Buffalo Sabres goalie Mika Noronen in action against the New Jersey Devils.
Photo credit: TSN

Former Canucks and Sabres goalie convicted of fraud

Published May 14, 2024 at 9:20 PM

A former goaltender of the Vancouver Canucks and the Buffalo Sabres was convicted of fraud in Finland, his home country.

According to a new report from the Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat, the ex-goalie Mika Noronen, who was drafted in the first round of the 1997 NHL draft by the Sabres, was given a 60-days jail sentence tax fraud.

However, the sentence was suspended by the court because of Noronen's clean record and he should be able to avoid jail time, if he meets certain conditions.

"It was his NHL pension. Noronen played in the NHL for several seasons during his career and was entitled to a pension of almost [$150,000 USD].

The pension was triggered when the ex-goalkeeper turned 40 in June, 2019. Noronen reported his tax number to the US authorities in Finland and requested payment to a Finnish bank account.

The money arrived in Noronen's account. The following spring, Noronen received a pre-filled tax return but failed to declare his pension income."

Noronen played only 71 games in the NHL between 2000 and 2006, and when his pension kicked in, a few years ago, he didn't think to declare it in his tax reports.

The former goalie provided insights on what happened, saying he didn't want to avoid paying taxes:

"My intention was not to avoid tax. I wanted to pay my taxes in Finland, because this is where I live and where my children live."

Noronen reportedly paid all he had to, but he could still get punished as he committed a crime. Updates will follow.

Source: Blade of Steel - Former NHL goaltender convicted of found guilty in Finland
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