League official Sepp Blatter announced that Helsinki has won the vote to host the Season 5 All-Star game on Aug. 2. In a runoff election, GMs favored the Finnish city to Berlin, Germany, by a 14-7 count.
In a related note, Blatter said the league named Finland’s national team coach as one of the honorary coaches for the game. The coach of the Swiss national team was also selected.
Coaching the Northern Conference will be Kari Jalonen. Jalonen, 55, holds the single season scoring record in the Finnish SM-Liiga, with 93 points in 44 games during the 1986-87 season. He played in the NHL for a short time, suiting up for the Calgary Flames for 34 games and for the Edmonton Oilers for 3 games. In those 37 games, he scored 9 goals and 15 points. He also had 41 points in 42 World Hockey Championship games in the 1980s. He currently coaches the Finnish national team.
The Southern Conference will be former NHL goalie Glen Hanlon. Hanlon, 58, is currently head coach of the Swiss national team. Coincidentally, Blatter is Swiss. Hanlon has also coached in the NHL with Washington, the KHL with Minsk, and the Belarusian national team. In the NHL, the Manitoba-born Hanlon started with Vancouver and the first person to score on him was none other than Wayne Gretzky. He also played for the Blues, Rangers and Red Wings.