Ilkka Sinisalo

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Ilkka Sinisalo
Born (1958-07-10)July 10, 1958
Valkeakoski, Finland
Died April 5, 2017(2017-04-05) (aged 58)
Finland
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Left
Played for NHL
Philadelphia Flyers
Minnesota North Stars
Los Angeles Kings
SM-liiga
HIFK
HPK
Ilves
Kiekko-Espoo
National team  Finland
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 1978–1996

Ilkka Antero Jouko Sinisalo (July 10, 1958 – April 5, 2017) was a Finnish professional ice hockey forward who played eleven seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Philadelphia Flyers,[1] Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Later he was a scout for the Flyers.

Playing career[edit]

Sinisalo was originally a junior product of HIFK. He played in the NHL from 1981–1992, scoring 204 goals and 426 points, mostly with the Flyers. Sinisalo is ranked as the all-time leading goal scorer among European Philadelphia Flyers. He is also ranked the fourth-highest Finnish goal scorer in NHL history, and he was honored by induction to the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.[2]

When Sinisalo started his ice hockey career in the 1970s, NHL teams did not scout extensively in Finland. The first Finnish ice hockey player in NHL was Matti Hagman for the 1976–77 Boston Bruins. However, NHL scouts were so impressed by Sinisalo's talents that they made an exception by signing him as a free agent after his 1980–81 season with HIFK, where he scored 27 goals in 36 games. He signed his first NHL contract on February 17, 1981.[3] Sinisalo started his first season with the Flyers with his first NHL goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sinisalo became the first Flyers player to score his first NHL goal on a penalty shot, and the third of five NHL players in history.[2] During the 1984–85 season, Sinisalo scored 73 points in 70 games, with a +32 rating. The 1989–90 season was Sinisalo's last with the Flyers, after which he played one season for the Minnesota North Stars and two seasons for the Los Angeles Kings.[2]

Sinisalo retired from hockey in 1996, last playing for the Kiekko-Espoo in the SM-Liiga.

Career after retirement[edit]

After playing his last season of professional ice hockey for Kiekko-Espoo in 1995–96 in Finland he took a job as the general manager of the club. He served as Kiekko-Espoo GM until 1998-99. He was then hired by San Jose Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi on September 12, 1998 as a European-based scout for the Sharks. In July 2004, he was back in the Flyers organization as their European scout.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Sinisalo's son Tomas is a professional ice hockey player, primarily in Finland, having attended the Flyers' training camp in 2009.

Sinisalo died as a result of prostate cancer on April 5, 2017.[4][5]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1976–77 PiTa Pitajanmaki Fin-2 35 22 16 38 8
1977–78 HIFK SM-l 36 9 3 12 18
1978–79 HIFK SM-l 30 6 4 10 16 6 4 1 5 2
1979–80 HIFK SM-l 35 16 9 25 16 7 1 3 4 4
1980–81 HIFK SM-l 36 27 17 44 14 6 5 3 8 4
1981–82 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 66 15 22 37 22 4 0 2 2 0
1982–83 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 61 21 29 50 16 3 1 1 2 0
1983–84 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 29 17 46 29 2 2 0 2 0
1984–85 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 70 36 37 73 16 19 6 1 7 0
1985–86 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 74 39 37 76 31 5 2 2 4 2
1986–87 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 42 10 21 31 8 18 5 1 6 4
1987–88 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 68 25 17 42 30 7 4 2 6 0
1988–89 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 13 1 6 7 2 8 1 1 2 0
1989–90 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 59 23 23 46 26
1990–91 Minnesota North Stars NHL 46 5 12 17 24
1990–91 Los Angeles Kings NHL 7 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0
1991–92 Los Angeles Kings NHL 3 0 1 1 2
1991–92 Phoenix Roadrunners IHL 42 19 21 40 32
1992–93 HPK SM-l 46 13 16 29 55 12 2 3 5 8
1993–94 Kärpät Fin-2 28 27 15 42 20
1993–94 Ilves SM-l 12 1 6 7 10 4 1 0 1 6
1994–95 Ilves SM-l 30 2 7 9 45
1994–95 Kiekko-Espoo SM-l 16 7 7 14 6 4 0 3 3 4
1995–96 Kiekko-Espoo SM-l 44 7 12 19 36
NHL totals 582 204 222 426 208 68 21 11 32 6
SM-l totals 285 88 81 169 216 39 13 13 26 28
Fin-2 totals 63 49 31 80 28

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1978 Finland WJC 6 1 7 8 4
1981 Finland WEC 5 0 1 1 4
1981 Finland CC 5 1 0 1 6
1982 Finland WEC 5 1 1 2 6
1983 Finland WEC 8 0 2 2 4
Junior int'l totals 6 1 7 8 4
Senior int'l totals 23 2 4 6 20

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SPORTS PEOPLE; Flyers Sign Sinisalo". The New York Times. 21 May 1989. Retrieved 9 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Meltzer, Bill (October 23, 2006). "Flyers Heroes of the Past: Ilkka Sinisalo". Philadelphia Flyers. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Philadelphia Flyers signed left wing Ilkka Sinisalo, a...". UPI. February 17, 1981. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Ilkka Sinisalo, former Philadelphia Flyers forward, dies at 58". National Hockey League. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Ilkka Sinisalo on kuollut 58-vuotianna" [Ilkka Sinisalo dies at 58]. Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 5 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017. 

External links[edit]