Rangers sign Heikkinen


No. Not Heineken.

I have no idea if this is big news or not. Probably not. Here’s the release from the Rangers:


            New York, May 20, 2009 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Ilkka Heikkinen.

Heikkinen, 24, skated in 54 games with HIFK Helsinki of the SM-liiga this past season, registering eight goals and 26 assists for 34 points, along with 22 penalty minutes.  His 34 points ranked third among all SM-liiga defensemen.  He led all HIFK defensemen in goals (eight), assists (26) and points, while finishing second on the team overall in assists, fourth in points and seventh in goals.  The Rauma, Finland native recorded two, six-game scoring streaks – November 13 at Tappara to November 25 at Espoo (two goals and five assists) and January 15 vs. Kärpät to January 26 at Kärpät (two goals and six assists) – and posted five multi-point performances, including two, three-point efforts – January 15 vs. Kärpät (one goal and two assists) and February 14 at Lukko (one goal and two assists).  In addition, he recorded one assist in two postseason contests with HIFK.

The 6-2, 200-pounder has appeared in 283 career SM-liiga games with Lukko Rauma and HIFK Helsinki, collecting 31 goals and 82 assists for 113 points, along with 255 penalty minutes.  In 2007-08, Heikkinen established career-highs in goals (11), points (37) and penalty minutes (96), while his 26 assists led all HIFK skaters.  In addition, he has appeared in 21 career SM-liiga playoff games with Lukko and HIFK, registering three assists and six penalty minutes.

About Author


  1. The Rangers did this last year with their official statements of signing Andreas Jamtin (the next Sean Avery), etc. I’m still waiting for the statement of Glen Sather moving up and a new GM being hired.

  2. Thank you. I thought you might like that.

    By the way, I met somebody who works for Heineken recently. I told her that commercial is one of my top-five all-time.

  3. hey im the one who first said heineken. carp stole my idea! lol. j/k carp.

    linda- drury also stated he really wanted to play for ny, so imo because a certain player wants to play here doent make them a better player, but i get what youre saying. kovalchuk will not be traded anyway unless they get another star player in return. hes the only reason they arent 0-82 every year and the main reason they are still in atlanta. somebody already said that in the last post, but its been known for awhile now that the only way he gets traded is if a player thats already a proven star is coming back. not staal, not callahan, not anyone except maybe hank, and all our good prospects

    cccp- no i got s3xbox thats it. my buddy whos in the military is stationed in spain and he keeps tellin me to get a ps3 too. i would but all my other friends have 360, so were all tryin to get him to buy a xbox. one thing i am considering is that he says the online is free, but ive heard from the manager at my local gamestop that the ps online isnt as good, so idk. yet. plusisnt it still like 500 bucks? even 400 is too much for me man. got child support dude!! it sucks!!

  4. carp- i answered my own question from last night. i watched reservoir dogs again, listened to the radio dj(super sounds of the 70’s) and waited for the credits, and sure enough steven wright was the voice for the guy

  5. lol that dumbass matt iseman from sports soup last night was talkin about the playoffs and said the detroit wed wings. they should have a show dedicated to makin fun of him.

  6. lol mike… Xbox geek! online for PS3 is great and free. Whoever the dude that told you ps online isn’t good is obvious Xbox owner…lol

  7. yea cccp- he is, but he owns both. he owns the wii also. he is a big nerd, but hes usually “spot on, bang on” when it comes to which games are good to buy. ive owned nhl 09 since the day it came out, and 08, and 07, and im just starting to master the skill stick. lol, now they got a defensive skill stick. im used to a for pass, b for shoot, x for wrist shot, and y to check. thats it!! too many damn buttons man/ i get my ass handed to me on a daily basis when i play online.

  8. PS3 online is decent. The good thing is it’s free, the bad thing is the fuggin lagging. It’s so god damn annoying !

    Anyway, im on a 9 game winning streak in the online shootout on NHL 09. When i got the 80’s Transformers Movie soundtrack blasting, im almost unbeatable.

