Thought he only spent a short while in the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga, Marty Turco managed to get the full experience.
Prior to joining the Boston Bruins, Turco was playing for EC Red Bull Salzburg — considered one of Austria’s elite teams. They’re the two-time defending league champions and loaded with Nex-NHLers: Pierre Page is the head coach (fNorth Stars, Nordiques, Flames and Ducks) and the roster features the likes of Ramzi Abid (Penguins), Rob Davison (Sharks), Jeremy Williams (Maple Leafs) and Robbie Earl (Wild).
As you might expect from a team of such stature, Salzburg is the target of abuse from opposing Austrian league fans. That’s something Turco experienced first-hand (from the Boston Globe):
“Heck of an environment, it was really intense,” Turco said. “It brought me back to my college days in terms of drums beating and singing.”
The atmosphere engulfing those games is what sticks out to Turco when he looks back on his time in Michigan, or even to last week in Austria. Playing in those type of environments is what he will remember most vividly when he looks back on his career, for better or worse.
“I didn’t get any dead fish thrown at me in college, but I did [in Austria],” Turco said.
The veteran netminder took it all in stride.
“They swore at me pretty good, in English, and that Austrian-German accent, I found it pretty humorous.
Fun fact about the Austrian League — only six teams are actually from Austria! The rest are from Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and the Czech Republic. And in case you were wondering, the lone Hungarian representative is SAPA Fehervar AV 19, who play out of the Ifjabb Ocskay Gabor Ice Hall (capacity: 3,600).