Thursday, August 31, 2006


Stefan Blaho: Just Another Victim

R.I.P. Stefan Blaho (1985-2006)

It happens at least once a year. A Czech or Slovak hockey player dies in an automobile accident. Combine thin roads with a need for speed and you get a few dead bodies. I guess they never learn. picks up with an English language version of the story.

Slovak hockey player Stefan Blaho, a fourth-round pick of the New York Islanders, has died in a car accident. He was 21.

The International Ice Hockey Federation said the crash happened just after midnight Tuesday near the Slovak town of Krasnany. That evening Blaho had scored a goal for Slovak champion MsHK Zilina, the team he was about to sign for, in an exhibition game against Banska Bystrica.

Blaho spent the three last seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with Sudbury and Sarnia.

The forward, taken in the 2003 NHL entry draft, represented Slovakia in the 2003 IIHF world under-18 championship and the 2004 IIHF world under-20 championship.

Marcel Hanzal, a 32-year-old who last played for Dukla Trencin of the Slovak league, survived the crash.
I know Jaromir Jagr often jokes about his own bad driving (his license was suspended for speeding), but it's something the Czech and Slovak players are notorious for and you wonder why they just don't slow down a little.

Edit: According to the article, the car was a Mitsibushi Pajero, which is worth about US$ 26,000 or so.

Marcel Hanzal was indeed the driver of the vehicle, and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.71 mg/l.

Blaho wasn't much of an NHL prospect at all, but he was a decent Extraliga prospect. At the very least, he's dead now and it's not really a time to bitch about how good/not-good of a player he was.

PS: What is it with these Hanzal guys? It wasn't too long ago where MARTIN Hanzal got busted for smoking marijuana.

Wow. My condolances to the Blaho family. I'll be wearing my Slovak jersey tonight with a black wristband.

Interesting though that this TSN article doesn't say weather Blaho was driving or not. I am interested to know if this is like a Heatley/Snyder type incident.
Hanzal was driving, not Blaho. Moreover, Hanzal was DUI--when he gets out the hospital, he's facing prison time.
Sorry to hear about the kid getting hurt. However to label him a 'prospect' was kind.
He was a long shot when drafted, and has regressed instead of progressed since then. He had little chance of making the NHL, even on a bad team like the Islanders
Hey faux rumors...

Have a little class.
Hey 'Anonymous', if you're gonna make such a comment, at least 'show yourself', and not hide.
We only commented on the poor kids hockey future, as this is a HOCKEY SITE. Not a site devoted to DUI deaths. If that were the case then you would have a semblance of a point.
That Hanzal who had marijuana was the same Marcel Hanzal who was driving in this accident. Blaho was sitting on front seat and because had no seatbelt, felt out of the car...

Martin Hanzal is Phoenix prospects, played for Omaha last season, and is much more nice guy than Marcel.
Prospect or not, Blaho was on one of the six Slovak teams that have won an IIHF medal. That's a pretty big accomplishment. In 2003, the Slovak U18 team stunned Ovechkin and Malkin in Yaroslavl en route to capturing the silver medal.

The comments on Czech and Slovak drivers was a bit tough. Yes, guys like Blaho, Hlinka, Batovsky have died in accidents. But they are matched elsewhere with the likes of Snyder, Chaisson, Konstantinov, Tertyshny (boat), Lindbergh, etc.
also, I agree with the person that posted above. fauxrumours' comments were without class.
Terrible story. RIP.
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