Saturday, September 23, 2023

Lions player slams Nokia Arena conditions: “You gotta come up with something”


Valtteri Marella got the final spot in the Lions’ lineup.

The Lions’ lineup for the World Cup tournament is complete and there will be no help from the NHL. The last player nominated for the Games is Tappara winger Valtteri Marella, who was informed about his race pass being stamped at a morning meeting on Tuesday.

“Great job, and now at least you’ll be with us until the end,” said Marella.

Until now, there was only one position for NHL players. When Dallas beat Seattle, only Seattle’s Elie Tolvanen was kicked out of the Dollar League. With the branding of Marella, Tolva will not feature in the team this year.

Marela last played in the Czech EuroHockey Tour tournament.

– The situation is not easy, as one might imagine. You wait a while to see how it goes. But the atmosphere is good here and it was fun to train with the players. A fun atmosphere, Marella said.

Marella admires how well the extra players have been able to practice. On Tuesday, he and Jere Slineen wore black jerseys as players outside the league.

– It’s really well thought out. We get the same answer as everyone else. Someone plays with us in quintet training. Marella says Round and the others are going well.

You may also have other types of experiences along the career path.

– Some times in the league I am injured and wear red or black shirt. It wasn’t really well thought out at the time. Now you can get good exercise, which is definitely important when there’s no dreaded snow time. You have to get proper training.

Marella is in a familiar environment at the MM Cup. Tapara plays its home games in the same hall, and also uses Tapara’s locker room during Legionnaires tournaments.

The conditions of the ice spoke volumes during the tournament, when Sweden’s head coach Sam Hallam criticized the conditions after Sweden’s first tournament matches.

Marella signs off on the views expressed by the head coach of Sweden.

– It’s definitely been worse than we’ve had this season. Of course, it is rarely used during the season. It is very soft and quickly turns into porridge. A clear difference during the season, says Marella.

Merella considers the reasons obvious.

– My guess is it’s because of the utilization rate. There is a lot of training and games and the hall is relatively full throughout the day. Maybe it would be worth inventing something for this, says Marella, and wouldn’t they.

Tuesday, for instance, marked five teams practicing on the ice of the arena. Finland started training at 12:30 as the last team of the day. On top of that, the day’s schedule consists of two matches, the first at 16:20 and the second at 20:20.

Merela was in a different situation than Tapara’s season in Kopi.

– Now there is a place next to it. Kristian Kusela sat in during the league season. It’s not a bad place either.

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