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A neat coincidence

December 19, 2013

I’ve mentioned here before that I don’t often show my face in this blog, but I’ll make an exception because I have a neat story to share. Last week I had the chance to attend two SM-liiga hockey games Espoo Blues – Pori Ässät and Heksinki Jokerit – Turku TPS.

So the story starts like this: Long ago and far away I met a bunch of Finnish exchange students at university and I became pretty good friends with a few of them. Some time after they had left to go back to Finland, Jokerit came to Canada to play some exhibition games. I remember seeing the shirts with all the advertising on them and instantly wanting to have one. So I wrote a letter to my friend Tapani and asked if he could get one for me. There was a consternated reply, pointing out how expensive the shirt was 400 Finnish marks, but he sent me a shirt.

I was a little disappointed that it didn’t have any advertising on it, but it did have a number – 23. Any Jokerit fan will know that 23 equals Petri Varis, a hero of Finnish hockey. He retired in 2009 after 21 seasons of pro hockey with Jokerit and a stint with a few teams in Europe and with the Chicago Blackhawks and their farm team. He still holds the all-time scoring record for Jokerit players.

So last Friday as I was getting prepared to go to the game, I thought, “Hey, I need to pull out my shirt.” The Mr. told me that morning that Varis’ number was being retired. What great a conincidence! A friend of mine at work snapped a picture for me.


There was a short ceremony before the game to raise Varis’ number to the roof and Jokerit wore the classic purple and green jerseys for the first period. (Their current colours are blue and red). In between the second and third period, one of my friends excitedly said to me, “Gimme your beer – Petri Varis is right over there! Go and get his autograph!” So I dug through my packsack, pulled out a pen and I got him to sign my calendar. I told him the story about my shirt and he said with a smile that my shirt, had “come a long way.”

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Cool. 🙂

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 7, 2014 4:02 am

    Wow that’s really cool, what an honor to be able to wear the jersey and on the day that his number is to be retired.

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