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01-03-2013, 11:56 AM
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Location: Bratislava
Country: Slovakia
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Originally Posted by SoundAndFury View Post
I seriously doubt Gaborik and Hossa would like to play this season after such serious injuries.
With all due respect, that's nonsense. Of course they want to play -- what hockey player wouldn't like to play? Hossa has publicly stated he's ready to go, just has nowhere to play right now. Gáborík had no injury, but a surgery (a subtle difference, eh?). It was common expectation he would start playing in the NHL in December, so there's no reason on earth for him to want to skip the entire season.

The biggest obstacle to Hossa and Gáborík joining Slovan, in my mind, is the Slovan vs. Trenčín rivalry. The painful memories of the previous lockout season, 2004/5, are still fresh. Back then, Slovan with Šatan and Višňovský eliminated Trenčín in the play-offs, with Hossa, Gáborík and Demitra in Trenčín's line-up. Also, the current Slovan owner is a controversial figure in Slovakia (former officer of the Slovak counterpart of KGB), waging court battles with the Slovak and Slovan hockey legend, Peter Šťastný. Šťastný even requested his jersey to be taken down from the rafters below the roof of the Slovan arena, and for everything related to him to be removed from the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame (which resides inside Slovan's arena).

Those are the most probable reasons, in my mind, why Hossa and Gáborík might wish to reject playing for Slovan -- apart from money reasons, of course. It's also true that Marcel in Lev might be tempting for Marián (like Kopitar's "little brother" got him to join him in the 2nd Swedish league).

Originally Posted by Holden Caulfield View Post
Slovan probably needs what, about 80 points to sneak into playoffs? Seems to be close to the previous years, give or take a few points due to even conferences (especially considering the two less games played this year). That's only winning 8 of 14, hopefully they can hang on.
"Only"? I don't think Slovan can win 8 out of 14. They've been pretty much a 50/50 team the entire season, which has been good enough for 5th or 6th place in the Western conference so far. I think (or hope) that fewer than 80 points will be needed this year to advance to the play-offs. You might also notice that the Western play-off teams (ranked 5-8) have generally fewer points than their Eastern counterparts, probably because the competition for play-off spots is a lot more intense in the West than in the East. No matter how you look at it, it's not fair that there are 14 teams in the West, and only 12 in the East. Hopefully that will change next season.

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