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Modo Hockey

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City  Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
Home arena  Fjällräven Center
General manager  Per Svartvadet
Former name  Alfredshems IK
Location  Örnsköldsvik, Sweden
Founded  1921
Color  Red, white, green
League  HockeyAllsvenskan
Colors  Red, white, green
1921–1963  Alfredshems IK
Arena/Stadium  Fjällräven Center
Captain  Byron Ritchie
Head coach  Andreas Johansson
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Modo Hockey (or MODO with uppercase letters) is a professional ice hockey club in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. In season 2016-17 the club will be playing in Sweden's second-tier league HockeyAllsvenskan after losing a 7-game playoff series to Leksands IF and being relegated from the Swedish Hockey League (SHL; formerly Elitserien) in April 2016. The club was founded in 1921 and has won two SHL championships; in 1979 and 2007. The team's home arena is the Fjällräven Center (previously known as Swedbank Arena) since 2006. Before then, the team played at Kempehallen, beginning in 1964.

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Alfredshems IK and Modo AIK (1921–87)

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The club was founded in 1921 as Alfredshems IK, however it existed without an ice hockey program until 1938. Twenty years later, in 1958, the club joined HockeyAllsvenskan, Sweden's highest division at the time. Alfredshems IK played under that moniker until 1963, when it was renamed Modo AIK after their main sponsor, industrial corporation Mo och Domsjö AB (commonly abbreviated MoDo). The following year, the club made the newly constructed Kempehallen their home arena. In 1975, Modo AIK joined the Elitserien as one of the premier league's original ten teams. Four seasons later, Modo AIK won their first regular-season championship in 1979, en route to defeating previous ten-time champion Djurgårdens IF to also capture their first Le Mat trophy as playoff champions.

Modo Hockey (1987–present)

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In 1987, Modo AIK dropped the "AIK" suffix to the club's name, becoming known simply as Modo Hockey. After coming off its championship year in 1979, the club spent the majority of the 1980s with losing records. Coming out of the club's junior program, however, hometown stars Peter Forsberg and Markus Näslund played their rookie seasons with the senior team in 1990–91. Näslund went on to lead Modo Hockey in scoring as an eighteen-year-old in his second season with the club, while Forsberg became the first Modo player to win the Guldpucken as Swedish player of the year since Nils Johansson in 1964, capturing the title back-to-back in 1993 and 1994.

Modo Hockey modo hockey Tumblr

With both Forsberg and Näslund having been chosen as first-round selections in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, however, their time in Sweden was limited. Näslund departed for the NHL in 1993, while Forsberg remained to lead Modo to their second Elitserien playoff final in 1994, where they lost to Malmö IF. Soon after Forsberg's inevitable departure to the NHL in 1995, identical twin brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin represented the next wave of young talent coming through the Modo system. At seventeen-years-old, they captured the Guldpucken together as co-recipients in 1999, while leading Modo to a 33-win season (in a 50-game schedule) for the club's second regular-season title. As second- and third-overall selections in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, respectively, Daniel and Henrik left Modo for the NHL in 2000. Regardless, Modo became consistent contenders for the Le Mat trophy, appearing in three out of four playoff finals – losing all three – between 1999 and 2002.

Modo Hockey LiveArena

Due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, many former Modo stars returned to the team from the NHL, including Forsberg, Näslund, the Sedins and František Kaberle. Several foreign NHL players also signed with Modo, including Canadian defenceman Adrian Aucoin and American forward Dan Hinote. Swedish goaltender Tommy Salo (a product of VIK Västerås HK) joined as the starting goaltender. Despite a bolstered lineup, Modo finished sixth in the regular season.

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Having played in Kempehallen as their home arena since 1964, Modo moved into the then newly constructed Swedbank Arena, which was partially funded by former star Forsberg and his father Kent, who was also a former club head coach. Modo returned to Elitserien supremacy that season, defeating Linköpings HC on April 14, 2007, to capture their second Le Mat trophy in franchise history. The championship-winning club featured the 2007 Guldpucken-recipient Per Svartvadet, team leading-scorer Per-Åge Skrøder and future NHL defenceman Tobias Enström. The return of Niklas Sundström, who had originally played with the club alongside Forsberg and Naslund in the early 1990s, bolstered Modo's roster as he finished second in team scoring in his first season back from the NHL. An approximate 8,000 fans were in attendance at the Swedbank Arena for Modo's first championship in 28 years.

