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Blues Espoo
City: Espoo, Finland
League: SM-Liiga
Founded: 1984
Home Arena: Barona Areena (7,036 places)
Colors: Dark blue, white and yellow
              
General Manager: Flag of Finland Jussi Salonoja
Head Coach: Flag of Finland Petri Matikainen
Captain: Flag of Finland Toni Kähkönen
Media: Länsiväylä
Affiliates: Kiekko-Vantaa (Mestis)
Franchise history
1984 - 1999: Kiekko-Espoo
1999 - present: Blues
Championships
Playoff Championships: 2008

The Blues Espoo (founded as Kiekko-Espoo in February 1984 in Espoo, Finland) are a professional ice hockey of the SM-liiga. They play their home games at the Barona Areena. The club also has a women's team.

Contents

History

The club began playing in the II.Divisioona in 1984-85. They achieved promotion to the I.Divisioona in 1988; they reached the SM-Liiga four years later, in 1992, after defeating Joensuun Kiekkopojat 3 wins against 2 in a best-of-five series. They have never been relegated ever since. Espoo finished 11th out of 12 in its first two seasons in the SM-Liiga. They waited until 1994-95 to reach the playoffs, losing to Lukko Rauma in the quarter-finals.

In 1997-98, Espoo created a big surprise by upsetting regular season winners TPS Turku in the playoffs. For all of that time known as Kiekko-Espoo, the team was renamed "Blues" in the summer of 1998 after the colour of their jersey.

In 1998-99, with a new name and a new home (the LänsiAuto Areena), the Blues' roster featured many new names, and big ones at that; the team nevertheless had a hard time in their first few seasons at the LänsiAuto Areena.

2003-04 was the Blues' best season to date, with a fourth-place regular season finish in the league. The team however fell in the playoffs to the eventual champions, Tappara Tampere, in overtime in the seventh quarter-finals game.

Things began looking increasingly brighter for Espoo in 2006-07 when the team reached its first semi-finals for the first time in nine years. Kärpät Oulu however swept them in three games; HPK Hämeenlinna beat them in the bronze medal match. In 2007-08, the Blues established a new team record by winning 12 games in a row. They went on to finish second in the league and defeated HIFK in the quarter-finals and Jokerit in the semi-finals, reaching for the first time the SM-Liiga finals and clinching their first medal in the league of their history. They, however, had to settle for silver as Kärpät once again was in their way.

Achievements

Men

  • SM-silver: (1) 2008.
  • Aaro Kivilinna Memorial Trophy: (2) 2007 and 2009.

Women

  • SM-championship: (9) 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
  • SM-bronze: (1) 2006.
  • European Women Champions Cup second place: (2) 2005-06 and 2007-08.

Season by season record

ALL-TIME STANDINGS

Season League GP W L T OTW OTL PTS GF GA +/- Finish
1984-85 II.Divisioona
1985-86 II.Divisioona
1986-87 II.Divisioona
1987-88 II.Divisioona
1988-89 I.Divisioona
1989-90 I.Divisioona
1990-91 I.Divisioona
1991-92 I.Divisioona
1992-93 SM-Liiga 48 12 29 7 - - 31 122 194 -72 11th
1993-94 SM-Liiga 48 13 30 5 - - 31 138 197 -59 11th
1994-95 SM-Liiga 50 20 26 4 - - 44 154 169 -15 7th
1995-96 SM-Liiga 50 18 26 6 - - 42 131 164 -33 9th
1996-97 SM-Liiga 50 21 20 9 - - 51 154 163 -9 6th
1997-98 SM-Liiga 48 20 22 6 - - 46 153 139 +14 8th
1998-99 SM-Liiga 54  21 26 7 - - 4 146 183 -37  7th
1999-00 SM-Liiga 54 19  25 10 - - 48 163  165 -2 7th
2000-01 SM-Liiga 56 22  26 8 - - 52 154 152 +2 9th
2001-02 SM-Liiga 56  25 24 7 1 1 58 156 171 -15 8th
2002-03 SM-Liiga 56 27  19 10 2 4 68 166 145 +21 4th
2003-04 SM-Liiga 56 23 26 7 5 3 56 134 139 -5 9th
2004-05 SM-Liiga 56 15  30 0 5 6 61 139 159 -20 11th
2005-06 SM-Liiga 56 23  22 0 4 7 84 152  135 +17 8th
2006-07 SM-Liiga 56  24  17 0 5 10 92 156 135 +21 5th
2007-08 SM-Liiga 56 33 12 0 5 6 115 165 114  +51  2nd
2008-09 SM-Liiga 58 28 12 18 159 135 100 +35 2nd

