Tag: Pavol Demitra

Pavol Demitra

NHLers hold charity games in Slovakia honoring Pavol Demitra


The plane crash that killed all the members of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL in 2011 was one of the saddest stories in sports history. The lives lost that day ranged from veteran players who never left Russia to former NHL players who returned to Europe to keep their career going.

One of those players was Pavol Demitra and a host of former NHL players are touring his home country of Slovakia this summer hosting three charity hockey games to raise money for youth hockey in the country as NHL.com shared.

A team of Slovak stars will face a team of St. Louis Blues stars in the games. Former NHL players Peter Stastny, Anton Stastny, Peter Bondra, Miroslav Satan, and John Wensink joined up with Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara for the effort all to help remember their friend and countryman.

“I am glad that we could pay tribute to [Pavol] this way,” Chara said. “The other good thing was the game was a sellout. It shows people here love hockey. Playing with all these stars from both teams was a great honor for me.”

The two sides have played one game already in Poprad. Game 2 will be on Friday in Trencin followed by Game 3 in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, on Saturday.


Russia steamrolls to gold in World Championships, beats Slovakia 6-2

Evgeni Malkin

Russia was a team on a mission and they finished things off in style today beating Slovakia 6-2 to claim the gold medal at the IIHF World Championships in Finland.

It didn’t start off strong for Russia as Slovakia’s Zdeno Chara kicked off the scoring and putting the Cinderella Slovaks up 1-0 in the first period. That glory would be short-lived for the Slovaks as the line of Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Alexander Semin got hot.

Semin finished the game with two goals and an assist while Datsyuk had a goal and two assists and Ovechkin added two helpers. Yes Caps fans, we’re wondering where this Alex Semin was during the second round as well.

Tournament MVP Evgeni Malkin finished his monster performance at Worlds with a goal in the final game and took home the MVP trophy thanks to his 11 goals and 8 assists throughout the tournament. A gold medal, a World Championships MVP, and perhaps the Hart Trophy on top of it all. Not a bad year.

While it might look like a disappointing finish for Slovakia, considering they were playing for the memory of Pavol Demitra and nearly didn’t qualify for the quarterfinals, coming away with the silver is a huge victory of sorts for the Slovaks. Also, team captain Zdeno Chara did well to honor Demitra as you’ll see here.

source: Getty Images

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Slovakia hopes to win a gold for Pavol Demitra

Czech Republic v Slovakia - 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship

After failing to win a medal at the World Championships for nearly 10 years, Slovakia is one win away from gold in 2012. Chris Johnston reports that it’s more about timely scoring, though: the underdogs are trying to win it for Pavol Demitra.

“We all know that we’re not playing just for us,” Zdeno Chara said. “We’re playing for our country and obviously with the tragedy that happened … it’s also for Pav.”

Tomas Kopecky couldn’t help but think of his fallen former teammate when the Slovakian team scored a surprise win against Canada with a late tally.

“When you look at the game against Canada, after we scored the third goal, I just looked up and said ‘Thanks God,'” Kopecky said. “He’s with us, it’s unbelievable. It’s just a great feeling.”

If nothing else, the gold will go to a team heavily impacted by that awful accident in Yaroslavl. The Russian team faces Slovakia in the gold medal game and they lost plenty of former teammates and friends in the crash. Either way, it’s an inspiring story that Johnston calls “the kind of story usually reserved for the movies.”

Blues pay tribute to Demitra and Korolev

FILE: Plane Carrying Russian Hockey Team Crashes
1 Comment

Before tonight’s game between Chicago and St. Louis, the Blues organization paid tribute to Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev who both lost their lives in the Lokomotiv tragedy this summer. Korolev broke into the NHL with the Blues and played his final NHL game with the Blackhawks. Demitra also broke into the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and played some of the best hockey of his career during his eight season stay with the Blues.

It was a classy ceremony from a couple of classy organizations. Check it out if you have a spare moment. Or a spare tear.

Wild sign Aaron Boogaard, honor Derek Boogaard and Pavol Demitra with helmet sticker

Boogaard Family

From a pure on-ice perspective, the Minnesota Wild hope to turn the page in 2011-12.

They traded away two 2011 All-Stars (Martin Havlat and Brent Burns) to make over their offense with volume shooter Devin Setoguchi and sniper Dany Heatley. The hope is that last season’s unusually porous defense will get at least a slight boost from under-the-radar additions such as Mike Lundin, although that seems like a long shot with Burns out of the picture. GM Chuck Fletcher’s biggest move might be in his coaching staff, however, as he fired head coach Todd Richards in favor of Mike Yeo.

As much as the franchise wants to put several unsuccessful seasons in its rear-view mirror, Monday involved some bittersweet nods to their past.

On the sad side, people will only need to look at a the team’s helmets to see that the Wild rank among the NHL’s hardest-hit teams when it comes to this summer of tragedy. The Wild will wear a commemorative “24/38” sticker on their helmets this season to honor Derek Boogaard and Pavol Demitra, two former Minnesota Wild players who died in heartbreaking ways this summer. Boogaard accidentally overdosed from a lethal mixture of painkillers and alcohol while Demtira died in the horrific Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash. Boogaard wore number 24 while Demitra donned the 38 during their days with the Wild.

Speaking of the Boogaard family, they received some promising news today: Derek’s brother Aaron signed a two-way contract with the Wild today. Minnesota picked him in the sixth round (175th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, but Boogaard bounced around a bit while never playing a regular season game in the NHL. He racked up 172 penalty minutes in just 53 games with the CHL’s Laredo Bucks in 2010-11.

Aaron received two charges related to his alleged role in his brother’s death: third-degree sale of a controlled substance (a possible felony) and interfering with a death (gross misdemeanor if convicted). It’s unclear if that situation has been completely settled yet, but Michael Russo reports that he shouldn’t have visa issues.

The Wild plans to sign Aaron Boogaard to an AHL two-way contract, meaning with Houston or a lower-level team, like the East Coast or Central Hockey League. Boogaard landed in Houston this afternoon and arrived in time for the start of training camp. This has been in the works for some time but was held up due to a visa issue because of the legal trouble he’s in for allegedly giving an illegal, controlled substance to his brother, Derek, prior to his death and interfering with a scene of death.

The visa issue has since been cleared up.

“We want to give Aaron an opportunity to continue his hockey career,” Houston GM Jim Mill said. “We’re trying to help him out.”

Who knows if Aaron could ever crack an NHL lineup as an enforcer like his brother Derek, but it’s nice to hear that the Wild organization is willing to give him a chance to keep his hockey career alive after that devastating event.