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Team Finland @ 2013 World Championships

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03-20-2013, 06:17 AM
  #1
Gaps
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Team Finland @ 2013 World Championships

I think it's time to open this thread because it won't be too long until the camp starts. Who do you think will make the team?

Here's my long list of possible candidates, NHL players excluded. The list is a mix of my own choices and players Jalonen is likely to choose:

Centers

Teemu Ramstedt
Jori Lehterä
Jarkko Immonen
Niko Kapanen
Petri Kontiola
Juha-Pekka Hytönen
Sasha Barkov

Ramstedt seems to be a part of Jalonen's ongoing mission of trying to find a legit 1st line center in Europe, so far that mission isn't going too well IMO, but I understand why he's doing it. Ramstedt would have to play 1st or 2nd line C on the team, so he'd better produce at camp.

Lehterä is another candidate for the 1st line spot, but so far hasn't given any reason for me to think he could be trusted with it. He's a purely offensive center so in order to deserve a spot on the team he needs to produce big time now, especially since he's already been given plenty of chances to do so. He's been given different linemates (including his linemate Enlund from Sibir), a letter to make him feel the responsibility, but so far nothing's seemed to help. I don't know what's wrong with him, but I'd guess it's either that he can't really play Meidän Peli or that the national team makes him too nervous to perform well.

Immonen has had a better season than the last one after failing miserably in last year's tournament. I'm sure Jalonen still values him rather high, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him make the team. Hopefully he can bounce back.

Kapanen is always reliable and will surely make the team if he wants to. He can be trusted to play 3rd or 4th line C.

Kontiola has been great this season and he's a proven performer in the WC. His two-way game makes it easy to take him along as he can play in an offensive or defensive role, depending on what's required of him. Based on this season I think he may deserve a chance to center an offensive line.

Hytönen hasn't really impressed me, but is another viable candidate for the 4th line C spot.

Barkov could be taken along if Jalonen wanted to invest in the future. At 17 he couldn't (and shouldn't) be expected to shoulder much responsibility, so a 3rd/4th line center spot would fit him nicely. I still fear that Jalonen sees him as a risky choice due to his youth and leaves him out. He should at least be given a chance to show his skills with the men at camp if he's available.

Wingers

Sakari Salminen
Juhamatti Aaltonen
Joel Armia
Niklas Hagman
Jonas Enlund
Veli-Matti Savinainen
Antti Pihlström
Janne Pesonen
Oskar Osala
Ville Nieminen
Tuomas Kiiskinen

Salminen is probably a lock to make the team thanks to his good performances in the EHT this season. I like his skills and speed, but he's small and soft and will most likely struggle when we play the Americans. But I still trust him to deliver more than Aaltonen.

Aaltonen is sadly going to make the team again because Jalonen loves him and because he played a good EHT tournament in Sweden. I have a hard time believing he'll deliver when it actually matters, because I've seen this story before and it hasn't ended well. I hope he proves me wrong but I'm afraid we will just waste a roster spot on him.

Armia would be another investment for the future. I think he should at least be taken to camp so that he can see what it takes to make the men's team and know what's expected of him. I know he's not someone Jalonen is likely to touch even with a 10-foot pole, but the thing is that he's more talented than any other winger I have on this list and we're going to need him eventually. So don't give him a free pass, but give him a chance to prove himself.

Hagman has international experience which I'm sure Jalonen values highly, but I'm not convinced he'd make a valuable addition into the top 6. I think he may need a soccer net to score, so I'd give him a place in the bottom 6, which probably wouldn't satisfy him.

Enlund wasn't impressive at all in EHT, but he's Lehterä's linemate from Sibir and can't be counted out for now. I don't think he has what it takes as an individual to make the team, but if things click with Lehterä, he may make the team.

Savinainen is the kind of a player Jalonen likes for the bottom 6. Tough guy, works hard, will do what he's supposed to. Could see him in the bottom 6.

Pihlström has been a staple on the team for years now and you can't count him out this time, either. A spot in the 4th line doesn't seem impossible. Jalonen knows what he's going to get: speed, energy, the occasional goal but nothing game-changing.

Pesonen can't be left out as long as Immonen is in the mix. He's had a better season as well and I could see him once again on the team next to Immonen.

