The Lahti Pelicans are garnering a lot of attention these days with their stellar season start. They came out of the gate swinging high this year and finally, The Chicago of Finland team stopped shadowing the results of their sister city's Blackhawks and put up the results the City desperately needs.
It is still early in the season, the wind could start blowing in any other direction any game now, but they are worth mentioning at this stage, in this blog, as well as on Nhl.com it seems. The NHL has vowed to increase its presence in Europe and they are doing so by showcasing a feature called Across the Pond on their website's main page. You don't learn much more there than you would by surfing the hockeydb.com site or deciphering sm-liiga.fi with very low Finnish comprehension but hockey instincts on and odds are M. Meltzer wrote that column from the comfort of his West Chester, PA, home, far away from Vesijärvi (what an original name!). Then again, you don't learn much more on this blog than you would googling for barnyard pornography, so M. Meltzer, hats off to you, nice to see that someone is paying attention, shedding some light on this country as the sun is withdrawing on us, a little further day by day. One question though, why is your one website coattail riding on Mikael Renberg's fame?
One NHL/SM-Liiga related mystery that remains unsolved to me - and most others who have nothing better to do - is the brief stint of Sean Avery in Lahti. During the lockout, he lined up with the Pelicans for 2 games, 3 goals scored, these are the recorded facts. It would make you believe the man was here for a walk in the park and would have stayed around to boost his rather low stocks (at the moment) anchoring the low expectations Pelicans attack and adding a few scraps with the SM-Liiga's best and brightest, namely Shelley and Westcott with Jyp and that Ogre, Pauli Levokari then with Ässät (here is some rare footage of Levokari playing with his son).
But after these two outings, the man disappeared, left without a trace. Breach of contract, never to be seen again. He resurfaced a while later in the USHL but in the meantime, the portrait is shady. Uninformed sources rumour that he has mingled with the wrong crowd, Laotians posing as Thaï masseuses, Kazakh mobsters or long-legged Karelians from the wrong side of the border, who carry lipstick and shaving cream in their hand purse.
Chances are he simply couldn't bear the prospect of a winter in Lahti. I spent, sorry sacrified, 2 of my winters to this god forsaken town and if I had had his options, believe me, I would have fled like Frank Morris. But I would like to have some light shone on this episode. If anyone has more info, please enlighten us (as well as our 3 readers). Please!