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Facts

*Brief History

*Quick Facts
 

Brief History

The club was founded in a café in Sund, a suburb to the south of the city centre. This part of Örnsköldsvik is heavily influenced by the pulp mill started in the early 20th century, which still exists to this day. The mill was then owned by the Mo & Domsjö ("MoDo") Aktiebolag, a company known for its interest in promoting cultural and sporting activities in the communities they had mills.

The new club, under the name of "Alfredshems Idrottsklubb", was no exception to this rule and immediately received support from MoDo and the Kempe family who held the majority of shares in the company up until the 1990s.

Alfredshem's initial sporting activities included Soccer, Cross Country-Skiing and Track & Field. The first team winter game played by Alfredshem was Bandy - a game played with curved sticks and a small ball on a large ice surface, which has a lot of similarities with Soccer when it comes to the rules of the game. This is no coincidence, as Bandy originates from the marshy Fenlands region in England, home of Soccer.

Hockey was introduced in Örnsköldsvik in January 1938 and immediately was a huge hit, starting from the first game between Örnsköldsviks SK and Alfredshems IK. The main benefits cited being the smaller ice surface, a more physical and entertaining game and also the fact that the National Bandy Association of Sweden were reluctant towards accepting teams from northern Sweden into the national league system.

The growth of popularity for hockey was halted by World War II, but during this dark period a teenager named Carlabel "Kabben" Berglund made his first team debut for Alfredshem. "Kabben" fell in love with the game, took coaching classes in Stockholm, became a role model for the team, was named first team coach (a position he held for 22 seasons), started a hockey school for youngsters, was chairman of the club, wrote a weekly column in the local newspaper concerning all things hockey and was named assistant coach of the Swedish national team - "Tre Kronor".

There is a huge number of people that has to get credit for MODO's position of today, but it is hard to imagine that MODO would have seen the same amount of success on the national level, nor the NHL professionals with their Hart and Art Ross Trophies without the work and passion of "Kabben".

The increased amount of training and more sophisticated training methods of "Kabben" gradually improved the performance of Alfredshem and produced more skilled players. In the mid-1950s Alfredshem assumed the position as the best team in the province of Ångermanland, after finally overcoming their nemesis in both Bandy and Hockey - IFK Nyland from the southern parts of the province.

In 1958 Alfredshem finally reached the highest league tier in Sweden and a new (still outdoor) arena for 8,400 standing spectators was built in the Hörnett area. Alfredshem initially had a hard time to establish themselves at this level and were relegated two times. Moving on to the 1960s, Alfredshem managed to get a firm grip in the highest league tier and in 1963 a rational but yet drastic move was made to change the name of the team to MoDo AIK (should be read as Allmänna Idrottsklubb = General Sports Club). It might sound cynical to an outsider, but pondering the close-knit history of the club and the company it was really not such a drastic move. Take into context some other teams named after companies or places of work with a high level of importance in their communities, such as Arsenal FC, PSV Eindhoven, Bayer Leverkusen or even the Green Bay Packers of the NFL.

In 1964, the outdoor Kempevallen rink was converted to the indoor Kempehallen arena, with a capacity of 10,000 standing fans.

The 1960s was a golden age for hockey in Örnsköldsvik, lots of talents made their way to the first team of MoDo and the national team of Sweden. If the NHL would have consisted of more than just six teams in this decade, you would surely have seen some of them in the NHL, but names such as Nils Johansson, Håkan Nygren, Björn Palmqvist, Ulf Thorstensson, Anders Nordin, Gunnar Bäckman among others would remain as hidden gems for the Swedish audience only.

MoDo AIK won the northern conference in the highest league tier two times during the 1960s and finished as runners-up three times, but when it was time for the playoffs - nothing seemed to work out. Not until the 1969-70 season, with an aging team and the young super-talent Anders Hedberg did MoDo find some sort of success in the playoffs with a third-place overall finish.

The 1970s saw "Kabben" leave his position as first team coach and a couple of lack-lustre seasons. Slowly, MoDo gathered momentum under coaches Lennart Höglander and Lars Öhman. New stars as the Gradin brothers, Kabben's own son Bo Berglund and Per Lundqvist made it to the first team and established themselves as national stars. Some great signings such as Anders Kallur and Tomas Jonsson added to a MoDo that had an amazing offensive firepower, but lacked in defensive coordination.

It was not until legendary Swedish Coach Tommy Sandlin arrived from Brynäs in 1977 that all of the pieces in the puzzle came together. Sandlin worked with high amounts of training and a strict defensive coordination scheme, as well as nurturing the offensive talents that were already in place. It all culminated in the glorious 1978-79 season, where MoDo both won the regular season in convincing style, as well as their first national championship, securing it with a memorable 8-3-win over Djurgården in the final game.

