SHL (Swedish Hockey League) • 1971 HV71 is formed • 1995 Swedish champions • 2004 Swedish champions • 2006 League winners • 2008 Swedish champions • 2009 Runners-up • 2010 Swedish champions
Behind the scenes
Axelent AB is platina partner of ice hockey team, HV71, both women’s and the men’s teams. What drives the players and coaches? Can professional ice hockey players take paternity leave? Can women ice hockey players support themselves? Axelent asked the questions and got the answers.
Johan Lindbom, coach, HV71 Men:
What made you start playing ice hockey?
“I began playing ice hockey in Alvesta SK after being introduced by my parents. There wasn’t much else to do in Alvesta than play football and ice hockey. I did both but noticed I was better at ice hockey at around 17. I received offers from other clubs and ice hockey became my focus.”
Was a career in ice hockey the natural course to take?
“I’ve always had to take the long road and work hard for any success. It’s taught me a lot, like anything's possible if you put your mind to it. For instance, I came to the NHL and New York Rangers as a 26-year-old, which many consider late. It was a great time until injuries put paid to my career. Home in Sweden my son began playing for HC Dalen in Norrahammar and I began to get coaching offers that led to me coaching my son’s team. From there it just took off.”
Are you a better coach than player?
“It's difficult to say really because they’re completely different roles. I always played as a forward and enjoy taking the initiative. As a coach I have the overall responsibility and have to put a lot of time into planning. I always have to be prepared as a coach to do my utmost. I believe that adversity only makes us stronger.”
Are you affected by what the media says?
“A lot is written about our matches and I try to avoid it as much as I can. I’ve nothing against engagement, but I’m also aware that you can’t please everyone. I just focus on my job and the targets we’ve set together with the team.”
Do you have any goals in your role as coach?
“I want to be as good as possible, and because my coaching career has been the same as my playing career, I’ve gradually grown into it and I’m now in my tenth year. As a coach I have a completely different responsibilities than as a player, but it’s still about team play. Players and coaches achieve the targets together and share the success. l don't do it alone.”
Is there room in your life for anything other than ice hockey?
“Frankly, my life revolves around ice hockey. It's difficult to find time for any other interests, even a round of golf. My family naturally takes up a large chunk of my time outside the rink. I think the best part about ice hockey are the thrills and experiences it gives you. Sharing the successes and setbacks and the fact that I can actually make a living from something I really enjoy and which is the favourite pastime of so many people.”
From left: Johan Lindbom, coach HV71 Men och Jessica Bublies, PR & Communication Manager Axelent AB
with Johan Lindbom
City or countryside?
Activity or relaxation?
Eat out or at home?
My talent probably is ice hockey because I can’t think of anything else