  9. Wabbit Season ! Duck Season ! Wed Wing Season… Pwayoff season ! Elmer Season ????

    Speaking of beer. I went to the Coors brewery in Denver and was surprised that the beer they make there locally is actually very good. But for some reason we get the crappier product sent out here. I forgot why.

    Rangers/Isles 2/4/81


  10. hey for awhile all they sold here in iowa was coors, bud, miller, steel reserve and oh yea, old faithful, natty ice. now they built a big ass supermarket with a huge section devoted to all the beer, wine, spirits, what have you, in the back of the place. they got like 50 different beer brands, every liqour brand, even absinthe. i bought me my favorite. a big bottle of grand marnier. no more watered down bud light for me!!

  11. Hey ORR what is your ps3 name? We should play against each other…ill give you few lessons. :)

    Look me up


    I am not a big beer guy, but here in Brooklyn on avenue X and east 3rd I think, someone I know opened up a Draft Barn. This guy got like over 200 different beer selections… including some fancy beer for $400 a glass! Never had it… and he never offered it to try for free. lol
    Some of my friends wanted to cheap in to get a glass to taste that beer, i said hell no…im not paying more than $10 for any glass of beer!

    I miss Rangers.

  12. cccp- sniffle…i miss rangers too. whimper.. I HATE YOU GLEN!!! sniffles again

  13. im not a beer guy either. i used to have a few when we would grill outside, but then i would drink too many and then eat, get bloated,pass out, wake up thirsty, tired and feelin like a wet bag of sh!t. no sir, now i have a brew every once in awhile when i go fishin. on shore!! last time i got hammered fishin on a boat, i tipped the thing over and fell in, somehow floated to shore half conscious. my 2 buddies were in the middle of beating the crap out of each other for no reason. they stopped fighting, when they heard the splash, then pulled me out as i was burping up suds and pond scum. ahhh the teenage years. good times

  14. so colin, were there other teams after this guy or what? if hes as good as you say he is, im sure other teams were interested. i wonder how he does in the nhl. some guys dont do well when they come over. what a name too. id love to hear gary thorne butcher it in the next nhl game

  15. that and im pretty positive he doesnt speak english.

    he does however look ready for life in new york, hahaha

  16. i dunno if he was being scouted by anyone else. i know its a little slower of a league and the ice is bigger but he definitely stands out from the rest of his team.

    him and gilroy were just playing against kids. thats why they dominated. if they fail here its short term but im extremely psyched hes comin over.

    everything is positive hes big, he doesnt shoot right away he finds the seam, his shots get thru, he can score, skate, pass.

    i totally understand that its a different league but i feel the new rules help a guy like this.

  17. let me rephrase that im on my phone
    him and gilroy didnt have to stick around last year but they did and the dominated.
    and this is for sure their next step.

  18. Judging by his facebook pic he should have signed in Dallas or Nashville shouldn’t he?

    Might be a good signing if he can make the leap to the NHL, his shot looked good on the clip i saw.

    So on D we now have:
    Redden, Roszival, Girardi, Staal, Gilroy, Sauer, Potter, Sanguinetti, Del Z, Heikkinen all signed up and the possibility of Mara or Morris returning.

    Does the signing of guys like Gilroy and Heikkinen mean that the brass don’t have confidence in the current young crop of d-men at Hartford?

  19. I just read quite a decent story about him from a guy with a lot of knowledge about the Finnish hockey league. He said Heikkinen could be a success for the Rangers, because he has a huge wrister, not afraid to shoot, he is not scared to get physical and drop the gloves and although he has some nervous and dangerous moments sometimes, he has good vision and is offense-minded in a positive way. He might fit well on the PP.

