What Happens in Helsinki – Episode 2: The Waiting…

NHL Premire In Helsinki 2010 - Minnesota Wild @ Carolina Hurricanes (TV Commercial) (via NeOnCrAzY)


As Tom Petty once said, "Odottaminen on vaikeinta."  Well, I’m not sure he ever actually said it in Finnish, but this time of year his point is certainly well taken.  The Cup has been raised, the beards (and mullets) are shaved, the ticker tape has been picked up, and now… we wait.  So what’s a Canes Hockey Fan to do to pass the time between now and our season opener in Helsinki on October 7th?  After the jump, this episode of WHIH offers a few suggestions.

1.  Pencil these dates into the old calendar.  As best as I can tell, here is a relatively complete summary of all the Canes-related events going on between now and October.  Please be advised that some of these dates are official and some (italicized) are not, they’re my speculation based on previous years’ events.  And please let me know if I missed anything!  (editing note:  edited 6/13 to lock in Fun Fest and training camp dates).



2010-2011 NHL Schedule Released


NHL Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas

06.25.10 – 06.26.10

NHL Entry Draft begins in Los Angeles


Free Agency begins

07.07.10 – 07.10.10

Prospect/Conditioning Camp at the RecZone (has not been officially announced)

07.12.10 – 07.15.10

Hurricanes Season Ticket Holders Select-A-Seat


Canes Summer Fun Fest at the RBC Center


Watch Canes players (TBD) tee off at the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic

08.23.10 – 09.15.10

Camp Brind’Amour begins at RecZone (approximate dates)

09.11.10 – 09.15.10

Rookie tournament in Traverse City, MI


Friesen 5k Fun Run


Training Camp opens


Canes exhibition game vs. SKA St. Petersburg


NHL Season Opener, Canes vs. Wild, Hartwall Arena, Helsinki


2.  Follow Finns on twitter (and perhaps even learn a little Finnish in the meantime).  Thanks to some super-sleuthing by HockeyMom and others during the IIHF World Championships, we found a few Finnish bloggers who are well worth a follow and hopefully a meet-up in Helsinki.  Check ‘em out:

@jhiitala, aka Juha Hiitelä (Tampere) – You’ve already "met" him from some of ADog’s FanPosts of his interviews with Jussi Jokinen and Oskar Osala during the Worlds, he’s a freelancer who writes about hockey and soccer and also does radio on the SBS-affiliated stations in Finland.  He’s a great source of information about the Finnish teams and players and sports culture and has been very gracious to Canes fans who are seeking information.

@tomppaaax, aka Matsku (Turku) – A "not too famous" (that's from his bio) sports writer covering hockey, football, Formula 1 racing, tennis, winter sports.  Again, very gracious with his time and Finnish sports perspective, and don’t miss his weather reports and mobile photos of sunrises and sunsets from wherever he’s reporting!

@puckarinen, aka Risto Pakarinen (Stockholm) - Finnish freelance journalist for THN and  He’s also a published author, perhaps his book, "Off the Post, Hockey Stories From Across The World", should go on our Canes Country book club summer reading list.

@Karhuherra, aka Jani Mesikämmen – His twitter bio simply reads "Will write for food. Hockey, other sports, music and media,or whatever needs to be done."  Another respected freelance journalist and blogger.  Of late his twitter claim to fame is #HockeyFinnish101, which is a simply awesome Finnish-to-English translation and hockey primer Suomi-style.  Here are a couple of examples: 

8. Syöttö, syöttää = a pass, to pass. In Finland it's relevant for a team to build minimum 3-pass "chains". Scoring is not  #HockeyFinnish101

17. Keskushyökkääjä, sentteri =center. Not to be mixed with the act of "näyttää sentteriä", which means giving the finger #HockeyFinnish101

Oh yeah, that last definition alone is worth the follow.  And while you’re at it, you should go ahead and follow the crazy cast of Canes Country tweeters too.


