The colors of Ilves, green, yellow and black, were taken from what was then the coat of arms the city of Tampere.
After the Second World War, Ilves started playing their home games at the then new Koulukatu ice rink. They had another championship spree in 1945–47 when they stayed undefeated for over four years (albeit playing only 36 games during that period).
In 1954 Ilves was for the first and so far only time relegated to the second highest level of Finnish hockey but managed to return to the top tier only one year later.
The last Finnish Cup competition in hockey was held in 1971. Ilves won the title and has therefore been the reigning champion since. In 1972 they also won another league championship, their 15th in total.
During the late 1970s, Ilves went through lean times. Finally, when Koovee, which was in no better condition, was relegated at the end of the 1979–80 season, the two clubs decided to sign an agreement of co-operation. The best players of Koovee moved to Ilves, the most notable of them being Risto Jalo.
In 1985, Ilves claimed their 16th and most recent championship. Along with Risto Jalo, the key players of that team were Raimo Helminen, Mikko Mäkelä, Ville Siren and Jukka Tammi. Repeating this success proved difficult, however, when in the following summer four players left the team to play in the NHL.
In the late '80s, Ilves had another brief stint of moderate success when coached by Sakari Pietilä. They finished first after the regular season in 1988 but were eliminated in the first round of playoffs. The next year they came away with a bronze medal, and finally in 1990 they reached the finals, only to lose to TPS.
For most of the 1990s the club struggled with financial problems and unclear issues concerning ownership. In sports performance the low point was in the spring of 1995 when Ilves finished last in the SM-liiga and had to fight the lower league teams Savonlinnan Pallokerho and Saimaan Pallo for their place among the elite for the next year.
Ilves managed to avoid relegation and was promptly reborn as a viable championship candidate, reaching the semifinals in 1997 and the finals a year after that. No trophies were brought home, however, and the heavy financial investments proved unsound as the club was suddenly facing the risk of bankruptcy in the fall of 1999. By selling players and cutting the wages of the entire organization, Ilves was able to stay afloat.
The 2000s have so far been a fairly mediocre period in Ilves history, with the high point being a bronze medal won in 2001. In 2003 Ilves again finished last in the league but was in no risk of relegation as the league was at that time closed. After that the team has consistently finished in the middle of the standings, being eliminated in the first or second round of the playoffs. The financial situation, however, seems to be more secure than in previous decades.
Ilves is the most decorated club in Finnish hockey. In addition to having won more men's championship titles than any other club, they also have that distinction in every junior level (with the exception of junior C (U-16) where Jokerit has one more), and also the most women's hockey championships. In total, Ilves has won 67 national championship titles which is 30 more than the second best has.
In the SM-liiga (and the preceding SM-sarja), Ilves has won the following medals:
|Number||Player||Glove hand||Contract||Place of Birth|
|--||Hannu Toivonen||L||2008||Kalvola, Finland|
|35||Tero Leinonen||L||2008||Mikkeli, Finland|
|37||Pasi Häkkinen||L||2008||Lappeenranta, Finland|
|Number||Player||Lower hand||Contract||Place of Birth|
|3||Toni Niemi||L||2008||Pirkkala, Finland|
|6||Joonas Lehtivuori||L||2009||Pirkkala, Finland|
|8||Teemu Jääskeläinen||L||2008||Tampere, Finland|
|19||Mikko Kuukka||L||2009||Hämeenkyrö, Finland|
|23||Jarkko Näppilä||L||2010||Tampere, Finland|
|26||Teppo Tuomanen||R||2008||Hyvinkää, Finland|
|33||Kevin Kantee||L||2009||Idaho Falls, USA|
|50||Matt Nickerson||R||2008||Old Lyme, Connecticut, USA|
|81||Arto Tukio||L||2009||Tampere, Finland|
|Number||Player||Lower hand||Playing situation||Contract||Place of Birth|
|10||Sami Sandell||L||W||2009||Nokia, Finland|
|11||Miikka Männikkö||R||W||2009||Tampere, Finland|
|18||Cameron Mann||R||W||2008||Thompson, MB, Canada|
|20||Ville Korhonen||L||W||2008||Tampere, Finland|
|21||Niko Snellman||L||W||2008||Tampere, Finland|
|27||Sami Torkki||L||W||2008||Rauma, Finland|
|36||Lassi Mattila||L||C||2008||Lempäälä, Finland|
|41||Raimo Helminen||L||C||2008||Tampere, Finland|
|42||Juuso Antonen||L||LW||2009||Tampere, Finland|
|51||Pasi Määttänen||L||LW||2008||Tampere, Finland|
|61||Marko Anttila||R||RW||2008||Lempäälä, Finland|
|79||Mike Bishai||L||C||2008||Edmonton, AB, Canada|
|85||Jaakko Pellinen||R||RW||2009||Tampere, Finland|
|91||Turo Järvinen||L||LW||2009||Espoo, Finland|
|--||Jakub Koreis||L||LW||2009||Plzen, Czech Republic|
|--||Jani Keinänen||L||C||2009||Hämeenlinna, Finland|
The seasons 1939–40 and 1941–42 were cancelled because of the war.
Retired players of Ilves fame.
Number 24 has not been retired officially but is not in use. It was last worn by Veikko Suominen who committed suicide during the 1978-79 season.
Ilves also has a history in soccer. They won the Finnish league championship in 1983 and the Finnish Cup in 1979 and 1990. The soccer club got into financial troubles in the late nineties. However, Ilves is a predecessor of the successful Tampere United. Ilves was defunct in soccer (except juniors) from 1998 to 2007 but will return in 2008 and play in the 2nd division (3rd highest level)
Ilves has, in addition to hockey and soccer, a futsal team in Finnish league which has won the Finnish championship three times (2004, 2005, 2007) and the cup competition once (2006), a floorball team at second highest level and a women's ringette team. They have numerous boys' and girls' junior teams in ice-hockey, soccer, floorball (boys only) and ringette (girls only) making the organization the largest sports club in Finland.
In the past, Ilves has also competed in American football, basketball, bowling, figure skating, handball, and volleyball. They have won a bronze medal in American football and a silver one in handball. Also Ilves has won the Finnish cup in handball.