What is a Nokelainen?

Photo: ANDRÉ PICHETTE, LA PRESSE

Photo: ANDRÉ PICHETTE, LA PRESSE

Apparently a Nokelainen is a player for the Montreal Canadiens, in case you forgot all about him. The Finnish forward has not played a single shift so far this season as he continues to nurse a back injury. The belief was that Petteri would be back by now considering GM Marc Bergevin stated when the lockout was over that Nokelainen was only a couple of weeks away from returning. Well, we are definitely further along than that and we have not really seen much of him. There have been times where he has taken to the ice and trained, and every time a reporter indicates that he is out there, I think just maybe he is on his way back. However, he will then not skate for awhile again or at least nothing is said if he has. It has to be worse than originally thought, no? Or else we would be hearing his name a lot more often.

So why even bring him back? Obviously the 6’1″ forward would add some depth to the Canadiens and Bergevin felt that Nokelainen had some sort of role within his new team. Last year, Petteri Nokelainen suited up for 51 games for the Habs where he had 3 goals, 3 assists, a -5 rating and 37PIM. You probably do not remember much of what Nokelainen did because he only averaged 8:48 TOI per game, which was only ahead of Dumont, Palushaj, Engqvist and Staubitz. However, if it is one thing you should recall, it is this absolute bomb that he let go against the Islanders, watch it here.

The Habs traded for Nokelainen early in last year’s season. They acquired Petteri along with defenceman Garrett Stafford from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Brock Trotter and a 2012 7th-round draft pick on October 23rd, 2011. Stafford was assigned to the Hamilton Bulldogs, where had a pretty good year. As for Brock Trotter, there are still a few people out there that wish he was never traded.

If Nokelainen does come back in this short year, where would you put him? or do you leave him up in the press box if/when he is absolutely needed? He can play wing or centre, and is right-handed which is not as common in the face-off dot. However, there is a logjam at that position so it is hard to believe that he would be inserted there unless absolutely necessary. I believe that if he does get cleared, he should go down to the Bulldogs for at least a conditioning stint like Ryan White did last season. At that point, the Habs can decide what to do. It is possible that they try to send him down and see if he is claimed on waivers but as we have seen already this season, Palushaj got scooped up. I think he would not be claimed as maybe he would be more of a risk to take than Palushaj was for Colorado but you never know. The good thing for the Canadiens is that he was not expensive as his cap hit is only $575, 000 and he will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The likelihood of him returning? Not good, sorry Petteri!

Photo: Sara Davis, Getty Images

Photo: Sara Davis, Getty Images

Nokelainen was a former first round pick (16th overall) for the Islanders back in 2004. It is safe to say he did not pan out the way that they were probably hoping. He played just 15 games for the team that drafted him before making his way around the league. In addition to New York, Nokelainen has appeared in games for the Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes and now, the Montreal Canadiens. In 245 NHL games in his career, Petteri has put up 41 points total.

When it comes to the international stage, Nokelainen has represented his country Finland 5 times whether it has been in the World Junior Championships or World Championships. In 2004, Finland won a Bronze medal at the Juniors and in 2011, the country won the Gold medal at the World Championships. Nokelainen was apart of both rosters.

It has been a rough ride for Nokelainen over the course of his career between injuries and switching teams, but at just the age of 27, it is safe to say that he still has a place somewhere in this league. However, it won’t be in Montreal. The Imatra, Finland native could find a home on the 4th line in another area code next year or perhaps he will ditch the NHL and head back over the pond. What the future holds for Nokelainen will remain to be seen but for now, he continues to be sidelined.

Update: March 1st – Nokelainen is back at practice

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Michael Gomez (143 Posts)

Started AATH as something fun to do, became a lot more serious right after that. You can follow me on Twitter: @Mike_Habs as well as AATH's Twitter: @AATHabs


18 Responses to What is a Nokelainen?

  1. Karl in Montreal

    This article is quite harsh, in fact it is not at all respectful. As another Habs fan posted on a Group on Facebook, I read it through to see what the commotion was and what it was saying in point. The writer has pretty poor writing skills and I think it’s as the other fan stated very rude towards his having an injury. Apparently, she has an injury like his, and also as a person who has a knee injury for many years myself and played basketball, pain of any kind or sort is not a fun way of life. I believe your writer who stated to the fan he was only joking was incredibly wrong to talk to a fan like that but also to joke about a serious matter such as injury. Whether a McDonald’s worker or Hockey Player, “A” Nokelainen is a human being and surely we could use him on the team. But for reasons quite obvious it is up to medical personnel. The article would better have read, “Whatever happened to….” and etc. Point being, be professional. I would not use his services again. I won’t be reading anything written by the guy anymore. You lost two intelligent readers tonight. Maybe more. Food for thought. I am a 55 year old man and hats off to Nokelainen and the Habs may he heal up well and be back with us sooner than later.

