NHL and the Swedes?

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Aug 21, 2006
In my castle....
Seeing how many Swedes have played and still play in the NHL, how much have they helped to make what NHL is today? Which would you say, is the best ever Swedish player in NHL? Which is your favourite?

Henrik Lundqvist
King Henrik has a career GAA of 2.32 and a career save percentage of .918, What GAA mean and is a save percentage of 0.918 good?
How good would Pelle Lindbergh have become, hadn't he died in '85?

Markus Näslund
He owns pretty much all of Vancouver's all-time scoring records, including goals, points, hat tricks, power-play goals and game-winning goals, and he is their longest-tenured captain. Will Vancouver ever see another like him?

Börje Salming
Or 'The King' as he's also called by some, not only was he extremely talented, but he was tough as nails too. Case in point: He had his face cut by the skate of Gerard Gallant during a game in 1986. It required surgery and over 200 stitches...he was back in the game three days later.

Nicklas Lidström
Awards: Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold, All-Rookie Team, 12-time All-Star, nine-time NHL First Team All-Star, two-time NHL Second Team All-Star, Triple Gold Club member, Conn Smythe Trophy, six Norris Trophies, four Stanley Cups.

Records: First European-born and trained player to win the Conn Smythe, first European-born and trained player to win the Norris, first European-born and trained captain to win the Stanley Cup, first European-born and trained defenseman to reach 1,000 points, most games played by any European, oldest player to record a hat trick, third all-time postseason games played (237), and the longest-tenured and highest-scoring defenseman in Red Wings history.

Mind you, the first three members of the Triple Gold Club (Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold) are from Sweden as well.

So, how do we compare with the other European players?
Salming, he played when you really had to be mentally and physically tough. Sort of opened the door. All of them listed are great players. Mr. Detroit wasn't all that tough, but the Norris's speak for themselves. Your Rags boy is a beast in net.
Some of my contributions/favorites:

Sedin Twins
Henrik Zetterberg
Hakan Loob
Bjore Salming
Kent Nilsson

Oh... and who can forget

Adam Larsson!
You can't forget Per-Eric Göran "Pelle" Lindbergh - the goaltender on the only team that did not lose to the gold-medal-winning Team USA at the 1980 Olympics.
Let's not forget Toronto Maple Leafs Captain, Mats Sundin ....

Lucky13 - if you're tracking Sweden's contribution to The Game - you best consider how, as stategy, they tried to change the game (for the worse, IMHO) by inventing "The Trap" -- taking a highly mobile, end-to-end game, and killing the mobility and spontanaity between the blue-lines. Do Swedes really like to watch such hockey ....? Certainly Canadian fans don't.

Not a PLUS for Sweden despite great individual contributions.

Next to Canadian and American players - the Finns seem to have the most natural affinity to The Game. And, Finnish women players seem to be the only European women to embrace physical hockey.

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I like all the Russian's(former USSR) in the NHL now.

Evgeni Malkin
Ilya Kovalchuk
Pavel Datsyuk
Alexander Ovechkin
Sergei Gonchar
Andrei Markov
Fedor Tyutin
Alex Radulov
Alex Semin
Anton Volchenkov

and...it goes on and on but...

Bryzgalov and Nabakov cause they let my devils score on them :lol:
While I do agree that the Europeans and maybe the Swedes in particular have encumbered the game between the blue-lines, (except for Borgia Salming) it was some coaches in the NHL that perfected it to such a quick sand-like quagmire. Thanks, New Jersey Devils. Peter Forsberg played the game in a North American physical style as well as anybody while still exhibiting a high level of scoring skill.

Two time triple crown winner...2 World Championships, 2 Olympic Gold Medals and 2 Stanley Cups.
4th all-time career assists-per-game behind Gretzky, Lemieux and Orr
Has a 1.25 career point-per-game behind Gretzky's 1.32
Less than 3% points behind The Great One in shooting percentage.
"Foppa" is also the No. 1 all-time WJC scorer with 73 points.

After a vicious boarding/spearing incident he had his spleen removed and missed the entire 2001/02 season and, did you know this, he returned his $10 million salary to the Avalanche for not being able to play even though his salary was guaranteed. Can you tell me how many professional athletes have done that?
And let's not forget that he was plagued through-out most of his career with chronic ankle tendon problems.
After a vicious boarding/spearing incident he had his spleen removed and missed the entire 2001/02 season and, did you know this, he returned his $10 million salary to the Avalanche for not being able to play even though his salary was guaranteed. Can you tell me how many professional athletes have done that?

I can think of only ONE similar story. The season before he retired, Ted Williams had the lowest batting average of his career. When the Red Sox offered him one more contract for one year at the same salary, he told them he hadn't deserved the salary he had just received, so he wold them he'd play one more year but only at a 30% pay cut - from $125k to $90k. He was also a Marine Corsair instructor in WW2 and flew 39 missions in an F9F in Korea before he was medically grounded. Check out his career stats at Ted Williams Batting Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com and then consider that he gave 5 years in his playing prime to the Marine Corps. Apparently he was a helluva fighter pilot, breaking records in the aerial gunnery course, so, naturally, he was made an instructor.

Didn't mean to babble on, but I love baseball and Ted was about the best hitter ever.

On topic, one of the best things that ever happened to the NHL was the arrival of European players. I remember the Miracle on Ice and loved watching the Soviet National Team while at the same time hating them for being so good! Asking who is/was the best Swede ever is like asking who was the asking who was the best hockey player ever - too many amazing players to choose from. Swedes give away nothing to any other country: Canada, Russia, Finland, Czech Republic, no one. (plus the have the Swedish Bikini Team in their corner)

Here's the Super Swedes: The 10 Best Swedish Hockey Players of All Time: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/...he-10-best-swedish-hockey-players-of-all-time from the Turner Sports Network.
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