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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Lost Rookies: 1985-86 OPC Hannu Kamppuri

  Hannu Kappuri  was one of the best goalies in Finland during the 1980s but his two attempts in North American were both dismal failures.
  Hannu played briefly in the WHA.  He played in two games for the Edmonton Oilers in 1978-79, the final season of the WHA. He spent the majority of that season playing in the minors, the CHL.  In his two WHA games, he played a total of 90 minutes and allowed 10 goals.  Yikes!  He was part of the Oilers NHL roster prior to the 1979-80 training camp but it appears he never made it to camp.  Instead he went back to Finland.
  Hannu helped backstop Tappara Tampere to two Finish league titles, in 1982 and 1984.  He was expected to be the starter for Team Finland in the 1984 Olympics but in October of 1983, he was told by the Olympic committee that he was ineligible.  Since Hannu played in the WHA and CHL in 1978-79, he was thus classified as a professional and not an amateur.  However just prior to the Olympics beginning, the committee announced that only the NHL would be considered for professional status.  Then later also claimed they never told Hannu he was ineligible.  Which backfired after a copy of the original letter of ineligibility was produce.  1988 was the first Olympics professionals from the NHL were allowed to compete.  Hannu never did play in the Olympics.
  Hannu took his game back to North America for the 1984-85 season.  He may have regretted doing so.  He signed on with the New Jersey Devils.  He lost his first four starts, giving up 23 goals combined.  On January 12, 1985, Kamppuri won his first NHL game and also recorded his first assist in a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals.  The assist and win were the first and last of Kamppuri's brief NHL career.  He finished the season 1-10-1, .845 and 5.11.  He returned to Finland the next season.
  Kampurri played professionally in Finland until the 1990-91 season.  He was inducted in the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998.  Obviously, his play did not inspire OPC, but his name did inspire me. I wasn't sure how to handle Kamppuri's time in Finland.  I was tempted just to list two seasons without recognizing the gap but decided to go with the Played in Finland instead.

1985-86 OPC #279 Hannu Kamppuri (RC)

1985-86 OPC #279 Hannu Kampurri (RC)

1 comment:

  1. This is the first time I've heard of Mr. Kampurri. Thanks for adding so much information! Nice image on the card, too. I like the fact that he's wearing leg pads from a previous team.