Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Zigmund Palffy: The End of a Great Career.

Some really shocking news today as 33 year-old Pittsburgh Penguins winger Zigmund Palffy announced his retirement due to a re-occurring shoulder pain that just wouldn't go away.

The English-language news item, from The Star.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Ziggy Palffy will retire because of a lingering shoulder injury, a Slovak paper reported Wednesday.

"I have agreed on all matters related to my retirement with the Pittsburgh management," Palffy told the Sport daily. "There is no point in suffering any longer."
It's a sudden end to a very successful career for one of the best ever players Slovakia has ever produced. This doesn't hurt the Slovak's Olympic chances, since Palffy had already retired from International competition this past summer.

Palffy was never one of my favourite players (more on that in a bit), but he has been fun to watch over the years and it's too bad that the NHL faces a premature loss of one of its best players.

The Slovak Hockey website has a good look back at Palffy's career with the headline "Žigmund Pálffy - Hockeyist with the Talent of God". That headline is deadly accurate, as Palffy has the most natural talent I have seen in a Slovak player, and one wonders how much more damage he could have done in the NHL had he not been so lazy in his off-ice endeavors.

Back when he was 18 (1990-91), Palffy broke into the Slovak league with AC Nitra and scored 34 goals and 16 assists in 50 games. Paired with centerman and good friend Jozef Stumpel, Palffy quickly shot to stardom. Palffy was one of the few Slovaks chosen to the Czechoslovakian junior team and proceeded to score 13 points in 7 games with a very loaded squad. Amazingly, Palffy had to wait until the 2nd round (26th overall) to get drafted by the New York Islanders.

After his sensation breakout year, Palffy was 'drafted' by Dukla Trencin, the army team that took away a lot of great talent from other places, and he continued to tear up the league for 2 more seasons with 74 and 79 points in 45 and 43 games, respectively. On a team loaded with talent (Pavol Demitra, Miroslav Satan, Lubomir Sekeras, Robert Svehla, Peter Bartos, and a few other players who would star in the Czech and Slovak leagues), Palffy stood above the rest thanks to his 'god-given' talents. Palffy spent much of his time in Trencin paired with Branislav Janos (a Czech league star for many years) and ex-NHLer Robert Petrovicky.

After his first year in Trencin, Palffy was so good that he was named to the Czechoslovakian squad at the 1991 Canada Cup. Palffy would leave for North America in 1993 and spent 1.5 seasons tearing up the IHL with Denver and Sale Lake City. After a rather invisible debut with the Isles in 1993-94 (5 games and 0 points), Palffy played part of 1994-95 (33 games and 17 points), and then he would stick for good the following year and the rest is history.

Palffy is a very divisive figure for many Slovak hockey fans. One cannot deny the fact that Palffy has always played for Team Slovakia and played very well. When the Slovaks first gained independence, Palffy joined the Slovaks in Lillehammer, Norway, and racked up 10 points in 8 games for the underdog squad. For Slovakia, Palffy played 50 big senior matches (World Champs, World Cup, and Olympics) and compiled 24 goals and 32 assists for 56 points. Palffy was a big part of both WC medals the Slovaks have won (Gold and Bronze) and he's always given unquestioned commitment when called upon.

On the other hand, Palffy incites a lot of jealousy for his attitude and lifestyle. Palffy isn't the brightest light bulb on the tree, either, and is probably one of the most 'blonde' hockey players this side of "Special Ed" Jovanovski.

Born into a long line of Hungarian nobility (of which he knows little about, not surprisingly), Palffy has that natural skill that is so rare among the human population. Given his 'luck' in life, Palffy is quite a slacker and his off-season conditioning is about as strenuous as that of Robert Svehla's (beer and golf). Palffy is known among the local Skalica residents to be extremely cocky and haughty, acting like a 'spoiled prince'. It doesn't help that tensions between Hungary and Slovakia (dating back to the Austrian-Hungarian empire) still run high and anyone with Hungarian noble heritage might be derided by natural Slovaks (This is more subconscious than anything). It wouldn't be uncommon to see a few beer bottles thrown at Ziggy when he returned home for the summer.

On top of this, there is his relationship to Slovak fitness champion Zora Czoborova, who is also similarly disliked by many people in Slovakia. I don't read the Slovak gossip papers all that much, but there are suggestions that Zora was using Zigmund for his celebrity to help promote his fitness clubs.

