Thursday, July 31, 2008


Where Have All the Slovaks Gone?

long time passing ...

by Jes

One of the sub-themes of this summer's Free Agent silliness has been the exodus of some well-known Czech and Slovak players back to Europe. These guys either want to play at home in Czechia/Slovakia, or try out the new Kontinental Hockey League.

Jaroslav Modry is the latest Czech to say buh-bye to the NHL, signing with HC Liberec (the White Tigers, they're grrrrrrrrreat!) for two seasons.

Of course, d00d is 37 years old and was declining quite badly, but it's still sucky to have less Czech in the NHL.

Who else has left us?

Jaroslav Hlinka: Colorado Avalanche (NHL) to Linköping (SWE)
Jaromír Jágr: New York Rangers (NHL) to Avangard Omsk (RUS)
Tomáš Pöpperle: Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) to HC Sparta Praha
Martin Straka: NY Rangers (NHL) to HC Lasselsberger Plzeň
Martin Ručinský: St. Louis (NHL) to HC Sparta Praha
Josef Vašíček: NY Islanders (NHL) to Lokomotiv Jaroslavl (RUS)
David Výborný: Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL) HC Sparta Praha

Jozef Balej: Manitoba Moose (AHL) to Ocelari Trinec (CZE)
Ivan Baranka: Hartford(AHL)/NY Rangers(NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Marcel Hossa: Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) to Dynamo Riga (KHL)
Branislav Mezei: Florida Panthers (NHL) to Barys Astana
Branko Radivojevic: Minnesota Wild (NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Stefan Ruzicka: Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) to Spartak Moscow (RUS)
Jozef Stumpel: Florida Panthers (NHL) to Barys Astana

Obviously, Jagr's departure is the one that creature all the headlines, but we have other semi-stars, regulars, and fine prospects that are heading back to Europe and giving up on the NHL.


At least we'll always have Pavol!

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At least our guys are decisive, unlike a certain loser Swede that makes headlines each day...

We are still well represented in the NHL, which will be the theme of my upcoming blog entry...
Good call, czechmate!
1) We're surprised we haven't heard any rumors that Andrej Meszaros is considering playing in Europe. He's a RFA and apparently contract talks with the Sens aren't going well
Maybe they are tired of broadcasters (and hockey bloggers girlfriends) being unable to say their names?
Don't forget Marian Hossa, lost to "New Sweden." Alas!
I am hoping Marek Zagrapan will make the Buffalo Sabres this season, I still have high hopes for this guy as a Pavol Demitra replacement as #1 centre on our national team.

The player on the list that surprised me the most was perhaps Ivan Baranka. All signs pointed to him being in the NHL this season.
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