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This article is about the Finnish sports club. For other uses, see Ilves (disambiguation).
Ilves Logo.svg
City Finland Tampere, Finland
League SM-liiga
Founded 1931 (1931)
Home arena Hakametsä (capacity 7,600)
Owner(s) Finland Vincent Manngard
General manager Finland Timo Virolainen
Head coach Finland Tuomas Tuokkola
Captain Finland Masi Marjamäki


Ilves (Finnish for "Lynx", Finnish pronunciation: [ˈilʋes]) is a Finnish sports club known for its youth work. Its ice hockey team plays in the SM-liiga at the Hakametsä.

The colors of Ilves, green, yellow and black, were taken from what was then the coat of arms of the city of Tampere.


With 16 championships, Ilves is the most successful team in the Finnish championship league, the SM-liiga. The club was founded in the spring of 1931, and it played its first game against Tampereen Palloilijat the next winter. In the late 1930s, Ilves won three Finnish championship titles.

After World War II, Ilves started playing its home games at the then new Koulukatu ice rink. It had another championship spree in 1945–47 when it stayed undefeated for over four years (albeit playing only 36 games during that period).

In 1954 Ilves was for the first and so far only time relegated to the second highest level of Finnish hockey but managed to return to the top tier only one year later.

The current logo was designed by Rauno Broms in 1963. In 1965 Ilves moved, along with its local rivals Tappara and KooVee, to the new Hakametsä arena, where they still play.

The last Finnish Cup competition in hockey was held in 1971. Ilves won the title and has therefore been the reigning champion since. In 1972 it also won another league championship, its 15th in total.

During the late 1970s, Ilves went through lean times. Finally, when Koovee, which was in no better condition, was relegated at the end of the 1979–80 season, the two clubs decided to sign an agreement of cooperation. The best players of Koovee moved to Ilves, the most notable of them being Risto Jalo.

In 1985, Ilves claimed its 16th and most recent championship. Along with Risto Jalo, the key players of that team were Raimo Helminen, Mikko Mäkelä, Ville Siren, and Jukka Tammi. Repeating this success proved difficult, however, when in the following summer four players left the team to play in the NHL.

In the late '80s, Ilves had another brief stint of moderate success when coached by Sakari Pietilä. It finished first after the regular season in 1988 but was eliminated in the first round of playoffs. The next year it came away with a bronze medal, and finally in 1990 it reached the finals, only to lose to TPS.

For most of the 1990s, the club struggled with financial problems and unclear issues concerning ownership. In sports performance, the low point was in the spring of 1995, when Ilves finished last in the SM-liiga and had to fight the lower league teams SaPKo and SaiPa for their place among the elite for the next year.

Ilves managed to avoid relegation and was promptly reborn as a viable championship candidate, reaching the semifinals in 1997 and the finals a year after that. No trophies were brought home, however, and the heavy financial investments proved unsound as the club was suddenly facing the risk of bankruptcy in the fall of 1999. By selling players and cutting the wages of the entire organization, Ilves was able to stay afloat.

The 2000s were a fairly mediocre period in Ilves history. After their bronze medal win in 2001, Ilves lost in the first round of the playoffs in six of the next seven seasons and missing the playoffs altogether in 2003. They managed to avoid relegation in 2010 and 2012. The financial situation, however, seems to be more secure than in previous decades.



Ilves is the most decorated club in Finnish hockey. However, they have not won a league championship since 1985. In addition to having more men's championship wins than any other club, they also have that distinction in every junior level (with the exception of junior C (U-16) where Jokerit has one more) and the most women's hockey championships. In total, Ilves has won 67 national championship titles, 30 more than the second-best club.



Current roster[edit]

Updated December 9, 2012.[1]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
22 Finland Hovinen, MiroMiro Hovinen D L 22 2012 Espoo, Finland
31 Finland Kolppanen, VilleVille Kolppanen G L 22 2010 Vaasa, Finland
20 Finland Korhonen, VilleVille Korhonen LW L 27 2002 Tampere, Finland
47 Finland Laakkonen, JanneJanne Laakkonen LW L 32 2012 Kuopio, Finland
3 Finland Mäkinen, KonstaKonsta Mäkinen D L 22 2008 Pirkkala, Finland
15 Finland Marjamäki, MasiMasi Marjamäki (AInjured Reserve LW L 29 2008 Pori, Finland
23 Finland Näppilä, JarkkoJarkko Näppilä D L 26 2012 Tampere, Finland
12 Finland Niemi, ToniToni Niemi Injured Reserve D L 29 2012 Pirkkala, Finland
11 Finland Niinimäki, JesseJesse Niinimäki C L 31 2008 Tampere, Finland
8 Finland Peltola, NikoNiko Peltola D L 24 2010 Huittinen, Finland
18 Finland Rajamäki, ErkkiErkki Rajamäki LW L 35 2012 Vantaa, Finland
29 Finland Sointu, MatiasMatias Sointu LW L 24 2010 Tampere, Finland
81 Finland Tukio, ArtoArto Tukio D L 33 2007 Tampere, Finland
39 Finland Wilenius, TomiTomi Wilenius Injured Reserve C R 21 2010 Nokia, Finland

Banners commemorating championships and retired player numbers of Ilves in Tampereen jäähalli.

Honored members[edit]

Number 24 has not been officially retired, but is not in use. It was last worn by Veikko Suominen, who died during the 1978–79 season.


Current staff[edit]

All-time head coaches[edit]

(* = interim coach)

Other sports[edit]

Further information: FC Ilves

In addition to hockey and football, Ilves has a futsal team in Finnish league which has won the Finnish championship five times (2004, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011) and the cup competition twice (2006, 2010), a floorball team at second highest level and a women's ringette team. It has numerous boys' and girls' junior teams in ice hockey, soccer, floorball (boys only) and ringette (girls only), making the organization the largest sports club in Finland.

In the past, Ilves has also competed in American football, basketball, bowling, figure skating, handball, and volleyball. It has won a bronze medal in American football and a silver one in handball. Also, Ilves has won the Finnish Cup in handball.


  1. ^ "Liiga Joukkue /" (in Finnish). Retrieved 2012-12-09. 

External links[edit]