Monday, August 25, 2008


it's no secret, (at this point) to my nerdy hockey blog friends, that the two subjects i'm the most comfortable in discussing are the baby flames and european (mostly swedish) leagues. for anyone unaware, i spent a week in sweden during the lockout in december 2004, and attended four games in three different levels of hockey during that time.

kent was musing a bit today on some flames' prospects who played in europe last season. being right smack dab in the middle of what i consider "my element", i thought i'd provide a tiny picture show of the arenas i visited in the various swedish pro leagues.

1. sweden DIV 1 hockey:

moab hallen: capacity 650 (180 seats,370 standing): home of IFK kumla

my friend's kid. note the rink size and roof

kumla v. skåre. note the scoreboard.

this arena was slightly larger than your canadian community rink with bleachers-style seating. the penalty boxes were recessed into the stands with no glass on the backsides, so my buddy pår went and talked to one of the guys from skåre who was sitting in the sinbin....


speinbanken arena: capacity 1700 (400 seats, 1300 standing): home of IFK arboga

leksands v. arboga

michael ryder was playing for leksands in this game, and helped his team vault into the eliteserien for the following season. the best part about this rink was that the zamboni was attached to a retractable hose in the rafters that provided it water as it drove around the ice.

i stood up for the entire game.


scaniarinken: capacity 7500: home of södertälje SK

djurgårdens v. södertälje

it was a bit of a hike from downtown stockholm to get to this rink (two commuter trains and a bus) but it was definitely well worth it. the tickets were like seven bucks for the standing room only section, and the hockey was outstanding. fyi: södertälje is olli jökinen's home club***.

[note: apparently this is not true. jökinen just played there during the lockout]

globen: capacity 14000: home of djurgårdens

modo v. djurgårdens

smack dab in the centre of stockholm, the globe is easily the coolest arena i've ever been in (though the saddledome does have it's own unique charm). the interior is all red and it's HUGE inside. djurgårdens is mats sundin's home club.


ultimately, my point is that i think you can extrapolate the level of hockey from the size of the arena the teams are playing in. to say per jonsson was playing in DIV1 last year and was promoted to the eliteserien (which, for the record, is how it appears) is to say that the kid made HUGE strides in 07/08. mikael backlund will likely lead his allsvenskan team next season, if/when he gets sent back to sweden.

again, we must remember that the allsvenskan is not a feeder system to the eliteserien the way the AHL is to the NHL. the two leagues are more comparable to the english soccer system, where there is relegation between the premiereship and the championship leagues.

capiche ?


Kent W. said...

Thanks for the info!

I wonder what happened with Jonsson last year. Big step forward? or beneficiary of some kind of injury problems in the Elite league?

It'd be nice to know what kind of ice time he got (8 minutes a night or 20), but thems the breaks.

MacS said...

Do you know what the pay is like outside Elite? I know some European leagues outside of elite are considered amateur.

walkinvisible said...

I wonder what happened with Jonsson last year. Big step forward? or beneficiary of some kind of injury problems in the Elite league?

good question... and i imagine the answer includes a bit of both....

Do you know what the pay is like outside Elite? I know some European leagues outside of elite are considered amateur

i have no idea. i presume that the allsvenskan is considered pro, and i also think DIV 1 must have some kind of pay system (the loob brothers, for example, have been playing DIV 1 for the better part of the past 6 years....). i could probably do more homework but would have to learn swedish to understand it implicitly...

Kent W. said...

i could probably do more homework but would have to learn swedish to understand it implicitly...

Sounds good. Get to work. It would be helpful for us Flames fans since Sweden seems to be the only other country Sutter and co. are comfortable picking players from.

shep said...

Färjestad for whom Jonsson played 16GP (0G 1A 0PIM -1 5:09TOI/GP) had a lot of turnover/injuries/chaos on the backend last season. Thats probably why he got some at bats.

As for the pay in Allsvenskan, Theres a big gap between the big whealthy clubs (Malmö, Leksand, Mora, Björklöven, Västerås) who have bigger arenas and more attendance than the small ones (Huddinge, Nybro, Oskarshamn) but I believe that all the players are paid proffessionals. Although they're not getting rich playing for the smaller teams.
(Malmö and Leksand probably have bigger budgets than some SEL teams but always fail to make it there).

As a comparable between SEL and NHL, Jan Hlavac signed with Linköping for this season and his contract wich pays him 800k makes him the highest paid in the SEL.

Ps. Jokinen just played twenty-ish games for Södertälje during the lockout, his home club is HIFK Helsingfors. Ds.

walkinvisible said...


pleasure to be out-statted in swedish league chitchat... i'm just an interested canadian who's been to a few games... you sound like a proper swede (i'm presuming this with your proper use of umlauts and angstroms)


Kent W. said...

Thanks for the info, Shep. Good stuff.

5 minutes per night, hey? He was Färjestad's Brennan Evans apparently.

shep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shep said...

yeah, I'm a swedish flames fan.. your blogs (and the whole "oilogosphere") is a really nice addition to my google reader.
Glad if I could be to any help:)

btw, if you need any SEL stats, use:

walkinvisible said...


welcome !

i'm sure i speak for all of us when i ask what your thoughts on backlund are ?

feel free to speak for all of sweden.


shep said...


re: backlund

he hasnt been getting much buzz around here except during the WJC, mainly because his 13 points in allsvenskan i believe. i havent seen him play in västerås but he was a force for them in the qualifyer to the SEL so i guess he got more and more icetime as the year went on.
patrik berglund as a comp led västerås in scoring with 45 points (he is a year older though) and got a lot more publicity including a cup of coffee with tre kronor (the national team).
he's off to st.louis now so if backlund plays in västerås this year he will probably be getting more top six minutes+pp time and his numbers will hopefully grow drastically.
And thats really what he needs; play a lot in a top six role and on the pp with grown ups to develop properly, 'cause he got the skills, no question.

Kent W. said...

time on ice stats, sweet!

Shep is my new favorite commenter.

Now we just need something like this for the RSL.