Today we give birth to a new column of our website that we decided to name “Where are they now?”. We want to find out where they are, and what they do, the players who – one way or another – wrote a page or more of our National League.
We will not update this column on a regular basis, but we will take inspiration at random.
For a start, we decided to talk about one of the most spectacular import-players who ever played in Switzerland. The former Davos and Lugano Petteri Nummelin!
Petteri was pure class, an offensive defenseman who gifted the fans with moments of showstopper magic hockey. He was a defenseman who made his debut as a professional during the 1992-93 season with TPS Turku (Finland) back then coached by the Russian legend, and former Kloten coach Vladimir Yurzinov. As a fun fact, that season Petter played alongside a forward named Kari Jalonen who is currently the head coach of Bern!
Anyway, he started his career playing few years in Finland and Sweden. After that, in 1997, he transferred to Switzerland and joined Davos where he was immediately appointed the team’s captain. He stayed three years in the Canton of Graubünden – where he helped the team win the silver medal the first season – and then he moved slightly south-west… and more precisely, he moved to Lugano.
It’s safe to say that it’s been a great love story with the Bianconeri, a love story that lasted between 2001 and 2013 with a “break” of two seasons, when Petteri made his dream come true and played in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild.
In Tessin, Petteri helped the team win two titles. He became an idol and all the fans still remember his impressive performances. He may be not huge in size, but he was a magician with the stick.
It’s true that you can’t win the title with 10 Petteri Nummelin in your team. But it’s also true that your chances to win the title increase considerably if you can count on one Nummelin!
Petteri Nummelin collected a total of 568 appearances in Switzerland with Davos and Lugano tallying 622 points. These are staggering numbers for a defenseman.
He left our country in 2013, when he was loaned out for few games to “his” TPS Turku. And then?
And then he continued to play until 2018, when he was 45 years old!
Firstly, he spent three seasons – between 2013 and 2016 – in Finland, where he played for Lukko and TPS Turku, collecting 95 appearances and tallying 64 points. Then, he played part of the 2016-17 season in Norway, where he wore the jersey of Storhamar. Finally, he tried a very particular adventure, as he transferred to Japan where he played the 2017-18 season with the NIkko Icebucks.
Did he hang up his stakes at that point? Not really. Because, during the 2018-19 season, he played two more games (4 points) with the PKS (IV-divisioona) in Finland, right on time to collect an appearance with his father Timo who, at the age of 70, came back to play an exhibition 4 vs 4 charity game!
AND NOW… WHERE HE IS AND AND WHAT HE’S DOING?
ASSISTANT COACH IN NORWAY
And now, Petteri Nummelin has just started the second part of his career. Starting from this season in fact, he’s Miika Elomo’s assistant coach in Norway (Storhamar), where – as a fun fact – he’s also the coach of the former Lugano and Zürich Patrick Thoresen.
Storhamar are currently third placed in the GET-Ligaen with 34 points in 18 games. And, as an interesting fact, the team has the best power-play efficiency of the league (27.1%). We wouldn’t be surprised if the former Davos and Lugano plays a key role for that. Petteri was a power-play master as a player, after all!
Next step? Who knows? We wish him all the best and we thank him for all the moments of magic hockey he’s been gifting us with in Switzerland. One day or another, perhaps we’ll see him back at our latitudes. Probably, and we underline probably, because with Nummy you just never know… ( 🙂 ), as the coach of a club!
Petteri Nummelin’s goals scored in Japan
Tribute Petteri Nummelin
Nummelin… father and son!
Nummelin… in Norway 🙂