Halt! Since 2015 there has been an adapted, tougher law in Finland, which MP Maija Sakslin introduced: Every Finnish man has to go to the military for at least 3.5 months – without exception. A dilemma for the young NHL stars. Because conscription can be decisive for their careers, warn critics.
Before that there were easier conditions for the professional athletes, they could postpone their work or spread them over the summer months. And back home after a few nights in the barracks.
A thing of impossibility
But now there are only two engagement dates: April or October. Exactly, in the middle of the hockey season. A thing of the impossibility – without having to put your career on hold for a moment. In addition, compulsory military service must be performed between the ages of 18 and 28, and those who fail to do so may face imprisonment.
Patrik Laine (21, Winnipeg) along with Aleksander Barkov (24, Florida), Mikko Rantanen (24, Colorado) and Sebastian Aho (22, Carolina) is one of the affected NHL stars who left their homes at a young age. And have not yet done military service. After moving to North America in 2016, Laine applied for and was granted a stay. «This will last until next summer. Then I will submit the next application. I can’t afford not to train after the season. An important foundation is laid in summer training. »
«Who pays the insurance?»
At the same time, the striker understands that the same rules apply to all men, whether hockey players or supermarket employees. “At some point I will have to do my military service.” However, there would be better times for an NHL star than between 18 and 28.
A critic of the stricter military duty is player agent Tomi Haula. Above all, he asks the cost questions: «Who pays the expensive insurance for the players? Who gets his wages if he injures himself in the army? Haula has a pragmatic suggestion: “The players should pay a military service replacement of 50,000 euros, so the armed forces can buy weapons.” Just because a hockey player cannot go into the military doesn’t mean that he is not patriotic be.