Replacing Kärpät in the League

Only Joensuun Kiekkopojat was better than Jokerit in the division during the season 1988–89. With only a four-point difference, the boys from Joensuu left the city boys second. Both teams got the chance to play in the promotion qualifiers.

Replacing Kärpät in the League

JoKP met Ässät and Jokerit met Kärpät from Oulu. Three wins were required for a place in the league, and both series went to five games. As a bit of a surprise, both the teams from Pori and Oulu were sent to the lower series. Jokerit won their fifth game in Oulu 5-2, returning to the league.

In the spring of 1989, goalie Rauli Sohlman and defender Jarmo Koskinen retired. Sohlman wasn’t at his best anymore at the beginning of the second season in the division season. Jokerit management decided to get some outside help by putting Claus Daskalaskis in the goal mid-season. His excellent play was of vital ingredient in the success of the spring. The career of the American in Finland did not last longer than half a season though. Once back in the league, Jokerit acquired Jarmo Uronen from HIFK as their number one goalie. Other significant players did not transfer to Jokerit for the autumn, except for Heikki Riihijärvi from Kärpät and the Canadian Wayne Thompson from KalPa.

The first league season after a two-year break was sticky and was stained with bad luck. The season of gigantic promise Teemu Selänne were cut short after eleven matches as he broke his leg in a match against JyPHT. Jali Wahlsten came in to reinforce Jokerit for the rest of the season. As the threat of elimination was looming Wahlsten along with Melametsä, Thompson and his brother Sami proved to be invaluable players. The younger players still were not ready for success in the League, especially when their lead player was out because of his injury. In the end, Jokerit placed tenth in the charts, barely enough to keep them out of the qualifier rounds.

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