Despite playing but briefly over three years with New Jersey, Carlsson's career has survived the test of time like few before him. Prior to and after his NHL days, blighted by a sour relationship with coach Doug Carpenter, Carlsson was a standout in Sweden, both in the Elite league and internationally.
He started his career in 1978 with Brynas, and continues to play in Sweden to this day at age 41. He was drafted by New Jersey in 1986 shortly after playing in that year's World Championships, and agreed to join the Devils in the fall. When he found he wasn't going to play regularly, he returned home to Sweden and has been there ever since.
Additional to his league play in Sweden, Carlsson has played for Tre Kronor at six World Championships, notably two gold medals in 1991 and 1987, and three silver in 1997, 1990 and 1986. He also played in the 1987 Canada Cup, proving to himself and no one else there is plenty of hockey life outside the NHL.