Osala should make the team. He brings size, grit and energy and his skating has improved a lot within the last few years. I hope someone in the NHL decides to give him a chance in their bottom 6. I wish his hands were a little better, but he'd still be a good choice to the bottom 6.

Nieminen would be a great addition to the team. He brings experience, leadership, hard work, has decent hands and I don't think he's as difficult as he reportedly used to be. But since Jalonen hasn't used him at all, him even getting a chance at camp seems unlikely.

Kiiskinen was a pleasant surprise in last year's tournament. Small guy, but fast and skilled.



Defence


Juuso Hietanen
Mikko Mäenpää
Janne Niskala
Petteri Nummelin
Ossi Väänänen
Ilari Melart
Anssi Salmela
Sami Lepistö
Topi Jaakola
Lasse Kukkonen
Petteri Nummelin

I think Mäenpää, Hietanen, Niskala, Väänänen and Kukkonen are already locks to make the team because we don't have a lot of choices when it comes to D. The rest of the spots will be decided on camp and while I don't really much of a preference, I'd rather see both Lepistö and Salmela left out. Jalonen may want Nummelin on the team for the leadership.


Goalies

Karri Rämö
Ari Ahonen
Iiro Tarkki
Joni Ortio
Petri Vehanen

Out of all Finnish goalies playing in Europe, Rämö should be the starting goalie but it's not a given that he even wants to be on the team. If he says no, it's all up in the air. Ortio could be the 3rd goalie this time.

Reinforcements from North America

Obviously it's still way too early to know for sure who's available, but I think the starting goalie problem could be solved even without Rämö by an NHL goalie, my guess being that at least one (+ Kipper who won't come) will be available.

Sami Vatanen's season in the AHL will most likely end on April 21st so I guess if the Ducks were on a good mood, they might let him come. If he's not allowed to come, I don't think there will be any other defencemen from NA joining the team.

Komarov has stated that he's interested in being on the team should the Leafs not make the playoffs, but he's the only NHL player who's said anything about the tournament so far.


Last edited by Gaps: 03-20-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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Old
03-20-2013, 10:56 AM
  #2
FiLe
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Some odd comments to above:

I think Kontiola is currently the best centerman we have in Europe, so in case we don't get any from NHL, he should get the #1 job. Ramstedt, Lehterä, Kapanen or Immonen could all fit to 2C. Fringe pick: Ilari Filppula. Was pretty brisk in the LG Games, but needs to be in top form in playoffs or during the camp to have a shot.

I'm not too hot on Hytönen either, but he might be a solid fit for 4th line regardless - especially if Kapanen isn't interested or Jalonen wants him higher in the lineup.

With wingers, I pretty much agree with your assessment. You listed all plausible names and gave pretty accurate estimates on where they currently stand. Hard to see anyone making it outside that list.



On defense, I wouldn't name that many locks yet. Out of OD, Mäenpää and Niskala are seasoned enough to likely make it, but the remaining two slots are still up for grabs.

One guy you missed is Ville Lajunen. Did real good in LG games, and Jalonen has shown a habit for valuing guys who succeed there, such as Järvinen last year and Ville's brother Jani a year before that. I'd definitely put him out there before Hietanen ATM. The fringe pick: Teemu Eronen.

DD: Väänänen, Kukkonen are the familiars. Melart looks like he's making a case for himself, so I'd slot him for the 3rd best chance after those two.



Goalies, I don't know why you say Rämö wouldn't be interested, but if he isn't, Ahonen is the pretty clear 2nd choice out of those. Rämö's stats from this season are only marginally better than his.

For the rest, I guess Ortio, Tarkki and Vehanen could all have an equal shot, maybe Vehanen with a slight edge if he's still game. Experience becomes a thing that matters when there's no other way to make the distinction. What about Juha Metsola? Did get an EHT call and posted a shutout. Might have shot for the reserve slot at least, especially if no NHLers are available.



Out of said NHLers, it's certainly too difficult to say yet who might be available and who's not, given the unusual situation. Though I don't think we actually have too many likely options to begin with. Rask is playoff bound. Lehtonen might opt out because he did have a bad experience last spring. So that leaves Rinne, Niemi and Bäckström as plausibles. And it's far too difficult to say if any will be available.

