Tommy Salo

Last updated
Tommy Salo
Tommy Salo with Frölunda HC in August 2005
Born (1971-02-01) February 1, 1971 (age 49)
Surahammar, Sweden
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Position Goaltender
Caught Left
Played for Elitserien
Västerås IK
Modo Hockey
Frölunda HC

New York Islanders
Edmonton Oilers
Colorado Avalanche
National teamFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
NHL Draft 118th overall, 1993
New York Islanders
Playing career 19902007

Tommy Mikael Salo (born February 1, 1971) is a Swedish former professional ice hockey goaltender and the current general manager of Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche, and previously served as head coach of IK Oskarshamn.


Playing career

Salo began his career playing three seasons in the Elitserien with Västerås IK. He was chosen 118th overall, in the fifth round, by the New York Islanders in 1993. He debuted with the Islanders in 1994–95, but would play the majority of his first two seasons in North America with New York's International Hockey League (IHL) affiliate, the Utah Grizzlies. Playing in the IHL, Salo won back-to-back Turner Cups with the Grizzlies as league champions and earned the N.R. "Bud" Poile Trophy as playoff MVP in 1996. In his first year, he was named both league MVP and rookie of the year in 1995, in addition to First Team All-Star honours and a James Norris Memorial Trophy for allowing the fewest goals against.

In 1996–97, Salo emerged as the Islanders' starting goaltender and played in that capacity for the club until March 20, 1999, when he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Mats Lindgren and an eighth-round pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft (used to select Radek Martínek). Salo found his stride in Edmonton and was chosen to two All-Star Games in 2000 and 2002. In 2001–02, Salo recorded a career-best 2.22 goals against average (GAA).

On March 9, 2004, after six seasons with Edmonton, Salo was traded to the Colorado Avalanche (along with a sixth-round pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft) in exchange for Tom Gilbert. As NHL play was suspended the following season due to the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Salo returned to Sweden in signing a one-year contract with Modo Hockey of the Elitserien.

After Modo was eliminated in the playoffs by Färjestad BK, [1] Salo announced his retirement from professional hockey on March 17, 2005, citing chronic hip pain. [2] However, on August 4, he returned to the Elitserien to sign with Frölunda HC. This led to a conflict with Modo since they had agreed to terminate his contract on account of his retirement. In light of this, the club appealed for Frölunda to pay Salo's salary. On August 11, the issue was settled after Modo withdrew their claim.[ citation needed ] By signing with Frölunda, Salo replaced the departing Henrik Lundqvist, who incidentally, had taken over Salo's starting position on the Swedish national team.

On December 9, 2006, in an interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen , Salo announced that he would retire from playing professional hockey after the 2006–07 season. [3]

International play

Medal record
Representing Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1994 Lillehammer
World Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 1998 Switzerland
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 1997 Finland
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2003 Finland
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1994 Italy
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 1999 Norway
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2001 Germany
Bronze medal icon (B initial).svg 2002 Sweden

Salo first competed for Sweden in the 1991 World Junior Championships. He played in six games and posted a 3.32 GAA.

Several years later, he played an integral role in Sweden's gold medal victory at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Salo made critical saves in the gold medal game, as they defeated Canada in a shootout to secure Sweden's first Olympic gold medal in ice hockey.

In 1998, Salo once again competed in the Winter Olympics, as NHL players were allowed to compete for the first time. He played in four games as Sweden failed to medal.

At the 2002 Winter Olympics, Salo started for Sweden once more and were favourites to win the gold medal, placing first in the round robin. However, in the quarter-final game against Belarus, with the game tied late in the third period, Salo surrendered a 20-metre goal from defenceman Vladimir Kopat. The long slap shot puck bounced off Salo's mask after he had hopped, went up in the air, and bounced off of his back and into the net. Sweden would not recover and Salo was made the scapegoat in one of the biggest upsets in international hockey history. Sweden captain Mats Sundin berated fans and media for singling-out Salo, saying that "the entire team played subpar, a single fluke goal shouldn't cost us the game".[ citation needed ] Some would claim that Salo was never the same after the incident. [4]

Coaching and executive career

Shortly after completing his playing career, on March 5, 2007, Kungälvs IK of the Swedish tier III league announced that Salo would be their head coach for the next two seasons. [5] Following his tenure with the club, he signed with IK Oskarshamn on March 12, 2009. [6]

On December 1, 2010, Salo left his post at IK Oskarshamn to become general manager of Leksands IF.

