Infobox sports league
current_season = 2008–09 Elitserien season

pixels = 220px
caption = The Elitserien logo
sport = Ice hockey
founded = 1975
fame =
motto =
teams = 12
country = SWE
champion = HV71
folded =
website = [http://www.hockeyligan.se/ Hockeyligan.se]
singles =

Elitserien, or the Swedish Elite League (SEL), as it is often unofficially called in English, [cite web | title=World Junior hosts boast rich hockey heritage | first=Bill | last=Meltzer | publisher=NHL.com | url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=285589&page=NewsPage&service=page | date=2006-12-20 | accessdate=2007-03-07] is a professional ice hockey league composed of twelve teams in Sweden. It is the highest-level ice hockey league in Sweden, and generally regarded as one of the top leagues in Europe alongside the Czech Extraliga, the Finnish SM-liiga, the Swiss Nationalliga A and the Kontinental Hockey League.

The first season under the name Elitserien was played in 1975–76. The Swedish ice hockey championships have been played in various forms since 1922.

Naturally, Swedes constitute a large majority of the players in Elitserien, approximately 70% during the 2006–07 season. [cite web | url=http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/sport/story/0,2789,989859,00.html | title=Nationalitet på spelarna i ligan | accessdate=2007-03-28 | last=Wennerholm | first=Mats | date=2007-02-01 | publisher=Aftonbladet.se | language=Swedish ] According to the Swedish Ice Hockey Association there were 99 foreign players in the teams' rosters, and a total of 127 foreigners registered with the twelve Elitserien teams at the start of the 2006–07 season. [cite web | title=Utlänningsrekord i elitserien | publisher=svt.se | language=Swedish | url=http://svt.se/svt/jsp/Crosslink.jsp?d=20090&a=740031&lid=senasteNytt_256159&lpos=rubrik_740031 | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2007-03-12]


The Swedish ice hockey championships was awarded for the first time in Swedish history in 1922, only two years after ice hockey was introduced in Sweden by the American film director Raoul Le Mat. IK Göta won the first championships final. [cite web | title=Nu börjar jakten på Le Mat | publisher=Hockeyligan.se | language=Swedish | url=http://www.hockeyligan.se/rinkside.php?nid=10958 | date=2007-03-06 | accessdate=2007-03-12]

Elitserien under its current name started on October 5, 1975, in which each team played a total of 36 games. [cite web | title=Elitserien | publisher=Hockeyligan.se | language=Swedish | url=http://www.hockeyligan.se/historik.php | accessdate=2007-03-12] Originally the league consisted of 10 teams but expanded in 1987 with an additional two teams.


Each Elitserien regulation game is an ice hockey game played between two teams and is 60 minutes long. The game is composed of three 20-minute periods with an intermission of a maximum of 18 minutes between periods. [cite web | title=Kap 1 ALLMÄNNA BESTÄMMELSER | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | language=Swedish | url=http://www.swehockey.se/t2.asp?p=72878 | accessdate=2007-03-07] At the end of the 60-minute regulation time, the team with the most goals wins the game. If a game is tied after regulation time, overtime ensues. During the regular season, overtime is a five-minute, four-player on four-player sudden death period, in which the first team to score a goal wins the game.

In the playoffs, an unlimited number of sudden-death 20 minute five-on-five periods occur until one team scores. While a game can theoretically continue forever, only a handful of games have ever surpassed four overtime periods, and none have gone beyond six. [cite web | title=De längsta matcherna genom tiderna | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | language=Swedish | url=http://www.swehockey.se/files/%7B8AAFE63F-B89F-42FF-BE09-8CB9C85D52B5%7D.pdf | accessdate=2007-03-07]


Elitserien originated in 1975 with ten teams, and after expansion in 1987 currently consists of twelve teams. The two lowest ranked teams after the regular season have to play in a regulation series called Kvalserien together with four teams from the second tier league HockeyAllsvenskan. The top two teams of Kvalserien qualify for the next Elitserien season, while the other four are demoted to HockeyAllsvenskan. Theoretically, there is a possibility that two 'new' teams will play in Elitserien at the beginning of each season.

Counting from the start of Elitserien in 1975 Färjestads BK is the most successful team with seven Swedish Championship titles, commonly called "SM-guld" in Swedish. The next most successful team is Djurgårdens IF with six championship titles. [cite web | title=Svenska Mästare | publisher=Hockeyligan.se | language=Swedish | url=http://www.hockeyligan.se/nyheter.php?override=true&nid=10429 | date=2007-01-14 | accessdate=2007-03-12] Counting from 1922 when the first Swedish championships were played Djurgårdens IF is the most successful team with sixteen championship titles, followed by Brynäs IF with twelve and IK Göta with nine. [cite web | title=Visste du att... | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | language=Swedish | url=http://www.swehockey.se/t2.asp?p=75179 | accessdate=2007-03-14]

2008–09 season

*1 Arena currently under construction. Capacity may change.

eason structure

The Elitserien season is divided into a regular season from late September through the beginning of March, when teams play each other in a predefined schedule, and a playoffs from March to the beginning of April, which is an elimination tournament where two teams play against each other to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. The final remaining team is crowned the Swedish champion, or "Svenska mästare" in Swedish.

Regular season

In the regular season, each team plays 55 games. Points are awarded for each game, where three points are awarded for a win, one point for losing in overtime, two points for winning in overtime, and zero points for a loss in regulation. At the end of the regular season, the team that finishes with the most points is crowned the league champion and awarded a prize sum of 1,000,000 SEKcite web | title=HV71 – Seriesegrare 2007/2008 | publisher=Svenska Hockeyligan AB | language=Swedish | url=http://www.hockeyligan.se/index.php?article=912 | date=2008-03-08 | accessdate=2008-03-09] (approx. 150,000 USD) as a bonus. The second-placed team receives 500,000 SEK while the third-placed team gets 250,000 SEK. The eight highest ranked teams by points qualify for the playoffs. The two lowest ranked teams after the regular season have to play in the relegation and promotion series Kvalserien in order to qualify for the next season of Elitserien.


The Elitserien Playoffs is an elimination tournament, where two teams battle to win a best-of-seven series in order to advance to the next round. The first round of the playoffs, or quarterfinals, consists of the first seed choosing which team to play from the seventh or eighth seed; the second choosing from the remaining two lowest seeded; the third choosing between the remaining two lowest seeded after second's pick; and the fourth playing the sole remaining team. In the second round, or semifinals, the teams are re-seeded, with the top remaining seed playing against the lowest remaining seed, and the other two remaining teams pairing off. In the third round, the finals, the two remaining teams face each other.

In each round the higher-ranked team is said to be the team with the home-ice advantage. Four of the seven games are played at this team's home venue — the second and fourth, and, when necessary, the fifth and seventh games — with the other games played at the lower-ranked team's home venue.


The two lowest ranked teams after the regular season have to play in a regulation series called Kvalserien together with four teams from the second tier league HockeyAllsvenskan. The top two teams of Kvalserien qualify for the next Elitserien season, while the other four are demoted to HockeyAllsvenskan.

Notable players

The top five point scoring forwards in the 2007–08 season were Tony Mårtensson, Mattias Weinhandl, Pavel Brendl, Niklas Andersson and Tomi Kallio. The top goal scorer was Mattias Weinhandl.cite web | title=Svenska Ishockeyförbundet - Official Statistics | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | url=http://stats.swehockey.se/0708/pdf/Elitserien/Statistics.pdf | accessdate=2008-03-09] The top three scorers on defence were Mikko Luoma, Johan Åkerman and Pasi Puistola, and the top three goaltenders (by save percentage) were Jhonas Enroth, Björn Bjurling and Daniel Larsson.

Hockey rink

Elitserien games are played on a hockey rink, which is rectangular ice rink with rounded corners and surrounded by a wall. It measures 30 by 60 meters (98.42 by 196.85 ft), conforming to international standards. [cite web | url=http://www.swehockey.se/files/%7B12B0F683-1469-4A9F-85BA-F1E2A459BEF8%7D.pdf | title=MARKERINGAR och MÅTT | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | language=Swedish | accessdate=2007-03-12 ]

Trophies and awards

At the end of the Elitserien playoffs the Swedish Champions are awarded the Le Mat Trophy. There is only one trophy that is awarded to players based on their statistics during the regular season; the Håkan Loob Trophy for the goal-scoring leader.

One of the most prestigious individual awards is Guldhjälmen, which is awarded annually to the Most Valuable Player; the voting is conducted by the players in Elitserien. Guldpucken is awarded annually to the ice hockey player of the year in Sweden. It is not necessarily awarded to a player in Elitserien; season 2005–06 the award was given to Kenny Jönsson in the Swedish second highest ice hockey league HockeyAllsvenskan. The award "Årets Rookie" (Rookie of the Year) is awarded annually by "Svenska Spel" and "Svenska Hockeyligan" to the best rookie player in Elitserien. [cite web | title=Patric Hörnqvist kandidat till Årets Rookie | publisher=Swedish Ice Hockey Association | language=Swedish | url=http://www.swehockey.se/t2.asp?p=76932%20&x=1&a=905608 | date=2007-02-28 | accessdate=2007-03-20] [cite web | title=Årets Rookies | publisher=Hockeyligan.se | language=Swedish | url=http://www.hockeyligan.se/nyheter.php?override=true&nid=10470 | date=2007-01-17 | accessdate=2007-03-20]

