Jokerit ice hockey club will pursue a return to the Finnish league “Liiga” for the 2023-24 season. In the 2022-23 season the club will not have a first team but junior teams continue to operate normally.
Jokerit played in the KHL for eight seasons. At the end of February, the club announced its decision to stop the season due to Russia's war against Ukraine. During the following weeks, Jokerit, under the leadership of its owner Jari Kurri, completed its final exit from the KHL and terminated cooperation with the club's co-owner and official key partner Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta. Kurri also left his position on the KHL Board of Directors.
-During our time in the KHL, we have systematically worked to further develop Finnish ice hockey. Our goal has been to build the best possible conditions for the development of players and coaches. At the same time, it can be honestly stated that issues related to matters outside of hockey have affected the club’s reputation. We will do our best to restore people's confidence in Jokerit, Kurri continues.
Jokerit Hockey Club Oy is now 100% owned by Jari Kurri. In the future, the company's ownership will be built on a genuinely and transparently responsible and sustainable foundation. Jokerit Hockey Club Oy has the support of the junior organisation Helsingin Jokerit ry which owns the rights to the logo and name of the club.
-We appreciate Jari Kurri's straightforward decision to disconnect Jokerit from the KHL. We stand completely behind him and Jokerit Hockey Club Oy in the process of building the club's future, says Kim Borgström, chairman of Helsingin Jokerit ry.
Jokerit’s objective is to return to the Finnish league “Liiga” for the 2023-24 season. The club will submit its license application before the deadline set by the league which will then be processed by Liiga’s annual general meeting.
-We have a lot of work to do in building our eligibility to be able to play in Liiga and we are currently searching for new co-owners to work by my side. I am confident that we will be able to meet all the criteria required by Liiga, states Kurri.
-Cooperation with junior organisation Helsingin Jokerit ry continues normally, even though next season will be a construction year for the first team. During this spring, it has been wonderful to see that Finnish companies and individuals have the will to be involved in writing this new chapter in the story of Jokerit, says Sami Kauhanen, Managing Director of Jokerit.
Jokerit has played its home games at the formerly known Hartwall Arena since 1997. However, if there are no changes in the arena's ownership base in the future, Jokerit will look for a new home.