Hello HPK fans,
Dan Spang here, just checking in to say hello, review my life transition to Finland, and evaluate our season so far. Up until now the most exciting days here in Finland are home games, our whole team and myself really enjoy playing in front of our fans. For me one of the biggest differences in playing hockey here compared to back in North America is the fan base. Having the fans on their feet most of the games and chanting in unison is very thrilling. During home games when our fans are behind us and being loud it definitely gives me some extra strength and energy. It really makes the games so fun and exciting, so definitely keep coming out and supporting us and making our arena a hard place to play for our opponents.
Moving to Finland for me has been a life changing experience, it is amazing how hard it is to accomplish the littlest of things. One of the hardest things is grocery shopping, just the other day I showed Antti Aarnio and Johan Larsson a yogurt I eat for breakfast daily, I though it was a high protein Greek yogurt I enjoy back home, apparently it was not yogurt but more of a sour cream/cottage cheese. So I’m glad I have been enjoying that the last couple months. I’m pretty sure I having been buying chicken but it wouldn’t surprise me if its been duck or fish sometimes. Another adjustment has been driving, be careful when you leave your house and I’m on the road and make sure your kids are buckled up, haha. I’m getting better, I finally know what MOST of the traffic signs stand for. Lastly my next biggest concern is getting my hair cut, let’s just hope I don’t get butchered when I give it a try.
As far as the season goes I have been very fortunate so far here with HPK to have good teammates and coaches that have helped me adjust to the different style of play here and have worked extremely hard to translate all the systems to me in English. The biggest differences in hockey for me in finland has been the larger ice surface as well as the importance of puck possession. The high tempo of the play here and large amount of skating during games has made playing in this league very exciting for me. So far this season we have some hard fought wins and we take pride in being a hard working team that makes it tough on the opposition. We as a team will continue to work hard and try to get as many wins as possible.
See you at the games,