On 11 August 2020, Salo crashed his car into the middle railing on the E18 highway, east of Köping, Sweden. Police arrived to the scene and found Salo sleeping in his car. A blood sample showed that Salo was heavily intoxicated with 3,06 ‰ alcohol in his blood stream. On 20 January 2021, Salo was convicted for aggravated drunken driving and sentenced to two months in prison. [7]

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
1988–89 Surahammars IF SWE.2 Jr183.67
1988–89 Surahammars IF SWE.2 160505.00.872
1989–90 Västerås IK SWE U2022.55
1990–91 Västerås IK SEL 21001106.60.851
1990–91 IK Westmannia-KöpingSWE.2243.37.879
1991–92 IK Westmannia-KöpingSWE.2293.23.88233.33.905
1992–93 Västerås IKSEL2414315922.46.9182120603.00.895
1993–94 Västerås IKSEL32189610603.35.885404.75.852
1994–95 Denver Grizzlies IHL 6545144381016532.60.9108703902003.07.890
1994–95 New York Islanders NHL 61503581803.02.905
1995–96 Utah GrizzliesIHL4528152269511942.65.9022215713415132.28.919
1995–96 New York IslandersNHL101715233504.02.860
1996–97 New York IslandersNHL5820278320815152.82.904
1997–98 New York IslandersNHL6223295346115242.64.906
1998–99 New York IslandersNHL5117267301813252.62.904
1998–99 Edmonton Oilers NHL138227002702.31.9034042961102.23.926
1999–00 Edmonton OilersNHL70272813416416222.33.9145142971402.83.895
2000–01 Edmonton OilersNHL73362512436417982.46.9046244061502.22.920
2001–02 Edmonton OilersNHL69302810403514962.22.913
2002–03 Edmonton OilersNHL6529278381417242.71.8996243431803.15.888
2003–04 Edmonton OilersNHL4417186248710732.58.896
2003–04 Colorado Avalanche NHL51313041202.37.91210027000.001.000
2004–05 Modo Hockey SEL361615521659302.58.9096243581913.18.888
2005–06 Frölunda HC SEL372510121899002.47.9111710710194012.35.920
2006–07 Frölunda HCSEL22612312777013.29.875
SEL totals153905842932.84292
NHL totals5262102257330,4361296372.55.9052251613695802.54.909


1991 Sweden WJC 63303431913.32
1994 Sweden OLY 65103701312.11.896
1994 Sweden WC 31111801003.33.846
1996 Sweden WCH 2110160401.50.937
1997 SwedenWC106315972012.00.918
1998 SwedenOLY4220238902.27.918
1998 SwedenWC9900540730.77.951
1999 SwedenWC84241301.84.921
2000 SwedenWC63303591011.67.922
2001 SwedenWC84941621.94.920
2002 SwedenOLY3210179702.35.924
2002 SwedenWC94291411.96.919
2003 SwedenWC31011451004.15.861
2004 SwedenWCH110060202.00.895
Senior totals69403012591.86







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  1. "Without injured Forsber, Modo ousted from playoffs". USA Today. 2005-03-18. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  2. "Salo retires from hockey due to hip injuries". CBC Sports. 2005-03-17. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  3. Mattias Eriksson (2006). "Tommy Salo slutar" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2006-12-18.
  5. Styrelsen, Kungälvs Ishockey Klubb (2007). "Tommy Salo ny tränare i Kungälvs Ishockey Klubb" (PDF) (in Swedish). Kungälv Hockey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
  6. "Tommy Salo new coach in IKO" (in Swedish). IK Oskarshamn. 2009-03-12.