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Jere Lehtinen

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Jere Lehtinen
Jere Lehtinen (Dallas)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
192 lb (87 kg)
NHL Team Dallas Stars
Nationality Flag of Finland Finnish
Born June 24 1973 (1973-06-24) (age 43),
Espoo, FIN
NHL Draft 88th overall, 1992
Minnesota North Stars
Pro Career 1992 – present

Jere Kalervo Lehtinen (born June 24, 1973 in Espoo, Finland) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward currently playing for the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League (NHL). He plays as a right wing. He was drafted 88th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota North Stars. Lehtinen handles defensive aspects of the game as well as offensive, hence he is a two-way forward for which he has won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times as the league's best defensive forward.

Playing careerEdit

Lehtinen started his career with his hometown team, Kiekko-Espoo. The team was jammed in first division in 1991 but they managed to win the division and gained a spot in the Finnish SM-liiga, from there Lehtinen started his professional career. He spent another year with Kiekko-Espoo but the team was struggling and after one season, Lehtinen received an offer from one of the biggest clubs at that time, TPS. He signed with TPS in the summer of 1993 and once the season started, he soon found his scoring abilities. Lehtinen was immediately paired with another future NHLer Saku Koivu and the two were a big part of TPS's great season. Although they won the regular season title by a huge margin, they lost to Jokerit in the finals.

The following season, TPS and Lehtinen went all the way again, this time beating Jokerit in the final series 3–2. After the SM-liiga season was over, Lehtinen received an invite to the 1995 World Championships. Team Finland went all the way to the final game and swept Sweden 4–1, winning Finland's only IIHF World Championship gold medal to date. He was part of the renowned first line of Finland dubbed by Finnish fans the "Ankkalinnan pojat" ("The boys of Duckburg", a reference to their nicknames "Tupu, Hupu, Lupu"; "Huey, Dewey, Louie") with Saku Koivu and Ville Peltonen, another future NHLer. The three also made up the tournament's all-star line.

After the big year in 1995, winning SM-Liiga and World Championship gold medals, Lehtinen went over the sea to play in the NHL. He saw only one game in the minors and was part of the Dallas Stars organisation instantly. Lehtinen worked his way up in three years to join Mike Modano in the first line and was nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the first time in 1996–97 season. During 1997–98 season he was voted to the 1998 NHL All-Star Game. It was the first year the NHL introduced a new system, in which European players play against North-American players. Lehtinen's fellow countrymen Saku Koivu, Teemu Selänne and Jari Kurri were also voted to the game and the four saw a few shifts with each other rotating. The same year Lehtinen was again a nominee for the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward and eventually won the prestigious award. He was also part of the bronze-winning Team Finland in Nagano Olympic games in 1998.

In 1999 the Stars managed to go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals and beat Buffalo Sabres in six games winning the Stanley Cup, Lehtinen scored the first goal in Game 6 and assisted on Brett Hull's cup-winning goal in over-time. Lehtinen set new career high stats and captured the Selke Trophy, being only the third player to win the award in consecutive seasons.

Season 1999–00 was a tough break for Lehtinen. He was able to play in only 17 regular season games due to problems with his ankle. He fractured it early in the season and had to be sidelined for 30 games. After he had sustained the injury he returned to the lineup but was again sidelined just after playing 8 games, this time for 35 games. He then returned to help his team in the playoffs. The Stars went again to the Stanley Cup finals but were unable to overcome the New Jersey Devils.

After having a troubled last season, Lehtinen bounced back to his old form in 2000–01 season, and put up another good season stats-wise. The Stars, however, didn't go as deep as they had gone the last couple of years.

In 2001–02, Lehtinen had a stellar season. Although the Stars failed to qualify for the playoffs, Lehtinen managed to score 25 goals, tallied 24 assists and finished first on the team in plus/minus with +27. He was again voted to the NHL All-Star game but was unable to play due to injury. He ranked 7th in Lady Byng Memorial Trophy voting and was again nominated for the Selke Trophy. He came in short and Michael Peca was honored with the award for second time in his career.