3.  Listen to the mellifluous voice of a favorite Finn.  During the IIHF tournament, our Tuomo was moonlighting with in-studio commentary for TV station YLE, and I came across an audio interview. Of course for me it was worth it just to listen to his voice for seven minutes (can’t you hear him smiling?), but thanks to Canes Country friend Markus Timonen, here’s a translated synopsis of his actual comments (paraphrased by Markus).

Regarding his job in YLE’s studio…

- It’s nice to have this opportunity, it’s a different challenge

- It’s sometimes difficult, especially in the first break (after 6 minutes) when you try to say something rational

- Does not believe that he would be a good (play-by-play) announcer, he is also a fan and because of that there is a lot of emotion and passion when he watches hockey, not so calm

Other comments about the international games with Team Finland…

- These games give you a good playing experience

- In the NHL every organization is careful with injuries, it is understandable because they pay your salary

- However, Carolina is really supportive in that regard as long as you are healthy

He also said that his shoulder is recovering fine and it should be okay for the NHL-season start


 4.  Follow another favorite Finn’s journey to the 2011 All-Star Game.  It was a pleasure to watch our Jussi extend his playing season during Finland’s short run in the IIHF World Championships.  Now it’s time to get down to business for next year. If you’ve already joined the "Jussi Jokinen for 2011 All-Star Game" Facebook page and *new* twitter feed, you know the campaign is in full swing and running strong.  If you haven’t joined yet, well why not?  No excuses.  This very worthy candidate must represent in January. Vote for Jussi.  Make a difference.  Make it happen.


5.  For those Helsinki bound...  There’s not a lot new to report about the actual trip itself since the last episode of WHIH, here are a few updates with more to come in future episodes throughout the summer.

We’re still holding strong at close to 300 making the trip, as far as I can tell from continued conversations with the Canes ticket office and AAA Travel. 

There have been some discussions regarding a meet-up sometime over the summer for fellow travelers to get to know each other ahead of time, no firm details yet but stay tuned as the calendar for the 2010-2011 season and training camps are published and there are some official dates to plan around.

Also, there’s been a lot of interest in additional general information regarding travel planning, especially overseas travel, for those who aren’t as seasoned as some of us road warriors.  In speaking with AAA Travel, they have been in contact with the Canes about the possibility of a pre-trip meeting.  Again, nothing firm in this regard yet but I think it is a very good possibility so stay tuned for more details as they become available!

I’m still working on the t-shirts, and could still use some extra help.  The back graphic is decided, but I do need help with a front graphic/logo.  Expect these to roll out in late summer.

Oh, and I understand tickets are still available for the games at Hartwall, if anyone is still on the fence!  Come on, you know you want to…

And don’t forget to check out our Canes in Finland Facebook page for all the latest and greatest discussions.


6,  To Russia, with love?  The NHL has now officially announced that the Hurricanes will play an exhibition game against SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL on October 4th.  St. Petersburg is only a short distance from Helsinki (300km/180 miles), but the entry visa requirements are much stricter, plus there are the issues of language barriers and (at this time) a lack of coordinated services like there are in Helsinki with AAA.  I haven’t talked to anyone that has made a definite decision to go to St. Petersburg for the game.  That all being said, a bunch of people have told me I am crazy to pass up the opportunity to visit this very historic Russian city.  Is anyone else considering it?  Or has anyone discussed with either the Canes organization or AAA about coordinating a side trip to St. Petersburg with the Helsinki trip?  I would be very interested in hearing from you if you have.  I have not, but peer pressure being what it is… let’s just say I’m very tempted.


7.  In the next episodes of WHIH, expect to learn more about the fascinating city and country that will host our season opener.  If there is anything specific you’d like me to research, let me know! 

In the meantime, just to help you get rid of the "Chelsea Dagger" earworm... this year marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most popular Finnish recordings ever, "Sandstone" by Darude.  The video features some beautiful scenery in and around Helsinki.  Once you hear the song, you’ll definitely recognize it, then you’ll curse me all afternoon as it keeps playing around in your head.



116 days.  And remember, Mitä Tapahtuu Helsingissä Jää Helsinkiin!

Hyvä Suomi!  Hyvä Canes!


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