Saturday

Per-Olov Brasar

For 5 brief seasons, the National Hockey League to got to witness one of the best kept secrets in Swedish hockey. From 1977 through 1982, Per-Olov Brasar played with both Minnesota and Vancouver.

Born September 30, 1950, in Falun Swede, Brasar had lived in Leksand for much of his Swedish hockey career, where he was a star. Considered to be the best two-way player in all of Sweden at the time, Brasar was a regular national team member, representing Sweden in several World Championships and the 1976 Canada Cup.

Good friend Roland Eriksson convinced Brasar to make the jump to the NHL with him in. Eriksson made a good impression with the North Stars in 1976-77, one year before Brasar made the jump to the same Stars team.

Brasar didn't make quite the splash that the Stars had hoped he would. He played solidly in all zones of the ice, and had a reasonable rookie season of 20 goals and 57 points while adjusting to North American life and hockey. However he took steps backwards the following year, scoring only 6 goals and 34 points while quietly doing a commendable job. Perhaps his performance was affected by the loss of Eriksson, who moved on to the Vancouver Canucks.

After scoring just 1 goal in 22 games in 1979-80, Brasar was traded mid-season to the Vancouver Canucks, although Eriksson had already returned to Europe by this point. Brasar brought his pesky and tough style to Canada's west coast, and played really well, although few seemed to notice. In 1980-81 he had his best year, scoring 22 goals, 41 assists and 63 points, all career highs.

Injuries took their toll on Brasar in 1981-82. He chipped in just 6 goals and 18 points in 53 games. That proved to be Brasar's last season in the NHL. He continued to play for several seasons back in Leksand

"Peo" also got involved heavily with another passion of his - horses. He owned and raised trotting horses back in Sweden, and even raced with them himself. He is still in the trotting business nowadays, although his hockey career is long over.

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