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July 31, 2016

Hannu Kamppuri

To put it politely the statistical record does not reflect well on Finnish goalie Hannu Kamppuri's time in the National Hockey League.

One win in 13 career games, all with the Devils of New Jersey in the 1984-85 season. Ten losses. One tie. Fifty-four goals against for a goals against average over five.

No, Hannu Kamppuri's brief tenure in the NHL was not a great one. But he was a much better goalie than those stats say.

Kamppuri spent years as the backbone of Jokerit Helsinki and then Tappara Tampere back in his native Finland. Four times he was named as the best goaltender in all of Finland, and six times he was a league all-star.

He represented his country at two World Juniors and five World Championships. He was also an unused goalie at the 1981 Canada Cup.

Unfortunately Kamppuri, and a few others, became the subject of controversy prior to the 1984 Olympics. Kamppuri was ruled to be a professional player and was ineligible to play in the Olympics in Sarajevo.

Now most of the players in European countries, including Finland, were paid professionals, but the International Olympic Committee only cracked down on players who had experience in North American professional leagues.

Kamppuri had yet to play in the NHL, but he had spent part of 1978 playing in the lowly Central Hockey League. He also got into 90 minutes of action with the WHA's Edmonton Oilers.

That was enough to prevent Kamppuri from achieving his dream of representing Finland at the Olympics.

Regardless, Hannu Kamppuri is a member of the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame.

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