    The fact that he was enthusiastic about this signing, makes me happy too. I think our camp is going to be amazing and great to watch, with a lot of youngsters most likely looking to fill up atleast 4 or 5 spots on team and than we can even save up cap space and sing that big scorer we need. Including taking either Antropov or Zherdev back.

    And wow, my first post on this blog after reading it for years. Carp, keep up the great work! Greetins from The Netherlands. Yes, I live in Europe. ;)

  20. O.K. Glen here’s the plan, let’s put IIlknenenenenenenenen on a line with Redden tomorrow night and see what happens. Oh crap, I forgot that the playoffs are over.

  21. I think Rozy will be gone now. They have a glut on D, and he might be able to be moved for cap space. BTW, CCCP, you are in my old stomping grounds. I grew up at E. 7th and Ave. Z. Haven’t lived there since I was 20 in 1980 though and haven’t been back in probably 5 years.

  22. colin- yea i was just about to say that the guy might not be adjusted to the physicality of the nhl and the pressure of facing much better offensive guys on a daily basis. i hope he does good. 8 goals in that league probably means 5 or 6 in the nhl. if thats the case, why bother, but if hes good enough, he’ll make the lineup. i think he’ll be in hartford though honestly. i mean, we have guys in hartford that truly deserve a chance over him. he hasnt proven anything yet, at least to us anyway. i think they like his offense, but if he cant play d against much better players than hes not gonna make it. look at sanguinetti. he can shoot too, but his d needs work. i actually think the new rules make it harder to defend nowadays, not help the d. i havent seen him play yet, so i cant make any judgements on him, i just think its glen sather stockin up on more d men so he can try to make a trade. he’ll probably be in hartford like jamtin was.

  23. Steve – i think so too, only because Roszy is the most tradeable of our big contracts.

    I really hope Torts can bring back Redden’s game, because he’s going nowhere for the next 3 or 4 years and it really makes it difficult to sign another top defensman like JayBo while we have that contract on the books. Its good that we have so many young faces ready to step up on D because we really need to put all of our resources towards signing or trading for a scorer.

  24. steve- i know rozys the easist contract to move, but hes still our best offensive d man. i think mara and morris are gone before rozy is. they can save a few mill by replacing those 2.

  25. Mike – he only played 54 games for his 34 points though, so if we put that in NHL terms, it would mean 51-52 points in an 82 game season.

  26. uk- u think rozys gone too huh? maybe. rozy was signed for 4 or 5 years i think. idk know what team would trade for him. but if they do trade him, redden better shape up. but i dont see it. hes just another year older and that much slower in my eyes.

  27. you cant really say how many points he would get here uk. hes not playing against guys like hank or luongo. i know hed probably be ok here, im just sayin we cant expect too much from this guy yet. he could just be a replacement for a hartford guy getting traded soon. who knows. i doubt he starts on the rangers next season though. i doubt they can move rozy either. nobodys gonna want him. theyre gonna want sangs or potter before rozys old ass.

  28. Roszy’s contract was front loaded – $7m this year then 3 more at $4.33m, so its an easier pill to swallow if a team has the cap room for the $5m cap charge.
    The signing of Gilroy, Heikkinen and Sangs and DelZ already onboard mean we have 4 good offensive D-men in the wings.

  29. Mike – i’m not saying he’d get that in the nhl, but it gives you a picture of the level he’s at in the Finnish league.

  30. hey, if some dumbass wants rozy, good job rangers. but you know rozy is not nearly enough to make a trade for a decent scorer. and the only free agent who would make a difference in my eyes is cammalleri. and hes not goin anywhere i dont think. maybe gionta. idk man its so hard to tell what goes on behind the scenes that we dont know about. for all we know, some team really wants rozy lol. its fun talkin about though either way isnt it?