I don't think the Ducks are willing to release Vatanen. He is a high profile prospect after all and just a right kind of injury away from call-up as it is. However, if Milwaukee doesn't make the AHL playoffs, Järvinen might be available.

Out of teams that might not make the playoffs, I wouldn't mind seeing Hartikainen and Leino. Härski wanted to come last year, but was sent to the Barons. Leino apparently got a bit miffed last year because he wasn't promised a direct roster spot last year but was offered a "tryout" instead. Timing doesn't make that possible this time and he might be willing to come, since it'd be a good shot to make a case for breaking the Olympic squad. But eh, far too early to say which team's in and which is out.

For Hytönen dislikers, Jani Lajunen might be an option for 4C if Peoria doesn't make it.


Last edited by FiLe: 03-20-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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Old
03-20-2013, 12:07 PM
  #3
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Any chance for Antti Raanta and Teemu Pulkkinen?

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03-20-2013, 12:52 PM
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FiLe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landskronala View Post
Any chance for Antti Raanta and Teemu Pulkkinen?
I considered mentioning Raanta as a fringe pick, but he has zero NT experience as of now.

If Ässät drops out early, he might gain a shot to make it through the camp. But as impressive as his stats are, I doubt he'd make it as a playing goalie to the final team due to inexperience. And he's not really worth the fuss to enter as number #3 either.


As far as Pulkkinen goes, we already have more prominent names vying for the scoring winger spots. The fact that Armia - who's been in far better form than Pulkkinen - is considered a somewhat narrow hopeful should speak volumes on latter's chances. Early exit for Jokerit might open a path through the camp, but otherwise his prospects do look slim, unless he really tears it up during the playoffs.

Same could be said of another high profile Jokerit prospect, Teuvo Teräväinen.

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03-20-2013, 04:07 PM
  #5
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Marko Anttila will probably make it too Jalonen really has liked at national team in last eht he made opponent to take a penalty four times by just using his size and keeping the puck in corners hes so big.

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03-20-2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
I think Kontiola is currently the best centerman we have in Europe, so in case we don't get any from NHL, he should get the #1 job. Ramstedt, Lehterä, Kapanen or Immonen could all fit to 2C. Fringe pick: Ilari Filppula. Was pretty brisk in the LG Games, but needs to be in top form in playoffs or during the camp to have a shot.
From what I've seen I agree with this. The reason I didn't mention Filppula is that he's rather one-dimensional (even more than Lehterä) and in addition to that he's small and pretty slow. He's contending with guys like Lehterä and Ramstedt and I don't see him winning that contest unless he's a total playoff monster and those two fail miserably.

Quote:
On defense, I wouldn't name that many locks yet. Out of OD, Mäenpää and Niskala are seasoned enough to likely make it, but the remaining two slots are still up for grabs.

One guy you missed is Ville Lajunen. Did real good in LG games, and Jalonen has shown a habit for valuing guys who succeed there, such as Järvinen last year and Ville's brother Jani a year before that. I'd definitely put him out there before Hietanen ATM. The fringe pick: Teemu Eronen.

DD: Väänänen, Kukkonen are the familiars. Melart looks like he's making a case for himself, so I'd slot him for the 3rd best chance after those two.
Lajunen was okay in the last tournament, but I see Jalonen going for someone more familiar. Wouldn't mind being wrong here, though. Eronen would surely be an interesting choice.

Melart was great until recently, but he's been pretty bad for some time now. If Järvinen is available, I'd probably take him over Melart, but we won't know about that until next month.

Quote:
Goalies, I don't know why you say Rämö wouldn't be interested, but if he isn't, Ahonen is the pretty clear 2nd choice out of those. Rämö's stats from this season are only marginally better than his.

For the rest, I guess Ortio, Tarkki and Vehanen could all have an equal shot, maybe Vehanen with a slight edge if he's still game. Experience becomes a thing that matters when there's no other way to make the distinction. What about Juha Metsola? Did get an EHT call and posted a shutout. Might have shot for the reserve slot at least, especially if no NHLers are available.
A hockey writer for one of the tabloids said on Twitter some time ago that one of the victims of the recent scandal is mad at Liitto, doesn't trust Jalonen anymore and is currently not interested in playing for the NT. No name was mentioned, but I drew my own conclusions based on that. Of course it may not be him and even if it is, he could always change his mind and I hope he does.