In the 2008–09 season the team finished ninth in Elitserien, thus missing the playoffs. In the 2009–10 season, Forsberg returned to play for Modo on a conditioning-basis to prepare for an anticipated return to the NHL after having been inactive for a season due to injury. With Näslund back in Sweden, having retired after the 2008–09 NHL season, he correctly predicted that Forsberg would not return to the NHL and finish the season with Modo instead. Several days later, on November 17, 2009, Näslund announced he was coming out of retirement to also rejoin Modo with Forsberg. The announcement crashed the Modo web server as a result of the heavy volume of people visiting the site. As a board member of the club, Näslund also announced he would play without a salary, along with Forsberg. Despite Näslund's and Forsberg's return to Modo, the team finished ninth and thus missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. After the 2009–10 season, Näslund retired again, and Forsberg left Modo again. After Näslund's second retirement, he was named the general manager of Modo.

In the 2010–11 season the team were closer to relegation to HockeyAllsvenskan than since 1990. The team finished last in Elitserien after a very tight battle in the bottom of Elitserien and thus were forced to play in Kvalserien for the first time since 1990 (the team survived the 1990 Kvalserien). After the 2011 Kvalserien's ninth round, Modo and Södertälje both had 17 points. Modo and Södertälje met each other in Fjällräven Center in the final round, for a game that directly decided which team would be relegated to HockeyAllsvenskan. Modo won the game 2–0 and thus stayed in Elitserien for the 2011–12 season. Nearly two weeks later, Peter Forsberg was named an assistant general manager of the Modo organization. Just a day later, on April 21, 2011, Modo Hockey's then head coach Charles "Challe" Berglund was forced to leave the club.

On May 2, 2011, Ulf Samuelsson, who had been an assistant coach in the National Hockey League (NHL), was named the head coach of Modo Hockey, a position he held for two seasons.

NHL alumni

Although Örnsköldsvik is a small town with an approximate population of just 29,000, the city has produced numerous born-and-raised NHL talents through the Modo system. The hockey-centred town has six indoor rinks, with the Fjällräven Center boasting regular attendances of 7,000 for Modo home games, marking nearly a quarter of the population.

Anders Hedberg was one of the first Swedes to succeed in the NHL, in the 1970s. In the early 1990s, forwards Peter Forsberg and Markus Näslund emerged from Modo's junior system and were drafted 6th and 16th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. They became arguably Modo's first NHL stars. Forsberg went on to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as NHL rookie of the year in 1995 with the Nordiques and the Hart Memorial Trophy as NHL MVP with the Colorado Avalanche in 2003, while Näslund won the Lester B. Pearson Award as NHL MVP chosen by the players in 2003. Furthermore, Forsberg and Näslund finished first and second in league point-scoring for the Art Ross Trophy in 2003. Besides the two league-leaders, the 2002–03 season featured 13 NHL players originating from Modo, as well as seven others who were born and raised within a couple miles of Örnsköldsvik. Forward Niklas Sundström also played alongside Forsberg and Näslund with Modo and was drafted 8th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers.

Eight years after Forsberg and Naslund's draft selections, identical twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin were drafted second and third overall, joining Näslund in Vancouver. In 2005–06, Näslund, Henrik and Daniel finished first, second and third, respectively, in Canucks team-scoring. In fact, since the 1998–99 season, no Canucks player has led the team in scoring besides either Näslund, Henrik or Daniel. During the 2009–10 season, Henrik became the second former Modo player to win the NHL's Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer and the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP. The next year fellow Canuck and twin brother Daniel Sedin would go on to win the Art ross trophy making it the first time in NHL history that two brothers won scoring titles consecutively.

In 2008–09 defenceman Victor Hedman began drawing considerable attention from the NHL and was eventually selected second overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, matching Daniel Sedin as the highest-drafted Modo player in team history.

Current roster

Updated June 26, 2016.

Season-by-season results

This is a partial list of the last six seasons completed by Modo. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Modo Hockey seasons. Code explanation; GP—Games played, W—Wins, L—Losses, T—Tied games, GF—Goals for, GA—Goals against, Pts—Points. Top Scorer: Points (Goals+Assists)

References

Modo Hockey Wikipedia


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