Skip to main content

Jonas Bergqvist


Jonas Bergvist only played briefly in the NHL - 22 games with Calgary in 1989-90. He is far better known for playing 272 games with the Swedish national team - once a record. He played in nine world championships (winning gold in 1987, 1991, and 1998), three Canada Cups/World Cups and three Olympics (1998, 1992 and 1994 where he won gold).

Jonas was born in Angelholm in tge south of Sweden. He moved to Leksand as a 15 year old and played his entire Swedish career with this famous club, totalling of 575 games.

Jonas was drafted at a relatively late age. He was 26 when Calgary drafted him 126th overall in 1988. He had played in the 1987 Canada Cup and 1988 Olympics (in Calgary). The scouts in Calgary liked what they saw. They approached him just before the 1989 world championships in Stockholm 1989.

Jonas misfortune was that Calgary won the Stanley Cup that same season so it was pretty tough to take a regular spot on the team. Jonas never quite caught on in Calgary and only played 22 games, scoring 7 points (2 goals and 5 assists).

" My fondest memory in Calgary were the two games when I played on the same line together with Jiri Hrdina and Sergei Makarov," Jonas said

Jonas had met them many times before in international competitions when Hrdina played for Czechoslovakia and Makarov for Soviet Union. They understood each other very well on the ice but the coach (Terry Crisp) broke up the line almost immediately.

Just prior to the playoffs Jonas was sent down to Salt Lake (IHL) for conditioning purposes. He scored 16 points in 13 games and was really pumped to play in the playoffs for Calgary. Coach Terry Crisp said that Jonas would play in the last two regular season games so that he would be ready for the playoffs.

But just as Jonas was getting ready for one of these games, Terry walked up to him and told him that he didn't have to bother changing, that he will play in the next game instead. There never was a 'next game' for Jonas in Calgary.

He was very disappointed after this. Jonas felt that he was no rookie anymore, he had played his share of competitive hockey in his career and deserved a chance, but he soon found out that you can never take anything for granted in this business.

Despite this Jonas always said that he and his wife thoroughly enjoyed his time in both Calgary and Salt Lake. The only thing he was disappointed in was how he felt the coach had treated him. In Salt Lake he had a pretty good time as well.

"It was fun, both on and off the ice. We had about 11,000 people on our games. The minor leagues is much better than most people think."

But when Olle Ost, a Swedish coach for the German team Mannheim phoned Jonas and asked him to come and play in Germany, Jonas jumped on the offer. Calgary wanted him to stay but Jonas wanted to play, and besides, the money in Germany were pretty good.

"Economically it was a similar deal. But you can't compare German hockey to NHL. These are two different worlds. The players, the arenas and the organization were far worse than in Canada and Sweden."

Jonas only stayed for one year in Mannheim.

"It was okay, but socially we (Jonas and his wife) had it better in Calgary. Foremost it was the language that caused us problems. We weren't too good at speaking German so there were a few barriers, like watching TV (All foreign programs dubbed to German) and socializing with people."

Jonas went back to Leksand in the Swedish elite league where he played until 1998. He finished his career in Austria where he played for VEU Feldkirch 1998-99. After that he returned to Leksand where he became the teams GM.

Though his NHL career never took off he is considered to be one of the steadiest performers of the 1980's and 90's in all of Swedish hockey. Jonas was voted the Swedish player of the year in 1996. He won the Olympic gold in 1994 and is a three time world champion. Coaches who nominated him to the national team for tournaments like the Olympics, Canada Cups and world championships knew that Jonas would always work hard and that personal accomplishments never meant anything to him. He always played for the team and that's why he lasted a record 272 times in the Swedish jersey.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M