So, Janne Pesonen signed for HIFK after all. Another player being linked with the club is the currently unemployed (in ice hockey terms, that is) and recuperating from a troublesome back injury, ex-slaughterhouse into night club owner, Janne Niinimaa. Rumours even went so far as that HIFK would sign a contract with him this week, though in an interview with Iltalehti newspaper, HIFK boss Tom Nybondas replied that that was not in the plans. Whether that amounts to a denial or is careful wording remains to be seen, but HIFK are believed to be looking actively for defensive reinforcements.
Needless to say, this then fuelled speculation that Niinimaa might sign for Kärpät. He’s from very near Oulu and said night club is in the city and we are running a spate of injuries to defenders at the moment, so there’s no shortage of partisan logic. Oscar Eklund is out for a month or so with knee ligament damage, and injuries to Mikko Lehtonen and Ville Mäntymaa necessitated call-ups to 17 year old Ville Pokka and just turned 21 year old Mikko Niemelä. The former is so young he’s actually spent less time in Finland than I have. That apart, youth and inexperience prevented neither man from acquitting himself well, though it’s still none too challenging to comprehend why someone of Niinimaa’s experience might be under consideration.