Raimo Helminen as Saipa’s head coach Saiba

Coaching is supplemented by assistant coach Janne Hytaniemi. Contracts are for one season.

Appointed by SAIBA Raimo Helminen (60 years) as the new head coach of the Liiga team. Helminen, one of the game’s undisputed legends, will head to Saimaa Beach on a one-season contract.

– It’s great that Lappeenranta is here to help Saiba in every way. Surely there is enough work and a suitable challenge, Helminen commented.

Last season, “Ripe” coached HC 05 Banská Bystrica, which plays in the Slovak Extraliga in a city the size of Lapland, and finished sixth in the regular season. In the semi-finals, Helminen’s team lost to Spiska Nova Ves and advanced to the final. Before joining Slovakia, Helminen spent a season in Italy as Ilves’ assistant coach and head coach. In the 2020–2021 season, TPS, coached by Helminen, finished silver in the league, better than pre-season expectations, after losing to Rauman Lugo in the final. After his brilliant playing career, Helminen’s coaching career spanned 15 years and he coached e.g. Finnish A and U20 national teams and five seasons in the KHL. In 2009, Helminen was promoted to ice hockey lion number 192.

Sports Director of SAIBA Harry Ahon Helminen was the first choice in the head coach’s application process from the start.

Ribe has a very player-oriented coaching style. He has brought change everywhere, change is sought here. Crew activity in the snow and generally required work conditions will last the day in Taku, Aho commented. According to Aho, the one-year contract proves that change is taking place.

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Saipa’s training ends at the age of 36 Janne in Hytanemi. Born in Helsinki, “Hietsu” has Saipa background as he played as a defender for Saipa’s U20 team in 2008-2009. A partner was also found in Lappeenranta.

It is very nice to come to a familiar city where the other half of the family livesHietaniemi says happily.

Hietaniemi and Helminen have a long common background. They have coached the Jokers in the KHL, the TPS Silver Season and lastly the National Team in the same coaching group. According to Aho and Helminen, Hitaniemi is a tough coach who brings with him a culture of winning.

At the end of the season, Hietaniemi joined Jukka Jalonen For training group in Leijon. He has worked as an assistant and video coach for the national team for seven years. In the previous two seasons, he was also HPK’s assistant coach.

I hope I bring a lot of insight to the game and play in special situations. I know very well where the international front is going and what it takes for the player and the team to get thereHietaniemi commented.

According to Harry Aho, the roles of coaches are still being refined and specific tasks, for example, responsibilities for games and special situations are not assigned.

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