After having a great season in 2001–02, Lehtinen continued where he left off in 2002–03 season. He was the leading Stars player in goals, setting a new career high 31 goals in a season, led the team in plus/minus (+39) and was also ranked fourth in the league. Recorded his second career hat-trick against Los Angeles Kings in that season too. To top it off, Lehtinen became only the third player to win the Selke Trophy three times, tying Guy Carbonneau for three and one behind Bob Gainey who has won it four times.

2003–04 season was a disappointment to Lehtinen as he only played in 58 games and scored 26 points. During the season he had problems with his knee. The Stars were knocked out by the Colorado Avalanche in the first playoff round.

Before the NHL lockout for 2004–05 season, the World Cup of Hockey was played. Lehtinen was once again representing Finland and the finns met Team Canada in the final. The Canadians took the gold with a 3–2 win over Finland.

Lehtinen underwent a surgery to get his knee fixed and rehabilitated it during the lockout season. It showed in his game in 2005–06 season as he tied for his career high points, 52, and set a new career high in goals, 33. Dallas won the Pacific division title, making it the 7th in last 10 seasons. However, they were once again eliminated in the first playoff round, by the Colorado Avalanche. Lehtinen was again a nominee for the Selke Trophy but finished third in voting.

The 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin took place in the middle of the 2005–06 NHL season. Lehtinen was again a vital part of Team Finland's journey to the gold medal game. Like in previous international tournaments, Lehtinen was placed in a line with Saku Koivu and Teemu Selänne. However, Finland lost the final bitterly 3–2 to their nemesis, Team Sweden. Koivu and Selänne were the tournament's joint top scorer and Lehtinen tied for 7th.

In the 2006–07 season, Lehtinen scored 26 goals and led the team in goals for second consecutive season. The Stars failed to progress from the first round for the third season in a row. Despite the series stretched to seven games, Lehtinen failed to contribute a single point in playoffs for his team.

Lehtinen started out the 2007–08 season very efficiently by posting 6–13–19 stats in 21 games before suffering a sports hernia. He returned on February 1st 2008 in a game against the Edmonton Oilers, ceasing his 33-game absence. He recorded an assist to Jussi Jokinen's goal in that game.

To date, Lehtinen is the only Finnish player to have won both a World Championships gold medal and a Stanley Cup.


AwardsEdit

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 Kiekko-Espoo SM-l 45 13 14 27 6 — </td>
1993–94 TPS SM-l 42 19 20 39 6 11 11 2 13 2
1994–95 TPS SM-l 39 19 23 42 33 13 8 6 14 4
1995–96 Michigan K-Wings IHL 1 1 0 1 0
1995–96 Dallas Stars NHL 57 6 22 28 16
1996–97 Dallas Stars NHL 63 16 27 43 2 7 2 2 4 0
1997–98 Dallas Stars NHL 72 23 19 42 20 12 3 5 8 2
1998–99 Dallas Stars NHL 74 20 32 52 18 23 10 3 13 2
1999–00 Dallas Stars NHL 17 3 5 8 0 13 1 5 6 2
2000–01 Dallas Stars NHL 74 20 25 45 24 10 1 0 1 2
2001–02 Dallas Stars NHL 73 25 24 49 14
2002–03 Dallas Stars NHL 80 31 17 48 20 12 3 2 5 0
2003–04 Dallas Stars NHL 58 13 13 26 20 5 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Dallas Stars NHL 80 33 19 52 30 5 3 1 4 0
2006–07 Dallas Stars NHL 73 26 17 43 16 7 0 0 0 2
2007–08 Dallas Stars NHL 48 15 22 37 14 14 4 4 8 2
2008–09 Dallas Stars NHL 48 8 16 24 8
NHL totals 817 239 258 497 202 108 27 22 49 12

International playEdit

Played for Finland in:

International statistics

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2004 Finland WCH 6 1 3 4 4
2006 Finland Oly 8 3 5 8 0

ReferencesEdit


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Tero Lehterä
Winner of the Raimo Kilpiö trophy
1994–95
Succeeded by
Waltteri Immonen
Preceded by
Michael Peca
Winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy
1998, 1999
Succeeded by
Steve Yzerman
Preceded by
Michael Peca
Winner of the Frank J. Selke Trophy
2003
Succeeded by
Kris Draper
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Jere Lehtinen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).


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