Anyway, if this is the end for Palffy, it will be a sad way to end his great career. Palffy has only ever had the chance to play in 24 NHL playoff games, but will finish with 713 points in 684 regular season games.

There goes my fantasy dominance this season.
justto correct some things to make this blog perfect :)

- Branislav Janos, not Bransilav

- that Canada cup was played in 1991, not 1992

- and that Olympics, where Slovaks got their first appearence was in Lillehammer, Norway, 1994.

And to his relationships with Zora Czoborova, there were some reported domestic violence accidents and si it shows hw kind of man he is..
Yes, but at least when he was a king, those "domestic violence accidents" were a bit unique, in that Ziggy was the one getting thrashed!

Regarding his career, and limited to his time in LA (nevery saw him play for NY or with Sid), he had exceptional skills, and under Murray, he became the type of highly skilled two-way player that Cup winning teams have on the roster, even though it cut down his scoring, he still averaged over a point a game during the dead puck era. He never choked in the playoffs either, even though he was always on poor teams that never went far. Kings fans were talking about bringing him back, right before he retired, so I think that speaks to the type of player he was in LA.
1. Misha, thanks for the little editing job :) I fixed the mistakes

2. The main reason the Kings went after Demitra and not Palffy is simply injuries. Palffy was coming off of another major shoulder injury and Demitra, while he has had some concussions in the past, was a much safer bet to play a full season. I don't doubt the Kings would have loved to have Palffy back, but they probably thought it would be easier to move on and sign other players...although Jeremy Roenick turned out to be a nice waste of money
It was Palffy that didn't want to sign with the kings, not the Kings not signing him. There was no injury issue on the Kings end- he didn't want to stay in LA. Kings had signed Demitra and were still in talks with Palffy before he turned the Kings down for Pittsburgh. Even with signing JR, Kings still had room under the cap for Palffy. He chose not to take it.
Wow nagleee , ... thats a lot of BULLshirt. Palffy said this is his last NHL season rigth after the WC. So LA Kings new he was going to say bye. But they were a real piece of shit because they didnt let him finish in front of his fans and told him to leave. Or you think its cool to go and find yourself a new home somewhere just for one year? When they told him he called I.Chovanec (President of HK36 Hockey team), that he well play for Skalica this year if no good offer came. Kings outed Palffy doesnt want to play for them and signed Demitra. Mario calls Zigi and offers him to finish his career playing with him. Zigi accepted.
As a resident of Skalica i can tell that he is a lot of a Spoiled Prince type charecer ... and? WTF he is the KING. He made the SVK gold medal dream real with 5 game assists in 3 matches (2 GW) and scored 1/2 Penalty shots that brought us to the Final. Where he passed in the last 2 min the golden goal pass to Bondra. HE IS IMMORTAL. It was not popular to go and play for National Team about 6-8 years ago. But when you asked him and he was free from NHL duties he was allways there to help. It was him, Satan and Chara that made the National Team popular. Nowdays we have 20+ players from NHL ewery year. Spoiled Princ, who cares? He deserves to be handeld like a Prince. Oh by the way the joke with the 15-16th century monarch family was cool. But he is a hungarian monarch as much as you a RASIST and SLAVER.
A jesli sa vam to nelubi pice skurvene tak si naserte bo Palffy je buh a nikdo si o neho papulu otirat nebudete.
I was lucky enough to have ziggy on my IHL team in 95 the denver grizzlies so i got to see alot of a very young ziggy. He was really good then and it showed because the islanders kept calling him up i remember because he was a major player on our team which ended up winning the turner cup.
He is a "Spoiled Prince", but only in his own mind. He doesnt have a drop of royal blood. This is a guy who juggles multiple girlfriends at once, treats people like "It's my life and your all just passin through so get out of my way" yesterdays garbage. Women are just "flavors of the month" to him and men are nothing more than a vehicle of entertainment. When you stop entertaining, youre out! He basically has no clue as to what a human being should be. Good Luck to his new wife Andrea - I'm betting they will last 5 years max. Any takers?!
last comment is correct. he is not related to the prince or count line of palffy. the palffy lineage is well documented and he nor his family are part of it. his family is among many who adopted the spelling after world war II.
is he married to andrea? i know a woman "suzy" who claims she is his wife? i am confused!!!
OMG! what a small world! I heard the same thing!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?