    • The problem I have not only with your reply but with hers on the Facebook group is that the joke of a title has nothing to do with his injury, absolutely nothing and both of you are overreacting. I would never poke fun at an injury as I have had my own. The title is a poke at the fact that I have seen multiple people forget that Nokelainen is even on the team. Sorry that you have a problem with a title and that the joke is from a number of things taken elsewhere. If you don’t want to read my articles, that’s fine. Don’t just because of a title. Overreaction, wow.

      • Karl in Montreal

        Neither of us are overreacting. Seems YOU are the one doing so, sir. It’s not because of a title. It is because of all that is stated there, as I already wrote. Even your reply is non-professional. Bon Nuit.

        • How am I overreacting? All that is stated in my piece is that he is still hurt, what he did last year, where he may fit on the team and what he has done in his career.

          I didn’t make fun of his injury. Clearly it is about the title.

        • It’s people like you that I am concerned about. The joke is in the title alone, about people forgetting him not about an injury. you sir are a FACE PALM.

    • This is a joke right? People are actually overreacting because of a title and not taking the article for what it actually is. Where does he make fun of Nokelainen’s injury? PLEASE tell me. You wasted your time commenting and if I was Mike, I would actually be glad that you as well as that other person are not going to read his work anymore because you took something out of context and decided to blow up about it.

      Many people have forgotten that the team signed him and that he is even injured. I am mind boggled by this pathetic reaction. “A Nokelainen is a human being”, yes he is and last names also have meanings as well. Could we use him? That’s your opinion. I don’t see where he fits when the team has a number of players ahead of him on the depth chart and others in Hamilton that I’d rather see get a shot.

      Anyways, good article Mike, sorry that people overreact about a God damn title. They embarrassed themselves.

    • If this isn’t an overreaction, I don’t know what is! I am not sure what is up people’s asses but clearly something that needs to be removed pronto.

      No one should be offended by the title because it isn’t offensive. The article is good as it covers a number of things that I like to see in a piece.

    • Karl: Be professional? Professionals can’t have a joke in a title?

    • First, I’d like to say well-done on the article. Obviously there has been a setback or something with his recovery from his injury. However, I do not see him with a concrete spot on the team and would find it hard for him be in the line up if guys are healthy. He would probably be sitting like Weber currently is.

      As for Karl’s statements, your misinterpretations are laughable at best. How is the article harsh and/or disrespectful? It’s stating facts that he is hurt, he should go on a conditioning stint like White did last season to get in game shape. Also the fact that the guy is likely to be scratched when healthy, it is true. He is a replaceable piece of the puzzle and that is just what type of player he has become. That’s reality.

      Now, your problem with the title. Get over it, there is nothing wrong with it and it is humorous, pointing at people not remembering the guy. There is nothing here that states that the author is poking fun at Nokelainen’s injury. You as well as that other person you are referring to, made that up completely. Searching for something that wasn’t there to make a false argument. Quite sad actually.

      I don’t see how he lost two intelligent readers when you both clearly missed the whole purpose of the post in the first place.

      Good riddance.

  2. To Karl in Montreal,

    I guess that you, too, can not read and understand what it is being said.

    Where does the writer disrespect Petteri? He is just stating the facts.
    But you and her remind me of a quote from Thomas Hobbes (that’s if you know who he is, I hope…) “All generous minds have a horror of what are commonly called “Facts”. They are the brute beasts of the intellectual domain”

    Probably you two don’t have generous minds though…

    Lack of critical thinking is probably in play.

  3. Theeeeeeeeeeeee butthuuuuurtttttttttttttttt and stuuuuuuuuuuupidity festivaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal in hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee todaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.

    • WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! There is no stupidity here, clearly this article makes fun at a serious injury! Jokes. Be professional everyone, no one is allowed to laugh.

  4. Caleb… I’m talking about Karl.

  5. woops, see, I’m clearly affected by the stupidity of the girl on fb and Karl here. Sorry Caleb, you’re cool. At least you understood what is said in the article hehehehe

  6. Did you do any research into his injury or the setbacks he’s experienced before writing this “article”?

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