If you have lived in Turku for a while, you will know that TPS is a regular fixture of news and small talk. Being Canadian, ice hockey is an essential element of life, and as a result I couldn’t miss the opportunity to blog about Turku’s own team, HC TPS. This does not mean, however, that I choose TPS over Tuto (Turku’s other team, in the second league). Today is HC TPS’ day!
The name ”TPS” stands for Turun Palloseura and the team has existed since 1922, although not originally as an ice hockey club. TPS was initially a football club (and is still to this day). The club started its ice hockey activities only in 1929. Somehow, the first records of TPS seasons I could find start only in 1940-41.
HC TPS has been a part of the SM-Liiga, the highest ice hockey league in Finland, since 1975. To the pride of most inhabitants of Turku, HC TPS is currently tied in the first place with Tappara for the number of championships won in SM-Liiga (the Canada Cup), with a total of 10. The team also won the championship in 1956, prior to the inception of SM-Liiga, bringing the great total to 11.
The Gatorade Center, home to HC TPS. Source
HC TPS’ majority shareholder is TPS Turku ry but also counts a number of minority owners, including some of its most famous former players. This brings us to the noteworthy alumni of the team.
HC TPS’ Famous members and alumni
This is where I might lose you if you are not such an avid ice hockey fan. Nevertheless, if you are, you will probably be interested in knowing that at least three former players from TPS have had more than noteworthy careers in the NHL. Three of them stand out: Saku and Mikko Koivu, as well as Miikka Kiprusoff. Mikko Koivu is the only one still active, since both his brother Saku and Miikka Kiprusoff have retired.
Mikko Koivu is the current captain of the Minnesota Wild in the National Hockey League, and has also been an essential element of the Finnish national team that earned a gold medal at the 2011 World Championship. His older brother Saku has also had a very successful career in the NHL with the Montreal Canadians. In addition to the career of the Koivu brothers, the importance of their father, Jukka Koivu shouldn’t be downplayed. He coached HC TPS during the seasons 2003-2005 and 2011, securing the special status of the Koivu family with HC TPS.
Miikka Kiprusoff has also known a noteworthy career in the NHL as a goaltender with the Calgary Flames.
The former NHL player Sami Salo is also currently part of the coaching staff.
But enough hockey trivia! How is HC TPS doing currently in league standings?
HC TPS is currently second in SM-Liiga, not far behind Karpat. After a few not-so-good years, this might the one where HC TPS breaks the tie with Tappara! Go tepsi!