Swedish Ice Hockey

Source: Passagen Smorgasbord

The Swedish Ice hockey team, Tre Kronor has won one gold medal in 1994, in the Olympics and they have six titles in the World Championships; in 1953, 1957, 1962, 1987, 1991 and 1992.

On the 17th of May, Sweden defeated Finland to become World Champions in Ice Hockey for 1998.

Ice hockey has always been a very popular sport in Sweden, both as far as the players are concerned, as well as viewers. The broad base for recruitment lies in the many hockey-clubs all over the country. Every boy has on one occasion or another, tried to play Ice hockey.

The series in Swedish hockey is divided into an elite series including twelve teams, from Malmö in the south to Luleå in the North. The All Swedish league comprising the best teams in division I, and then there are the Divisions II down to IV, in some places even more, depending on how many teams there are. When every team in the elite series has met twice, the two lowest ranked teams are out of the elite series, and pushed down to the All Swedish series. Thus, there are ten teams to play for the eight top places. Each team meets all of the others twice, until eight teams are left. These eight teams play to win the Swedish Cup.

As far as the ladies teams are concerned, the World Championships were initiated in 1990 and now take place every second year.

A general Elitserien team has a annual budget of about 30 MSEK (US$4,500,000) with the lowest at about 20 MSEK (US$3,000,000) and the highest at 45 MSEK (US$6,700,000).

Players in the Elitserien are mostly professional hockey players even if some of them have regular part time jobs outside hockey. The players wages are in general about 300 000 SEK (US$45,000) a year but the top players earn three or even four times that amount.

Young players and rookies may not earn more than 150 000 SEK (US$22,500) a year.

At the second level, the Division 1, teams budgets varies a lot. Some teams are trying hard to get into the top twelwe (Elitserien) and have annual budgets of 15-17 MSEK. (US$2,200,000-2,500,000). The lower placed teams in the different 1st Division leagues have budgets of no more than 2-3 MSEK (US$300,000-450,000). A good guess is that the medium 1st Division team has about 4 MSEK (US$600,000) for an annual budget.

The player wages also vary a lot in the first division level, both between different teams, but also within the teams. Some teams have annual wages in the area of 120,000 SEK (US$18,000) but most teams have a few top players with higher wages leaving most of the other players with some 20 000 SEK (US$3,000) or lower, a year. In fact, about 25% of the teams in the first Division have almost no salaries, only compensation for losses of income from the players¥ regular jobs.

At the next level, Division 2, most of the teams play without solid wages, but some teams do pay very high wages to certain top players. These are teams with high ambitions to move up to the Division 1 level.

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