I don't know about Metsola. I guess he could fight for the 3rd goalie spot, but I don't know how high Jalonen would rank him.

Quote:
Out of teams that might not make the playoffs, I wouldn't mind seeing Hartikainen and Leino. Härski wanted to come last year, but was sent to the Barons. Leino apparently got a bit miffed last year because he wasn't promised a direct roster spot last year but was offered a "tryout" instead. Timing doesn't make that possible this time and he might be willing to come, since it'd be a good shot to make a case for breaking the Olympic squad. But eh, far too early to say which team's in and which is out.
Can they send Hartikainen down again if the Oilers don't make the playoffs? If not, I wouldn't mind seeing him, but is he someone Jalonen would give a spot with no training camp? Because there are only a handful of NHL players I see Jalonen really wanting on the team badly enough to take them in without a tryout and they're all top 6 players aside from Komarov.

Leino would be interesting to see and him showing up here this year would improve his Olympic chances. If Jalonen was to choose the Sochi team, I don't think Leino would stand a chance, but with Westerlund he might.

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03-21-2013, 01:09 AM
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FiLe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
The reason I didn't mention Filppula is that he's rather one-dimensional (even more than Lehterä) and in addition to that he's small and pretty slow. He's contending with guys like Lehterä and Ramstedt and I don't see him winning that contest unless he's a total playoff monster and those two fail miserably.
Yeah, like I said, he's a fringe pick. I can totally see Jalonen gathering together the top-three centres without really having to enter him in the mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
Lajunen was okay in the last tournament, but I see Jalonen going for someone more familiar. Wouldn't mind being wrong here, though. Eronen would surely be an interesting choice.

Melart was great until recently, but he's been pretty bad for some time now. If Järvinen is available, I'd probably take him over Melart, but we won't know about that until next month.
Funny, because Jalonen has clearly taken steps in the last years from expanding his comfort zone. Like I said, he brought in Jani Lajunen and Joonas Järvinen on the very grounds of having a single good EHT. And he did snub some familiars last year, like Pasi Puistola and Peltonen - even though they weren't completely abysmal, just so-so.

Besides, Lajunen is exactly the kind of fellow the depth pool needs. OD, right-handed shot, and unlike Hietanen and Vatanen (who is still the top dog for this slot, obviously) he has decent size. I'm not calling him a lock by any means, but I don't really see how Jalonen could overlook that. He'll make it to the camp no doubt, and will be in contention to the end.

For DD, couple more names who may have a chance of breaking it through the camp are Jalasvaara and Laakso. Again, not locks, but might make it by outplaying Melart, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
A hockey writer for one of the tabloids said on Twitter some time ago that one of the victims of the recent scandal is mad at Liitto, doesn't trust Jalonen anymore and is currently not interested in playing for the NT. No name was mentioned, but I drew my own conclusions based on that. Of course it may not be him and even if it is, he could always change his mind and I hope he does.

I don't know about Metsola. I guess he could fight for the 3rd goalie spot, but I don't know how high Jalonen would rank him.
I take it you're referring to the Weedgate. Funny, I think Jalonen did nothing to demonize those two - if nothing, he tried to play it down. It was Da Chief who went all apedung over it.

But eh, I guess being mad at Liitto and the hippo is reason enough not to want anything to do with the NT.

Quote:
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Can they send Hartikainen down again if the Oilers don't make the playoffs? If not, I wouldn't mind seeing him, but is he someone Jalonen would give a spot with no training camp? Because there are only a handful of NHL players I see Jalonen really wanting on the team badly enough to take them in without a tryout and they're all top 6 players aside from Komarov.

Leino would be interesting to see and him showing up here this year would improve his Olympic chances. If Jalonen was to choose the Sochi team, I don't think Leino would stand a chance, but with Westerlund he might.
Technically Härski's AHL assignment is possible, but since he's been up with the big club all season, there tends to be a habitual mindset around the league that such a player is a full NHLer now, and isn't supposed to be farm bound unless it's a conditional stint or something. Remains to be seen whether Edmonton follows that principle or not. Of course, Barons are currently no lock for the playoffs anyhow. We'll have to see.

I can see Jalonen not wanting to dedicate a direct slot to Leino last year because he was seriously struggling, but he has come back pretty strong now that he's sorted his injury, so he could be considered an asset from the get-go.

As a more general statement, we have a ton of slots open at the moment considering the Sochi team. We need a scoring winger or two, similarly one or maybe even two centres for the top-nine, we have only two, maybe three D-men who could be considered locks, maybe a couple more if they wish to show up... so this tournament will be huge in clearing that air. Somebody does good here, and he could just instantly skyrocket from a complete outsider to serious contender. So it'll be damn interesting to watch.

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03-21-2013, 01:12 AM
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It's looking like the Flyers won't make the playoffs so you will probably have Kimmo Timonen, but I know you were asking opinions on non NHLers.

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03-21-2013, 01:36 AM
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It's looking like the Flyers won't make the playoffs so you will probably have Kimmo Timonen, but I know you were asking opinions on non NHLers.
The better way to say it would be that Timonen is probably available, but whether he bothers to show up or not is whole another question.

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03-25-2013, 10:45 AM
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Ville Leino - Tuomo Ruutu - Juhamatti Aaltonen
Jussi Jokinen - Jori Lehterä - Joel Armia
Teemu Hartikainen - Jarkko Immonen - Oskar Osala
Lennart Petrell - Aleksander Barkov - Ville Nieminen

Ossi Väänänen - Kimmo Timonen
Janne Niskala - Sami Vatanen
Sami Lepistö - Anssi Salmela
Ilari Melart - Topi Jaakola

Pekka Rinne
Joni Ortio
Antti Raanta

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03-25-2013, 12:13 PM
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Getting Timonen and Salo to defence would be a Christmas and birthday present all in the same. But there's no reason for the Ducks to send Vatanen to play in WCs, I wouldn't write his name in any roster predictions for awhile atleast.

Besides Flyers and Lightning, Sabres seem to be missing the playoffs and I would welcome Leino. Also, there's a good possibility that atleast one of Calgary, San Jose, Dallas and Nashville won't make the playoffs and team Finland could get an NHL starter. Korpikoski from Phoenix would be nice, Hartikainen and Petrell from Edmonton too. West is pretty tight again but not every can make the playoffs. Would be "nice" too if Carolina doesn't make it, Ruutu and Jokinen should come, not sure about Pitkänen.

1st line center has to come from Europe since Minnesota probably isn't going to come down. There are a lot of good centers available but no one really that strikes me as a 1st line center. Hopefully someone rises up for the challenge.

I really like Needles' 4th line, Petrell-Barkov-Nieminen could really end up scoring a lot, maybe try Korpikoski instead of Petrell. What a sweet line it could be.

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03-25-2013, 01:01 PM
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Hopefully Teuvo Teräväinen gets a chance when Jokerit get eliminated. TT has bee their best forward, especially in their top six.

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03-25-2013, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JabbaJabba View Post
Besides Flyers and Lightning, Sabres seem to be missing the playoffs and I would welcome Leino. Also, there's a good possibility that atleast one of Calgary, San Jose, Dallas and Nashville won't make the playoffs and team Finland could get an NHL starter. Korpikoski from Phoenix would be nice, Hartikainen and Petrell from Edmonton too. West is pretty tight again but not every can make the playoffs. Would be "nice" too if Carolina doesn't make it, Ruutu and Jokinen should come, not sure about Pitkänen.
You write off Pitkänen but consider Kipper a possibility? Mmkay.

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03-25-2013, 03:13 PM
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You write off Pitkänen but consider Kipper a possibility? Mmkay.
Was Kiprusoft one of the players who have retired from National team or did he have problems with Jalonen?

Can't always remember all the players who are probably going to say no, which you can maybe understand.

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03-25-2013, 03:34 PM
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Was Kiprusoft one of the players who have retired from National team or did he have problems with Jalonen?

Can't always remember all the players who are probably going to say no, which you can maybe understand.
http://yle.fi/urheilu/leijonat_sotsh...ennaan/6482947

""Ainakin Miikka Kiprusoff ja Olli Jokinen ovat ilmoittaneet, että pelit maajoukkueessa on pelattu."" Dunno if that is true or not.

