Jukka Nieminen: A tragic loss

Posted: June 11

By Todd Walsh
FOX Sports Arizona

The Phoenix Coyotes, like all our broadcast partners at FOX Sports Arizona, are our extended family.

And today we mourn with them.

A tragic story that occurred less than 24 hours ago is still mind boggling.

We got word that the team massage therapist, Jukka Nieminen, died, suddenly.

He was just 37 years old.

The sad irony is that he has family and friends from literally all over the world were gathering in Rhode Island for what was supposed to be his wedding ceremony that was to take place on Saturday.

Jukka was a mainstay in the organization since Day One.

The hockey community is like non other in sports … trust me. Whenever there is a call to action for a fellow man within, they pounce.

Jukka was the same.

I am sure that captain Shane Doan, head coach Dave Tippett, GM Don Maloney and President and CEO Doug Moss were on this from the onset.

I think of guys like Equipment Manager Stan Wilson, his assistants Tony Silva, Jason Ruddee. Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Bahn. Trainers Jason Serbus and John Bernal. Video Coach Steve Peters. Those guys are in pain right now. We are thinking of them.

I don�t know how the Coyotes will move on from this.

I do know that they will.

And I also know that things won�t ever quite be the same.

I�ve been saying this a lot lately.

Hug your family and friends. Life is too short and too precious.

Godspeed, Jukka.

To his fianc� Amy and his children Alexandra and Caroline � our thoughts and prayers are with you.