Ice hockey | A strict message from Jukka Jalose to the League: You shouldn’t play during the Lions’ tournaments

Jukka Jalonen is fed up with the fact that the Liiga does not take a national team break.


Finland head coach of the men’s national ice hockey team Jukka Jalonen sent a stern message to the League on Saturday that the matches will be played at the same time as the Lions’ national team trip.

Today, the league does not take a national team break other than during a tournament hosted by Finland. Other tournament weeks are played, although not on the same days that Leijonat is in the rink.

When the national team players leave for Leijon at the very beginning of the week, playing can mean missing several club team games.

“All the players, coaches and fans hope that the EHT and Liiga would not be played at the same time. Hundred percent. It will be an annoying confrontation between the national team and the clubs,” said Jalonen at the national team’s press conference in Tampere.

“Let’s start criticizing Leijon for having EHT tournaments. We have no way of developing players and succeeding internationally if they are not there.”

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In Jalonen’s opinion, the Sweden tournament in February is particularly difficult, when the clubs are in a hot battle for the playoff spots.

“We know that the guy has earned a place in the national team, but can he be selected when there are tough games in the club about whether they will make it to the playoffs, when six months have already passed.”

Noble admit that the equation is not easy. For example, two teams play at the Nokia Arena in Tampere and there are other programs as well. Still, Jalonen is amazed that during the fall, teams can have weeks during which only one match is played.

According to Jalonen, the message coming from the coaches is that they would rather play more three-game weeks than take games into the national team weeks.

The players find themselves in a difficult middle hand.

“Everyone wants to come, but it still hurts to leave your own team in trouble. No one has refused yet, but it would be harder to come if you knew that no one would suffer from the fact that the team’s best player is out for two games.”

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Today in the spring, the games continue with the players wearing the Lions’ jersey only when the season of the club team is over. The first camp group of the national team meets on Easter Monday. That’s where the four-week camp begins, after which it’s time for the World Cup home games in Tampere.

In the league, the quarterfinals have time to end before the start of the camp, and the playoffs are also progressing in other top European countries. It is likely that a very experienced group will be fighting for a place in the race from the start.

Jalonen and national team GM Jere Lehtinen were recently meeting NHL players in North America. The duo met 25 Finnish players during five games. The games seen were Dallas-Arizona, Florida-Nashville, Columbus-Seattle, Philadelphia-Detroit and Montreal-Carolina.

“The interest in the national team and spring has been good and still is. There is interest and willingness to come if the health situation is in order,” Lehtinen said.

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The first round of the NHL playoffs ends well before the start of the World Cup. The regular series ends on April 13.

Among the possible candidates, the leading duo of the national team did not hesitate, but according to Jalonen, there are no absolute refusals. One traditional limiting factor holds true this year as well.

“Of the players whose contracts expire, 95 percent do not go to the games,” said Jalonen.

For Finns, the agreement ends, for example Jesse in Puljujärvi, With Matias Maccelli and Erik Haula.

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