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Penguins Riikola Has an Old Friend and New Opportunity | PHN+

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Juuso Riikola Pittsburgh Penguins
Juuso Riikola/Courtesy of Pittsburgh Penguins

More than his new linemates, more than the coaches, more than the fans, perhaps no one was happier to see new Pittsburgh Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen finally arrive than Juuso Riikola, the team’s little-used defenseman.

“Him being here now, it’s awesome,” Riikola said Monday of Kapanen. “Last year I was kind of alone without any friends, but now I have one.”

That would conjure a number of sad memes, except that a little bit of extrapolation reveals that Riikola probably was talking about pre-existing friends and a fellow countryman at that. He and Kapanen are Finnish.

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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