rico fata a italian team player in the olympics 2006

balboozer
11-04-2004, 10:59 AM
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins in Exile: Fata`s tour of duty in Italy could lead to Olympic bid

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 By Dejan Kovacevic

The Penguins` Rico Fata is savoring every tick of his time in Italy as the NHL lockout drags on.


He has his own fully furnished, two-bedroom flat in the northern mountain town of Asiago. Easy access to the world-class ski lifts nearby. A Fiat given to him by a car dealership in the area. All the made-from-scratch fettucini and spaghetti any appetite could covet within a block`s walk.

All that and a hockey experience with A&O Asiago in Italy`s top league, Serie A, that he describes as no less satisfying than his environment.

"It`s all been cool," he said by phone. "Really cool, actually."

Cool enough, apparently, that he would not mind making a return trip in the winter of 2006 to participate in the Olympics for the host nation, which receives automatic entry into the tournament. And that is something he might be helping to make possible by playing where he is.

Both of Fata`s parents are "100 percent, all-the-way Italian," he said. His father was born in Calabria, and his mother is a native of Canada whose parents were born in Italy. That opens the door for Fata to qualify for the Olympics` very loose requirements for participation, even though he is a Canadian native and citizen.

Moreover, because he never represented Canada in an international tournament at the senior level -- his only national team appearance came five years ago at the World Junior Championships -- he is not considered to have committed to one nation by the International Ice Hockey Federation, which oversees the Olympic tournament.

Where he could run into a complication is an Italian requirement that its Olympic hockey players must spend at least two seasons in Serie A. Because this is Fata`s first duty in Serie A, that means that the NHL lockout would have to stretch into next season -- "Not what I want," Fata said -- or that an exception be made to the rule. In general, recent Italian hockey teams have been made up of many foreign nationals, mostly Canadians.

"I don`t know what will happen, but I know I would really welcome the opportunity. It would be the chance of a lifetime to be in the Olympics," Fata said. "Don`t get me wrong: I`d love to play for Canada, but, hey, I don`t think I`m going to make that roster. Maybe I could ask Mario to do me a favor ..."

In the meantime, Fata`s wish is to make the most of his experience in the land of his ancestry.

Off the ice, that has meant an easy assimilation to the lively culture of the Italians.

"The people are just so wonderful, so warm, and the place is great. I can walk to the rink for practices and games. I can walk to any kind of restaurant you can imagine. Best of all, everywhere I eat, it`s like eating at home. The food`s fantastic, just unbelievable."

On the ice, he is tied for A&O Asiago`s scoring lead with four goals and seven assists in eight games. The team is 3-3-2 and sixth in the 10-team Serie A.

"The hockey`s pretty good," Fata said. "It`s not as good as the NHL, of course, but they recently cut down on the number of teams they have in the top league so each one can have three or four impact players. There`s some interest, too. Most of the rinks hold about 3,000 to 5,000 people, and they tell me that all the games sell out after Christmas because that`s when tons of tourists start coming up here to ski."

Fata is playing mostly right wing -- Penguins coach Eddie Olczyk used him mostly at center last season -- but he also spent a game on defense Thursday on an emergency basis.

"It doesn`t really matter to me. I`m deferring to the guys who have been here and doing everything they ask. As long as I can stay in shape and do my part, it`s fine."

The only negative to his daily routine, Fata said, is when he phones Penguins teammates or checks in online to learn the latest on the NHL lockout. Only to hear, invariably, that there is no end in sight.

"It`s tough going to the rink, even in a great place like this, knowing that you want to be in the NHL. Any of us who are in Europe, that`s what we`re thinking about. We want to play in the NHL. But things don`t look very bright."

While stressing that he supports the positions of the players` union, he urged the owners and union to resume negotiations. There have been no talks since Sept. 9.

"Both sides have got to talk. There`s no way they`re coming to an agreement if they don`t talk. Both sides have got to compromise at some point, so why not get started while we can still save part of the season?"

helicecopter
11-04-2004, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the article! I would enjoy watching Rico at the Olympics, even if i guess that if NHL won't be there, Rico won't either.. :dunno:

jekoh
11-05-2004, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the article! I would enjoy watching Rico at the Olympics, even if i guess that if NHL won't be there, Rico won't either.. :dunno:He has to play in the Italian league next season to have a shot at the Italian national team. NHL taking part in the Olympics is irrelevant.

I think it's time Italy stopped counting on foreign players, too.

helicecopter
11-12-2004, 06:11 AM
He has to play in the Italian league next season to have a shot at the Italian national team. NHL taking part in the Olympics is irrelevant.Yes, if no further modifications will happen to the current Italian rules..

brian
11-15-2004, 01:37 PM
Actually since he represented Canada at age 19 he won't be eligible for the Olympics. The rule only applies to players having represented their country at age 17 or lower.

jekoh
11-15-2004, 03:38 PM
Yes, if no further modifications will happen to the current Italian rules..No, the requirement to have played two seasons in the country you wish to represent is an IIHF one. Italy can do nothing about it.

