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Red Wings Victim Niinimaa in Trouble With Law

McCarty beat Niinimaa on 1997 Cup-winning goal



Red Wings McCarty
Red Wings forward Darren McCarty leaving Janne Niinimma in his wake en route to 1997 Stanley Cup winner.

When the Detroit Red Wings were ending their 42-year Stanley Cup drought in the spring of 1997, Janne Niinimaa was the goat. Not a GOAT in the Tom Brady sense, but an old-school goat.

The victim.

It was Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Niinimaa that Red Wings forward Darren McCarty turned into a turnstile before deposting the Stanley Cup-winning goal behind Philly netminder Ron Hextall.

However, if you thought that was Niinimaa’s worst day, well you’d be dead wrong.

A court was recently issuing Niinimma a conviction for tax fraud in a Helsinki, Finland. According to court documents, Niinimaa, 48, was found guilty of failing to return a pre-filled tax return in 2020. There was a capital income of 308,310.87 euros tin earnings from the United States that he wasn’t reporting as income.

It was determined that Niinimaa was owing nearly 55,000 euros in income tax in his native Finland. These arrears were determined by the fact that Niinimaa had paid similar tax amounts on capital gains from the sales of shares and interest every year prior since 2015.

The judge was handing the former NHL defenseman a sentence of four months in prison. However, the judge did opt to revert to a suspended sentence, meaning Niinimaa won’t be spending any time behind bars. Along with paying his back taxes, Niinimaa will also be required to cover court costs for the trial and pay a standard crime victim fee.

McCarty Remembers Red Wings Cup Winner

In his book My Last Fight, co-written with DHN colleague Kevin Allen, McCarty vividly recollects his memorable Cup-winning tally.

“As I crossed the blue line . . . I could sense Niinimaa was driving into me,” McCarty recalled. “Niinimaa moved in to knock away the puck, and I moved the puck outside and past him.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Flyers goalie Ron Hextall driving out of the net, embracing his own plan to poke the puck off my stick. But . . . I pulled the puck back and went around him.”