Posted by: emmaharger | February 26, 2012

Man of the Day 2/26: PJ Axelsson

Anders Per-Johan Axelsson

Born February 26, 1975 (age 36) in Kungalv, Sweden

Left winger and alternate captain for Frolunda HC

I decided to do something a little different today and spotlight a well-known former Bruin whose birthday happens to be today. (Happy birthday, “Pebben”!) Axelsson began his career with Frolunda HC before Boston drafted him in 1995. He moved up to the NHL in 1997, playing all 82 games and scoring 27 points–not bad for a rookie. This was the beginning of a beautiful thing with Boston; Axelsson never played for another team (except when the NHL locked out and he just went back to Frolunda for a while). He played almost 800 games, scored 287 points overall and was the longest-tenured Bruin when he left the NHL. From 1997 to 2009? That’s a dozen years of black and gold.

Axelsson has also represented Sweden in many international outings. He got a bronze at the Worlds in 2001 and 2002, a silver at the Worlds in 2003 and 2004, plus a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics. He’s still playing right now back home in Frolunda alongside Henrik Lundqvist’s twin brother Joel. That Lundqvist serves as the team captain; Axelsson is one of his alternates. He also has a family–a daughter named Wilma and a son named Wilson. Sure, he never won the Stanley Cup (although Frolunda HC was the Elitserien champ in 2005), but his achievements as a Bruin are such that I imagine someday the team will retire his number. That will be fun to see.

And now for two photos of Axelsson hugging Bruins: Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. Hey, it’s his birthday. Let’s have a little fun.


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