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Joel Kiviranta #25 of the Dallas Stars attempts a shot on Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period in Game Six of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. LEHTIKUVA

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On March 13, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Liiga announced an end to its season. No team would be lifting a championship trophy aloft in 2020. No payoffs were scheduled, and some teams didn’t even get to play their final game. Now it seems that Liiga is ready to take to the ice once again.

While restrictions may be placed on fans in the stadium and further customs, we associate with the game in normal times may be put on hold.

Fortunately, the ability to watch games at home will remain, thanks to sites such as tvmatsit.com, where you can find all liiga matches showing live on tv and live stream.

 

NHL Players to Make Liiga Jump

Finnish hockey fans will also be able to see NHL talent showcase their skills in Liiga in 2020-21. The latest prospect from NHL team Montreal Canadians to be given a taste of European life on the ice is Jesse Ylönen.  General manager Marc Bergevin made an announcement that the player will been loaned out to Finnish team Lahti Pelicans. As the NHL season won’t begin until early December at least, the temporary move will allow Ylönen to play his way into shape before his  NHL team opens training camp.

The 20-year-old signed his first contract with the Canadiens at the close of the 2019-20 season, although he has yet to play in an NHL or AHL game. However, he did record 22 points in 53 games in his season last year with the Finnish Lliga club. The player was drafted by the Canadiens in the second round in 2018 and just one year later won a world humour championship gold medal with Finland. 

 

Liiga Players Shine in NHL

The NHL has produced a number of NHL-calibre players, including Teemu Selanne. Liiga alumni also include NHL draft picks in the top five of each of the past four seasons. In more recent news linking the Canadiens with European ice hockey, the NHL team previously announced that Hayden Verbeek will play his hockey in he Czech Republic and Lukas Vejdemo will begin his the season in his home country Sweden.

Then there's Joel Kiviranta, the 24-year-old Finnish-born winger who recently helped the Dallas All-Stars win the Stanley Cup. Kiviranta wasn’t drafted during the six-year-period in which he was eligible. Instead, he played all six years in Liiga. 

 

Esports Partnership

The hunger for hockey triggered by COVID-19 will be further satisfied by a new force in the world of esports. Telia Finland announced that it will be joining forces with Liiga to establish an esports version of the series, to be called eLiiga. The operator has been the sponsor of the Finnish league since 2018. The esports series begins in November and will involve all 15 teams that play in the real-world league.

It was in April when Telia and Liiga last broadcast virtual ice hockey. They showed what was left of the post-season from the 2019-20 season, with greater than had been anticipated. Niklas Segercrantz, who works for the eSports division of Telia, says that the company is under the impression that the new, virtual season will interest both e-sports fans and traditional hockey fans, as well as appeal to new spectators.

Eliiga's main partner is PlayStation. Over 500,000 Finnish players use the console. Each team in the virtual league has two players representing them. These players are chosen by their respective teams. The games in eLiiga are played on the NHL 21 console games. The action will be shown on both the Telia and MTV channels, with the season running until December 13.

 

HT

 

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