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FLASHBACK: Mikko Mäkelä (2009)
Bonus Episode26th February 2021 • WGBB Sports Talk New York • WGBB Radio
00:00:00 00:17:13

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Originally aired September 27th, 2009 on WGBB's New York Hockey Talk.

Host Rob Kowal begins by asking Mikko about about being a part of the Islanders team that came back from a 3-1 series deficit against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs in the old Patrick Division. Mikko recalled the ‘Easter Epic’ game 7 that went into quadruple overtime, and what it was like when Pat LaFontaine scored the winning goal. Mikko also tells a story about unfortunate fate of the Washington trainer that brought fruit into the Islanders locker room during the overtime intermissions.

Mikko also talks about playing with Mike Bossy during his last season with the team, and how Bossy and Bryan Trottier helped him and other young players on the team with their game. Mikko also tells a story about an unfortunate albeit minor accident that occurred after practice at the old Cantiague Park rink, when he and LaFontaine would sometimes race home to Northport where they both lived at the time.

Playing 5 years for the Islanders, Mikko talks about how much he loved playing on Long Island, and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding a story written that unfairly put him in a bad light before later getting traded to Los Angeles Kings in 1989-90 season for Ken Baumgartner and Hubie McDonough. Mikko then talks about his trade to the Buffalo Sabres, and later playing in the World Championships and the Olympics, before playing a few seasons in back in Europe and eventually closing out his NHL career in Boston in 1994-95.

Living now in Lethbridge, Alberta, Mikko talks about how he started Mikko Makela Hockey, a year round training program in Lethbridge, how he ended up as head coach of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Western Hockey League- the first European head coach in Canadian Junior Hockey, and how he got involved in the Warner Hockey School.