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{{Infobox Ice Hockey Player
{{Infobox Ice Hockey Player
| teams=[[Atlanta Thrashers]], [[Dallas Stars]]
| team=[[Dallas Stars]]
| former_teams = '''[[SM-liiga]]''' <br> [[Jokerit]]
| former_teams = '''[[SM-liiga]]''' <br> [[Jokerit]], [[Atlanta Thrashers]]
| league = [[NHL]]
| league = [[NHL]]
| image = Kari L.jpg
| image = Kari L.jpg

Revision as of 00:56, 31 March 2010

Kari Lehtonen
Kari L.jpg
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Nickname(s) "Kärppä" ("Stoat")
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
205 lb (93 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
Dallas Stars
Jokerit, Atlanta Thrashers
Nationality FIN
Born (1983-11-16)November 16, 1983,
Helsinki, FIN
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 2002
Atlanta Thrashers
Pro Career 2004 – present

Kari Lehtonen (born November 16, 1983 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender. He was drafted 2nd overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers. In 2001, as the youngest goalie in the SM-liiga, he earned the league's playoff MVP award, while he was playing for Jokerit.

During the 2003-2004 NHL season he played four games for the Thrashers, winning all four of them and posting one shutout. On opening night of the 2005-2006 season, Lehtonen suffered a serious groin injury when Florida Panthers center Nathan Horton collided with Lehtonen. The injury sidelined him for 35 games. Lehtonen was once again injured on April 6 2006 when Tampa Bay Lightning forward Chris Dingman collided with him. Lehtonen tried to get to his feet but sprained his ankle in the process.

Shortly into the 2006-2007 NHL Season Kari Lehtonen broke the Atlanta Thrashers shutout streak record previously held by Michael Garnett. He also set his career highs in every category.

AirTran Airways, a low-cost airline with an Atlanta hub with more than 250 departures per day, signed Kari Lehtonen as an endorser for the 2006-2007 season.

On February 8, 2007, Lehtonen became the Thrashers franchise leader for wins by a goaltender with 49, surpassing Pasi Nurminen's record of 48.

On April 12th, 2007, Lehtonen was the starting goaltender for the Thrashers in their first NHL playoff game.

After a rough start to the 2007 season, Lehtonen suffered another groin injury on October 18, 2007. He would miss sixteen games before returning on December 5, 2007.


  • Urpo Ylönen trophy for best SM-liiga goaltender - 2002 and 2003
  • Jari Kurri trophy for best player during the playoffs - 2002
  • Best Goalie in the Ice Hockey World Championships in Moscow 2007
  • Silver Medal for Hockey World Championships -2007


  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for games played by a goaltender (110).[1]
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for victories (58).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader shutouts (7).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for games played by a goaltender in a single season (68).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for saves in a single season (1,892).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for shutouts in a single season (4).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for starts in a single season (66).
  • Atlanta Thrashers franchise leader for minutes played in a single season (3,934).



  1. Cooper, Jon (2007). Lehtonen Primed For Spotlight. Atlanta Thrashers. Retrieved on 2007-04-16.

External links

Preceded by
Jussi Markkanen
Winner of the Urpo Ylönen trophy
2001-02 & 2002-03
Succeeded by
Niklas Bäckström
Preceded by
Jussi Tarvainen
Winner of the Jari Kurri trophy
Succeeded by
Esa Pirnes
Preceded by
Timo Jutila
Winner of the Kalen Kannu
Succeeded by
Esa Pirnes

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