Sunday, September 2, 2007
JyPee kay yay
Two big stories in the past week. The first is Jere Karalahti, who has left HIFK to sign for Kärpät. Apparently he had missed a lot of training over the summer and HIFK coach Paul Baxter got rid. They announced that he 'wouldn't play for HIFK next season, despite having 1 year left on his contract', and that HIFK 'would not stand in his way if he wanted to find a new club'. Here he is, looking suitably pensive.
He is not allowed to drink, or he gets sacked. He is not allowed to take drugs, or he gets sacked. He has to attend the NHL's substance abuse programme, or he gets sacked. We'll see how this one pans out.
JyP also signed Jarkko Immonen, and have more than doubled their budget from last season. They were woeful in 2006-07, and after a 6-0 loss to Ilves at Hakametsä in January they pretty much surrendered.
They have a new coach and have re-signed a lot of the players that gave them a decent 2005-06, so big things are expected. If they don't deliver the club may be in financial trouble. They have one of the worst rinks in the league, with few revenue generating possibilities and antiquated facilities - they even had to pospone a game against Jokerit last year after a pipe burst and flooded the rink.
Despite this, they are able to sign big players because, well, Finnish guys like living in Finland. They are a group of mates who were successful last time they played in Jyväskylä, so it's not such a big risk.