Alpo Suhonen

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Alpo Suhonen in 2008

Alpo Suhonen (born 17 June 1948 in Valkeakoski, Finland) was the first European-born NHL head coach in 50 years when he took over the Chicago Blackhawks on 22 May 2000.

Coaching career[edit]

Along with Ivan Hlinka, they were the first European born head coaches since Johnny Gottselig. He would last less than a year as head coach of the Hawks, as he resigned next spring because of heart problems. There was frequent criticism to Suhonen's coaching citing lack of discipline and a country club atmosphere among the players. Prior to being head coach of the Blackhawks, Suhonen was an assistant coach with the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Suhonen has also coached Finland's national ice hockey team during the years 1982–1986, and coached several teams in Finland and in Europe.

He was last coaching Ässät in SM-liiga. He took the job on 14 November 2007 and announced his retirement from ice hockey on 3 July 2009.

Suhonen also produced a Finnish version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and ran for a spot in the European Parliament. At the time he was also the CEO of music festival Pori Jazz, and he has also written several books in Finnish.

Nowadays, he works as a Sports Manager of Kloten Flyers, and in the 2011-2012 season, he signed a contract with the Slovak Tipsport Extraleague club HC 05 Banska Bystrica. On the first day of November, he resigned as position of head coach, but he remains in the structures of the club.

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Division rank Result
CHI 2000–01 82 29 41 8 4 70 4th in Central Missed playoffs
Preceded by
Kalevi Numminen
Finnish national ice hockey team coach
1982–1986
Succeeded by
Rauno Korpi
Preceded by
Boris Majorov
Jokerit head coach
1993
Succeeded by
Hannu Aravirta
Preceded by
Bob Pulford
Head coaches of the Chicago Blackhawks
2000–01
Succeeded by
Brian Sutter

External links[edit]