Hockey in Finland

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In comparison to its fellow European countries, Finland was a bit late on entering the ice hockey scene. This was mainly due to the popularity of a similar sport which required ice and sticks, "bandy". In 1929, Finnish Ice Hockey Association was established. It wasn't until 1956 when the first indoor, artificial hockey rink was built in Tampere, Finland, leading to their first hosting of the World Ice Hockey Championships in 1965. The Finnish were able to capture their first medal in 1988, earning silver at the Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Currently, ice hockey is the most popular sport in Finland by a wide margin based on attendance figures, television coverage, and sponsorship. This dedicated following of the sport is paired with a highly competitive ice hockey culture that trickles all the way down to the amateur and youth level, leaving plenty of teams eager to play international matches.

A ProActive Hockey tour in Finland is a perfect opportunity to explore the impressive hockey culture proudly owned by the Finnish. Our tours provide the option of competing against comparable ice hockey teams. Also, teams will get the chance to enjoy attending Liiga, the top Finnish professional hockey league, matches. Liiga is ranked by the IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) as the second strongest league in Europe.

In addition to great hockey, Finland holds a beautiful geography of white mountains coupled with lakes and streams all throughout the country due to massive glaciers dating back thousands of years. Some top destinations in Finland include the capital, Helsinki, which holds the National Museum of Finland and the Finnish Art Gallery, as well as the lovely city of Tampere.

Notable Finnish Players in NHL:

  • Tuukka Rask: Currently playing for the Boston Bruins, Rask was awarded the Vezina Trophy (NHL top goalie) after the 2013-14 season. Former teams- Ilkes, HC Plzeň
  • Teemu Selänne: Retiring from the Anaheim Ducks after the 2013-14 season, Selänne finishes his career as the highest scoring Finn in NHL history. Former teams- Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Winnipeg Jets
  • Saku Koivu: Currently and unrestricted free agent, Koivu was captain of the Montreal Canadiens for 10 seasons. Former teams- Montreal Canadiens, Anaheim Ducks
  • Mikko Koivu: Currently serving as team captain for the Minnesota Wild, Koivu is the highest all-time Wild franchise scorer. Former team- HC TPS
  • Pekka Rinne: Currently goalkeeping for the Nashville Predators, Rinne was the MVP of the World Ice Hockey Championships in 2014. Former team- Oulun Kärpät
  • Antti Niemi: Currently goalkeeping for the San Jose Sharks, Niemi became the first Finnish starting goaltender to win the Stanley Cup in 2009-10 during his time with the Chicago Blackhawks. Former teams- Chicago Blackhawks, Lahti Pelicans
 

Snapshot Itinerary


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Helsinki Exploration

 

AM: Spend your first day in Finland on a guided tour of Helsinki, the capital of the country. Visit sights including the Helsinki Cathedralthe Fortress of Suomenlinna, the Mannerheim Museum, Kamppi Chapel of Silence, Rock Church, Senate Square, and more.

PM: In the afternoon, have some free time to explore your own interests in Helsinki before a light evening practice.

(Sleep in Helsinki)

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Finnish Hockey

 

AM: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before a day of hockey practice with a local Finnish coach and your first hockey game. 

PM: After a light practice with a local coach, play game 1 against a Finnish hockey team. Enjoy dinner with the team after the game.

(Sleep in Helsinki)

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Visit the City of Turku

 

AM: In the morning, travel west to Turku, one of the most influential cities in Finland. Have a guided tour of Turku to see sights including Turku CastleTurku Cathedral, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Flowpark, the Waino Aaltonen Museum of Art, and more.

PM: Explore the city on your own for a few hours before your second game against a local team.

(Sleep in Turku)

 

Gustav's Corner: Finland Expertise

Coming soon! Blogs posted weekly.

Special thanks to and images copyrighted by ProActive Travel Group, Matti Mattila, Grzegorz Jereczek, দেবর্ষি রায়, Jaafar Alnasser, and Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho.