| 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)|
209 lb (95 kg)
|Teams|| Bofors IK (SWE-1)|
Färjestads BK (Elitserien)
Edmonton Oilers (WHA)
Washington Capitals (NHL)
VEU Feldkirch (AUT)
|World Championships|| 1977 WJC|
|Born|| March 23rd 1958,|
|NHL Draft|| 55th overall, 1978|
|Pro Career||1974 – 1999|
Bengt-Åke Gustafsson, often known simply as Bengt Gustafsson, (b. March 23 1958 in Karlskoga, Örebrö County, Sweden) is a retired professional center and current head coach of the Swedish National Team.
Gustafsson began his career with Bofors IK in the Swedish First Division (which today is known as the Allsvenskan). He made his debuts at the Elitserien level in 1977 with Färjestads BK, with whom he played for two seasons before crossing the Atlantic ocean, as he had been drafted to the National Hockey League by the Washington Capitals during the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, 55th overall.
However, it is not with the Capitals that Gustafsson began his North American career but with the Edmonton Oilers, then of the World Hockey Association, as he joined the team for the 1979 playoffs (after having spent the whole regular season with Färjestad). In two games, Bengt had scored one goal and added two assists. With the WHA folding, Gustafsson found himself in a Washington Capitals uniform for the 1979-80 NHL season, as the team claimed him back in the 1979 NHL Expansion Draft, since they still held his NHL rights. He would play nine seasons in the American capital before returning in Sweden to spend four seasons with Färjestad and six with VEU Feldkirch of the Austrian Championship.
After a fruitful playing career, Gustafsson turned to coaching. From 1997 to 2001, Gustafsson was assistant-coach of the Swiss National Team, and from 1998 to 2005, head coach of VEU Feldkirch, SC Langnau and Färjestad. This lasted until the Swedish National Team asked him to take the commands of the Tre Kronor.
His policies as coach were initially much criticized. Indeed, Gustafsson, unlike most coaches, asked the players who they wanted to have playing on the National Team with them, how they wished to play and how they felt lines should be made. This done, he simply made adjustments as the tournament went. But the people criticizing him were left no choice than to reckon his unusual policies worked, as he went on to win in 2006 both the Olympic and the World Championship gold medals, becoming the first coach to achieve the feat. It is even more impressive since only eight players were member of both gold medaled teams; these are Jörgen Jönsson, Kenny Jönsson, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Stefan Liv, Ronnie Sundin and Mika Hannula.
Accomplishments and awardsEdit
- 1977 Named to the 1977 World Junior Championship All-Stars team
- 1983 Named to the Elitserien All-Stars team
- 1987 Named to the Elitserien All-Stars team
- 1987 Gold medal at the 1987 World Championship
- 1990 Guldhjälmen winner
- 1991 Gold medal at the 1991 World Championship
- 1997 Named to the Alpenliga All-Star team
- 1998 European Hockey League champion with VEU Feldkirch
- 2002 Elitserien champion with Färjestads BK (as coach)
- 2003 Inducted to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hockey Hall of Fame
- 2006 Named Swedish Coach of the Year
- 2006 Gold medal at the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy (as coach)
- 2006 Gold medal at the 2006 World Championship (as coach)
- 2006 Became the first coach to win Olympic and World Championship gold during the same year
- Washington Capitals record for the most points by a rookie with 60 in 1979-80 (record since broken).
- Second fastest goal at the beginning of the third period (five seconds after the first face off) against the Philadelphia Flyers on january 18th 1983.
- Scored the game winning goal on February 19 1980; this was the first time the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens in their six years history.
- Became the first Caps player to be awarded to penalty shots during the same season, in 1980-81.
- Scored five goals on January 8 1984 in a 7-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Spent his whole NHL career with the Capitals, collecting 555 points (196 goals and 359 assists) in 629 games.
- Was inducted to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hockey Hall of Fame in 2003.
- Was named head coach of the Tre Kronor in 2005.
Bengt-Åke took part in five World Championships (1979, 1981, 1983, 1987 et 1991) with the Swedish National team; he was gold medalist twice, in 1987 and 1991. He also played in the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cup.
Parents in sportsEdit
His son Anton Gustafsson is also a hockey player.