Stefan Persson (ice hockey)
Position Defenceman
Shoots Left
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
190 lb (86 kg)
Teams New York Islanders
Nationality SWE
Born December 22 1954 (1954-12-22) (age 65),
Bjurholm, Sweden
NHL Draft 214th overall, 1974
New York Islanders
Pro Career 1976 – 1986

Stefan Persson (born December 22, 1954, in Bjurholm, Sweden) is a retired Swedish ice hockey player.

He made his debut as an 18-year-old defenceman with Piteå IF. In 1973 he joined Brynäs. While with Brynäs, he received his first national championship silver medal and two national championship gold medals, in 1976 and 1977. It was during this time that The New York Islanders drafted him, so Persson decided to go overseas to play in the NHL.

Persson's responsible, defensive style was endorsed highly by the Islanders head coach, Al Arbour, and Persson's career in the NHL started swiftly. Persson also showed an adept passing ability and an occasional scoring touch. This was no more apparent than during the Islanders first Stanley Cup playoff run in Game 1 of the 1980 Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was late in the third period, when Persson scored the game-tying goal to force a sudden-death overtime that the Islanders would win. Outdoing his regular season output of four goals, Persson scored five goals in the 1980 playoffs, and had serious consideration to become the first Swede to capture the Conn Smythe Trophy, which is awarded for MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Although he did not receive the award, the New York Islanders, with Persson as a regular on their backline, would capture four consecutive Stanley Cups (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983). He also set another record with the Islanders, playing more games than any other Swedish player in the NHL at that time.

During nine seasons with the Islanders, including playoffs, Persson played in 724 games, scored 59 goals and had 367 assists. He sent the four diamond rings he received for the four Stanley Cup wins to his father, Gösta, in the northern city of Piteå, where he had begun his hockey career.

During late stages of the 1985–86 season, the Islanders management, starting to lose money due to bad financial decisions concerning the team, decided that it was no longer prudent to pay Persson's salary, so they traded him to the Winnipeg Jets for a player to be named later. Persson had become a part of the community on Long Island, his only U.S. residence, and was so distraught about the trade that he decided, almost immediately, not to report to Winnipeg, and instead retired from the NHL altogether. Instead, he would return to Sweden where Persson joined Sweden's big-league Borås HC and was later given an administrative position with the team. After that he was asked to become the national junior team's general manager.

He was inducted into the Piteå Wall of Fame in 2006.

Awards Edit

Career statistics Edit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1976–77Brynäs IFSEL315111670
1977–78New York IslandersNHL66650565470226
1978–79New York IslandersNHL7810566657100448
1979–80New York IslandersNHL734353976215101516
1980–81New York IslandersNHL80952618270556
1981–82New York IslandersNHL70637439913114159
1982–83New York IslandersNHL7042529711815618
1983–84New York IslandersNHL759243365160662
1984–85New York IslandersNHL543192230109444
1985–86New York IslandersNHL561192040
NHL totals 622 52 317 369 574 102 7 50 57 69

External linksEdit

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