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Slovak National Team- The start over again edition

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05-07-2011, 06:21 PM
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slovakiasnextone
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Slovak National Team- The start over again edition

I know we have more NT threads already on here, but I think that today (more of hope than think) that today marks a day when we (finally) have one stage of Slovak hockey behind us- it´s been very sweet for some parts, but it has been downright painful for the recent years. At the same time I kind of doubt that Hanlon and co. will echo the same feeling and thoughts as I think, so I thought since te coaches probably won´t do anything of that sorts, I´d at least give my fellow hfboarders- Slovak and non-Slovak alike the opportunity to build the new Team Slovakia. What players do you want to see in the national team to start this new era? What do you think can be changed? and so on....please feel free to share all your thoughts....

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05-07-2011, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by slovakiasnextone View Post
I know we have more NT threads already on here, but I think that today (more of hope than think) that today marks a day when we (finally) have one stage of Slovak hockey behind us- it´s been very sweet for some parts, but it has been downright painful for the recent years. At the same time I kind of doubt that Hanlon and co. will echo the same feeling and thoughts as I think, so I thought since te coaches probably won´t do anything of that sorts, I´d at least give my fellow hfboarders- Slovak and non-Slovak alike the opportunity to build the new Team Slovakia. What players do you want to see in the national team to start this new era? What do you think can be changed? and so on....please feel free to share all your thoughts....
I don`t like all this ``end of era`` and ``goodbye`` stuff. You wrote it well on another board that what this team was missing was balance. The team was certainly missing some younger guys. You shouldn`t say bye to all the old dudes at once and then next year fill the roster full of young players. Likewise you can`t have a roster like this one full of older forwards. Balance is needed!

Also if there was an end to this era, than it was with the retirement of Peter Bondra and the end of a dominant Zigmund Palffy.

One more thing I wish to add, I don`t think Hanlon`s defensive strategy was a good fit for this team. Easy to say now I realize hindsight is 20-20. That being said, if SVK goes with a really young roster from next year onward, they will need to use this defensive system if they want to avoid relegation trouble. So in that sense, keeping Hanlon around is a good idea.

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05-07-2011, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamzik View Post
I don`t like all this ``end of era`` and ``goodbye`` stuff. You wrote it well on another board that what this team was missing was balance. The team was certainly missing some younger guys. You shouldn`t say bye to all the old dudes at once and then next year fill the roster full of young players. Likewise you can`t have a roster like this one full of older forwards. Balance is needed!

Also if there was an end to this era, than it was with the retirement of Peter Bondra and the end of a dominant Zigmund Palffy.

One more thing I wish to add, I don`t think Hanlon`s defensive strategy was a good fit for this team. Easy to say now I realize hindsight is 20-20. That being said, if SVK goes with a really young roster from next year onward, they will need to use this defensive system if they want to avoid relegation trouble. So in that sense, keeping Hanlon around is a good idea.
Yes, balance....however there were two generations pretty much playing in the Slovak team....one with players in their prime like Hossa and Gabby and the other one with players past their primes....I think it is about time to say goodbye to a bigger part of that 2nd generation....of course we shouldn´t close the door to any of them if they are actually good enough for a roster spot and earn it prior to the IHWC....what I had on my mind however was more along the lines that I hope a) the time were players get called to the NT just based on their names and because of how good they once were is over (no matter how old they are) and b) we do need to concentrate in building a young core of players who will lead the NT in the future and that can´t be achieved by merely throwing them together with the older guys around the IHWC, work needs to be done all year long....whether it is during the summer with the NA kids or during the international season with home/Euro young players because there is a high probability that the young guys from overseas won´t be able to even take part in the WC....

as for Hanlon, I think that currently him having problem with young players is an even bigger issue than his deffensive strategy....

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05-08-2011, 01:35 AM
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my opinion:

these guys should retire from NT right now (or be retired by the coach) - Bartečko, Demitra, Lašák, Majeský, Stumpel, Šatan, Štrbák, Zedník.

these guys should stay around if interested - Handzuš, Višňovský and possibly Nagy (if he keeps his play on the international level) + all players under 30.

Just as you said, they should build younger team next year. I'd use players under 25 (not so familiar with concrete names) and add some quality guys like Handzuš, Višňovský, Chára, Sekera, Hossa, Halák, Gaborík etc. (basically NHL players) who can "teach" something this younger generation.

If some serious lack of guy from previous group happened, these could be used as addition of experience to the team - Budaj, Svatoš, Hossa Marcel, Surový, Podhradský, Kolník, Starosta, Cibák, Radivojevič etc. - decent guy with not elite international talent, but lot of experience.

I think there should be about 50% of completely new young players and max. 50% of experienced guy. Even if those young players won't be that good, there is a need to teach them some system and it is well known that every team can win games with good system and team play (Germany etc.)

Btw. do you think Hanlon will be fired?

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05-08-2011, 02:56 AM
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Don´t really expect him to be fired....

