Hannu Virta
Position defenceman
Nickname(s) Hantta
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
180 lb (82 kg)
Teams SM-liiga
Buffalo Sabres
Nationalliga A
ZSC Lions
Nationalliga B
Grasshopper Zürich
Nationality Flag of Finland Finnish
Born (1963-03-22)March 22, 1963,
Turku, FIN
NHL Draft 38th overall, 1981
Buffalo Sabres
Pro Career 1981 – 1998
Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Bronze Lillehammer 1994 Team Competition

Hannu Virta (born March 22, 1963, in Turku, Finland) is a retired Finnish professional ice hockey defenceman. He was named the best defenceman in the Finnish Elite League (SM-liiga) four times, and was a five-time all-star. He also won the Jarmo Wasama Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 1981-82.

Career[edit | edit source]

Virta was drafted in the second round, 38th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He played 245 National Hockey League games with the Sabres over five seasons, scoring 25 goals and adding 101 assists. He also appeared in 17 playoff games with Buffalo, scoring one goal and tallying three assists.

He returned to the SM-liiga in Finland in 1986, where he played for TPS Turku until 1994, as well as in 1996-97. He helped his team win the league championship three consecutive years beginning in 1988-89. In 461 league games, he scored 68 goals and 213 assists for 281 points. He also played in Switzerland, in the Swiss B League with the GCK Lions from 1994 to 1996 and in the Swiss A League with the ZSC Lions in 1997-98.

Internationally, Virta won a bronze medal at the Under-20 World Junior Championships in 1982. As an adult, he won a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics playing for Finland's national ice hockey team. He played at seven IIHF World Championships, winning gold in 1995 and silver in 1994, and leading the tournament in assists in 1996. He also played in the 1987 Canada Cup and 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Virta's number 23 was retired by TPS Turku.

Coaching Career[edit | edit source]

He coached in the SM-liiga with the Espoo Blues from 2003-04, and as of 2008, he coached for his old team TPS. On 27 October 2008 he was sacked. On 12 January 2009 he signed a contract as Head Coach for Hockey Club Lugano.

Preceded by
Pekka Rautakallio
Winner of the Pekka Rautakallio trophy
Succeeded by
Timo Jutila
Preceded by
Timo Jutila
Winner of the Pekka Rautakallio trophy
1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91
Succeeded by
Harri Laurila
Preceded by
Timo Jutila
Winner of the President's trophy
Succeeded by
Jarmo Myllys
Preceded by
Ted Sator
Head Coach of Blues
Succeeded by
Pekka Rautakallio
Preceded by
Hannu Jortikka
Head Coach of TPS
Succeeded by

External links[edit | edit source]

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