July 30, 2016

Roland Stoltz

Savvy fans of international hockey will recognize the name Roland Stoltz as one of the great pioneers in Swedish hockey history. The star defenseman was arguably the best player in all of Swedish hockey in the 1950s and 1960s, often representing the nation at the World Championships and Olympics.

Other savvy hockey fans will recognize the name Roland Stoltz who played 14 games as a left winger with the Washington Capitals in the 1981-82 season.

It is important to recognize that they are not one in the same. In fact they are unrelated.

While the defenseman Roland Stoltz was rightfully inducted into the International Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999 as he was a very significant player on the world scene in his day.

The forward Roland Stoltz, 20 years younger, had a long career in Sweden, though not nearly as storied.

In the summer of 1981 he signed with the Capitals a free agent. It was hoped that he and Bengt-Ake Gustafsson would be a good match. But it did not work out. In 14 games Stoltz scored two goals and two assists.

Real savvy Caps fans might remember he had a real banana blade that may have been legal in Sweden but was not in the NHL. He even received a penalty for playing with an illegally curved stick.

The Capitals tried demoting Stoltz to the minor leagues for more apprenticing by late November, but Stoltz did not want anything to do with that. An arrangement was made to allow Stoltz to return home to Sweden for the rest of the season and the rest of his career.

Stoltz continued to play in Sweden until 1989.

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