I’d like to thank everyone in Hämeenlinna for their support throughout the last couple months. Everyone welcomed me to the city and the team with open arms. For everyone who tweeted me the last few days, I appreciate it, unfortunately I’m still unable to read Finnish! Unless you are saying ‘Good Morning’ or counting to six, I have no idea what you are talking about. My dressing room translators were Sweet Luo (Luomala) and Killer (Kiilholma). I’m very thankful they were always willing to help me out. They don’t travel with me however so I’ve been able to have a few adventures.
On one of our days off the Spang’s along with my wife and I took a trip to Helsinki. We parked underground and headed out to tour the city and shop downtown. The next day after we had seen it all it was time to head back. I started driving out of the underground parkade, but after a while we realized we were driving further and further underground. After driving for about 15 minutes and not seeing another vehicle we started to panic a bit. To add insult to injury I happened to be going a little over the speed limit which resulted in a speeding ticket. Talk about going nowhere fast. After trying what seemed like every exit we turned around and some how made our way out. If only my translators were there to tell me the Finnish word exit!
Although I don’t know a lot of Finnish, it didn’t keep me listening to the radio on my drives. There is no country music whatsoever on the radio so I listened to whatever was on. My favorite song is Frankenstein by Chisu. In my mind I imagine it’s the Finnish version of ‘Call Me Maybe’, although I have no idea what she’s singing about.
One of my highlights every week was Sunday night football. We had a get together with a group of guys every Sunday night to watch our favorite football teams play. The time change made this quite difficult but we were always able to watch 1 game per week.
We were usually not cheering for the same teams so it makes for a lot of trash talking!
Simply put, I enjoyed everyday I had in Finland. I want to thank the players, coaches, trainers, management, office staff and everyone else who helped me with my transition to HPK! Everyone made the move to another country feel real easy. The team has a great group of guys and made life at the rink a lot of fun!
Best of luck for the remainder of the year!