LULEA/VIENNA – Swedish elite club Lulea Hockey announced on Monday that Lars Bergstrom will become the team’s new sport director, but he will remain head coach of the Austrian national team as well.
Bergstrom is not unknown in northern Sweden, where he coached Lulea to gold in 1996. He also won the Austrian championship in 2000 and 2001, and led the Malmo Redhawks to the highest Swedish league in 2006.
After two years as assistant coach (2004, 2005), Bergstrom was named head coach of the Austrian national team for the 2007-2008 season and qualified for the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland by winning the 2008 World Championship Division I on home ice in Innsbruck.
Despite of his new position with Lulea, Bergstrom will continue the assignment with the Austrians, who will play Sweden, the United States and Latvia in their 2009 Worlds preliminary group.
Another movement from Austria to Sweden was completed today as national team goalkeeper Reinhard Divis of champion Salzburg was signed by the Swedish club Farjestad Karlstad. The former St. Louis Blues netminder signed a two-year contract.
While a new player joined the Swedish Elitserien, others are were lured to leave. Most likely, Czech forward Pavel Brendl will leave Brynas Gavle for Russia’s Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod. Another player from the north has already signed in Russia. Finnish centre Niko Kapanen will join Ak Bars Kazan, thus leaving NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes.