August 14, 2016

Peter Wallin

In March of 1981 the New York Rangers signed Swedish league veteran Peter Wallin to a contract. The almost-24 year old Wallin had already played several seasons with Djurgardens IF out of Stockholm and with the Swedish back up national team.

The move appeared to have some immediate dividends. Wallin, a smooth skater and playmaker, played 12 games down the playoff stretch, scoring a goal and six points. He also played in all of the Rangers fourteen playoff games, contributing a solid two goals and eight points.

Wallin's first full NHL season was derailed by right knee surgery just prior to the start of the 1981-82 NHL season. The injury actually happened in Europe as the Rangers were on a five game exhibition tour. Wallin had been playing on a line with Anders Hedberg and the legendary Bobby Hull, as the Rangers were experimenting with reuniting the old WHA Winnipeg Jets line of Hull, Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson. Nilsson had sat out the game with a minor injury, allowing Wallin a chance to fill in.

Ultimately Hull never did sign with the Rangers. Hedberg and Nilsson played on for the Rangers, though Wallin never really got a chance to play with his countrymen. The knee injury cost him much of the first half of the season. When he returned he struggled to keep up with the pace of the mid-season NHLers. He scored just two goals and nine assists.

Wallin spent the entire 1982-83 season fulfilling his contract by playing for the Rangers farm affiliate in Tulsa of the Central Hockey League. He then returned to Sweden where he played four more seasons with Sodertalje.

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