Bengt-Åke Gustafsson

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Bengt-Åke Gustafsson
Bengt -Åke.JPG
Born (1958-03-23) March 23, 1958 (age 58)
Karlskoga, SWE
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
Played for Division I
KB Karlskoga
Division 1
Bofors IK
Swedish Elite League
Färjestads BK
National Hockey League
Washington Capitals
World Hockey Association
Edmonton Oilers
Erste Bank Hockey League
Feldkirch VEU
National team  Sweden
NHL Draft 55th overall, 1978
Washington Capitals
Playing career 1973–1999

Bengt-Åke Gustafsson (born March 23, 1958) is a Swedish ice hockey coach and 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.

In 2003, Gustafsson was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame as a player.[1]

Playing career[edit]

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, winning five Austrian championships and the 1998 European Hockey League with VEU Feldkirch.

International play[edit]

Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Gold medal – first place 2006 Turin Team

Gustafsson earned 117 caps for the Swedish national team[2] and has played in five (1979, 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1991) World Championships with the Swedish national team. In both 1987 and 1991 he won the Gold medal, got silver in 1981 and bronze in 1979.

He also played in the Canada Cup in 1984 and 1987.

In 1992 he represented Sweden in the Olympic Games in Albertville.

Coaching career[edit]

Gustafsson started his career behind the bench as an assistant coach on the Swiss national team, serving under head coach Ralph Krueger. He attended five World Championships with the Swiss team between 1998 and 2002.

Additionally Gustafsson worked as head coach of Austrian VEU Feldkirch in the 1998-99 season, followed by a two-year stint as head coach of SC Langnau of the Swiss top-flight National League A (1999-2001). In 2001, he accepted the head coaching job at Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elitserien. He guided the team to the Swedish championship in 2002 and to back-to-back finals appearances the following two years.

Gustafsson was named head coach of the Swedish national team in 2005. Under his guidance, Tre Kronor captured gold at the 2006 Olympic Games and the 2006 World Championships, becoming the first coach to achieve this "double". He earned Swedish Coach of the Year honors that year. Gustafsson also led Team Sweden to a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships. He stepped down from his position in 2010.[3]

In October 2010, he took over as head coach of the ZSC Lions of the Swiss top-flight National League A (NLA) and remained in the job until the end of the 2010-11 season.

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.[4][5] 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.[6]

In December 2012, he was named head coach of the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga and replaced Jeff Tomlinson who had been sacked. After the season, Gustafsson did not have his contract renewed.[7]

In October 2013, he returned to Swiss SC Langnau for a second spell with the club, having previously spent two years with the Tigers. He led SCL to the NLB title and to promotion to the NLA in 2015, but parted company with the club despite the success.[8]

Coaching style[edit]

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.

Awards and achievements as player[edit]

  • Named to the 1977 World Junior Championships All-Star Team
  • Bronze at 1979 World Championships
  • Silver at 1981 World Championships
  • 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 1987 and 1991 World Championships
  • 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 Austrian champion with VEU Feldkirch
  • Won 1998 European Hockey League with Feldkirch
  • Named to the Alpenliga All-Star Team in 1997
  • 2003 Inductee into the IIHF Hall of Fame

Awards and achievements as coach[edit]

  • Swedish champion as head coach for Färjestads BK in 2002
  • 2006 Olympic Champion and 2006 World Champion with Sweden
  • Bronze medal at 2009 World Championships
  • Named as Swedish Coach of the Year in 2006[9]
  • Won NLB Championship and guided SCL Tigers to promotion to NLA in 2014-15

Records[edit]

  • 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).

Notable events[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1973–74 KB Karlskoga Swe-2 8 1 4 5 0 6 1 1 2 0
1974–75 KB Karlskoga Swe-1 18 4 5 9 2
1975–76 KB Karlskoga Swe-2 11 7 3 10
1976–77 KB Karlskoga Swe-2 22 32 18 50 11 7 7 14
1977–78 Färjestads BK SEL 32 15 10 25 10 7 2 6 8 10
1978–79 Färjestads BK SEL 33 13 11 24 10 3 2 0 2 4
1978–79 Edmonton Oilers WHA 2 1 2 3 0
1979–80 Washington Capitals NHL 80 22 38 60 17
1980–81 Washington Capitals NHL 72 21 34 55 26
1981–82 Washington Capitals NHL 70 26 34 60 40
1982–83 Washington Capitals NHL 67 22 42 64 16 4 0 1 1 4
1983–84 Washington Capitals NHL 69 32 43 75 16 5 2 3 5 0
1984–85 Washington Capitals NHL 51 14 29 43 8 5 1 3 4 0
1985–86 Washington Capitals NHL 70 23 52 75 26
1986–87 Bofors IK Swe-2 28 16 26 42 22
1987–88 Washington Capitals NHL 78 18 36 54 29
1988–89 Washington Capitals NHL 72 18 51 69 18 4 2 3 5 6
1989–90 Färjestads BK SEL 37 22 24 46 14 10 4 10 14 18
1990–91 Färjestads BK SEL 37 9 21 30 6 8 3 6 9 2
1991–92 Färjestads BK SEL 35 12 20 32 30 6 2 5 7 2
1992–93 Färjestads BK SEL 40 17 14 31 32 3 0 1 1 2
1993–94 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 28 9 32 41 8
1993–94 VEU Feldkirch AUS 26 11 11 22 33
1994–95 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 17 12 17 29 8
1994–95 VEU Feldkirch AUS 24 9 25 34 14 13 9 13 22 2
1995–96 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 7 8 8 16 2
1995–96 VEU Feldkirch AUS 36 20 46 66 12 4 1 5 6 2
1996–97 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 40 21 41 62 10
1996–97 VEU Feldkirch AUS 11 3 13 16 0
1997–98 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 36 6 15 21 10
1997–98 VEU Feldkirch AUS 18 4 15 19 6
1998–99 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 2 0 0 0 0
SEL totals 195 84 95 179 100 37 13 28 41 38
NHL totals 629 196 359 555 196 18 5 10 15 10
AUS totals 115 47 110 157 65 17 10 18 28 4

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1976 Sweden EJC 5 3 1 4 2
1978 Sweden WJC 7 2 6 8 10
1979 Sweden WC 8 4 2 6 0
1981 Sweden WC 6 3 1 4 8
1983 Sweden WC 10 2 7 9 6
1984 Sweden CC 5 1 3 4 2
1987 Sweden WC 10 3 8 11 4
1987 Sweden CC 6 3 0 3 4
1991 Sweden WC 10 0 5 5 6
1992 Sweden OLY 8 0 1 1 0
Junior totals 12 5 7 12 12
Senior totals 53 16 22 38 24

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IIHF Hall of Fame". www.iihf.com. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  2. ^ "Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bengt-Ake Gustafsson". www.legendsofhockey.net. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  3. ^ "Gustafsson to quit as Sweden coach at end of season; Marts named as replacement - The Hockey News". www.thehockeynews.com. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Bengt-Åke Gustafsson till KHL" (in Swedish). GP. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  5. ^ " Bengt-Ake Gustafsson appointed new coach of Atlant Mytishchi | Sports.ru in English".
  6. ^ Hultqvist, Daniel (2011-11-03). "Janne Karlsson tar över KHL-klubb". Jönköpingsnytt (in Swedish). jnytt.se. Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ "Gustafsson und Funk müssen gehen". kicker online. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  8. ^ "Erfolgsgeschichte ohne Happy End". bernerzeitung.ch/. Retrieved 2016-03-15. 
  9. ^ (Swedish) Bengt-Åke Gustafsson årets coach

External links[edit]