Thread: MLD 2011 Bios
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07-26-2011, 01:54 PM
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Ilkka Sinisalo, RW

Position: Right Wing
HT/WT: 6'1", 190 lbs
Shoots: Right
Nickname(s): "Ilkka Score-a-goal-a"

- 1 Top-10 in Power Play goals and Shorthanded goals.
- 2 Top-10's in Game-Winning goals and Shooting Percentage
- 204 goals, 426 regular season points in 582 games played.
- 21 goals, 32 playoff points in 68 games played.

Originally Posted by Flyers Heroes of the Past
Can you name the Flyers' all-time leading goal scorer among European players? Here's a hint: He also ranks fourth all-time in goal scoring among his countrymen who have played in the NHL. He is also a member of his country's hockey Hall of Fame.

The answer: Ilkka Sinisalo. The smooth-skating Finn was one of the Flyers' unsung heroes of the 1980s; a steady, reliable performer who could be used in all game situations. While most of the accolades went to players like Brian Propp, Tim Kerr, Rick Tocchet, Peter Zezel and playmaking center Pelle Eklund, Sinisalo was quietly one of the club's most consistent performers for nine solid seasons. Opponents overlooked Sinisalo's talents at their own peril. It was for good reason the Spectrum's famous Sign Man dubbed the player "Ilkka Score-a-goal-a". The right winger stands eighth in points among all Finns who've ever suited up in the NHL. Current Flyers forward Sami Kapanen is currently tied with Sinisalo for eighth on the list, but Sinisalo played over a hundred fewer NHL games.
Originally Posted by Brian Propp
Ilkka was the first European forward with the Flyers that really fit in well. He had fantastic scoring ability, especially on breakaways. He played great two-way hockey and had a great sense of humor which he shared in the locker room. Ilkka's greatest assets were his speed and his shooting percentage. If he had an open shot, he rarely missed.

If we had the shootout back in those days, Ilkka would have been one of our best players at it, he was great on breakaways
Originally Posted by Legends of Hockey
He would play with the Flyers for nine seasons, along the way having two seasons where he scored seventy plus points and helping the team get to the Stanley Cup finals in both 1985 and 1987. Sinisalo would leave Philadelphia in 1990 signing as a free agent with the Minnesota North Stars only to be traded towards the end of the season to the LA Kings. He would finish his career in the NHL as a King in the 1991-92 season.
Originally Posted by Ilkka Sinisalo
The physical game in the NHL was an adjustment for me, hitting and getting hit.
Originally Posted by Flyers Heroes of the Past
In retrospect, Sinisalo's rookie NHL season was as solid as anyone could have hoped for. In just 66 games of action, he scored 15 goals and totaled 37 points. His +18 defensive rating was fourth best on the club.

Sinisalo started to blossom in his third season, although the Flyers finished third in the Patrick Division in what proved to be McCammon's final season in Philadelphia. On the ice, he scored 29 goals as a member of the Flyers' second line, including four game-winners. He also received extensive penalty killing duties and shined in that role, scoring three shorthanded goals.

Now 28 years old, Sinisalo entered the 1986-87 campaign gunning for his first 40-goal season. Instead, he spent much of the season on the shelf, nursing a knee injury sustained in November, following by a cracked metatarsal suffered after blocking a shot in a late-March tilt. The injuries limited the Finn to just 42 regular season games, in which he put up 30 points (10 goals) and a +14 rating.
Originally Posted by Peter Zezel
With Ilkka, all I had to do was get him a lead pass or lay it out to him. I knew he would then beat his man and the puck would be in the back of the net
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
Ilkka Sinisalo was a terribly underrated forward on some strong Philadelphia Flyers teams during the 1980s. Often overlooked by the likes of Brian Propp, Mark Howe, Tim Kerr, Pelle Lindbergh and Ron Hextall, Sinisalo quietly was a key cog in the Philadelphia team that twice reached the Stanley Cup finals.

Undrafted by the NHL, the HIFK (Finland) left shooting right winger was signed by the Flyers in 1981 as an undrafted rookie free agent, a practice that is now forbidden for European players under the NHL collective bargaining agreement. The Flyers made other teams look foolish for not taking a chance on this fine player.
Originally Posted by Greatest Hockey Legends
An exceptional skater, Sinisalo was an unheralded two way winger. He had great hockey sense and vision which made him a regular on both the power play and penalty kill. He was a good compliment to the immovable Tim Kerr on Flyers power plays. Sinisalo would use his one step quickness to get into passing lanes, often acting as a diversion while Kerr got into position in front of the net. He also possessed deadly wrist and backhand shots. On the penalty kill Sinisalo's speed and anticipation made him a regular. At regular strength Sinisalo was equally strong at both ends of the ice. He ranks high on the Flyers all time +/- leader list.

When healthy, Sinisalo was a consistent 30 goal/70 point scorer. However health was a luxury for Sinisalo, as he only played in excess of 70 games in 3 of his 10 full NHL seasons

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