The Finnish invasion looks pleasant. - Clive Rose
Hockey Wilderness becomes SB Nation NHL's first tri-lingual site.
Recently, we noticed a bit of a trend forming in the site's traffic patterns. Not only were Minnesotans and other North American NHL fans coming to Hockey Wilderness, but also fans in Finland. This wasn't overly surprising, what with Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, and Mikael Granlund on the roster. In the process of reaching out to find a writer to embrace these new found readers, we learned that not only do our Finnish friends want to read about the trio, but about the team as a whole.
In our search to add a Finnish language writer, we were lucky enough to have Juuso Sainio accept the offer to join Hockey Wilderness. Juuso will be writing in both English and Finnish, and maybe translating some articles into Finnish. How it all shakes out is not yet a complete plan, but he will offer a unique perspective in whatever way he can.
Please great Juuso in the best way you can.
Allow him to introduce himself:
I'll be writing about, well, anything and everything Wild. I started following the Wild during the 02-03 season, that was the first time we had this satellite system available in our house and I could watch NHL. They used to show basically one game every night and I just liked the Wild immediately when I saw them play. They were labelled as these hard-working underdogs and they just battled for every inch of ice. Then when you add a super talented guy like Gaborik and Wes Walz as the heart and soul of that team, I was completely sold. The play-off run was unreal. I missed the first 6 games of the Colorado series because they weren't on the channels we had available at our house, so I had to check the scores in the morning, which was absolute hell because I was so nervous I could barely sleep at the game nights. Then Game 7 arrived and ohhhh boy was I excited. The excitement turned in to total fear when the game wen to OT. I couldn't sit still, but when Bruno scored that goal, oh man, the best feeling I've probably ever had watching a hockey game. The series against Vancouver was awesome as well, but that Colorado series is still my favorite one.
But yeah, that's why I like the Wild. I was quite happy when they drafted Koivu because I always liked him when he played for TPS here in Finland. Also, I was a huge fan of Saku so that all went quite nice for my liking. But after that I wasn't that happy when they got Miettinen, Nummelin etc.. The local media here started to turn their attention towards the Wild a bit more and naturally, everyone thinks to this day that I started following the Wild just because Mikko plays there. Infuriating stuff. I'm still not a huge fan of Granlund. Not as a player and not as a draft pick. Also, this has brought along tons of "fans" around here that follow the Wild just because of him. Nothing wrong about that, nothing at all, but when I'm being labelled the same as "everyone else", that kinda bugs me. Those are the times when I throw names like Dieter Kochan (played ONE game, let in 5 goals) around, just to mess with everyone. "Yah, I followed the Wild when they had that sad excuse for a goalie, Kochan, between the pipes. Ohhhh those were the days."
But yeah, that's the quick story about how I started to like the Wild. I fill the rest of my free time by writing for the biggest hockey website in Finland (jatkoaika.com), and for a couple of other sites I write about basketball and I coach some kids that sport as well. The dream is to become a real-life journalist who gets paid to do this, but until that happens I'm just happy to write when ever and where ever I get the chance. I'm _probably_ going to a school this coming fall that should open up a few doors for me to pursue that journalist thing.
Welcome, Juuso. The entire staff, and community, thank you for joining up.
Please watch Jääkiekon Erämaa for Juuso's Finnish work, and the front page for everything else.