Thread: ATD #9, Part 6
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04-24-2008, 11:04 PM
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The Clippers are extremely pleased to select big, strong C Ivan Hlinka. He will be reunited with a former linemate in Jiri Holik, with whom he formed a key line in one of the most successful spans of Czechoslovakian hockey, when the national team won Gold in the '76 and '77 World Championships and Silver in the '76 Olympics and Canada Cup. They were the type of players the team wanted on the ice whether they were up or down a goal.

Hlinka was Esposito-style player in the slot, using his big size and good shot to score plenty of goals. According to azhockey, Hlinka was a "master at stealing the puck to create a quick counter attack."

According to Legends of Hockey, "Hlinka's excellent physique and great stickhandling often led him to generate his own plays, but he could also work well with his teammates to create opportunities. A natural leader, he gave the play purpose. He was an infallible scorer with his wrist shot and a master of both long and short passes."

He was one of the few Europeans who was able to come over to North America during his time and have a strong impact in the NHL. In 2004, he was named the greatest Czech hockey player of all time. While that billing may not necessarily warrented (especially with names like Jagr and Hasek), he was still a special talent who was known for having a strong understanding of the game and great leadership qualities.

Last edited by pitseleh: 04-24-2008 at 11:30 PM.
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