Captains

  • Jan Långbacka 1992-94
  • Hannu Järvenpää 1994
  • Peter Ahola 1994-95
  • Jarmo Muukkonen 1995-96
  • Teemu Sillanpää 1996-97
  • Juha Ikonen 1997-99
  • Peter Ahola 1999-2001
  • Valeri Krykov 2001-02
  • Juha Ylönen 2002-03
  • Rami Alanko 2003-05
  • Timo Hirvonen 2005-2005, resigned in November 2005.
  • Markku Hurme 2005-2006 , replaced Timo Hirvonen following his resignation.
  • Joakim Eriksson (2006)
  • Markku Hurme, Ville Viitaluoma, Erkki Rajamäki, Kent Manderville (2006-07, rotating captaincy)
  • Rami Alanko (2007-2009)
  • Toni Kähkönen (2009-present)

Blues Greats

Active players

Ryan Keller in the Blues uniform

Retired legends

  • Flag of Finland Joonas Jääskeläinen
  • Flag of the Czech Republic Tomáš Kapusta
  • Flag of Finland Petro Koivunen
  • Flag of Finland Arto Kuki
  • Flag of Finland Ismo Kuoppala
  • Flag of Finland Valeri Krykov
  • Flag of Finland Tero Lehterä
  • Flag of Finland Jan Långbacka
  • Flag of Canada Kent Manderville

Head coaches

  • Martti Merra (1992-94, replaced in January)
  • Hannu Saintula (1994, mid-season replacement)
  • Harri Rindell (1994-96)
  • Håkan Nygren (1996-98, replaced in February)
  • Hannu Saintula (1998, mid-season replacement)
  • Pekka Rautakallio (1998, replaced in November)
  • Hannu Saintula (1998-99, mid-season replacement)
  • Jukka Holtari (1999-2000, replaced in January)
  • Jari Härkälä (2000, mid-season replacement)
  • Timo Tuomi (2000-01, replaced in September of second season)
  • Hannu Kapanen (2001-03, mid-season replacement, continued in the next season)
  • Ted Sator (2003, replaced in October)
  • Hannu Virta (2003-04, mid-season replacement, replaced in the October of second season)
  • Pekka Rautakallio (2004-05)
  • Kari Heikkilä (2005-07)
  • Petri Matikainen (2007 to date)

Blues women

The Espoo Blues club also has a women's team. They finished third at the 2008-09 European Women Champions Cup after having won the Women's SM-Liiga the previous season. The team is actually one of the dominating force of Finnish women's hockey, having won every championship since 1999, except 2006, which went to Ilves Tampere. That one season, the Blues earned the league bronze medal.

External links

  • Official Blues website (in Finnish)


Ice hockey in Finland
SM-liiga         Blues EspooHIFK HelsinkiHPK HämeenlinnaIlves TampereJokerit HelsinkiJYP JyväskyläKalPa KuopioKärpät OuluLukko RaumaPelicans LahtiSaiPa LappeenrantaTappara TampereTPS TurkuÄssät Pori
Mestis         D-Kiekko JyväskyläHeKi HeinolaHokki KajaaniJokipojat JoensuuJukurit MikkeliKiekko-VantaaKooKoo KouvolaLeKi LempääläSaPKo SavonlinnaSport VaasaTitaanit KotkaTuTo Turku
Suomi-sarjaII.DivisioonaIII.Divisioona
Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame
Suomen Jääkiekkoliitto
Men's Finnish National TeamWomen's Finnish National Team
This article is part of the Finnish hockey portal

This article uses material from the "Blues Espoo" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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