.
- Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-15). "Kallio fixade historisk vinst" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
- Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-16). "Invigningsöverraskningen: Podein på plats i VIDA Arena" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-09-16.
- Jonas Gustavsson (2011-09-27). "Första segern i VIDA Arena". Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-02.
- Jonas Gustavsson (2011-10-25). "Seger – och första nollan" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
- Bosse Johander (2011-10-08). "Historiskt derby i Småland" (in Swedish). Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- Per Johansson (2011-10-08). "Iggulden straffade HV71 i smålandsderbyt" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers Hockey. Retrieved 2011-10-08.
- "A-Lag - Spelartrupp 14/15" (in Swedish). Växjö Lakers. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
- "Eliteprospects.com - Växjö Lakers". Eliteprospects.com. Retrieved 2015-01-21.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Växjö Lakers Hockey.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Växjö Lakers.|