IIHF Hall Of Fame Induction 2023

Kalervo Kummola


Born Raisio, Finland, November 21, 1945

Kummola was a presence at IIHF events for decades, making the game better internationally just as he had done in Finland. ©  FIHA (Finnish Ice Hockey Association)
Kummola was president of the FIHA for two decades (1997- 2016), and over the course of his career in Finland he became evermore active with the IIHF. He was a vice-president of the IIHF from 2003-2021, but before that he served on perhaps more committees than anyone previous, including the committees for Sport, Marketing, Disciplinary, Coaching, and Co-ordination, to name but a few.

Additionally, he served a term as a Council member, and was president of the Champions Hockey League for two years (2008- 10). At the Olympics, he represented Finland at Directorate meetings for seven Winter Games (1984-2010).

In addition to his contributions to the ongoing success of hockey in his country, Kummola also co-founded the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame and was on its Board of Directors for 33 years. He continues to Chair the Selection Committee, a role he started in 1986.

At every step along the way, Kummola has demonstrated a keen business understanding of the game and has earned the respect of everyone with whom he has worked. His longevity is due in part because of his success, of course, but also because of his process and methods for achieving his ambitions, which are rooted in the good of the game and the development of the game both in Finland and around the globe.

Whether at the local level, the national level, or international level, Kummola has been a contributor to the development and success of hockey for half a century, bringing Finland, and the IIHF, to ever-greater heights.
An enormous influence over the state of Finnish hockey for the last half century, Kale Kummola contributed to hockey within his country, with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, and internationally, through a multitude of roles with the IIHF. Like many great administrators, his hockey career as a player never took off, but that only led to greater success as an organizer than he ever could have imagined.

Kummola retired as a player in 1967 and immediately jumped into the role of president of the Kiekko-67 team, a role he assumed after co-founding the team out of the ashes of AIFK. Kummola, only 22 at the time, held this role for a decade, during which time he helped merge the team with TPS in 1971 and TuTo four years later, making it one of the strongest teams in the top Finnish league. Out of this work, Kummola helped establish the SM-Liiga as the country’s top domestic league, which today produces many of the world’s best players. He was Commissioner for the league from 1975 to 1987.
Thanks to his prominent role in club play, Kummola also became active internationally with the Finnish Ice Hockey Association. He joined the Board of Directors in 1975, and remained on the Board for 15 years until becoming vice-president. In 1988, Kummola saved the Jokerit franchise, which had looked destined to fold, and brought in Harry “Hjallis” Harkimo as the team’s chairman of the board. Under Harkimo, the team built Hartwall Arena, a state-of-the-art facility that revived the once floundering franchise.

As Finland’s national league thrived, Kummola also brought the national team to its greatest prominence. On a personal level, he was the president or vice-president of the Organizing Committees for countless World Championships at home and abroad, as well as World Junior, U18, and women’s tournaments. He was also instrumental in hiring Curt Lindstrom as Suomi’s coach in 1993, and two years later Finland won its first ever gold medal at the IIHF World Championship.