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Bengt-Åke Gustafsson

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Bengt-Åke Gustafsson
Position center
Shot left
Nickname(s) Gus
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)
Olympics Flag of Sweden 1992
World Championships Flag of Sweden 1977 WJC
Flag of Sweden 1978 WJC
Flag of Sweden 1979 WC
Flag of Sweden 1981 WC
Flag of Sweden 1983 WC
Flag of Sweden 1987 WC
Flag of Sweden 1991 WC
Nationality Flag of Sweden Swedish
Born March 23rd 1958,
Karlskoga, Sweden
NHL Draft 55th overall, 1978
Washington Capitals
Pro Career 19741999

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


  • 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.

Career highlightsEdit

International careerEdit

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.

Gustafsson was an Olympian for Sweden in 1992 in Albertville, France.

Parents in sportsEdit

His son Anton Gustafsson is also a hockey player.

External linksEdit

Flag of Sweden
This article is part of the Swedish hockey portal.

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