Former NHL star and Swedish national goaltender Tommy Salo has found himself in hot water after receiving a two-month prison sentence for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The verdict was delivered on Wednesday by Västeras District Court in Sweden after the star was found guilty following a car accident last August.
The former hockey champion, who helped Team Sweden to clinch the 1994 Olympic gold in Lillehammer, collided with the center railing on a highway between Strömstad and Surahammar.
According to witnesses, his path went wobbly between road lines at a relatively low speed before he crashed his car into the boundaries.
Police were called to the scene and obliged the hockey legend to take a blood test that showed 3.06 per milliliter of alcohol – a level that sharply exceeded the approved limit of 1.0 per milliliter.
“Pro mille is pro mille, I cannot say anything about that. I cannot question the per-milliliter content. It’s weird that I was alive”, Salo said in court.
The much-loved star rejected a police investigation report that claimed he might have stopped several times to drink alcohol while making his car journey.
“That is not true,“ he insisted. “I had drunk quite a lot for two days on the West Coast and drank the night before, then I went home earlier than planned.
“There was a lot of alcohol. I try to tell what I remember. I do not remember why I had stopped the car, but my opinion is that I had just stopped.
Loved him as a kid, really hope he can get some help and get his life together.
— Mike (@DynoDangle) January 21, 2021
I pray that he gets the help he needs while in prison it saddens me when those who seem to have a great life & handle on it falls from grace so dematrictqly. My prayers are with him & his family. 😞KR
— My City Hamilton (@MyCityHamilton) January 20, 2021
“I do not remember anything directly from the journey or the speed. What I do know is that it was nice summer weather and I talked a lot on the phone.”
Salo is expected to appeal in the hope of a more lenient verdict. He had no criminal background prior to the case.
The 49-year-old is a widely celebrated goalie who, along with winning Olympic gold, also has seven medals from IIHF world championships.
He spent ten seasons in the NHL, where he performed for the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.