Hockey Hall of Fame - Stanley Cup Journals: 29
The Stanley Cup Journal

Albelin returned to the rink where he last pulled on his Stocksund sweater in 1986.
(August 15, 2003) — Tommy Albelin first stepped onto the ice as a National Hockey League player on October 8, 1987, wearing the blue and white sweater of the now defunct Quebec Nordiques. Albelin scored a goal that night in a 5-1 victory over the Hartford Whalers - as if the game wasn't already memorable enough. The defenseman was traded to the New Jersey Devils mid-December, 1988, and spent the better part of eight seasons at the Meadowlands. Late in February, 1996, Tommy was part of a package traded to the Calgary Flames in the deal that took Phil Housley to New Jersey.

But then, on July 5, 2001, Tommy Albelin did something only four others had ever done before -- he rejoined the Devils' organization. Gary McAdam became a Devil for a second time in 1984. Ken Sutton rejoined New Jersey in 1996. Chris Terreri was picked up by the Devils for the second time in 1998 and Claude Lemieux became a Devil again in 1999.

Albelin hoists the Cup wearing his old Stocksund jersey.
The 38-year old Swedish defenseman played well during the Stanley Cup playoffs, contributing a key goal (his first post-season goal in eight years) in the second game of the Ottawa series. On June 9, 2003, Tommy Albelin and the New Jersey Devils savoured their Stanley Cup championship. For Albelin, it was his second such celebration. "This I why I came back. There's nothing better than winning!"

The Stanley Cup arrived in Stockholm, Sweden at 8AM Wednesday, August 6 after having spent two days in Russia. Tommy Albelin was at the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport waiting for the prize with which he'd spend the next twenty-four hours.

Albelin first took the Stanley Cup to the hotel and relaxed while the Keepers of the Cup shared stories and hockey talk with him. Although gossip of Tommy's imminent retirement had swirled through hockey circles, Tommy assured the boys that he had no plans to retire at this point.

At noon, the Stanley Cup was taken to the home of a relative where a photographer took formal portraits of Tommy, his wife Maria and children Adam and Amanda with the Stanley Cup. After cheeks grew tired from constant smiling, Tommy took the Cup over to the arena where he played junior. Albelin hadn't returned to the rink since he last pulled on his Stocksund sweater in 1986, and was welcomed warmly by the young players who came by to see him and the Stanley Cup. "Stocksund was very good to me when I was young and I want to repay the team for all they did for me back then," Albelin said.

Young kids surround the Cup as Albelin fields questions from some of the media.
After spending a few hours at the arena, including a warm welcome home from his junior coach, Tommy and his family hosted a Stanley Cup party back at the hotel. Many of his former teammates and coaches were invited to the celebration. It was delightful all around - Tommy hadn't seen many of his friends in almost twenty years, and the conversations were animated and filled with great memories of special times. The menu included salads, shrimp and plenty of fish. The evening included wine and plenty of toasts. "To Tommy, and what he means to Swedish hockey," someone would blurt in Swedish, and the collected group would clink their wine glasses and cheer Albelin's accomplishments.

The party continued until midnight, and after thank yous and repeated embraces, Tommy Albelin turned the light out on a memorable day.

On Monday in Stanley Cup Journal, read about the Stanley Cup's visit to the hockey hotbed of Columbus.

Kevin Shea is a hockey writer and historian from Toronto.

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