Bruins Expand Black and Gold Empire, Enter Partnership With Finnish Club

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WILMINGTON, Mass. ? The Bruins are expanding their empire.

Not only is Boston beginning the season with a pair of games against Phoenix in Prague, but the Bruins will also be looking to establish a more lasting influence in Europe with a new arrangement to share resources with a club in Finland.

The club announced on Wednesday that it has entered a partnership agreement with Finnish SM-League Club, JYP Jyvaskyla. Under the agreement, the teams will be able to transfer players and have them train with the partner club and within the partner club?s developmental system, as well as exchange tactics and scouting information.

This gives the Bruins another option to develop their players in addition to their affiliates in Providence (AHL) and Reading (ECHL). JYP was founded in 1977 and captured its first league championship in 2009, and its NHL alumni include one-time Bruin Michael Nylander, Steve Kariya and Jody Shelley.

The 14-team SM-League is the top professional ice hockey league in Finland and one of the top leagues in all of Europe. Current Bruin goalies Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask both spent time in the SM-League, with Thomas playing for HIFK Helsinki, Karpat and Jokerit Helsinki, while Rask played for Ilves Tampere for three seasons from 2004-2007.

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