Thread: Prospect Info: OKC Barons 2013/14
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10-15-2013, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by joestevens29 View Post
Arto Palovaara @ArtoPalovaara
@Artful_Puck rajala was caught by a wee lad in the hall that asked him why he's not playing. He replied "I'm not just playing".

With a response like that, you have to wonder if there isn’t something bigger than hockey going on right now for Rajala. With how quick and sudden the release was from Edmonton, it would certainly make sense. Regardless of the circumstances, Toni is a great player. I certainly hope that we’ll see him back on the ice soon, rather than later.

Hopefully everything is okay.
SHL team HV71 signed a 1 year deal with Rajala earlier today, he is expected to play his first game tomorrow night (and they seem very excited about it).

I guess he was just waiting for the right offer.

For the interested, Rajala's comments (I did my best with the translation):
– I want to play again, it has been a while. I played in the AHL conference finals in the middle of June.

The Finnish forward agreed with the Edmonton Oilers to terminate his contract on August 25 this year.

– I spent the season in the AHL and the Oilers just have too many 1st round high draft picks so it is/was extremely difficult to get a chance to play in the NHL.

– It will be good for me to spend a couple of years playing in Europe and develop into a better player. After Europe I want to try the NHL again. My goal is to play in the NHL one day. I am ready to work hard to get there and I hope it will be as quick as possible. But a couple of years in Europe will be good for me.

He has been without a contract until now but training with Tammerfors in Finland.

– Honestly I waited too long before choosing a team this season, he admits.

But yesterday he met with HV's former SHL-finals-hero Puistola and they discussed the club he has just signed up for.

– He told me that it is an excellent organisation and when I got the offer from them I didn't hesitate. I am pretty excited to go play for them.

HV71 has only 8 points after 12 games and find themselves in the last place in th SHL.

Rajala is aware of what the situation is.

– I am going to my best and see if I can help the team to start winning. It is still very early in the season and it is not really that important where you are in the standing right now. Everything can change. From what I have heard it is a very good team and now it will be time to start showing it by playing good.

Last edited by LaGu: 10-15-2013 at 08:19 AM.
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