Ilkka Antero Jouko Sinisalo (July 10, 1958 – April 5, 2017) was a Finnish professional ice hockey forward who played eleven seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Later he was a scout for the Flyers.
July 10, 1958|
|Died||April 5, 2017
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
Minnesota North Stars
Los Angeles Kings
Sinisalo was originally a junior product of HIFK. He played in the NHL from 1981–1992, scoring 204 goals and 426 points, mostly with the Flyers. Sinisalo is ranked as the all-time leading goal scorer among European Philadelphia Flyers. He is also ranked the fourth-highest Finnish goal scorer in NHL history, and he was honored by induction to the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.
When Sinisalo started his ice hockey career in the 1970s, NHL teams did not scout extensively in Finland. The first Finnish ice hockey player in NHL was Matti Hagman for the 1976–77 Boston Bruins. However, NHL scouts were so impressed by Sinisalo's talents that they made an exception by signing him as a free agent after his 1980–81 season with HIFK, where he scored 27 goals in 36 games. He signed his first NHL contract on February 17, 1981. Sinisalo started his first season with the Flyers with his first NHL goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sinisalo became the first Flyers player to score his first NHL goal on a penalty shot, and the third of five NHL players in history. During the 1984–85 season, Sinisalo scored 73 points in 70 games, with a +32 rating. The 1989–90 season was Sinisalo's last with the Flyers, after which he played one season for the Minnesota North Stars and two seasons for the Los Angeles Kings.
Career after retirementEdit
After playing his last season of professional ice hockey for Kiekko-Espoo in 1995–96 in Finland he took a job as the general manager of the club. He served as Kiekko-Espoo GM until 1998-99. He was then hired by San Jose Sharks general manager Dean Lombardi on September 12, 1998 as a European-based scout for the Sharks. In July 2004, he was back in the Flyers organization as their European scout.
Sinisalo's son Tomas is a professional ice hockey player, primarily in Finland, having attended the Flyers' training camp in 2009.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1990–91||Minnesota North Stars||NHL||46||5||12||17||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||7||0||0||0||2||2||0||1||1||0|
|1991–92||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||3||0||1||1||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|Junior int'l totals||6||1||7||8||4|
|Senior int'l totals||23||2||4||6||20|
- "SPORTS PEOPLE; Flyers Sign Sinisalo". The New York Times. 21 May 1989. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- Meltzer, Bill (October 23, 2006). "Flyers Heroes of the Past: Ilkka Sinisalo". Philadelphia Flyers. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "The Philadelphia Flyers signed left wing Ilkka Sinisalo, a..." UPI. February 17, 1981. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
- "Ilkka Sinisalo, former Philadelphia Flyers forward, dies at 58". National Hockey League. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
- "Ilkka Sinisalo on kuollut 58-vuotianna" [Ilkka Sinisalo dies at 58]. Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). 5 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.