Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/20/10 at 10:55 AM ET
from Steve MacFarlane of the Calgary Sun,
For Niklas Hagman, having a father who blazed a trail from Finland to the National Hockey League was motivation enough to follow in his footsteps.
Matti Hagman was the first Finnish born and trained player to make it to the NHL — playing with the Boston Bruins, Quebec Nordiques and Edmonton Oilers in the late ’70s and early ’80s — before finishing his hockey career in his homeland
Born in 1979, Niklas Hagman was too young to remember his dad’s final NHL days in Edmonton, but he grew up in locker-rooms overseas and couldn’t deny his love for the game he was raised around.
“I pretty much grew up at the rink. I was one of the little boys that are running around in the equipment room and all that stuff when there were optional skates and guys bring their kids. I was one of them when I was small,” Hagman said Sunday after stepping onto the ice for the first time at Calgary Flames training camp after missing Saturday’s session with the flu. “I knew right away that I wanted to be a hockey player. It was a huge influence.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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