  31. Every GM knows Slats needs to dump salary so he’ll get virtually nothing in return if he does find a trade partner.

  32. yea, good points uk. also the rink size is bigger there so maybe the smaller surface here will only make him that much quicker, but hes gonna get hit hard too!! if he does make it on the roster id love to see him get physical and even throw down like hes been said to do on occasion. none of our d men fight really except mara. he is 24 too, so hes probably gonna peak soon. idk, i think gilroy has a better chance imo, and unless rozy, morris and mara are gone, i cant see him, gilroy and sauer make the team out of camp. i think even if he doesnt make it, it’ll bring the intensity for fighting for those few spots way up. its really a win win for us right now anyway. if he sucks, no big loss. also- i guess 4.3 m/yr isnt that bad for rozy, and yea, there probably more than 1 team who could use him. i just wish it was redden who was likely to get traded. i like rozy. he had a bad year, pissed me off alot, but still had better numbers than all our d men. i think del z is still another year away, sangs looks like hes 50-50 at this point, sauer looks to be a contender for a spot, gilroy is probably a good candidate too, although im not sure if his contract would allow him to be called without waivers. probably not, so im sure theyre gonna keep him on the rangers, which probably takes morris spot. now ya got maras spot, who i think is getting signed unless rozy stays. theyre gonna need some vet presence back there and i cant see them dropping mara, morris and rozy. i say 2 of the 3 spots will be filled with new guys.

  33. Mike, Drury wanted to be a Ranger for the money, just like 1/2 the guys who the Yankees sign say they always wanted to be a Yankee! Drury doesnt have that fire in him that you want to see from guys sayin they ‘always wanted to be’on a particular team. If he had half the energy/enthusiasm of Cally or Dubi, if he applied himself the way Graves did when he came here, it’d be a different story. I know they are different kinds of players, but hell, if I always wanted to be a New York Ranger, I’d bust my arse and leave it out on the ice EVERY night, and i WOULD let certain losses crimp on my holidays!

    absolutely LOVE the pic of Heikkinin!!

  34. yea i know linda i hear ya. hey, wish i could talk more, gotta go to work though, so i’ll chat later on. bye guys

  35. I had Chinese food last night. If you have never tried Singapore Chow Mei Fun, I suggest getting that next time you order some Chinese. Great stuff. It is spicy, if you are in to spicy thing.

    I know that was random as hell, but I thought I would share.

  36. Jules, thanks. Please stop in with comments more frequently. We can always use more opinions or observations.

    Does anybody remember when Coors only was available in Colorado because it wasn’t supposed to be refrigerated, warmed, and then re-refrigerated? I recall it being a big, big deal whenever somebody was able to get a case of Coor’s around here, and it was more expensive, in those yellowish, odd pop-top cans.

  37. See, slats is the problem…nobody likes him…because of him Rangers has bad image…look around the league… many young talented teams are built from within… players that fit to play in current NHL

    Why such an established organization like Rangers (yes, we’ve been around) cant have fit players?

    This organization is full of people that used to be good…back when…if ever… you pick a winner. But if I had to pick, Slats would be the one. Stupid is as stupid does. Get rid of the fool.

  38. I have a feeling this kid will be Hartford/Charlotte bound…. that or Rozsival is getting traded at the draft.

  39. UESBlueshirt on

    I understand the thinking behind “if he wanted to be a Ranger why didn’t he give them a discount?” and Linda makes a good comparison about the Yankees but one of the better answers I’ve heard to a question like that is simple, the players union.

    The players union almost demands that the player takes top dollar once they reach the open market so it starts to set a precedent for future FAs.

    The rare times a player might take less than top dollar is if it comes at the tail-end of his career, remember when Gretzky said that he thought he was the only FA to ever come to NY for less money than what he could have gotten elsewhere?

  40. Staal Girardi
    Reeden Rozy

    These are the only four that are so far secured a spot on next year’s roster (unless someone gets traded)

    So there’s two-three spots left for D men cause Mara and Morris are most likely not getting resigned.

    Gilroy, Sauer, Potter, Sanguinetti, Del Z, Heikkinen

    I’d say its a crap shoot of who impresses the most at camp, but either way we have alot of D men to choose from so that at least looks good.

