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Matti Hagman, first Finn to play in the NHL, dead at 61

Former HIFK winger Matti Hagman died on Tuesday night at the age of 61. Hagman as a trailblazer in Finnish ice hockey, becoming the first Finn to move to the NHL when he signed for Boston Bruins in 1975.

Matti Hagman Talviklassikossa
Matti Hagman Image: Tomi Hänninen

Finnish hockey legend Matti Hagman has died at the age of 61. He passed away in hospital on Tuesday night, after seeking treatment at hospital on Saturday.

In 1976 Hagman became the first Finn to move from the Finnish league to the National Hockey League, where he signed for Boston Bruins.

He won three Finnish championships and on four occasions he was the leading points scorer in an SM Liiga season. His son Niklas Hagman is also a prominent hockey player, currently at Helsinki's KHL franchise Jokerit.

The news was first reported by Ilta-Sanomat.

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