Then and Now: Marcus Ragnarsson

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In the Flyers’ 2004 postseason run the club posted a record of 11-7, as they exited in the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Of their 11 wins, seven game-winning goals came from the forwards (three from Keith Primeau alone) and four came from the defensive corps. After Danny Markov wrapped up the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils with a fluke tally late in Game 5, Marcus Ragnarsson potted the decisive goal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Toronto Maple Leafs just five days later.

That goal serves as Ragnarsson’s final tally in the NHL, as the defender went on to play for two different teams in two different leagues for a total of seven years afterwards.

Transferred to the Flyers from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Dan McGillis in December of 2002, Ragnarsson posted nine goals and 15 assists in 113 regular season games over two seasons for the Orange and Black.

In his two postseasons with the Flyers, Ragnarsson took part in 27 contests and registered a goal along with five helpers. He made his mark in the 2004 playoff run, where he had the aforementioned goal and four assists for his most productive postseason in any league throughout his career (go to 1:04).

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Three of his assists came in the Flyers’ 6-2 victory in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Bolts. Game 3 was Ragnarsson’s final game in the NHL, as he missed the final four games of the series due to a broken finger.

As for international play, Ragnarsson took part in three games for Sweden in the 2004 World Cup of Hockey. Representing the Flyers alongside teammate Kim Johnsson, Ragnarsson failed to record a point in three appearances for his native country.

Ragnarsson signed with Almtuna IS of the Allsvenskan, which is currently known as the HockeyAllsvenskan (the second highest-level ice hockey league in Sweden after the SEL) for the 2004-2005 season.

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Instead of returning to the NHL for the 2005-06 season, Ragnarsson remained with Almtuna IS and took part in 38 of the team’s 42 contests. He finished the season first in points for his club thanks to his team-high 28 assists, as Almtuna IS, a team that boasted future NHLer Jonathan Ericsson, ended up in seventh of a 16-team league with a record of 14-2-15-6-5 (W-T-L-OTW-OTL).

Due to his impressive 38-point campaign in the previous season, the second-most points he has posted in a single season since his 39 in 71 games for the Sharks in 1995-96 as a rookie, Ragnarsson was given the title of captain for Almtuna IS during 2006-07.

Despite the fact he played in six less games and produced 12 less points than the previous year, Ragnarsson still finished second on the team with 19 assists. Although his point total dipped, Ragnarsson managed to post back-to-back 20-point seasons for the first time in his professional career. His team’s record also improved to 21-0-22-1-1 despite dropping to eighth in the standings.

For the following season, Ragnarsson remained the captain as Almtuna IS dropped even further in the standings to 12th with a record of 13-6-21-2-3. The defender also reclaimed his title as the team’s point leader with 29 in 38 tilts. His 24 assists were nine more than Almtuna’s Henrik Eriksson, who was second on the team with helpers.

With all his success in the HockeyAllsvenskan, Ragnarsson moved up to Djurgardens IF of the Elitserien (SEL) for the 2008-09 campaign. Although he wasn’t the captain, Ragnarsson was dealt the honor of being an alternate captain for a club that boasted several future NHLers, such as: Jacob Josefson, Gabriel Landeskog, Marcus Kruger, Andreas Engqvist, and Alexander Urbom. The team also featured former Flyer David Printz.

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Of the 55 possible games to play in the 2008-09 SEL regular season, Ragnarsson took part in 49 contests. With 12 goals and 25 assists, Ragnarsson led all Djurgardens IF defenders in goals and led all SEL defenders in assists and points. Ragnarsson also made the Elitserien All-Star team and won the Salming Trophy, which is awarded to the SEL’s defenseman of the year.

Despite the addition of the former Flyer to the roster, the club finished 10th in the 12-team league with a record of 17-8-23-5-2.

Jimmie Olvestad, who was captain of the club for that campaign, had a dismal season with one goal and nine assists in 41 tilts to lose his title to Ragnarsson for the 2009-10 season.

Behind Ragnarsson’s leadership, Djurgardens IF finished second in the league with a record of 26-7-17-2-3 and lost in the Championship Final to HV71 (a club that featured Janne Niinimaa, Mattias Tedenby, and David Ullstrom). After he registered five goals and 15 assists in 37 regular season games, Ragnarsson had a goal and four assists in 16 postseason games to tie his career-high for points in a playoff run.

Ragnarsson attempted to return Djurgardens IF to another Championship Final, but he was forced into retirement in November of 2010 due to a shoulder injury that wouldn’t heal. The defenseman played three pointless games in the 09-10 season before he turned to coaching.

After he decided to retire, Ragnarsson became an assist coach for Djurgardens IF. The club was able to finish sixth in the standings with a 22-19-14-10 record before bowing out to Lulea HF in a seven-game Quarterfinals.

For the season just passed, Ragnarsson left the SEL and returned to Almtuna IS of the HockeyAllsvenskan as an assistant coach. In a 14-team league, Almtuna IS finished 11th with a record of 16-25-5-6.

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As for the 2012-2013 season, Ragnarsson is on board to remain an assistant coach of Almtuna IS.