Remembering Le petit Viking – Mats Naslund

Mats Naslund.

That name brings back childhood memories of watching Canadiens games.

Mats Naslund was a very gifted offensive player. Standing at only 5 foot 7 inches he certainly was not the big power forward like say a Bobby Smith. But what Mats Naslund brought to the table was spectacular.

We were blessed to have him in Montreal for several years. Back in 1985-1986 Mats exploded for 43 goals and 67 assists for a total of 110 points. That was also the year that the Montreal Canadiens won their 23rd Stanley Cup.

Naslund was picked 37th overall in the second round of the 1979 NHL draft by the Montreal Canadiens.

In 1988 Naslund bet out Wayne Gretzky for the Lady Bing trophy and during the all-star game of that same year recorded 5 assists.

Naslund finished his career in Montreal with 612 points in 617 games. A point per game player over 8 years.

Watch him come out of nowhere to score a goal back in the 1980 winter olympics playing for Sweden vs West Germany. He had not yet played in Montreal.

Or who can resist seeing a video of Don Cherry… blasting Mats Naslund and 8 year old kids at the same time.

Without making a direct comparison to Mats Naslund but in the theme of small offensively gifted players we have Brian Gionta. He’s also 5’7. Let’s hope Jacques Martin makes sure he’s got room to play.

Mats Naslund was an awesome player.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mats_Naslund

Anyone have any memories or comments about Mats Naslund? Please feel free to leave your thoughts. I love reading them.

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