His points per game percentage of 0.60 is fifth-best in NHL history among rookies to appear in 20 or more games, behind Teemu Selanne, Eric Lindros, Joe Nieuwendyk and Alex Ovechkin. Pettersson had an advantage in that he was 24 at the time and already had played six seasons for Frolunda in the top division of Swedish hockey.
“Nowadays, that would be $5 million a year,” he said.
His first Blues contract paid him $75,000 a year, with a $25,000 signing bonus. That was a step up from his pay in Sweden, where he got $1,000 a month.
“That was great money for me back then,” he said.
On the move
After his fifth NHL season, Pettersson was the player to be named in a trade that had sent Mike Liut to Hartford for fellow goaltender Greg Millen and center Mark Johnson.
But Pettersson was hurt in his time in Hartford, scoring just five goals in 23 games, and was traded in December to Washington for center Doug Jarvis.
That didn’t go much better, with eight goals in 47 games. After that season, he returned to Sweden to play for Frolunda, his hometown club, and got a standing ovation from the fans in Gothenburg. It took him awhile to recover his old form, but in his third season he had 23 goals and 30 assists to win the league points title.
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