Tommy Soderstrom was a special goalie. He played in the NHL in the 90s and had a certain swagger to him. He never put tape on his stick, and it wasn’t much that got him riled up. Teammates have even said he was the most relaxed goalie of all time.
After several great seasons in Sweden, he came to the NHL with high expectations ahead of the 1992-93 season but had trouble living up to them at the Flyers. So he moved back to Sweden after only five years. He then played for yet another three years, before ending his career, despite being in his early 30s.
Although his career was short, Soderstrom put up some fantastic saves and won two Swedish Championships and two World Championship Gold Medals. He also played in the 1991 Canada Cup, and there he found out the hard way what kind of shot Steve Larmer had.
Larmer had a fantastic career with the Chicago Blackhawks and was known to be a great goal-scorer with one of the hardest shots in all of hockey. During the 1991 Canada Cup, Larmer took a slapshot so hard it broke both Soderstrom’s mask and face in a game between Canada and Sweden.
”We played Canada in the semifinal, and I took a Steve Larmer slapshot in the face that broke my mask and I was bleeding. But I kept playing even though we lost 4-0.”
Taking a slapshot to the face will hurt, but for Soderstrom, it led to the next step of his career.
”I heard NHL scouts started to take notice.”