RALEIGH, NC (March 23, 2001) – Carolina Hurricanes’ right wing Sami Kapanen has been selected to represent Finland at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Kapanen, who won bronze medals with Finland at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Norway and at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Japan, was among eight players selected today by Finnish Head coach Hannu Aravirta.
Kapanen, currently in his sixth season with the Hurricanes, has totaled 253 points (108 g, 145a) in 390 games in his NHL career. He is ranked ninth in franchise history in points, 10th in goals and 10th in hat tricks. Kapanen is tied for first in games played (72), tied for third in points (49), and is second in assists (33) and fourth in goals (16) on the team this season.
Kapanen (5’10’’, 180 lbs.) has tallied two points (1g,1a) in helping Finland capture the bronze medals at the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The Vantae, Finland native represented the World Team at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game and captured the “Fastest Skater” competition at the 2000 NHL SuperSkills Competition with a time of 13.649 seconds.
Also selected today to represent Finland were forwards Teemu Selanne (San Jose), Saku Koivu (Montreal), Jere Lehtinen (Dallas), and Juha Ylönen (Phoenix) and defensemen Teppo Numminen (Phoenix), Janne Niinimaa (Edmonton) and Kimmo Timmonen (Nashville). Finnish ice hockey legend and five time Stanley Cup champion Jari Kurri was added to the coaching staff as an assistant coach.