Saturday, September 12, 2009


Mats Naslund. Moscow 1979

OK, with my little hint you got it right - the kid is Mats Naslund, the Swedish hockey legend and one of the Canadiens fans all-time favourites.
The story of this photo is interesting. It was published by TACC (Central Soviet Press Agency) after PRESSENSBILD before 1979 Moscow World championship. The description to the photo said:
" 12 years ago there was a hockey tournament for boy's teams. The 7-years old Mats Naslund was shining at this competition. During same days the Soviet national team played in Sweden capital and V. Starshinov presented the memorable stick to little Mats.
Now 19-years old Mats Naslund is participating at his very first World championship"

Mats Naslund. Before 1980 Olympics

Hockey Hall Of Fame

Forward Mats Naslund had already established himself as a bonafide star forward in the Swedish Elite League before joining the Montreal Canadiens for the 1982-83 season. Naslund had played with the powerful Brynas IF Gavle team and was one of the club's top offensive stars and was a key member of Team Sweden at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Upon arriving in Montreal, the Canadiens immediately inserted Naslund into the starting lineup where he played eight years, missing just 23 games over that span, displaying incredible resiliency for a man of just 5'7" and 160 pounds.

Mats Naslund. Montreal Canadiens Years

Naslund's best personal offensive season in the NHL was in 1985-86 when he scored 43 goals and 110 points. The fantastic regular season was capped with an amazing Stanley Cup championship with a finals victory over the Calgary Flames. In 20 playoff games he produced 19 points and was a candidate for the Conn Smythe trophy, given to the MVP of the postseason.

Mats Naslund. Sweden National Team

At the age of 30, while still very much on top of his game, the three-time NHL all-star elected to leave the league and continue his hockey career in Europe. He also appeared in three Canada Cup tournaments in 1984, 1987 and 1991 and also suited up for Sweden in the 1992 and 1994 Olympics. At 35, Naslund signed a free-agent contract with the Boston Bruins in 1994-95, but appeared in just 34 games before deciding it was time to retire.

Mats Naslund. Norway. 1994 Olympics

Mats Naslund is one of Sweden's "Great Three" who, along with Hakan Loob and Tomas Jonsson, has won the national championship, the World Championship, Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup. The three played together on Sweden's national Tre Kronor and sometimes against each other in the NHL.

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