The Finnish National Team has announced plans to retire the numbers of Saku Koivu, Jere Lehtinen and Ville Peltonen on the opening day of the 2016 World Junior Championship taking place in Helsinki, Finland.
Lehtinen’s #26, Koivu’s #11 and Peltonen’s #26 will be hung from the rafters, joining Jari Kurri’s #17 and Raimo Helminen’s #14 on the opening day of the tournament on December 26. Kurri and Helminen are the owners of the only retired numbers prior to December’s tournament.
The trio will be joined by Teemu Selanne’s #8, which will be retired in a separate ceremony to be held on December 30, during the tournament.
The retirement of the three of them together honors their achievements together as the Huey, Dewey, Louie line, first formed in the 1993 World Junior Championship in Sweden.
All three have a storied international career and have been inducted into the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame. Together they’ve collected three Olympic Bronze Medals and a Silver Medal. In the World Championship all three were on the 1995 Gold Medal-winning Finnish squad, as well as the Silver Medal-winning team in 1994 and the Finnish team that took runner-up status at the 2004 World Cup.
All have been a part of other wins for the team internationally, as well as tons of accolades individually on the international stage. It’s an impressive trio and with just two numbers retired prior to this year, it’s a big honor for the three Finns.
President of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association Kalervo Kummola said of the honorees, “Saku, Jere and Ville are three unique individuals. All three are exceptionally talented and uncompromisingly committed athletes. They have helped to bring Finnish ice hockey on the level it currently is through their achievements on the ice as well as being role models off the ice.”
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.