The 1980s must have come as a huge disappointment to the loyal fans who had seen gold for the first time in 1979. MoDo lost players to clubs with greater financial strength in the southern parts of Sweden, were relegated in 1984 (but quickly bounced back) and just reached the playoffs two times during the decade.

Coming from a small town in northern Sweden, Chairman Tore Erkén saw no other way out than to provide more resources to the youth scheme and reviving Kabben's methods of producing a team for the highest league tier. During this hard period, the hockey section of MoDo was divided from the rest of the club and duly changed its name to MoDo Hockeyklubb. Generally referred to as just MoDo Hockey or MoDo.

Under guidance of leaders such as Anders Melinder and Sture Andersson MoDo saw a revival for the youth scheme and players such as Peter Forsberg, Markus Näslund, Niklas Sundström, Magnus Wernblom, Mattias Timander, Andreas Salomonsson, Per Svartvadet, Hans Jonsson, Samuel Påhlsson, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin and many, many more made their way to games in the Elite League with MoDo.

The amazing playoff-run in the 1993-94 season, where MoDo came just one game short of winning the Swedish Championship again, was emblematic of the new MoDo. Spectacular, high-scoring hockey and no respect of the names of the opponents what so ever.

If the 1994 playoff-run was pure joy, it was a different story in 1998-99. After dominating the regular season and coming just one game short of winning the championship again, MoDo lost in the final game at home in Kempehallen to Brynäs.

After reaching (and losing) two more finals in 2000 and 2002, MODO (which by now had stopped using lower cases in the team name) lost their number one sponsor since the 1920s, when the last remnants of the Mo & Domsjö company were sold to foreign interests. The finances of the club were heavily burdened by this drop in revenues and MODO desperately sought a way out of this downward spiral.

In 2004, MODO presented a plan for a new arena in downtown Örnsköldsvik, which would mean increased seating capacity, better access by road and public communications, as well as a higher revenue potential in general.

The inaugural season was spectacular, with a 64% rise in attendance, nice offensive hockey with former NHL'er Niklas Sundström and a glorious playoff-run, with the second Swedish Championship won on April 14th, 2007.

The last few seasons has been a tough time for MODO and our fans, but no-one can deny that we have a tradition and the infrastructure to keep producing great players and pushing for national and international glory. We just have to keep using our old success factors and be able to implement new ones as well.

Hopefully, you will be there - supporting us.

 

Quick Facts


*The club was founded on March 27, 1921 in Sund, a suburb to the south of Örnsköldsvik, under the name of "Alfredshems IK".

*Early sport activity included soccer, athletics, bandy and cross country skiing.

*Hockey was introduced in 1938. Following WWII a rapid improvement and rise through the Swedish league system was achieved under the guidance of Carl-Abel "Kabben" Berglund. "Kabben" was a regular at MODO games until he sadly passed away in 2008, but he got to see the new arena and the second Swedish championship for his beloved club.

*Alfredshems IK reached the highest league tier in Sweden for the first time in 1958.

*The name of the the club was changed to MoDo AIK (AIK = "Allmänna idrottsklubb" = "General sports club") in 1963, then again to MoDo HK ("Hockeyklubb" = Hockey Club) in 1987.

*Generally, the team is referred to as just "MODO Hockey" or "MODO".

*MoDo was the name of a paper and pulp company that was instrumental in the growth of a number of industrial communities in the north of Sweden during the 20th century, but does not exist any longer. MoDo had a very positive view towards the possibilities for recreation in their communities. Sponsorship of sports and culture in general was very frequent and generous.

*MODO has played 54 seasons in the highest league tier up to and including the 2014-15 season.

*MODO has reached the playoffs for the Swedish Championship ("SM") 29 times. The first playoff was reached in the 1963-64 season.

*MODO has won 2 Swedish Championships, in 1979 and 2007.

*MODO has had 4 main ice ovals during the years.

1) Kempevallen, mk I. Outdoor, non-artificial ice, built in 1938.
2) Kempevallen, mk II. Built 50 metres from mk I, artificial ice and with added spectator capacity, in 1958.
3) Kempehallen. Built as a roof over mk II in 1964, since then gradually improved.
4) Fjällräven Center. Completed in 2006, with financial assistance from Peter Forsberg. Fjällräven Center was originally named Swedbank Arena, but on January 1, 2010 Fjällräven assumed the naming rights.

*The annual turnover of MODO Hockey is around 120 to 130 million SEK, which roughly estimates to 13 M€ or 15 MUSD.