Television and radio

Elitserien games are aired nationally in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Norway, by Canal+. One game from each round is selected and shown on Canal+ Sport 1, and simulcasted in 1080i high definition on Canal+ Sport HD. The selected game is also aired on Mobile TV, available to Telenor customers in Sweden with 3G phones. [cite web|url= http://www.privataaffarer.se/nyheter/Pressmeddelanden/pressmeddelande.xml?intPressReleaseID=104734|title= Telenor sänder Elitserien live i mobiltelefonen|accessdate= 2008-06-28|date= 2007-09-20|publisher= Privata Affärer|language= Swedish] All 330 regular season games are available on pay-per-view, [cite web|url= http://www.expressen.se/sport/1.790919/alla-matcher-i-elitserien-visas-i-tv|title= Alla matcher i elitserien visas i tv|accessdate= 2008-07-02|date= 2007-08-09|publisher= Expressen|language= Swedish] via cable and satellite for Canal+ costumers, and also available via Canal+'s streaming Internet TV.

Sveriges Radio (SR) is the official radio broadcaster of Elitserien. [cite web|url= http://hockeymagasinet.fpgroup.se/cldoc/hm/nyheter/15190.htm|title= Sveriges Radio satsar på elitserien|accessdate= 2008-06-28|last= Östberg|first= Anders|date= 2005-09-12|publisher= Hockeymagasinet|language= Swedish] Each round is covered by "Sportextra" in SR P4 with reports from all arenas, all games are available in their entirety on SR's internet radio and to mobile phones via 3G. [cite web|url= http://www.mobil.se/ArticlePages/200611/01/20061101100557_MOB052/20061101100557_MOB052.dbp.asp|title= Elitserien och Allsvenskan via 3G-radio|accessdate= 2008-06-28|last= Brohult|first= Linus|date= 2006-11-01|publisher= Mobil|language= Swedish]

Previous winners

Previous Elitserien regular season winners

*1976 - Brynäs IF
*1977 - Brynäs IF
*1978 - Brynäs IF
*1979 - MoDo AIK
*1980 - Leksands IF
*1981 - Skellefteå AIK
*1982 - Färjestads BK
*1983 - Färjestads BK
*1984 - AIK
*1985 - Djurgårdens IF
*1986 - Färjestads BK
*1987 - Färjestads BK
*1988 - Djurgårdens IF
*1989 - Djurgårdens IF
*1990 - Färjestads BK
*1991 - Djurgårdens IF
*1992 - Färjestads BK
*1993 - Västerås IK
*1994 - Leksands IF
*1995 - Djurgårdens IF
*1996 - Luleå HF
*1997 - Leksands IF
*1998 - Djurgårdens IF
*1999 - MODO Hockey
*2000 - Djurgårdens IF
*2001 - Djurgårdens IF
*2002 - Färjestads BK
*2003 - Västra Frölunda HC
*2004 - HV71
*2005 - Frölunda HC
*2006 - HV71
*2007 - Färjestads BK
*2008 - HV71

Previous Elitserien playoff winners (Swedish Champions)

*1976 - Brynäs IF
*1977 - Brynäs IF
*1978 - Skellefteå AIK
*1979 - MoDo AIK
*1980 - Brynäs IF
*1981 - Färjestads BK
*1982 - AIK
*1983 - Djurgårdens IF
*1984 - AIK
*1985 - Södertälje SK
*1986 - Färjestads BK
*1987 - IF Björklöven
*1988 - Färjestads BK
*1989 - Djurgårdens IF
*1990 - Djurgårdens IF
*1991 - Djurgårdens IF
*1992 - Malmö IF
*1993 - Brynäs IF
*1994 - Malmö IF
*1995 - HV71
*1996 - Luleå HF
*1997 - Färjestads BK
*1998 - Färjestads BK
*1999 - Brynäs IF
*2000 - Djurgårdens IF
*2001 - Djurgårdens IF
*2002 - Färjestads BK
*2003 - Västra Frölunda HC
*2004 - HV71
*2005 - Frölunda HC
*2006 - Färjestads BK
*2007 - MODO Hockey
*2008 - HV71


External links

* [http://www.swehockey.se/t2.asp?p=74847 The Swedish Ice Hockey Association]
* [http://www.hockeyligan.se/index.php?lang=en Elitserien official site] - In English
* [http://stats.swehockey.se/ Official statistics] - Official standings and statistics from the Swedish Ice Hockey Association
* [http://www.eliteprospects.com/ EliteProspects] - Elitserien news in English

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