27.05.2019 10:22

From the country of the new worldchampion, TPS, a top-notch Finnish club joins the 93rd Spengler Cup in Davos.

 

Mikko and Saku Koivu, Miikka Kiprusoff, Petteri Nummelin, Antero Niittymäki or Hannu Virta – are just a few of the big names who have left their mark on world ice hockey and originated from Turun Palloseura, TPS for short. The club is based in the city of Turku located on the southwest coast of Finland. TPS represents top-notch Scandinavian ice hockey as no other Finnish ice hockey club can. A high level of quality and a perfectly organized execution is an integral part of the basic training in the club’s youth program; regularly resulting in players who are a worldwide sensation.

At the most recent World Championships in Slovakia, the ice hockey world spoke of the next super star from TPS, Kaapo Kakko. The 18-year old may be one of the first chosen at the upcoming NLH draft in June. In addition, many voices could be heard claiming Kaapo Kakko to be the best ice hockey player of his age group.

It is no coincidence that so many big names come from this Finnish traditional club. Ice hockey is considered the most popular sport in Finland. In this Scandinavian country, 1.2% of the total population plays ice hockey. Canada is the only country to have a higher percentage - 1.76 (Switzerland 0.35%). Finland has always been one of the great ice hockey nations. 3x gold, 5x silver, 3x bronze at World Championships; 2x silver and 2x bronze at Olympic Games speak for themselves.

TPS was founded in 1922 under the name Turun Palloseura and was originally purely a soccer club. However, in 1929 ice hockey was added to the club. Since then, Turku has been able to celebrate the Finnish Championship title 10 times. Last season TPS failed in the qualifying round against the subsequent champion Hämeenlinna resulting in a good 4th place.

It will be TPS’ third time participating in the Davos Spengler Cup. Under the guidance of the presently reigning champion SCB coach Kari Jalonen, the Finns participated in the traditional tournament in 2001 and 2002. At that time, TPS players such as Marko Kiprusoff, Mika Alatalo and Kimo Rintanen faced Mike Maneluk (Canada), Lonny Bohonos (HCD) and Dennis Seidenberg (Mannheim). The present Spengler Cup President Marc Gianola, the Sports Director for Lausanne HC Jan Alston and Neo Sports Director of Swiss Ice Hockey Lars Weibel were active players at those tournaments. But that was a long time ago and it is time for TPS Turku to write a new chapter at the Spengler Cup in Davos