Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Swedish Professor passes on

One of the great hockey thinkers of the eighties passed away in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday Morning. Former Swedish hockey coach Tommy Sandlin died at his home in central Sweden.

He was known as the "Hockey Professor" for his unique strategies and training regimens, and was behind the bench for some of Sweden's most impressive performances on the world stage.

He was the coach who lead Sweden to the 1987 World Championships, the first championship for Sweden in 25 years, his teachings set the tone for a Swedish renaissance in World Hockey.

The Globe and Mail featured the following obit in its Thursday edition.

Swedish ice hockey coach Tommy Sandlin passes away
Associated Press

Globe and Mail
Thursday, December 28, 2006

Stockholm — Tommy Sandlin, who coached Sweden to gold at the 1987 world hockey championship, died early Thursday, his daughter said. He was 62.

Nicknamed the "Hockey Professor" due to his tactical skills, Sandlin died at his home in Gavle in central Sweden, said Lena Hedman Sandlin.

The cause of death was not immediately clear, but Sandlin had recently been released from a hospital after receiving treatment for his heart.

Sweden's win at the 1987 worlds was the country's first victory in the tournament in 25 years. Sandlin also won seven Swedish championships with five different teams in the national league.
"It's an incredible hockey leader that has left us. One of Sweden's all-time best coaches,"
Swedish Ice hockey Association secretary-general Robert Falck said. "He was called the 'Hockey Professor' because he always had new thoughts. He was innovative and always had a new take on things."

Sandlin coached the national team twice, from 1978-80 and 1986-90. He is survived by his wife Birgitta, children Tomas, Lena and Lotta and four grandchildren.

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