Stephen Dixon, Cardiff Devils’ players player of the season in 2018-19, has played his part in recruitment for the new season.
Canadian Dixon is back for a second season in Cardiff and recommended Finnish forward Masi Marjamaki to head coach Andrew Lord.
Marjamaki is one of three new signings for Devils, along with Mike McNamee and Blair Riley.
Former Boston Bruins player Marjamaki is the sixth Finnish player to sign for Devils in their 33-year history, following Saku Eklof, Markku Tahtinen, Marco Poulsen, Joonas Liimatainen and Kim Ahlroos.
Marjamaki and Dixon played together for Tappara in Finland and Devils head coach Andrew Lord says: “We have loads of faith in Dicko and how he plays. He recommended Masi, who is a similar style of player.
“He has a great engine on him, skates well and is a workhorse who finishes his checks.
“Masi loves going to the net and into dirty areas. He plays a great game overall.”
Lord and Marjamaki met in Calgary on Sunday evening when the new Devils man joined the club owners, managing director Todd Kelman and Joey Martin at Steve King’s house.
“He’s a great guy,” says Lord. “The reports on him as a guy were fantastic and, having met him face-to-face, they were spot on. A team first player.
“I’m really excited about signing both Masi and Mike McNamee. Both are signings a little bit under cover.
“Masi is looking forward to going at it and try to win his first professional Championship. He has good speed, is a tall player and decent on face-offs.
“The really exciting part of his game is skating through open ice, while he has great vision, stick skills. His overall offensive ability is through the roof.”
Marjamaki is a left-winger who has played for NHL clubs Boston Bruins and New York Islanders. He was originally a second round NHL draft pick by Boston 66th overall in 2003 and by Islanders two years later.
Gritty, physical player who made more than 150 American League appearances for Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
He returned to Finland where he played for Ässät, Tappara, KHL club Jokerit and Swedish team Almtuna IS.
Marjamaki, aged 34, spent last season with Czech outfit Piráti Chomutov.
Devils connections to Finland.
Big-hitting forward Saku, now aged 41, is from Hattula in Southern Finland. He played 82 matches for Devils between 1998 and 2000.
Retired in 2003.
Playmaking centre who, like Marjamaki, is from Pori in Western Finland. Tahtinen its now aged 41 and retired from playing two years ago.
He made 15 appearances for Devils in 2014-15, scoring six points (2+4).
Tahtinen arrived in Cardiff after a 3,000-plus miles journey from Kazakhstan where he had been playing for Arystan Temirtau.
Centre from Helsinki. Now aged 48, retired from ice hockey in 2006. Scored 16 points (9+7) in 17 appearances for Devils.
Big D-man, 6ft 3ins tall, from Tampere. Three appearances for Devils.
Now aged, 28, last played in 2017-18.
Joined the under-18 set-up at Tampere-based Tappara in 2007 aged 16. Played 36 times in Finland’s top professional league.
Right-winger from Helsinki, now aged 48. Played 44 matches for Devils in 2000-01, scoring 33 points (16+17).
American D-man who played 12 matches for Devils last season before leaving to sign for Finnish club Tappara. Made 37 appearances for his new club and will play for them again next season.
Cardiff Devils’ confirmed signings for 2019-20 (14):
Head coach: Andrew Lord
Netminder: Ben Bowns
Defence: Mark Louis (import), Gleason Fournier (14).
Forwards: Masi Marjamaki (import), Blair Riley (import), Stephen Dixon (import), Matthew Myers, Matt Pope (import), Mike McNamee (import), Sam Duggan, Joey Martin (import), Joey Haddad (import), Charles Linglet (import), Josh Batch.
Cardiff Devils pre-season and Champions League schedule:
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11: Cardiff Devils v Fehervar (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Saturday 17: Nottingham Panthers v Devils (in Nottingham)
Sunday 18 Devils v Nottingham Panthers (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Sunday 25 Devils V MAC Budapest (Viola Arena, Cardiff Bay)
Friday 30 Devils v Mountfield HK (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Sunday 1 Devils v Graz 99ers (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 6pm)
Thursday 5 Mountfield HK v Devils (5pm)
Saturday 7 Graz 99ers v Devils (6.15pm)
Tuesday 8 Frolunda Indians v Devils (5pm)
Tuesday 15 Devils v Frolunda Indians (Champions Hockey League fixture, Viola Arena, 7.30pm)
Elite League and Challenge Cup fixtures still to be announced.