    And Figure Del Z goes to HArtford for a year, and either Sauer or Potter dont make the club

    That leaves Gilroy, Heikkinen, and Bobby Sangs

    Obviously who ever gets ont the roster, the others are back ups for Hartford. So shrewd move (prob by Torts and Shoney’s nudging) by the Rangers.

    Now that the D pickings are set and we have some choices, I think we’ll be hearing about top scorers for the rest of the offseason

    LEts go Rangers!!

  41. Mike in Ia- I think Staal showed more offensive punch last year than Rozi. It seemed like Rozi could carry out of his zone but immediately look to dump it off with no confidence of gaining the blue line. Staal carried it into the offensive zone.

    With all that, the Rangers sure know how to sign defensemen, how about some forwards? Wouldn’t it be nice if we somehow get rid of Rozi, let Morris/Mara walk and let all these young D fight it out for 3 spots? Then we let them learn on the job. Let’s face it, we’re not winning the cup next year so lets get AA, Grachev and the young D some experience. It will pay off 2-3 years down the road. I know, sounds too good for Sather to actually do it.

  42. doc (in South Fla) on

    Sounds like he could be the Finnish version of Kim Johnsson! Let’s hope we dont trade him for a washed up goalie in a few years.

  43. Unemployed Steve on

    Carp I remember those cans because we would drive to visit relatives in Ca. and my Dad would pick up Coors on the way back to take home. Those cans had the Coors logo printed on it three times. (I don’t know how I remember that)

  44. I think Gilroy’s contract would expose him to waiver’s if he were called up in-season. I think they expect him to make the big club which leaves Heikkinen, Sauer, Potter and Sangs for the #6 and #7 spots. That is unless we sign Mara and depends if we ship Roszi out before then which could create another spot for a youngster.

    I like the way Mara played this year and that he wants to be a Ranger, i think if Roszi were traded he would be a valuable veteran to keep around for another year, but if we keep both then there is little room for the younger guys to make the team. Is he a Torts player though? Who is?

  45. why dont we play “make that trade” today.

    with all the defense we have in the minors, on the team and who we signed recently, make a trade that will benefit the team. a realistic trade.

  46. gilroy has a one-way deal so he needs to make the team from camp or he’s in hartford for the year. I think del zotto will get another year in juniors (he can’t play in hartford yet).

    roszi is slightly moveable but would prob mean just takin back a bad contract like penner, so prob wouldnt help much. and as far as offensive talent, i cant think of anyone that would be available that would be of much help and i wouldnt want to trade any of our russians whom besides del zotto are our only real assets in harford

  47. Doodie Machetto on

    This signing is further proof of Sanguinetti being viewed as a bust within the organization.

    Let’s see, since drafting Sanguinetti in 2006, we have:

    1) Drafted MDZ
    2) Gave Redden and Rozsival ridiculous contracts
    3) Signed Kalinin
    4) Called up Potter
    5) Called up Sauer
    6) Called up Potter again when Sauer failed
    7) Signed Gilroy to a pricey one way contract (considering the guy has never played a professional game)
    8) Signed this guy

    Yup, Sanguinetti is the next Brendl/Jessiman/Montoya.

  48. Doodie Machetto on

    colin, no such trades exist. Redden can’t be moved. Rozsi can be moved, but we aren’t getting anything in return, and we’ll have to probably give up a draft pick. Gomez and Drury aren’t going anywhere. So really, what trade are you going to make?

