Bengt-Åke Gustafsson

Bengt-Åke Gustafsson

Infobox Ice Hockey Player

played_for = Edmonton Oilers (WHA)
Washington Capitals
position = Centre
shoots = Left
height_ft = 6
height_in = 0
weight_lb = 198
nickname = Bengan
nationality = SWE
birth_date = Birth date and age|1958|3|23|mf=y
birth_place = Karlskoga, SWE
draft = 55th overall
draft_year = 1978
draft_team = Washington Capitals
former_teams = Bofors IK
Färjestads BK
Edmonton Oilers
Washington Capitals
Feldkirch VEU
career_start = 1977
career_end = 1999

Bengt-Åke Gustafsson (born March 23, 1958, in Karlskoga, Sweden) is a retired Swedish ice hockey player, now head coach of the Swedish national ice hockey team, a post he has held since February 14, 2005. 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.

Playing career

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 elected 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. After retiring from the NHL he first returned to Färjestads BK and later spent several years playing in Austria.

Coaching career

Gustafsson has since his active playing career coached several teams, including two national teams.

* Assistant coach of the Swiss national team 1997-2001
* Head coach of VEU Feldkirch in the Austrian league 1998/99
* Head coach of SC Langnau in the Swiss national league 1999-2001
* Head coach of Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elitserien 2001-2005
* Head coach of Tre Kronor, the Swedish national team 2005-

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

* Named to the 1977 World Junior Championships All-Star Team.
* 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 1991 World Championships.
* Named to the Alpenliga All-Star Team in 1997.
* Swedish champion as head coach for Färjestads BK in 2002.
* Named as Swedish Coach of the Year in 2006. [sv icon [ Bengt-Åke Gustafsson årets coach] ]


*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

*Scored the game-winning goal for the Washington Capitals in the franchise's first victory over the Montreal Canadiens on February 19, 1980.
*Became the first Washington Capitals player to attempt two penalty shots in the same season in 1980-81.
*Scored 5 goals to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-1 on January 8, 1984.
*Played on the Swedish team that reached the Canada Cup final vs Canada in 1984.
*He played his entire nine-year NHL career with the Washington Capitals and notched 555 points (196 goals, 359 assists) in 629 games.
*Inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2003.
*Appointed head coach for the Swedish national men's ice hockey team in 2005
*Became first coach in history to win both Olympic and IIHF World Championship the same year during the 2006 Winter Olympics and 2006 Ice Hockey World Championship.

Career statistics

International play

Bengt-Åke has played five (1979, 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1991) World Championships with Swedish national team. In both 1987 and 1991 he won the Gold medal.

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

In 1992 he represented Sweden in the Olympic Games in Albertville. Fourteen years later he was head coach for the Gold medal winning Swedish team in the Olympics in Torino. In the same year, 2006, he also won gold medal in the Ice Hockey World Championship as head coach.

External links




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