Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Kai Suikkanen
Defenseman Kai Suikkanen played a couple of games for the Buffalo Sabres in the early 80s. He was better known as a dangerous offensive player in his native Finland where he excelled domestically and on the international stage.

Born in Opiskelija, Finland, Suiukkanen began his first of eleven seasons with Karpat Oulu in 1977-78. He represented Finland at the 1978 and 1979 World Junior Championships and helped Karpat win the Finnish title in 1981. The clever backliner was signed as a free agent by the Buffalo Sabres just prior to the 1981-82 season. He was recalled for one game in each of the next two seasons but spent most of the time with the Rochester Americans of the AHL where he recorded consecutive 30-goal seasons.

After beginning the 1983-84 schedule with the Amerks, Suikkanen returned to Karpat. He later played for Finland at the 1986 World Championships and helped his country bring home the silver medal from the 1988 Calgary Olympics. Suikkanen retired in 1991 after spending one year with TPS Turku.

REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1975-76 Karpat Oulu Jr. Fin-Jr. 34 28 7 35 46
1976-77 Karpat Oulu Finland-2 16 15 4 19 16
1977-78 Karpat Oulu Finland 35 21 6 27 19
1977-78 Finland WJC-A 6 5 3 8 9
1978-79 Karpat Oulu Finland 36 16 6 22 65
1978-79 Finland WJC-A 6 1 2 3 0
1978-79 Karpat Oulu Finland-Q 6 7 3 10 2
1979-80 Karpat Oulu Finland 36 21 17 38 18 6 0 3 3 6
1980-81 Karpat Oulu Finland 33 20 11 31 60 11 5 2 7 32
1981-82 Buffalo Sabres NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
1981-82 Rochester Americans AHL 71 34 33 67 32 9 4 2 6 4
1982-83 Buffalo Sabres NHL 1 0 0 0 0 +1
1982-83 Rochester Americans AHL 66 33 44 77 65 16 7 7 14 21
1983-84 Rochester Americans AHL 15 7 10 17 2
1983-84 Karpat Oulu Finland 23 9 4 13 20 10 6 4 10 8
1984-85 Karpat Oulu Finland 22 8 6 14 47 7 2 3 5 4
1985-86 Karpat Oulu Finland 33 26 10 36 34 4 0 0 0 24
1985-86 Finland WEC-A 10 0 3 3 4
1986-87 Karpat Oulu Finland 44 24 25 49 30 9 7 1 8 6
1987-88 Karpat Oulu Finland 26 17 14 31 25
1987-88 Finland Olympics 8 1 0 1 4
1988-89 Karpat Oulu Finland 33 13 10 23 16
1989-90 Karpat Oulu Finland-2 35 17 24 41 31
1990-91 TPS Turku Finland 41 4 3 7 6 9 1 1 2 2
NHL Totals 2 0 0 0 0


Signed as a free agent by Buffalo, August 31, 1981.
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