a primer to the swedish elite league—elitserien i ett nötskal.
- Elitserien in Swedish; Swedish Elite League in English; Elite Series in direct translation
- Founded in 1975
- Highest level of professional ice hockey in Sweden
- Next highest league is HockeyAllSvenskan (comparable to the American Hockey League in relation to the NHL)
- League consists of 12 teams
Currently: (Team - Location)
- AIK - Stockholm
- Brynäs IF - Gävle
- Djurgårdens IF - Stockholm
- Frölunda HC - Gothenburg
- Färjestads BK - Karlstad
- HV71 - Jönköping
- Linköpings HC - Linköping
- Luleå HF - Luleå
- Modo Hockey - Örnsköldsvik
- Skellefteå AIK - Skellefteå
- Södertälje SK - Södertälje
- Timrå IK - Timrå
- Each team plays 55 games per season
- 3 points are awarded for a win, 1 point for losing in overtime, and 2 points for winning in overtime, which consists of a five minute sudden death period followed by a shootout (same as NHL)
- At the end of the season, the two teams with the least amount of points must play the top four teams of the HockeyAllSvenskan in a series called the Kvalserien. The two winners of this series will qualify to play in the SEL the next season. The other four teams will be demoted to the HockeyAllSvenskan. The 2008 map below features Rogle BK instead of AIK, a team currently in the league. This is due to the Kvalserien. AIK made its comeback to the SEL just this season.
- The playoffs, called the SM-Finals, are similar to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The top eight teams are seeded by points and the first seed plays the last, the second plays the second to last, etc. However, the first seed can choose to play either the last seed or the second to last seed. Then the second seed can choose to play the last or second to last after that. The only team that does not have a choice is the fourth seeded team and the last remaining lower seed.
- All series are best of seven.
- Teams seeded ninth and tenth are guaranteed to play in the SEL the next season and do not play anymore games once the regular season is over.
- The Le Mat Trophy is awarded to the winner of the champion of the SM-Finals. The trophy is named after the man who introduced hockey to Sweden, Raoul Le Mat, an American film director. The defending champs of the Le Mat Trophy are HV71, a team named after merger that took place in (you guessed it) 1971 of the two teams Husqvarna IF and Vätterstads IK.
HV71 with the Le Mat Trophy.
- The Håkan Loob Trophy is awarded to the goal scoring leader of the season. It is named for Håkan Loob, a retired player formerly of Farjestads BK who holds the SEL record for most goals scored in a season: 42. Previous winners include Kristian Huselius of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jan Hlavac.
Håkan Loob, Mats Naslund and Tomas Jonsson with their gold medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics.
- The Guldhjalmen (the Golden Helmet) is awarded to the MVP of the league. It has previously been awarded to Henrik Lundqvist and Peter Forsberg.
- Guldpucken (oh come on, you can guess this one) is awarded to the player of the year in Sweden (not necessarily the SEL). Previously awarded to Jonas Gustavsson, Henrik Lundqvist, Henrik Zetterberg, both Sedins (in consecutive years, Daniel first, actually) and Peter Forsberg two years in a row.
- Årets Rookie is awarded to (you guessed it again) the Elitserien Rookie of the Year. A list of the winners can be found here, and I am pretty sure you have probably heard of most of the recipients in recent years.
I think I’ve pretty much covered all the bases so we can all be on the same page. But if you think I forgot something important, please let me know! Any questions are also welcome… I hope maybe you even learned something!
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