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One of SM-liiga’s top teams Jokerit will be coached by a Canadian next sesaon also. Doug Shedden who coaches the Finnish national team as well will be replaced by countryman Glen Hanlon after this season.
The former Detroit Red Wings goalie Hanlon visited Helsinki last weekend and an agreement with Jokerit was reached easily.
-I love the international hockey and I think the Finnish league is a good mixture of Canadian and European style of hockey. Money had no part in this decision, Hanlon said to Helsingin Sanomat.
Hanlon signed a one year contract but he is interested to stay in Finland for a longer perioid.
-My family is moving to Helsinki with me and I wouldn’t bring them here if I wasn’t planning to stay, 50-year-old Hanlon continued.
The Swiss media told this week that Doug Shedden will be the head coach for National League A team Zug next season. Coaching Zug is possible, but Shedden’s sight is probably set for NHL.
The hottest foreign player in SM-liiga after new year has with out a doubt been HIFK’s winger Ryan Vesce. Vesce has scored at least one goal in ten of the last 12 matches. Vesce has now 22 goals and he is in tied fourth position in goals. Vesce was elected January’s player of the month as the American had 11 goals and one assist in ten games. HIFK won nine of them.
Vesce’s countryman Dwight Helminen has also been solid for his team JYP Jyväskylä. Helminen has 15 (6+9) points in the last 13 games. JYP and HIFK are fighting for the last spot in the quarter-finals. In SM-liiga the six best teams will go straight to the top eight and teams between 7th and 10th position will play the qualifying round.
JYP is currently in 6th position two points ahead of HIFK. The teams will meet in Helsinki next Tuesday. The league standings can be found here and the top scorers here.
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