by Risto Pakarinen - April 17, 2009 12:34 PM EDT
In our last installment following the pro leagues in Europe, we wrap up a few leagues and look at a World Championship prep tournament.
JYPPEE KAYAY! Just as bizarre as having local boy Matti Nykanen, a former ski jumping World and Olympic champion-turned pop singer/general celebrity perform at the championship parade in downtown Jyvaskyla may seem, just as logical was the fact JYP won the Finnish SM-liiga championship this season.
by Risto Pakarinen - April 10, 2009 9:54 AM EDT
End of an era in Farjestad, but the future is bright... new lesson for HV71... and Hungary bites into international play.
“So there, Sweden,” said an excited Farjestad coach Per-Erik Johnsson right after his team had beaten HV71 3-2 in Game 5 of the Elitserien final.
by Risto Pakarinen - April 3, 2009 11:18 AM EDT
Top prospect take rookie of the year honors... and playoff updates from Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Modo’s Victor Hedman was elected rookie of the year in the Swedish Elitserien. The 18-year-old defenseman “was decisive and consistent all season.
by Risto Pakarinen - March 27, 2009 11:10 AM EDT
Swedish goalie rolls on... Eaves loves the Finnish playoffs... a French triple crown?... and NHL Euro games a hot ticket.
MONSTER’S BALL These days, if you reach for your Swedish-English dictionary and look up “domination,” you’ll see a photo of Färjestad’s goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.
by Risto Pakarinen - March 20, 2009 9:00 AM EDT
Devils prospect brings HV71 back from brink... a nasty injury for Niemi... the best and worst of Finland... and more.
HV71, the reigning Swedish champion, has had a roller coaster ride of a season. The team started the season slow, got ousted from the Champions League after the group stage – advancing came down to a loss against SC Bern in a game where the Swiss team scored four shorthanded goals – then started to climb in the Elitserien standings, finishing fourth.
by Risto Pakarinen - March 13, 2009 9:46 AM EDT
A sweet Swiss upset... Fighting for Granlund... Holmqvist top goalie... Swedes love hockey... and Finns get awards.
The quarterfinal playoff series between EV Zug and SC Bern offers so many possible puns and metaphors that it’s hard to know where to start.
by Risto Pakarinen - March 6, 2009 11:02 AM EST
In our weekly look at the Euro leagues, Germany asserts itself, big dogs go down in Switzerland and a Swedish dynasty.
It has been a great season for German hockey. The Eisbären Berlin or Berlin Polar Bears – formerly Dynamo Berlin of the Soviet-era German Democratic Republic – beat both Finnish champions Oulun Kärpät and Russian heavyweight Metallurg Magnitogorsk, winners of the 2008 European Champions Cup in the group stage of the Champions Hockey League.
by Risto Pakarinen - February 27, 2009 10:10 AM EST
Sami Kapanen has been a boon for Finland's KalPa... SÃ¶dertÃ¤lje coaching carosel... and the Swiss playoffs.
Twenty years ago, KalPa, in Kuopio, was an up-and-coming team in the Finnish SM-liiga. It was promoted to the highest division in 1986 and in 1991 finished second in the league.
by Risto Pakarinen - February 20, 2009 11:35 AM EST
Praha gets CHL bid, but must still fight for Extraliga crown... MalmÃ¶'s turnaround... Emerging Norway... and more.
The century-old HC Slavia Praha is turning into a great Bohemian dynasty. By clinching the regular season title, the reigning Czech Extraliga champion became the first European team to secure its spot in the 2009-10 Champions League guaranteeing them a bye to the second qualification round.
by Risto Pakarinen - February 13, 2009 9:07 AM EST
We take a look overseas at the Swedish district championship, the Finns love of hockey, and Alpo Suhonen.
Last week the major European leagues took a breather for the season’s third international break, which is kind of like the TV timeouts in NHL games.
by Risto Pakarinen - February 3, 2009 12:51 PM EST
In the first installment of our new feature on hockey in Europe, we look forward to the Olympics, playoff races and Forsberg's status.
Few players exemplify hockey’s progress as a true international sport as well as Sebastién Bordeleau and Ryan Gardner, two second-generation Canadian-born pro players who now play under different flags.