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Peltonen likes NHL better the second time around

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

by Shawn P. Roarke for

Ville Peltonen knows all about the follies of youth.

The Florida Panthers forward, now 33, first arrived in the NHL more than a decade ago with San Jose, a heralded European import with a seemingly unlimited future ahead of him. Yet, six years and five teams - three at the minor-league level - later, Peltonen headed back to Europe to rediscover his game.

No, Peltonen did not go back home with his proverbial tail between his legs; but his 18-goal, 42-assist performance in 175 games with the Sharks and Nashville Predators was not exactly anything to brag about, either.

"I had my chances and I know how people get their one game or two games and I played 175, so I mean I can't blame anybody for anything," says Peltonen. "It was good time here and good experiences, but it didn't work out. It doesn't always work out, I understand that."

Understanding it is one thing. Coming to grips with it is quite another. That is where age enters the equation for Peltonen. Arriving home again to play in Finland, Peltonen was a mere 28, still in the prime of his hockey career.

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