Wednesday

Kari Takko


There have been a lot of trades in NHL history. My favorite? On November 22nd, 1990 the Minnesota North Stars traded him to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a defenseman named Bruce Bell. The transaction proved to be entirely insignificant, but it will live on forever in the annals of hockey lore as "the Takko-Bell Trade."

Kari Takko was a goalie from Uusikaupunki, Finland. The Quebec Nordiques originally drafted Takko in 1981, but he reentered the draft and became property of the Minnesota North Stars in 1984. He had developed a decent reputation as a prospect thanks to solid play at the World Juniors and at the 1984 Olympics.

Takko, a stand up goalie who relied on playing the angles, debuted with the North Stars in 1986, and for four seasons he split goaltending duties firstly Don Beaupre and then Jon Casey, with fellow Finn Jarmo Myllys seemingly always knocking on the door. Success was hard to come by in Minnesota at that time, however. Takko's GAA and save percentage were down right brutal, and losses mounted faster than the wins. Shingles in his ear did not help one year, but Minny's poor defense really ailed him.

The Oilers traded for Takko in 1990 after Grant Fuhr was indefinitely suspended for cocaine use. Takko backed up Bill Ranford, playing in just 11 games. The Oilers went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, but Takko was not part of that championship. When Fuhr returned, the Oilers tried assigning Takko to the minor leagues. Takko balked at that, and retired instead.

Takko did return to Europe and played in Finland and later Sweden until 2000. He would later serve as a European scout for the Dallas Stars.

Kari Takko's son, Karri Takko, would grow up to play professional hockey in Finland.

2 comments:

mark steirer,  March 25, 2013 at 7:55 PM  

Razor and Strangis just brought this up tonight in the wake of the Morrow-for-Morrow trade.

Always good for a laugh.

Anonymous,  September 11, 2015 at 11:50 PM  

Kari Takko was actually traded to the Oilers after they won the 1990 Stanley Cup. He was traded for Bruce Bell on November 22, 1990.

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