Getting to Know: Red Wings forward Teemu Pulkkinen

Red Wings sophomore defenseman talks about growing up playing on outdoor rinks, and getting to play outdoor games in Finland.

Status: Detroit Red Wings forward

HT: 5-11 WT: 183 pounds

DOB: January 2, 1992 In: Vantaa, Finland

First Hockey Memory: “I have older brother (Toni) and he started to play. First memory is playing outside. We didn’t have many rinks in my hometown so everybody was playing outside. So that was my first memory.”

Hockey Inspirations: “My brother. We had great players in Finland at that time. I was following Selanne. And when I was growing up a little bit I was following Ovechkin, Stamkos. Those goal scorer guys like Ilya Kovalchuk.”

Last Book Read: “I read the book by the goalie who was playing in KHL. He was writing a story about life in the KHL.”

Current Car: “I have a BMW X6 (white).”

Greatest Sports Moment: “I don’t have any big moments so far. One of the best was when I play my first outdoor game with Jokerit. Full stadium in Helsinki. So forty-thousand people. And scored a couple of goals. So it was nice.”

Most Painful Moment: “Oh I had a lot of injuries. So all the injuries. They are painful for your body but your mind too. It’s hard to be out and not playing hockey. It’s hard to say just one but a couple months ago I dislocated my shoulder. It was pretty hard to be out a couple months.”

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Why Do You Love Playing Hockey: “Just the speed of the game, and the emotion out there when you play. When you play in full arena with great fans. So that’s nice.”

Most Memorable Goal: “Probably the second goal I scored in outdoor game. I don’t have any special goals so I have to say that one.”

Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “I love to watch tennis. And like to play tennis. I like to play golf too in summer time.”

Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “I’m a big cycling guy so I was following cycling back in the day with big rivalry between Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich. Also enjoy watching the great athletes like Roger Federer and Usain Bolt. I enjoy watching all the sports.”

First Famous Player You Met or Encountered: “I can’t remember who I met first. Probably one of the players on my hometown team Jokerit.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “Jarkko Ruuttu is a funny guy.”

Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Just people who enjoy life and just go forward.”

Mark “Scoop” Malinowski is the author of tennis books “Facing Federer” and “Facing Hewitt” which are available at amazon. He’s currently working on “Facing Probert.”