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03-25-2013, 11:24 PM
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Hopefully Teuvo Teräväinen gets a chance when Jokerit get eliminated. TT has bee their best forward, especially in their top six.
If Jokerit are eliminated, Teräväinen, Pulkkinen and Rita are probably the only forwards worthy of a call up for the Denmark games.

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03-26-2013, 02:33 AM
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I don't care what the lineup will look like. I will watch some games from free tv channels but I will not give a single penny to Kummola's mafia.

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03-26-2013, 03:22 AM
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FiLe
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Originally Posted by JabbaJabba View Post
Was Kiprusoft one of the players who have retired from National team or did he have problems with Jalonen?

Can't always remember all the players who are probably going to say no, which you can maybe understand.
Kiprusoff is even bigger no-show than Pitkänen, probably the easiest to single out of them all. He has been systematically refusing WHC calls for the past decade, even if he would have been otherwise available. Last time he played in one was in 2001.

He has been cool with best-on-best though. Just like Pitkänen.

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03-27-2013, 09:11 AM
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Roaster

when do they release the roaster for eurohockey challange?


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03-27-2013, 09:24 AM
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I would assume after Finnish QF are over (possible game 7s are on Saturday)

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03-27-2013, 10:27 AM
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Jori Lehterä's a big question mark for the Worlds as he's still suffering from concussion effects from that one fight he had.

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03-27-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fr9dd9 View Post
when do they release the roaster for eurohockey challange?
week or so before that.

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03-28-2013, 07:03 AM
  #23
Gaps
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Here's the roster for camp I:

http://www.leijonat.fi/maajoukkueet/...e-valittu.html


Goaltenders:

#30 JÄRVINEN Mika, HPK

#35 ENGREN Atte, TPS



Defense:

#2 LAAKSO Teemu, Severstal Tsherepovets, KHL

#4 POKKA Ville, Kärpät

#5 RISTOLAINEN Rasmus, TPS

#18 LEPISTÖ Sami, HC Lev Praha, KHL

#21 MELART Ilari, HIFK

#24 KOUSA Mikko, MoDo, SWE

#36 OHTAMAA Atte, Kärpät

#38 HIETANEN Juuso, Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod,KHL



Forwards:

#10 HAGMAN Niklas, Lokomotiv Jaroslavl, KHL

#12 ANTTILA Marko, TPS

#13 WIRTANEN Petteri, Donbass Donetsk, KHL

#22 SALOMÄKI Miikka, Kärpät

#23 SALLINEN Jere, HPK

#25 JORMAKKA Pekka, Pelicans

#26 OSALA Oskar, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, KHL

#27 HAATAJA Juha-Pekka, Kärpät

#37 KUUSELA Kristian, Blues

#39 VIITALUOMA Ville, HPK

#40 SALLINEN Tomi, Blues

#41 PIHLSTRÖM ANTTI, Salavat Julajev Ufa, KHL

#42 KÄHKÖNEN Toni, Kärpät

****

Very pleased to see Pokka, Ristolainen and Salomäki on the list Their chances of making the final team are slim, but it's still great.

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Old
03-28-2013, 07:12 AM
  #24
FiLe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
Very pleased to see Pokka, Ristolainen and Salomäki on the list Their chances of making the final team are slim, but it's still great.
They'll find better (or at least more seasoned) grinders to replace Salomäki, no doubt, but you never know about D. There are far less surefire names for those slots.

Let's not forget that both Ristolainen and Pokka are now the same age as Vatanen was when he made his WHC debut in 2010. So if one or both of them look ready to take the step... who knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnpin View Post
I don't care what the lineup will look like.
I do find this year's squad very interesting. After all, our Sochi team is far from locked down apart from a mere handful of names. So any of those guys who end up doing well for themselves here are going to enter contention like never before. And that also concerns key roles, not just fringe ones.


Last edited by FiLe: 03-28-2013 at 07:23 AM.
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Old
03-28-2013, 02:53 PM
  #25
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I'd be very surprised if Teemu Pulkkinen or Teuvo Teräväinen didn't join the team in the near future. Or is there a chance that Pulkkinen will pack his bags ASAP and joined Wings' AHL affiliate?

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