Tomorrow the Edinburgh Capitals face off against EIHL rivals Guildford Flames and we are happy to welcome a former Caps player who will be in attendance along with his family - Finnish defenceman Erkka Tapio. Tapio iced with the club back in our inaugural season in 1998-99.
Those fans who remember Erkka will recall the 25 year old, 6ft2", 212lbs, blonde haired Dman patrolling the blueline two decades ago. Tapio arrived at the Caps having played the majority of his career in his homeland Finland with his CV including stints with Titaanit, Heki, Kiekko-Vantaa and Nikkarit, mostly of the Finnish second division. A few years prior to coming to Scotland he also spent a campaign playing in Germany with EV Fussen.
His season with the Caps in 1998-99 saw the Caps play in the British National League led by Player Coach Doug Marsden and GM Scott Neil. Erkka was to have a very impressive season personally and finished up winning the Caps Player of the Year award and finished the campaign having played in 48 games scoring 7 goals and 14 assists for 21 points. He also sat in the penalty box for 66 minutes that year.
After his year in Edinburgh he returned back home to his native Finland and re signed with Heki playing in the Suomi-Sarja league. This was to be his final year playing pro hockey and he retired from the game.
Away from hockey Erkka became a surgical and medical nurse and has worked in the medical sector the last 18 years.
When I asked him about his visit to Edinburgh this weekend Erkka said: "Last May I was on a business trip in Edinburgh. First time in Edinburgh since season 1998-1999. I was visiting Murrayfield Ice Rink and I talked there with Scott Neil. I promised him that I was gonna come in this season to watch a game and feel the atmosphere at Murrayfield. Great fans, great city and everything worked well in my time there. I want to feel that once again, to see a great game and maybe see a few old friends.
Now I have got the chance to come with my wife Erja and at the same time we can see our daughter Noora there. She is in two months training period for school in Edinburgh. She is really happy there, last time she was in Edinburgh was 1999 and she was only three months old . Our older daughter Lida can not come with us because of her school. I really look forward to Saturday and an excellent ambiance at Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
Kind Regards, Erkka Tapio #72"
We would like to wish Erkka and his family a very warm welcome back here to Murrayfield on Saturday and hope they enjoy their stay back in the capital city of Scotland.