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Sami Salo

Sami Salo was a ninth round pick of Ottawa's in 1996 and signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent last summer. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Sami Salo was a ninth round pick of Ottawa's in 1996 and signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent last summer. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman.
 
DOB: Sept. 2, 1974 In: Turku, Finland
 
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 212 pounds
 
First Hockey Memory: "I think when I got a pair of skates for Christmas. First memory of something that was part of hockey. (Remember the brand?) Yeah, I remember that, Bauer. I wore them in my sleep. I remember that (smiles)."
 
Hockey Inspirations: "There's been a lot of great Finnish players - Jari Kurri, Esa Tikkanen, Reijo Ruotsalainen. Those were big names back when I was younger. Obviously looked up to them, but never really had a dream that I was gonna play in the NHL. It was more about having fun with the friends. It became reality at the end."
 
Last Book Read: "Motley Crue."
 
Current Car: "Audi."
 
First Job: "Paperboy."
 
Greatest Sports Moment: "There's many. One that comes to mind - winning silver medal in the Olympics."
 
Most Painful Moment: "Taking a slapshot in the face. (From who?) It was a teammate back in Vancouver, a defenseman. (Alex) Edler."
 
Most Memorable Goal: "Scoring in the bronze medal game in the 2010 Olympics."
 
Favorite NHL Sweater(s): "Lightning. And I always like the Original Six team uniforms, pretty plain and simple."
 
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: "Jari Kurri. I got his autograph back in Finland at the World Championships."
 
Funniest Player Encountered: "Marc Bergevin."
 
Closest Hockey Friends: "All my teammates on the teams I played."

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "Tennis."
 
Three Athletes You Like To Watch and Follow: "Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1). Another Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen drives World Rally. Then Novak Djokovic."
 
Personality Qualities Most Admired: "Accountable people who say some words, then they also do that, they do the words. Accountable people."

Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski's second book "Marcelo Rios: The Man We Barely Knew" is available on www.amazon.com. Malinowski is the creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com and www.tennis-prose.com

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