Hockey season returns: meet Finland’s newest NHL star

Canadian player moves from NHL to make his Finnish debut playing for HIFK on a one year contract.

0
1122

Hockey season returns to Finland this weekend, and the professionals of Liiga take to the ice.

This year 15 teams are vying for hockey supremacy and Helsinki club HIFK have a new weapon in their arsenal, in the form of NHL star Kyle Quincey.

Quincey moves to HIFK from Minnesota Wild where he played last season, but he’s also been signed to the Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings and Colorado Avalanche.

“Everyone’s been very welcoming, very embracing, it’s very easy to fit in right away, and hit your stride” the Canadian tells News Now Finland.

Defensive player Quincey says he’s here to win games, and already noticed some major differences between hockey in North America and Finland, after HIFK played a pre-season warm-up game against a Polish team.

“It was very different. Very trapped. They didn’t pressure at all. It was amazing how much time there was out there” says Quincey.

“In North American you have zero time, it’s quick passes, quick plays, the puck’s never on your stick it’s just little chips, you skate into it. Here you possess the puck, take it back, possess it, kinda come together with speed” he explains.

At 33, Quincey’s a decade older than the youngest crop of current HIFK players. But he says that can be an advantage for him, even if he doesn’t feel so old.

“I think a lot of the guys will probably look up to me and ask me questions. I played with a lot of good players that have taught me a lot, and if I can help them, kind of give them some experience, leadership, any lessons along the way then I’m happy to pass the knowledge along” he says.

Quicey will soon be joined by his wife and child, with another baby on the way soon. He makes his Finnish hockey debut on Friday night on the road against Jyväskylä’s JYP.