Sam the ‘Finnish Phenom’ is certainly one of the most memorable players to have played for the Eagles. Sam was a standout performer every game with slick hands, tremendous skating and shot that could break the glass (he literally broke the plexiglass at Murrayfield with a wrist shot - with a wooden stick!).
He was the big D-man we could depend on at both ends of the ice. I was lucky enough to have played with him in several games (and probably to have picked up a few extra assists because of it). Sam played a physical, but disciplined game. He starred for both the Phoenix and Eagles through his years at the University of Edinburgh: featuring in the Eagles first BUIHA Cup playoff appearance, two Celtic Cup wins against the Cardiff Redhawks, and the Phoenix Scottish Plate (second tier Scottish recreational tournament) win in 2009. He also appeared in the 2011 Scottish Cup final in which he won player of the tournament (as pictured above in the white sweater).
Sam’s brother, Tomas, also played for the Eagles as a goaltender and, on one occasion, as a skater. Tomas also played as a forward for the now-defunct B team, the Edinburgh Beagles.
Off the ice, Sam was a gentleman. Quiet and soft spoken, it surprised me to know that Sam’s pre-game tunes were all Scandinavian metal. Sam’s best quality was that, despite all his talent, he was team-first guy.
Deservedly, his number 44 was retired by the Eagles in 2011.