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Ilves Logo.svg
City Tampere, Finland
League Liiga
Founded 1931
Home arena Hakametsä
Colours Green, yellow, black
Owner(s) Finland Vincent Manngard
General manager Finland Esa Honkalehto
Head coach Finland Karri Kivi
Captain Finland Sami Sandell
Active departments of
Football pictogram.svg Futsal pictogram.svg Ice hockey pictogram.svg
Football Futsal Ice hockey

Ilves (Finnish for "Lynx", Finnish pronunciation: [ˈilʋes]) is a Finnish ice hockey team. They play in the 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 hockey team in the Finnish championship league, the 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 championship 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 1980s, 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]



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.



2014 roster[edit]

Updated September 21, 2014.[1]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
77 Finland Fagerudd, MarcusMarcus Fagerudd D R 24 2017 Pietarsaari, Finland
3 Finland Järvinen, VilleVille Järvinen D L 20 2017 Tampere, Finland
33 Finland Toivonen, HannuHannu Toivonen G L 33 2017 Kalvola, Finland
- Finland Lehtonen, AnttiAntti Lehtonen (A) G L 23 2017 Jyväskylä, Finland
40 Finland Vihko, JoonasJoonas Vihko RW L 36 2017 Helsinki, Finland
40 Finland Kukkonen, MikkoMikko Kukkonen D L 29 2013 Siilinjärvi, Finland
71 Finland Laakso, TapioTapio Laakso (A) C L 31 2014 Rymättylä, Finland
3 Finland Levo, MikkeMikke Levo D L 22 2013 Orivesi, Finland
36 Finland Moisio, PatrikPatrik Moisio RW L 25 2014 Turku, Finland
21 Finland Mustonen, AleksiAleksi Mustonen LW L 22 2013 Helsinki, Finland
76 Finland Mäkinen, KonstaKonsta Mäkinen D L 25 2010 Pirkkala, Finland
27 Finland Näppilä, JarkkoJarkko Näppilä D L 28 2012 Tampere, Finland
82 Finland Pentikäinen, AtteAtte Pentikäinen (A) D L 34 2013 Juupajoki, Finland
19 Finland Rautiainen, TeemuTeemu Rautiainen LW L 25 2014 Nurmijärvi, Finland
15 Finland Riekkinen, JoonasJoonas Riekkinen C L 29 2014 Varpaisjärvi, Finland
9 Finland Ruuttu, AlexanderAlexander Ruuttu RW R 24 2013 Chicago, Illinois
22 Finland Rämö, JuusoJuuso Rämö LW L 23 2013 Tampere, Finland
11 Finland Salmela, SakuSaku Salmela D L 27 2014 Helsinki, Finland
42 Finland Sandell, SamiSami Sandell (C) C L 30 2013 Nokia, Finland
26 Finland Savilahti, EeroEero Savilahti LW L 24 2013 Tampere, Finland
89 Finland Tyrväinen, AnttiAntti Tyrväinen RW L 28 2014 Seinäjoki, Finland
39 Finland Veistola, JiriJiri Veistola LW R 29 2013 Vantaa, Finland
72 Finland Välimaa, TommiTommi Välimaa RW L 33 2010 Tampere, Finland
49 Finland Yrjölä, LassiLassi Yrjölä G L 22 2014 Tampere, 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]

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, and 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 2014-09-21. 

External links[edit]