23 March 1958|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
Swedish Elite League
National Hockey League
World Hockey Association
Erste Bank Hockey League
55th overall, 1978|
Bengt-Åke Gustafsson (born 23 March 1958) is a Swedish ice hockey coach and retired Swedish ice hockey player. Gustafsson is a former head coach of the Sweden men's national ice hockey team, a post he held from February 2005 to May 2010. During his American career he was often called Bengt Gustafsson or Gus.
Gustafsson spent nine seasons in the National Hockey League with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals also selected Gustafsson's son, Anton Gustafsson, with the first of their two first-round picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Gustafsson started his career playing for Bofors IK in the Swedish third tier league and later transferred to Färjestads BK of the Elitserien. Gustafsson was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. Gustafsson chose to play the 1978–79 season in his homeland Sweden, but he signed with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers in March 1979. Gustafsson made his North American pro debut in the WHA playoffs that spring, picking up a goal and two assists in two games. When the Oilers merged into the NHL, the Capitals reclaimed Gustafsson's rights from Edmonton.
In the season of 1986-1987 he played for Bofors IK in the second highest division and still was selected for the national team, which caused some controversy, before playing two more NHL seasons. After retiring from the NHL he first returned to Färjestads BK and later spent several years playing in Austria, winning five Austrian championships and the 1998 European Hockey League with VEU Feldkirch.
|Olympic medal record|
|Men's ice hockey|
Gustafsson earned 117 caps for the Swedish national team and has played in five (1979, 1981, 1983, 1987 and 1991) World Championships with the Swedish national team. In both 1987 and 1991 he won the Gold medal, got silver in 1981 and bronze in 1979.
In 1992 he represented Sweden in the Olympic Games in Albertville.
Gustafsson started his career behind the bench as an assistant coach on the Swiss national team, serving under head coach Ralph Krueger. He attended five World Championships with the Swiss team between 1998 and 2002.
Additionally Gustafsson worked as head coach of Austrian VEU Feldkirch in the 1998-99 season, followed by a two-year stint as head coach of SC Langnau of the Swiss top-flight National League A (1999-2001). In 2001, he accepted the head coaching job at Färjestads BK in the Swedish Elitserien. He guided the team to the Swedish championship in 2002 and to back-to-back finals appearances the following two years.
Gustafsson was named head coach of the Swedish national team in 2005. Under his guidance, Tre Kronor captured gold at the 2006 Olympic Games and the 2006 World Championships, becoming the first coach to achieve this "double". He earned Swedish Coach of the Year honors that year. Gustafsson also led Team Sweden to a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships. He stepped down from his position in 2010.
On 6 May 2011 Gustafsson was named the head coach of Atlant Moscow Oblast of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), becoming the first Swede to be named the head coach of a KHL team. However, after a disappointing start of the 2011–12 season for Moscow Oblast, Gustafsson was forced to leave the club on 3 November 2011. The team's then assistant coach Janne Karlsson took over the head-coaching job for Moscow Oblast.
In December 2012, he was named head coach of the Nürnberg Ice Tigers of the German Deutsche Eishockey Liga and replaced Jeff Tomlinson who had been sacked. After the season, Gustafsson did not have his contract renewed.
In October 2013, he returned to Swiss SC Langnau for a second spell with the club, having previously spent two years with the Tigers. He led SCL to the NLB title and to promotion to the NLA in 2015, but parted company with the club despite the success. On January 24, 2017, he took over the head coaching position at NLB side EHC Olten. He was sacked in early February 2018 following a run of five wins in 15 contests and after dropping to the 4th place of the NLB standings.
He has been reported as a "player's coach", listening to and arguing with his players rather than telling them what to do. In a SVT interview he stated: "[Ice] hockey is played on the ice, not behind the bench. As coach I can point things out to them and make them aware of stuff but they are the ones who play the game. As a player I have to confess that I didn't listen that much to what the coach said, and as a coach I don't expect them to do either."
He was criticised for asking various players whom they would like to see in the team and how they wanted to play and for asking players how they would like to see the lines formed. He then went in and adjusted the lines as the tournaments went on. The criticism has been somewhat subdued after his 2006 Olympic and IIHF WC double.
The Olympic and IIHF team only shared eight players. Most of the stars from Olympics was missing. Only Jörgen Jönsson, Kenny Jönsson, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Mikael Samuelsson, Stefan Liv, Ronnie Sundin and Mika Hannula participated in both tournaments.
|1973–74||KB Karlskoga||SWE II||8||1||4||5||0||6||1||1||2||0|
|1975–76||KB Karlskoga||SWE II||11||7||3||10||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1976–77||KB Karlskoga||SWE II||22||32||18||50||—||11||7||7||14||—|
|1986–87||Bofors IK||SWE II||28||16||26||42||22||—||—||—||—||—|