  49. doodie

    have you seen gilroy play?

    and trades can exist. im just saying for conversation purposes today.

    we ALL think in new york drury isnt worth it but @ the trade deadline someone had a link showing what the avalanche fans thought about drury going back there and they were actually excited.

    shocking i know because us ranger fans have watched someone like him play on a nightly basis.

    for instance i know that tampa needs to get rid of money, the maple leafs want to move up in the draft and that the sharks bombed in the playoffs even after they changed coaches. the fa bust in edmonton needs to get moved. vancouver and calgary may make some moves (sedin twims leaving vancouver and jokinen and co. for flames are UFA)

    these teams are all “possibilities” for a trade. will they trade with the rangers who knows?

    make it a realistic trade now.

  50. A realistic trade would be Callahan + Solid prospect such as Sauer or Anisi for a star sniper, like Gaborik. Even to get the rights to sign him.

  51. Why does everyone keep talking about Gilroy as if he is a lock to make the team next year? He is a 24 year old who excelled playing against 19 year olds in college…… not really what I would think of as NHL ready! Seems more like this finnish kid has a much better chance of a roster spot this fall.

  52. You know… maybe Dallas would be desperate enough to trade for Rozsival, or even Redden.

    Dallas offered Redden 500k less per year…. please oh please oh please take him!

  53. Sather loading up on defensemen like this makes me think they’re going to try to move Rozy and at least to try to get a forward in return. Just a guess. I would be very surprised if the made a move for J-bo. As for Gaborik, the guy phenomenal when he’s healthy, which is rarely. I’d rather see them land someone who stays off the injured list.

  54. The Rangers do this every year. They are always signing these type of players they signed another finnish player a few years ago.

  55. look @ that you went on his teams website!

    coulda said Jarkko Immonen if you looked a little deeper, lol

  56. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... !! says Greg L. on

    bring ’em in …that’s it ,, ahhhhh excellent( in a Mongomery Burns voice) more players …yesssss!!

    Push out the old and bring in the new ( as in young )
    If our team doesn’t want an aging Jagr , Shanny , ect..
    Then I all for it to wash away the old-school and bring in these young d-men!!!

    Lacksidaisical (misspelled / and mispelled , mispell – sorry) players who have a big fat contract should be bought out-right and ditched!!

    Untouchables ( not even for another risk :Gaborik )



    Throw in Avery with these guys and some young guys who don’t know any better and BOOM ya got a fast exciting high energy team!!!

  57. ZzZz 13 ZzZz saga continues... !! says Greg L. on

    Our “Kane & Toews ” is Dubinsky and Callahan . Period.

    Make Dubinsky Captain and as time comes he will be older than the new kids who will be looking up to him.

    Gomez and Drury had 2 years to show they are our “core” ….F*** ’em !!! I wont bash my own players but our direction is spelt out D U B I N S K Y . (period)

  58. Mike in IA and CCCP… I have XBOX360 too. I got it early when it first came out. Because I got it so early I lucked out with my screen name… NYC RANGER. The name is either an automatic a$$hole magnet with lots of peeps talking sh!t. Or it gets me in great convos with other smart hockey fans across the XBOX network. BTW… Have not had a XBOX hockey game since my PS2. Which do you all think is the best one to get?

  59. Pikkarainen played very few games in Hartford. He spent most of his time in Charlotte. He sucked in Hartford.

    Coors Beer and the refrigeration issue: The whole Smokey and the Bandit movie was based on getting the Coors beer east of the rockies in time.

  60. Pikkarainen was a marshmellow that could not take anything physical and weighed 170 pounds. He was never going to play in the NHL.

    Heikkanen is 6-2/210 and he is not shy about the physical game, in fact he will fight when pushed far enough. He can handle the NHL and the physical play. He has an accurate shot that gets to the net, he reads plays excellent on the rush, and he is a great power play quarterback. He is not only going to make the team he is already the best offensive defenceman the Rangers have. Rozsival is a joke of an offensive defenceman, the only trick in his bag was finding Jagr for a few years.

  61. I don’t know about Heikkanen being a physical guy. He may have a moment every now and then but a guy who has 22 penalty minutes in a season does not sound like a guy who is real physical, and certainly is not fighting a whole lot.

Leave A Reply