SM-Liiga

SM-liiga

SM-Liiga is the premier Ice hockey league in Finland. SM-Liiga is considered the second strongest league in Europa after the Russian Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The league is primarily home to Finish players but features players of other nationalities as well. The league feature 14 different teams:

Club name

Home city

Blues Hockey Oy

Espoo

HIFK Hockey Ab

Helsinki

HPK-Edustusjääkiekko Ry

Hämeenlinna

Ilves-Hockey Oy

Tampere

Jokerit HC Oyj

Helsinki

JYP Jyväskylä Oy

Jyväskylä

KalPa Hockey Oy

Kuopio

Oulun Kärpät Oy

Oulu

Rauman Lukko Oy

Rauma

Lahden Pelicans Oy

Lahti

Liiga-SaiPa Oy

Lappeenranta

Tamhockey Oy

Tampere

HC TPS Turku Oy

Turku

HC Ässät Pori Oy

Pori

The most successful team in the league is the Ilves-Hockey Oy with 16 championships titles closely followed by Tamhockey Oy that got 15 championship titles. Both these teams come from the city of Tampere. The third most successful team is HC TPS Turku Oy with 11 titles. Fourth place is tied between two different teams from the finish capital Helsinki, Jokerit HC Oyj and HIFK Hockey Ab. Five other teams have won chapionships. Those are :

Oulun Kärpät Oy - 5 championships
HC Ässät Pori Oy – 2 Championships
HPK-Edustusjääkiekko Ry – 1 Championship
JYP Jyväskylä Oy – 1 Championship
Lahden Pelicans Oy – 1 Championship

Four teams have never won a championship title.

The team the place last each year in SM-Liiga has to play the Mestis champion (The division below) in a best of seven face off for the SM-Liiga spot. Whichever team wins plays in the SM-Liiga the next season. The loser play in the Mestis League.

The SM-liiga was founded in 1975 in attempt to improve the quality of Finnish Hockey and introduce a professional League to Finland. It took the place of SM-Sarja which had been an amateur league. The SM_Sarja was perceived has having a negative effect on finish hockey. This was due to the fact the players was amateurs which meant that the players could not devote the same amount if time to Hockey as professionals could. Looking back on it seem to have been a success since the quality of Finnish Hockey has improved dramatically since 1975.