Espoo Blues

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Blues
City Espoo, Finland
League Liiga
Founded 1984 (1984)
Home arena Barona Areena (capacity 7,017)
Colours               
Owner(s) Jääkiekko Espoo Oy
Head coach Jyrki Aho
Captain Finland Kim Hirschovits

Website
www.blues.fi
Franchise history
1984 - 1998 Kiekko-Espoo
1998 - present Espoo Blues

The Espoo Blues are an ice hockey team in the SM-liiga. They play in Espoo, Finland at the Barona Areena.

History[edit]

The club was established in February 1984 as Kiekko-Espoo and played their first season in 1984-1985 in the Finnish Second Division. In 1988 they achieved promotion to the Finnish First Division and in 1992 celebrated their promotion to the SM-liiga by beating Joensuun Kiekkopojat with wins 3-2 in best-of-five-series. Tero Lehterä scored the winning goal and Jere Lehtinen assisted.

Kiekko-Espoo ended its first two seasons in SM-liiga in 11th place within 12 teams. In 1994-95 season team made playoffs for the first time, losing to Lukko in quarter-finals. In 1997-98 season Kiekko-Espoo caused huge upset by beating regular season winner TPS in quarter-finals. Kiekko-Espoo ended the season in fourth place. In the next summer, the team name was changed. The name came from the dominant colour of their home jersey.

During the 1998-99 season, the team moved to its current home, LänsiAuto Areena (renamed in 2009 to Barona Areena due to sponsorship change). The first seasons in their new home were difficult despite the team signing many big names. Blues missed the playoffs in 2001 and 2005. In 2002-03 season Blues had its best regular season so far with fourth place, only to lose against eventual champions Tappara in overtime of the seventh quarter-final.

The team took a step forward in 2006-07 when they reached the semi-finals for the first time, although they lost against Kärpät straight in three games, and the bronze medal game against HPK. During the season 2007-08 Blues set a new team record by winning 12 games in a row. They finally ended the regular season in 2nd place and beat local rivals HIFK in quarter-finals and other local rivals Jokerit in the semi-finals, proceeding to the finals and thus ensuring their first medal ever. The team eventually ended up second after losing the finals to Kärpät.

In the next season, the team was again 2nd in regular season but lost against Kärpät in semi-finals, and also lost bronze medal game against KalPa. The season included also participation to the Champions Hockey League (2008–09) where Blues lost in semi-finals against eventual champions ZSC Lions. 2009-10 season was difficult and Blues failed to reach quarter-finals. In 2010-11 team ended regular season in 9th and then beat 8th placed Kärpät in the wild card round of playoffs. Then team made history be becoming first team in SM-liiga to advance from wild card round to semi-finals, beating Ässät in six games. In the semi-finals Blues continued upsets and beat regular season winners JYP in five games. In the finals, HIFK swept the series in four games, so Blues was awarded silver medals for the second time in team history.

In 2011-12 season Blues was 8th in regular season. After beating Lukko in the wild card round, team faced KalPa in quarterfinals. Blues made history again, as they became the first team in SM-liiga history to win the series after being down 0-3. In the semi-finals Pelicans beat Blues 4-1.

Honors[edit]

Champions[edit]

  • A-juniors (20-year-olds) (4): 1989, 1990, 2009, 2014
  • B-juniors (18-year-olds) (3): 1988, 1993, 2011
  • C-juniors (16-year-olds) (3): 2011, 2012, 2014
  • Aaro Kivilinna Memorial Trophy (5): 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013

Runners-up[edit]

Players[edit]

Current roster[edit]

Updated December 9, 2012.[1]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
15 Finland Aaltonen, MiroMiro Aaltonen C L 21 2009 Joensuu, Finland
44 Finland Hirschovits, KimKim Hirschovits (C) C L 32 2013 Varkaus, Finland
61 Finland Huhtala, TommiTommi Huhtala LW L 26 2011 Tampere, Finland
9 Finland Jalvanti, JoonasJoonas Jalvanti D L 25 2012 Lahti, Finland
71 Finland Järvinen, MattiMatti Järvinen C L 24 2011 London, England
56 Finland Kaijomaa, KalleKalle Kaijomaa D L 30 2013 Joensuu, Finland
19 Finland Kuukka, MikkoMikko Kuukka D L 28 2012 Hämeenkyrö, Finland
42 Finland Laatikainen, ArtoArto Laatikainen Injured Reserve D L 34 2012 Espoo, Finland
72 Finland Liivik, SiimSiim Liivik C L 26 2013 Paide, Estonia
25 Finland Makkonen, JussiJussi Makkonen C L 29 2013 Turku, Finland
64 Finland Malmivaara, OlliOlli Malmivaara (A) D L 32 2013 Kajaani, Finland
10 United States McRae, PhilipPhilip McRae F L 24 2013 Minneapolis, USA
93 Finland Nieminen, JaniJani Nieminen G L 26 2013 Helsinki, Finland
29 Finland Nyberg, NicoNico Nyberg RW L 20 2009 Espoo, Finland
73 Finland Pitkänen, IlmariIlmari Pitkänen LW L 24 2013 Viljakkala, Finland
79 Finland Pöysti, EetuEetu Pöysti RW R 25 2012 Helsinki, Finland
40 Finland Sallinen, TomiTomi Sallinen (A) C L 25 2006 Espoo, Finland
4 Finland Seppälä, JereJere Seppälä D L 21 2008 Kemi, Finland
39 Finland Tiivola, PeterPeter Tiivola LW L 20 2010 Helsinki, Finland
28 Finland Tuominen, JoniJoni Tuominen D R 31 2013 Espoo, Finland
5 Finland Valkonen, JoonasJoonas Valkonen D L 21 2009 Vantaa, Finland
21 Finland Virkkunen, ValtteriValtteri Virkkunen Injured Reserve C L 23 2006 Espoo, Finland
31 Norway Volden, LarsLars Volden G L 22 2010 Oslo, Norway
41 Sweden Widing, DanielDaniel Widing RW R 32 2013 Gävle, Sweden


Honored members[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Captains history[edit]

16 players have been named Captain of the team.

Head coaches[edit]

SM-liiga[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joukkue / Espoo Blues" (in Finnish). www.blues.fi. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 

External links[edit]