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Ilkka Sinisalo, former Flyers forward, dies at 58

Played in two Stanley Cup Final series for Philadelphia, served as its European scout since 2004 @NHLdotcom

Ilkka Sinisalo, who played in the Stanley Cup Final twice for the Philadelphia Flyers during his 11 NHL seasons, died in his native Finland on Wednesday at age 58.

Sinisalo, a forward, played nine seasons with the Flyers and had been a European scout for Philadelphia since 2004.

"Ilkka was a true friend and loyal member of the Flyers," Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. "He gave a great deal of his time, effort and talents to the organization in several capacities as a player and long-time scout to bring this franchise success on and off the ice.

"Most important to all that knew him, he was a great person, a loving husband, father and grandfather. His presence and friendship will be deeply missed by all that knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife of over 35 years, Carina, his sons Niklas and Tomas, as well as Tomas' wife, Maija and their children Peter and Matilda."

Sinisalo signed with the Flyers on Feb. 14, 1981, and joined them as a 23-year-old rookie in 1981-82. He had 73 points (36 goals, 37 assists) in the 1984-85 season, helping the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they were defeated by the Edmonton Oilers. He had an NHL career high 76 points (39 goals, 37 assists) the following season, but he was limited to 42 games in 1986-87, when the Flyers again lost in the Final to the Oilers. 

Sinisalo also played with the Minnesota North Stars and Los Angeles Kings. In 582 NHL games, he had 426 points (204 goals, 222 assists). He had 32 points (21 goals, 11 assists) in 68 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"Ilkka was a very good player, a great teammate, but most importantly an outstanding person and a terrific friend to us all," said Flyers general manager Ron Hextall, Sinisalo's teammate with the Flyers for four seasons. "We've all had the pleasure to work with him for many years and he will be missed."

Sinisalo returned to Finland in 1992-93 and played professionally there until retiring after the 1995-96 season. He also played for his native Finland at the IIHF World Championships in 1981, 1982 and 1983, and was inducted into the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997.

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