Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Welcome (a.k.a. the Norwegian Wings post)

So... Hey! Welcome to this blog! As of now I of course have no readers and probably won't get any so what better time to write about Norwegian Red Wing history?

This is a Norwegian Red Wings blog with the emphasis on "Red Wings", but just for today, I feel nationalistic and I will hereby present the two Norwegians who have (for a veeeery short time) been Wings.

1. Bjørn "Botta" Skaare

Try and pronounce that!

He was a bit before my time and the only people who seem to care about him hail him as a saint, but this I know:

He was born in Oslo in 1958 and grew up playing for the Norwegian team Furuset (Oslo). He played center. In 1976 he had a short stint with Färjestad (Karlstad, Sweden), but moved home quickly to play more for Furuset. In 1977 he went to Canada and played for the Ottawa 67's in OHL (12 goals, 30 assists and 72 penalty minutes in 38 games during the 77-78 season). This led to him being drafted in the 4th round as the 62nd pick overall in the 1978 draft by the Red Wings.

He started the 78-79 season with the Kansas City Red Wings in the CHL, but made it to the Wings and got his NHl debut November 29th 1978 against the Colorado Rockies. In his first NHL shift centering Vaclav Nedomansky and Don Labraaten he got hit viciously by Colorado's Barry Beck and had to leave the game. This shook him up and though the Wings wanted to keep him he went back to Kansas City. His season stats for Kansas in 78-79 were 8 goals, 26 assists, 18 penalty minutes in 37 games.

After the season he returned to Norwegian hockey and over the next few years he won the league and was named the league's best player and also was named the German league's best player in his year playing there. In 83-84 he returned to the CHL and played 2 games for the Tulsa Oilers before heading home. He retired in 1988. I don't know much about this, but I seem to remember hearing that he had huge alcohol problems in the 80s, I think my dad told me that, but all my sources are hailing him as a saint and saviour, so I can't get this verified. Anyway, he died in a car crash in Sweden in 1978. Here's his Wiki page:

2. Anders Myrvold


This guy is easier to write about as he's a contemporary player. Having said that I like exactly two things about him:

- We share first names
- He coached me at a practice session once.

He was born in 1975 in Norway and broke through playing in Sweden. He plays defense. He was drafted in the 5th round as number 127 in the draft of 1993 by the Quebec Nordiques. in 94/95 he went to North America and played for Laval Titan in QMJHL 14 goals, 50 assists and 173 PIM in 54 games. At the end of the season he got 3 playoff games with the AHL team Cornwall Aces getting 1 assist and 2 PIM.

In 95/96 he got his debut in NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, but through the season he only got 4 games (1 assist, 6 PIM and a -2 plus/minus rating). He finnished the season in Cornwall. For the 96/97 season he was traded to Boston Bruins where he got 9 games (2 assists, 4 PIM and -1). He spent most of the season and the entire next season in the minors.

From 98 to 00 he played in the Swedish league where he did well, but was critisized for taking too many penalties.

In the 00/01 season he got 12 games (1 assist, 0 PIM and a -2) with the New York Islanders, but spent most of that and the next season in the minors before moving on to German hockey at the end of the 01/02 season.

He got signed by our beloved Red Wings for the 03/04 season and got a grand total of 8 games in which he got 1 assist, 2 PIM and a -1 rating. He spent the most of the season in Grand Rapids.

After this he has played in Norway and in Switerland. He was briefly signed to the Houston Aeros in 05/06, but didn't play for them.

In recent years he has struggled with a cocain habit which almost ended his career, but he came back with the Stavanger Oilers (Norway). They fired him for refusing a drug test this summer, and he responded by threatening them. As you see, a great guy.
Now he is back with a new club and the latest in the soap opera of Myhrvold's career is that he won't get to play the Olympics because he has broken the National team's policy.

Through his career he has moved a great lot, here are all his clubs: Färjestad (Sweden), Grums (Sweden 2), Laval Titan (QMJHL), Cornwall Aces (AHL), Colorado Avalanche (NHL), Boston Bruins (NHL), Hearshey Bears (AHL), Providence Bruins (AHL), Djurgården (Sweden), AIK (Sweden), New York Islanders (NHL), Springfield Falcons (AHL), Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), HC Fribourg-Gottéron (Austria?), Adler Mannheim (Germany), Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL), Detroit Red Wings (NHL), Vålerenga (Norway), Zürich SC Lions (Switzerland), GC Küsnacht Lions (Switzerland 2), Vålerenga 2 (Norway 2), Stavanger Oilers (Norway) and Stjernen (Norway). Quite the journeyman as you see.

His career NHL stats are: 33 games, no goals, 5 assists, 12 PIM and a -6 rating.
His career AHL stats are: 377 games, 23 goals, 112 assists, 590 PIM.

As you see Norwegians and Wings don't mix, but I hope I'll last longer than these two.

As I am nationalistic today I will present the three other NHL players Norway has fostered:

3. Espen "Shampo" Knutsen
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Knutsen was born in Norway in 1972 and got drafted by the Hartford Whalers in the 10th round (204th overall) in 1990. He played center. He stayed in Europe until 1997, making a name for himself in Djurgården in the Swedish league. In the 97/98 season he got 3 games (3 goals, no assists, 6 PIM) with the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, but spent most of the time with their farmer team in Cincinatti. He then returned to Djurgården and was known for a time as the best player outside of the NHL. He spent the seasons from 00/01 to 03/04 in Columbus playing for the Blue Jackets and enjoyed some success there, but he struggled a lot with injuries the last two seasons. In his four seasons with the Jackets he got 188 games, 27 goals, 81 points and 99 PIM.
In 04 he went back to Norway and then to Sweden where he suffered from a career ending injury in 05. He is now the head coach of reigning Norwegian champs Vålerenga.
Noteworthy points in his career is his participation in the 2002 all-star game for the World team and that he fired the shot who killed a young girl against the Flames in 2002.

4. Patrick Thoresen


He's a left wing born in 1983. He played junior in QMJHL and then played for Djurgården in Sweden. He was not drafted. In 06/07 and 07/08 he played for the Edmonton Oilers (and spent some time in the AHL) getting 85 games, 6 goals, 20 assists and 48 PIM. He was traded to Philadelphia Flyers at the deadline in 08 and got 21 games, no goals, 5 assists and 8 PIM there in the regular season. In the 08 playoffs he got 14 games, 2 assists and 4 PIM. He was the first Norwegian to get to the second (and third) playoff round and the first one to get a point. He was only offered a two-way deal by the Flyers for 08/09 and decided to play in Switzerland. He now plays in the KHL, but hopes to get back to the NHL when the Flyers lose their rights to him next season.

5. Ole-Kristian Tollefsen


He's a defenseman. He was born in Norway in 84 and got drafted in the third round, 65th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. he played in the WHL, AHL and ECHL until he got his chance with the Jackets in 05/06. Over the next four seasons he got 145 games (he had a lot of injuries), 4 goals, 10 assists and 273 PIM in the NHL. Before this season he declined an offer from the Penguins and went to the Philadelphia Flyers. He plays quite regularly there and has already gotten into a few fights.

That's it. Some bad hockety country, huh?

Until next time (where I'll actually write about the Wings (and probably the Bruins seeing as they play tonight)).

2 comments:

  1. Norwa is the shit. I lived in Oslo from August through December studing at UiO and loved it. I can't wait to go back

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's cool man, I study there myself. Where on the campus did you study?

    ReplyDelete