The NHL star Teuvo Teräväinen is featured in a new video promoting both floorball and the upcoming Men’s U19 World Floorball Championships played in Halifax, Canada, May 8th – 12th 2019.
Teuvo Teräväinen is a Stanley Cup champion and plays for Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL, but he also has a long background in floorball. As a C-junior (in 2008-09) he represented the Finnish floorball club Tapanilan Erä and scored a total of 57 points (36+21) in 15 matches.
Still today, Teuvo Teräväinen thinks that floorball is the best off ice training:
Interview with NHL star Teuvo Teräväinen, who promotes floorball in North America: “This is a really cool game”
The Stanley Cup winner Teuvo Teräväinen has joined the International Floorball Federation – IFF in the promotion of the floorball in North America. The Men’s under 19 World Floorball Championships are organised in Halifax, Nova Scotia in May 2019. The popularity of floorball is increasing on the North American continent and the help of Mr. Teräväinen is warmly welcomed in the promotion of the sport. Why and how is he participating in the promotion of the sport?
Mr. Terväväinen, why are you participating in this project?
– I have played floorball on the side of ice hockey as a junior back in Finland, for as long as it has timewise been possible. Floorball is very dear to me and now when I have the possibility to give something back to the sport, I’m gladly doing it. The International Federation asked me to do the video-shoot and as we could fit it in to my schedule, I was all in for it.
The NHL players are very busy during summer?
– Yes, that’s true, I train in average twice a day and on top of that I need to take care of my body, so it is a lot of work. I have tried to free as much time during the summer for myself, which I think that most of the players does. But I reserved some time for the video-shoot, which actually was really fun.
On the video you performed some different basic floorball stuff, like shooting and making tricks with the ball. Did that come from pure memory?
– Well, in the beginning of the shoot, I was a little lost, as I haven’t played or even touched the stick and ball for quite some time. It took a while before the touch to the light stick and ball returned, but then it gradually started coming back and in the end, I didn’t even want to stop playing.
Are you happy with the result?
– I am, the most important thing would be to spread this sport to North America, as it is a really great (cool) sport.
In which club did you play floorball and how did you get started?
– My club has always been Tapanilan Erä, which is EräViikingit today. We lived very close to the arena, so it was a natural choice for me. Both my mother and father played floorball in the Finnish national league, so I think there are is inherited blood for the sport. I spent an enormous amount of time at the “Mosanmäki” floorball arena when I was young, if we didn’t have our own practices, we watched other practising and played and made tricks outside the rink, Teräväinen says laughing.
Are your soft hands a result of playing floorball?
– I can’t say that it is only because of Floorball, but I have played/made tricks with the floorball stick and ball quite a number of hours. The ball is much lighter than the puck, so you need to have sensitive hands, to be able to control the ball. Floorball gives a lot of help for playing ice hockey, as the playing position is almost the same, passing and shooting are quite similar, and you need to keep your head up. By playing floorball you can enhance your game understanding and hand-eye coordination in a way which benefits your level of hockey.
Mr. John Liljelund, IFF secretary general how important was it to get Mr. Teräväinen to participate in this project?
– It is without doubt the best possible type of support we can have in North America. We are talking about a Stanley Cup winner, who plays major minutes for his team night after night. When you add that he had a prominent junior career in floorball and he now wants to be part of spreading the sport, so we can only conclude that we are truly lucky.
Is it correct/OK to market floorball as an off-ice form of training to Ice Hockey?
– You need to raise the general awareness of the sport in some ways in North America and here we have a natural connection, as the sports resemble each other. If we look how the sports have been spread in Europe, floorball is present in the strong ice hockey countries, like Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and of course Finland. In the beginning floorball was called the sport for ice hockey drop-out players who didn’t make it on the ice, but this is quite difficult to connect to Mr. Teräväinen.
Why has the sport then not spread to North America?
– The biggest reason is probably the sport structure in North America and the extremely tough competition in schools and universities, where most of the sport played by youth is done. It has been really difficult to enter here.
How do you see the connection between Floorball and Ice Hockey?
– I dear say, that there has not been to many players going from Czech Republic, Finland, Sweden or Switzerland to the NHL, who wouldn’t have had any experience of Floorball, as floorball is part of the school PE curriculum and is one of the most popular team sports in these countries. If you follow Mr. Teräväinen on the ice, you can clearly see some effect of floorball in his stick and puck handling, with his soft hands. The in-sweeper shot has partly come to hockey from floorball and you don’t probably need talk too much about Mikael Granlund’s air hook in the World Championships.
In May 2019, the world’s best U19 men’s floorball teams will play in Halifax and the ticket sale has started on the official website: floorball2019.com
Get to know the host city by watching the Men’s U19 WFC 2019 trailer: