It was 2006. Rexall Place was bumping, and the Edmonton Oilers had finally gotten to their first Cup Final since they last won in 1990.
After Dwayne Roloson was injured in the final period of game one, Jussi Markkanen was brought into the starting lineup for the Oilers in game two of the series.
Markkanen manged to earn the first star in a game three win, as well as a shutout in game six of the played. Despite his greatest efforts, he was unable to lead the Oilers to the promised land.
Once his contract ended following the 2006-2007 season, Markkanen went to the KHL for a season, as well as the Swiss-A league for a few years before he landed in 2013-2014 with the SaiPa Lappeenranta in the SM-Liiga.
He has been with the team since and has played in 129 games, posting a .920 sv% and a 2.00 GAA.
According to the SM-Liiga website, Markkanen’s season ended early last week after suffering what is described as a “disc clavicle fracture.” (The article was translated from Finnish to English, so things may have gotten lost in that translation.)
With his injury and an expiring contract, the 40-year old ended up signing a contract to stay with the team for two more season.
“I want to show myself that age is just a number and forties than I can fight against the younger pretty full. It is self-overcoming. Another big thing is that hockey is still very nice. It is nice to come to the gym in the morning and put themselves on the line.”
“I am very motivated and I want to help this team win in the future. I am very excited that we will now start a new project and I definitely want to be involved in it,” Markkanen says.
Being someone who began following this team in the 2005 – 2006 season, Markkanen has always held a special place in my heart and I am glad to see him still playing at a high level.
All the best, Jussi.