As I know Czerkawski is in the Polish hockey managment and Oliwa is going to have a fight soon against Mariusz Pudzianowski
While talking about Poland.
What about polish NHL players ?
One of the first has to be Nick Harbaruk.
At the age of 12 he immigrated with his parents from Poland to
Canada just after the 2nd World War.
He played junior hockey in Toronto making his way into the pros in 1964-65.
Entering the NHL, he was one of only four players with a college degree.
Claimed by Pittsburgh from Vancouver (WHL) in Intra-League Draft, June 10, 1969. Traded to St. Louis by Pittsburgh for Bob Johnson, October 4, 1973. Selected by New England (WHA) in 1972 WHA General Player Draft, February 12, 1972. WHA rights traded to Indianapolis (WHA) by New England (WHA), June, 1974.
Last edited by DominikRedWing: 03-08-2010 at 12:16 PM.
Oliwa and Czerkawski were probably once in a lifetime anomalies rather than the result of a good youth system or similar, similar to what Zubrus and Kasparaitis are for Lithuania.
The lesser IIHF Division I nations tend to produce the odd NHLer or near NHLer now and then, I wouldn't take that as a sign of strength or improvement in the national program.
You do realize that Poland unlike Lithuania, less than 10 years ago was amongst the top Division I nations and even played at the elite level in 2002, right?
It´s questionable what the future will bring for Poland, while their U18 team finished just second right behind Belarus at the 2009 U18 WHC Division, they´re U20 team was relegated to Division II just last December.
The 70's and 80's seemed to be the height of Poland's powers. They were a top 10 nation but started to fall down the pecking order with the Soviet Satellite countries coming in along with the breakup o Czechoslovakia. We now have a renewed focus on hockey in Denmark, Hungary, Slovenia and Norway which pushes the Poles, Brits and Romanians out of the picture. It is too bad but when you do little at the grass roots and have a poor domestic league you are destined for mediocrity.