Niinimaa played 741 NHL games with Philadelphia, Edmonton, New York Islanders, Dallas and Montreal. His nickname was “Spaz” which is not a good nickname for an NHL defender but he helped his teams win hockey games for a long time.
He was a 2nd round pick by the Flyers, and his peak in value and subsequent downward spiral are reflected perfectly by the return in trade over the years.
Edmonton gave up NHL defender Dan McGillis and a 2nd rd pick to get him, the Islanders gave up Raffi Torres and Brad Isbister for Niinimaa and a 2nd rd pick. Islanders traded Niinimaa and a 5 for John Erskine and a 2, Montreal traded Mike Ribeiro and a 6 for Niinimaa and a 5. There is some very nice talent in there.
I think Niinimaa’s career started going downhill when he was an Oiler and played through an injury. I’m playing crib with my wife and drinking Sleeman’s so can’t find it but I’ll look it up after I skunk her.
Either way, the NHL is one Finn down and that makes it a lesser league. I believe Niinimaa may play with former 1st rd pick Michel Riesen in Davos.