Ulf Sterner

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Ulf Sterner
Ulf Sterner signed.jpg
Born (1941-02-11) 11 February 1941 (age 75)
Deje, Sweden
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 187 lb (85 kg; 13 st 5 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
National team  Sweden
Playing career 1956–1990

Ulf Ivar Erik "Uffe" Sterner (born 11 February 1941) is a Swedish retired ice hockey forward. He played in nine IIHF World Championships for Sweden, where the team won seven medals: one gold, five silver, and one bronze. He was also a member of the silver medal team at the 1964 Winter Olympics. Sterner played for Forshaga IF from 1956–61, Västra Frölunda IF from 1961–64, and for the New York Rangers in 1964–65, before returning to Sweden to play for Rögle BK and Färjestads BK. He finished his career in England with the London Lions in 1973–74. On 27 January 1965, he became the first European-trained player to play in the National Hockey League (NHL).[1]

Playing career[edit]

Sterner made his hockey debut at 15 when he was accepted onto a second division club where he made a name for himself with his speed and scoring ability. On 12 November 1959, he made his international debut with Tre Kronor in a friendly match against Czechoslovakia's team. He scored his first goal in that game, which Tre Kronor won 11–3. He was the team's youngest player of all time. Through the late 1950s and early 1960s, he was one of Sweden's most popular players. He is also credited with inventing the "stick to skate to stick" maneuver. At the 1962 World Ice Hockey Championships, Sterner scored what he described as his most memorable goal when he scored the 3–0 goal against Team Canada.[2] His team won the game 5–3 and took the gold medal.[3] At the 1963 World Championship, he scored a hat trick against Canada in a 4–1 win. After the game, he and teammate Sven "Tumba" Johansson met King Gustaf VI Adolf and received a royal congratulations.[2]

His first Olympics came in 1960 in Squaw Valley. The team did not earn a medal, but from that point on he was a dominating centre in international play. By 1963, the New York Rangers had taken interest, and in October, Sterner made the trip for training camp. The parties signed a five-game tryout agreement, but Sterner declined to play that season in order to conserve his amateur status for the 1964 Winter Olympics. The team won a silver medal. Sterner arrived for training camp in 1964 and displayed excellent skills. However, the NHL, unlike the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), permitted hitting and physical play on any point of the ice; international players were not allowed to hit in the offensive zone. Allowing him time to adjust to the North American game, the Rangers offered him a start with the St. Paul Rangers of the Central League, which he accepted. After two months, he adapted and earned a promotion to the Baltimore Clippers of the American Hockey League. Finally, on 27 January 1965, he joined the Rangers in a game against the Boston Bruins, becoming the first European to play in the NHL.[4]

Ultimately, Sterner played only four games in the NHL, and he did not register a point. He had been reluctant to play physically or to instigate physical play. He was sent back down to the AHL, and it soon became clear that he was not going to return to the NHL. As much as his skills carried him through games in the AHL, he simply did not have the training to play 60-minute games with full contact. In 1969, the IIHF adopted the same body-checking rules as the NHL, and four years later, Börje Salming joined the Toronto Maple Leafs, ending up playing 17 years in the NHL.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Sterner, his wife Pia, and their family currently live on a farm near Karlstad, where they keep four horses. He nicknames his horses after former teammates and friends; when one of the horses smashed his nose, he nicknamed it Alexander Ragulin.[2]

Statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Sterner with Rögle BK
    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1956–57 Forshaga IF Swe-1 7 3 0 3
1957–58 Forshaga IF Swe-1 14 2 0 2
1958–59 Forshaga IF Swe-1 11 7 8 15
1959–60 Forshaga IF Swe-1 14 17 6 23 14
1960–61 Forshaga IF Swe-1 13 14 8 22 2
1961–62 Västra Frölunda HC Swe-1 13 12 9 21 26 7 6 4 10 5
1962–63 Västra Frölunda HC Swe-1 14 14 6 20 6 7 7 4 11 0
1963–64 Västra Frölunda HC Swe-1 12 10 2 12 6 7 1 4 5 10
1964–65 New York Rangers NHL 4 0 0 0 0
1964–65 St. Paul Saints CPHL 16 12 9 21 2
1964–65 Baltimore Clippers AHL 52 18 26 44 12 5 1 0 1 2
1965–66 Rögle BK Swe-2 15 32 11 43 6 12 3 15
1966–67 Rögle BK Swe-2 19 4 11 15 11
1967–68 Färjestad BK Swe-1 21 16 8 24 19
1968–69 Västra Frölunda HC Swe-1 19 19 20 39 10 7 5 7 12 2
1969–70 Färjestad BK Swe-2 17 14 22 36 5 4 3 7 2
1970–71 Färjestad BK Swe-1 6 4 7 11 13 14 10 3 13 14
1971–72 Färjestad BK Swe-1 14 10 15 25 28 14 5 6 11 24
1972–73 Färjestad BK Swe-1 14 7 15 22 23 14 10 2 12 29
1973–74 London Lions Britain 64 27 88 115 71 2 0 2 2 0
1974–75 BK Bäcken Swe-3 22 14 30 44 63
1975–76 BK Bäcken Swe-2 22 17 23 40 31
1976–77 BK Bäcken Swe-2 24 14 24 38
1977–78 Vänersborgs HC Swe-3 15 17 16 33
1988–89 Hammarö HC Swe-3
1989–90 Hammarö HC Swe-3 1 0 0 0 0
Swe-1 totals 172 135 104 239 147 70 44 30 74 84
Swe-2 totals 97 81 91 172 31 11 15 7 22 2

International[edit]

Ulf Sterner
Ulf Sterner SOK.jpg
Medal record
Representing  Sweden
Men's ice hockey
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1962 United States
Silver medal – second place 1963 Sweden
Silver medal – second place 1967 Austria
Silver medal – second place 1969 Sweden
Silver medal – second place 1970 Sweden
Silver medal – second place 1973 Soviet Union
Bronze medal – third place 1971 Switzerland
Winter Olympics
Silver medal – second place 1964 Innsbruck
   
Year Team Event GP G A Pts PIM
1960 Sweden OLY 5 0 1 1 0
1961 Sweden WC 7 5 0 5 2
1962 Sweden WC 7 9 7 16 2
1963 Sweden WC 7 7 2 9 2
1964 Sweden OLY 7 6 5 11 0
1966 Sweden WC 7 4 1 5 0
1967 Sweden WC 7 2 3 5 7
1969 Sweden WC 10 5 9 14 8
1970 Sweden WC 10 1 7 8 7
1971 Sweden WC 10 2 2 4 2
1973 Sweden WC 9 5 2 7 6
Senior totals 86 41 39 90 36

Coaching[edit]

Team Year Regular season
G W L T OTL Pts Win % Finish
Bayreuth SV 1986–87 36 21 9 6 0 48 .667 3rd in 2.Bundesliga South
Munich Hedos 1987–88 36 25 10 1 0 51 .708 2nd in 2.Bundesliga South
Fuessen EV 1988–89 34 14 17 5 0 33 .458 6th in 2.Bundesliga South

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Ulf Sterner. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ a b c "Ulf Sterner". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Tre Kronor's win over Canada becomes sports lore in Sweden". IIHF. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  4. ^ a b "Swede Ulf Sterner - the first European in the NHL". IIHF. Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  5. ^ a b c Ulf Sterner. Swedish Olympic Committee

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Anders Andersson
Golden Puck
1963
Succeeded by
Nils Johansson