Former Philadelphia Flyer Ilkka Sinisalo, a mainstay of the team in the 1980s, died Wednesday in Finland at 58.
“Ilkka was a true friend and loyal member of the Flyers,” Flyers President Paul Holmgren said in a statement on the team’s website. “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.”
Sinisalo spent parts of nine seasons with the Flyers, as a player from 1981-82 to 1989-90. He recorded 199 goals and 209 assists for 408 points in 526 regular-season games. His 408 points rank sixth among right wings in Flyers’ history.
He added another 21 goals and 31 points in 66 career Stanley Cup playoff games as a Flyer, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Final twice, in 1985 and 1987.
“Ilkka was a very good player, a great teammate, but most importantly an outstanding person and a terrific friend to us all,” Flyers Executive Vice President and General Manager Ron Hextall said. “We’ve all had the pleasure to work with him for many years, and he will be missed.”
A dependable player at both ends of the ice, Sinisalo was a plus-player in all nine seasons with the Flyers, including a career-high plus-32 in 1984-85. He had a plus-minus rating of plus-135 during his Flyers career.
He is one of just 32 players to have appeared in 500 or more games for the team, and one of just 18 to record more than 400 points as a Flyer.
In 1998, Sinisalo took a job as a scout with the San Jose Sharks. He had been a European scout for the Flyers since 2004.