Skroob*
11-16-2004, 09:31 AM
He has to play in the Italian league next season to have a shot at the Italian national team. NHL taking part in the Olympics is irrelevant.

I think it's time Italy stopped counting on foreign players, too.

That would require more Italians getting into Ice Hockey so they can start to develop their own players, which i dont see happening any time soon.

brian
11-16-2004, 11:53 AM
They actually have as many domestic players as countries like Poland, Austria. The difference is that those countries stick with their natives while Italy ignores theirs.

Albi
11-25-2004, 09:39 AM
That would require more Italians getting into Ice Hockey so they can start to develop their own players, which i dont see happening any time soon.

Actually we are developing some young player...
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article.php?sid=7384&mode=threaded&order=0

Ste'
11-26-2004, 09:27 AM
They actually have as many domestic players as countries like Poland, Austria. The difference is that those countries stick with their natives while Italy ignores theirs.

You're right Brian, but now Coach Mickey Goulet has a serious program in order to give a great opportunity to our good prospects. I'm really serious telling you that Andreas Lutz could have his opportunity outside Italy. ;)

brian
11-28-2004, 10:50 PM
For a long time Italy did ignore its youth. But there never was a shortage of players. In fact according to the IIHF the number of Italian juniors is pretty much equal to Norway and actually exceed Poland. However, the U20 WJC is pretty much the dead end for most Italians in terms of their national team career. There always were 7-10 domestic players on the national team, but there never was a concentrated effort to phase out the oriundi like France. Hopefully with a new emphasis on youth we will eventually see a competetive all Italian team.

SwisshockeyAcademy
11-28-2004, 11:10 PM
By adding Fata you are not hurting the Italian program. He is a full blown NHLer with speed to burn. It can only help the overall program to have a team that can compete to some degree at the 06 games.

brian
11-29-2004, 06:00 PM
Fata isn't eligible to play for Italy yet. He would have to play 4 consecutive years in Italy not 2. The reason is because he played for Canada at the 1999 WJC. Therefore, it won't be enough time for the 2006 Olympics.

Jazz
11-29-2004, 06:50 PM
Fata isn't eligible to play for Italy yet. He would have to play 4 consecutive years in Italy not 2. The reason is because he played for Canada at the 1999 WJC. Therefore, it won't be enough time for the 2006 Olympics.

Brian is correct - because Fata has played for Canada after turning 18, he will have to play 4 years in Italy and acquire citizenship to play for Italy.

If he had not played for Canada after turning 18, he would be able to play for another country after playing only 2 years in that country.

SwisshockeyAcademy
11-30-2004, 06:47 AM
Brian is correct - because Fata has played for Canada after turning 18, he will have to play 4 years in Italy and acquire citizenship to play for Italy.

If he had not played for Canada after turning 18, he would be able to play for another country after playing only 2 years in that country.
That is a shame .

brian
11-30-2004, 05:43 PM
Even if he hadn't played for Canada he still won't be eligible for Italy because he would not have completed his second year. Anyway he would not be the first NHLer to represent Italy. Bob Manno, Gates Orlando and Bill Stewart are some players who were NHL regulars that have represented Italy in the past.

helicecopter
12-01-2004, 06:47 AM
Yes, if no further modifications will happen to the current Italian rules.. No, the requirement to have played two seasons in the country you wish to represent is an IIHF one. Italy can do nothing about it.
Fata isn't eligible to play for Italy yet. He would have to play 4 consecutive years in Italy not 2. The reason is because he played for Canada at the 1999 WJC. Therefore, it won't be enough time for the 2006 Olympics.

Then the article by Dejan Kovacevic (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) posted in the thread starter is crap:

"Moreover, because he never represented Canada in an international tournament at the senior level -- his only national team appearance came five years ago at the World Junior Championships -- he is not considered to have committed to one nation by the International Ice Hockey Federation, which oversees the Olympic tournament.
Where he could run into a complication is an Italian requirement that its Olympic hockey players must spend at least two seasons in Serie A. Because this is Fata`s first duty in Serie A, that means that the NHL lockout would have to stretch into next season -- "Not what I want," Fata said -- or that an exception be made to the rule. "

Jazz
12-01-2004, 02:53 PM
Then the article by Dejan Kovacevic (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) posted in the thread starter is crap:

"Moreover, because he never represented Canada in an international tournament at the senior level -- his only national team appearance came five years ago at the World Junior Championships -- he is not considered to have committed to one nation by the International Ice Hockey Federation, which oversees the Olympic tournament.
Where he could run into a complication is an Italian requirement that its Olympic hockey players must spend at least two seasons in Serie A. Because this is Fata`s first duty in Serie A, that means that the NHL lockout would have to stretch into next season -- "Not what I want," Fata said -- or that an exception be made to the rule. "

Correct, the writer did not do his homework. Or he confused being 18 or older as "the senior level"