Thursday, July 06, 2006


Demitra and Gaborik: Best Friends Forever!

The Minnesota Wild's calculated strategy this offseason of acquiring Pavol Demitra and other veterans has worked out well now that Potatohead Gaborik signed a new $19mil/3-year deal and won't flee at the very first chance he gets.

"He would have had choices," Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. "Today, he chose us."

The move came as somewhat of a surprise, as both Wild management and Gaborik's agent had said they expected the high-scoring Slovak to file for arbitration as the sides continued to negotiate a long-term agreement.

Wednesday was the deadline for restricted free agents to file for arbitration. The deal means the Wild avoided having to go to a hearing in which a third party would have decided a one-year salary for Gaborik.

"It's good for the Wild, and it's really good for Marian," Gaborik's agent, Ron Salcer, said in a telephone interview. "Marian is very pleased."
Now, I've never known Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik to be close buds, but according to this article, and a bit of other stuff in the Slovak media, the two are apparently best friends these days.
Pavol Demitra and Marian Gaborik have always dreamed about playing together in the NHL.

The fellow Slovaks saw the results when they teamed up, both for Dukla Trencin in the Slovak Extraliga and for the Slovakian Olympic team in Turin, Italy, where they teamed with Atlanta's Marian Hossa to form an electrifying line.

"We've always been talking about it," Demitra said.

But Demitra never really thought that it would happen in the United States. That was before the Minnesota Wild traded for the Los Angeles Kings center on draft night.

The move united Demitra with Wild winger Gaborik, who has known Demitra since he started playing for Dukla Trencin as a teenager.

"We are best buddies," Demitra said Tuesday in a conference call. "It's the first time I've had a chance to play with somebody like that. It's going to be awesome."

Poor Michal Handzus! Not only has he been left alone in Philly without another Slovak (Branko Radivojevic was booted to Sweden), but now he's been tossed aside and replaced by a younger guy.

Now that Potatohead has his big contract, it's time for him to shut up and put out. I've been waiting for Gaborik to explode offensively and now he's got a great linemate and, hopefully, a bit more leeway to use his ability.

Let's look at his career stats to date

2000-01 71 18 18 36 -6
2001-02 78 30 37 67 0
2002-03 81 30 35 65 12
2003-04 65 18 22 40 10
2005-06 65 38 28 66 6

For a guy with as much talent as Gaborik has, he's only had one season with a point-a-game pace, and still has to break 40 goals (which he could have done last year). The holdout-shortened 2003-04 was a disaster for him, and he hasn't lead his team in scoring the past two seasons.

Actually Jes, Radivojevic was just signed by the Wild.
Yeah, I just saw that now. Too bad for Lulea ;)
So when can we expect the Gabo/Demo slash fics?
So when can we expect the Gabo/Demo slash fics?

d00d, this is the wrong place to look for that kind of stuff...
There are riots on the Streets of Luleå tonight!
I don't think Handzus will be the only Slovak in Philadelphia for very long. Stefan Ruzicka is imho as good a prospect as Marek Zagrapan or Stanislav Lascek. I expect him to make the Flyers team this year or next.
nobody ever responds to my deeply insightful comments. :)
Well, Mr. Anonymous, you ought to get a screen name! :)

I like Ruzicka as a prospect, and kind of forgot about him. I'm not sure where the Flyers have him in their plans at the moment. They have like 15 centers and only a few wingers.

Considering Handzus latched onto Branko (a polar opposite in personality), Miso seems happy to have ANY Slovak on the team with him. It seems it was his one demand and that's why they kept Branko around longer than perhaps they wanted to.
I think their paucity at wing means Ruzicka could play a number of games with the Flyers this year.

I fondly recall his natural hat trick at the WJCU20 a couple years ago.
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