Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Bengt-Ake Gustafsson
Bengt Ake Gustafsson was a sturdy and powerful forward with a broad chest and short legs that made him hard to knock down in a skirmish. He always skated upright, never losing sight of the puck and ignoring the opposition's hits and hooks.

Gustafsson was a natural leader and his teammates took their cues from him. Born in Karlskoga, Sweden, he made his debut with the local hockey club and then joined Farjestad. His commitment to hockey is evidenced by a successful 20 year playing career both at home and abroad. He remains one of Sweden's most renowned hockey players.

After the 1979 World Championship in Moscow, Gustafsson was invited to Canada to play for the Edmonton Oilers. He also appeared in a number of WHA playoff games with future star Wayne Gretzky.

In 1986, while he was playing for the Washington Capitals, an injured knee forced him to return to Sweden. He was 30 years old and not about to let the injury end his career. He started over again, joining the minor league Bofors, Farjestad's farm club. There he re-established himself as a speedy forward but wasn't invited to join the national team. Tre Kronor's head coach at the time, Leif Bork, didn't think he was fit enough, but his replacement, veteran coach Tommy Sandlin, had a different opinion and recruited Gustafsson. It turned out to be a prophetic decision.

At the 1987 World Championship in Vienna, Tre Kronor captured the gold after a 25-year interruption. Gustafsson was one of the team's key players. The veteran's performance attracted the attention of Washington Capitals managers and Gustafsson returned to the NHL to play for two more seasons. The Swede is still considered one of the Capitals' all-time best forwards.

In the spring of 1989 Gustafsson again returned to Sweden, this time playing for Farjestad until 1993. He then signed a two-year contract with Austria's Feldkirch but stayed for five seasons as a player and one as a coach. While with Feldkirch, he won five Austrian national championships and in 1998 became a Euroleague Cup winner. At 40, Gustafsson was voted one of the game's best players and he and his Farjestad teammate, Tomas Rundqvist, were the first Swedes to win the Euroleague Cup, a record that still holds.

Gustafsson is a double world champion. He played 117 games for Tre Kronor and is number 130 on Sweden's "Great Men" list. Following his playing career he worked for a Swiss hockey club before becoming the head coach of Farjestads BK in the Swedish Elite League in 2002. He has also been appointed the head coach of Sweden's National Team.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1973-74 KB Karlskoga Sweden-2 8 1 4 5 0 6 1 1 2 0
1974-75 KB Karlskoga Sweden-2 18 4 5 9 2
1974-75 KB Karlskoga/Bofors Jr. Swe-Jr. 2 1 1 2 0
1975-76 KB Karlskoga Sweden-2 11 7 3 10
1975-76 Sweden EJC-A 5 3 1 4 2
1976-77 KB Karlskoga Sweden-2 22 32 18 50 11 7 7 14
1977-78 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 32 15 10 25 10 7 2 6 8 10
1977-78 Sweden WJC-A 7 2 6 8 10
1978-79 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 32 13 11 24 10 3 2 0 2 4
1978-79 Sweden WEC-A 8 4 2 6 0
1978-79 Edmonton Oilers WHA 2 1 2 3 0
1979-80 Washington Capitals NHL 80 22 38 60 17 -17
1980-81 Washington Capitals NHL 72 21 34 55 26 +11
1980-81 Sweden WEC-A 6 3 1 4 8
1981-82 Washington Capitals DN-Cup 4 2 0 2
1981-82 Washington Capitals NHL 70 26 34 60 40 -20
1982-83 Washington Capitals NHL 67 22 42 64 16 +9 4 0 1 1 4
1982-83 Sweden WEC-A 10 2 7 9 6
1983-84 Washington Capitals NHL 69 32 43 75 16 +29 5 2 3 5 0
1984-85 Sweden Can-Cup 5 1 3 4 2
1984-85 Washington Capitals NHL 51 14 29 43 8 +13 5 1 3 4 0
1985-86 Washington Capitals NHL 70 23 52 75 26 +9
1986-87 Bofors IK Karlskoga Sweden-2 28 16 26 42 22
1986-87 Sweden WEC-A 10 3 8 11 4
1987-88 Sweden Can-Cup 6 3 0 3 4
1987-88 Washington Capitals NHL 78 18 36 54 29 +2 14 4 9 13 6
1988-89 Washington Capitals NHL 72 18 51 69 18 +13 4 2 3 5 6
1989-90 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 37 22 24 46 14 10 4 10 14 18
1990-91 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 37 9 21 30 6 8 3 6 9 2
1990-91 Sweden EJC-A 10 0 5 5 6
1991-92 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 35 12 20 32 30 6 2 5 7 2
1991-92 Sweden Olympics 8 0 1 1 0
1992-93 Farjestads BK Karlstad Sweden 40 17 14 31 32 3 0 1 1 2
1993-94 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 28 9 32 41 8
1993-94 VEU Feldkirch Austria 26 11 11 22 33
1994-95 VEU Feldkirch Euroliga 17 12 17 29 8
1994-95 VEU Feldkirch Austria 24 9 25 34 14 13 9 13 22 2
1995-96 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 7 8 8 16 2
1995-96 VEU Feldkirch Austria 36 20 46 66 12 4 1 5 6 2
1996-97 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 40 21 41 62 10
1996-97 VEU Feldkirch Austria 11 3 13 16 0
1997-98 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 36 6 15 21 10
1997-98 VEU Feldkirch Austria 18 4 15 19 6
1997-98 VEU Feldkirch EuroHL 6 2 6 8 2 4 1 3 4 2
1998-99 VEU Feldkirch Alpenliga 2 0 0 0 0
1998-99 VEU Feldkirch Austria
1999-00 SC Langnau Swiss
NHL Totals 629 196 359 555 196 32 9 19 28 16


WJC-A All-Star Team (1977)
Swedish World All-Star Team (1983, 1987)
Signed as a free agent by Edmonton (WHA), March, 1979. Claimed by Washington from Edmonton prior to Expansion Draft, June 9, 1979.
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