Sheffield Steelers: Kolehmainen is settling in nicely in Steel City
Janne Kolehmainen has revealed how seeing teammates’ families is helping him get over being homesick during the Christmas and New Year period.
The barrelling winger joined Sheffield Steelers earlier this month, but had to leave his family behind in Finland.
The power forward has been welcomed into the dressing room and has become an uncompromising, hard-working asset in the nine games with his new club.
He has yet to find the net, though; a barren period he'd love to end over the New Year in the two games against Nottingham Panthers.
Kolehmainen, 33, a veteran of 831 Liga league and play off games, has one assist to his name so far.
But his improving fitness is now improving his all-round game.
The player has had to blank off thoughts of missing his family as he tries to help Steelers win silverware.
“My family is back home. The kids are in the school and my wife is working, so it is hard,” he admitted.
“Especially at Christmas-time, it is super hard.”
Asked how he coped, he replied: “Thank God we have FaceTime. It is easier, you can speak on your phone and you can see the kids and talk with them. It helps a lot. When you go and see other families you can see their kids and stuff.
“That makes it easier, too. I spend the whole summer with the kids so it is a little hard right now to be without them.”
Before signing at Sheffield Arena, Kolehmainen sought the advice of old pal Mikka Kuukka who had a 21-game spell at the club before returning to Finland.
"I knew a little bit, how the hockey is here.
“I have been here playing CHL (Champions Hockey League) a few years ago.
“I knew there was a nice rink and a nice crowd, cheering for us.
“I think hockey has been going forward here since the past few years.
“I heard some good stuff from Kuukka, an old team-mate I called him before I came here.
“Actually, I think it is even better than I thought.”
Steelers will be looking for their sixth win out of seven against Panthers so far this term.
Nottingham go into the match on the back of a 3-4 overtime win.