Wel, I dunno os there really any reason to invite that group of players like Marcel Hossa, Branko etc., who have all gotten numerous chances over the past few years and all they have accomplished is suck comletely, especially when they have had to be the "leaders"....I think I´d prefer our young players not to learn from these guys....

I agree about Germany, but I´d say that Denmark might be even a better example this year (considering that German roster is not that but with gus from DEL and NHL/AHL), which is lacking their top 5 players and yet their selection from the Danish league hasn´t accomplished that much less than our stars, so I really can´t understand that argument which is being made about no players from our home league in the NT anymore....

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05-08-2011, 04:02 AM
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interesting is, that in 2000 they won silver with not so special team. If i remember, there was only Satan, Handzus, Bartecko, Visnovsky, Suchy, Sekeras, Chara and Bartos with NHL season behind. Chara was not the beast as he is now, Visnovsky detto, Handzus and Bartecko were not the scoring machines and Bartos played only few games in NHL. And the won a Silver! How it is possible?

That should be the example for the next teams. Team work, chemistry and good tactic.

We cant afford not throw away all the players, we had on this year tournament. Ok, Stumpel is old, Satan and Demo also, but the can be some team leaders. And yes, we should use more young guns.

I heard a nice opinion by one agent. THey should invite top juniors to preparation camp in the summer with the elite players. And also in the pre-WCH time. Ok, they will not make the team, but they will snuff the atmosphere in a preparation camp and build some chemistry to other years.

And what i see as a problem with players from Europe. They are not acustomed to be leaders in national team. Alwyas we wait for the NHL players, everybody sais, its all about them, only they can make a good resulsts. Thats a mistake.

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05-08-2011, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alko View Post
interesting is, that in 2000 they won silver with not so special team. If i remember, there was only Satan, Handzus, Bartecko, Visnovsky, Suchy, Sekeras, Chara and Bartos with NHL season behind. Chara was not the beast as he is now, Visnovsky detto, Handzus and Bartecko were not the scoring machines and Bartos played only few games in NHL. And the won a Silver! How it is possible?

That should be the example for the next teams. Team work, chemistry and good tactic.

We cant afford not throw away all the players, we had on this year tournament. Ok, Stumpel is old, Satan and Demo also, but the can be some team leaders. And yes, we should use more young guns.

I heard a nice opinion by one agent. THey should invite top juniors to preparation camp in the summer with the elite players. And also in the pre-WCH time. Ok, they will not make the team, but they will snuff the atmosphere in a preparation camp and build some chemistry to other years.
I see one big hole in that opinion- that is something that should have been done at least 5 years ago and it has been done in recent years, the trouble is all those players got to do was "snuffing the atmosphere". If things continue to go the way they have this year, those players will be snuffing that atmosphere until they are at least 30 and finally reach the age you need for the national team.....

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05-08-2011, 07:09 AM
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And we already have our first swallow as Demitra retires.....as he had announced already before the tourney....

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05-08-2011, 11:56 AM
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Just out of curiousity, who made the decision not to include Tomas Tatar on the team? Was it because Detroit did not release him? Was it Hanlon and Bondra?

I know this seems OT for the thread, but I don't recall what happened. I think it is on topic if these two are going to be making the big decisions over the next 3 years.

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05-10-2011, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kamzik View Post
Just out of curiousity, who made the decision not to include Tomas Tatar on the team? Was it because Detroit did not release him? Was it Hanlon and Bondra?

I know this seems OT for the thread, but I don't recall what happened. I think it is on topic if these two are going to be making the big decisions over the next 3 years.
Well, I´m not sure whether I remember the whole thing correctly, but first it was announced that he wasn´t invited to the team, because he wasn´t a grinder and there was no room for him on the top 6, this though was first revealed by his Slovak agent I think. He had an agreement that the Red Wings would release Tomáš for the NT, but then Tatar said that noone from the NT even tried to contact him and that he had to contact Bondra himself who told him that he didn´t fall into the team´s conception (not sure how to say this in English, he said:"nezapadá do koncepcie") Then Bondra said that they couldn´t have called him before Detroit was out of the play-offs as they would have to promise Detroit that he´d make the final cut (he said Detroit wouldn´t release him just for training camp in his opinion) and that he couldn´t have contacted him before they were out either because it was against some unwritten overseas rules or some similar crap and that it would still be possible for Tatar to join the team if the situation changed-injuries or if the coaches weren´t content with some of the players in camp. Bondra also said he asked Tatar´s Slovak agent why he didn´t contact him earlier to which the agent said he didn´t have Bondra´s phone number. I´m not sure what to make of this, but the fact that Bondra gave his statement only a few days later after it was first revealed Tatar wasn´t wanted and after Zendík´s departure from the team certainly seems to show that if nothing else there are communication problems.

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05-10-2011, 04:32 AM
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Ok, so I thought maybe we could get into a more concrete discussion, so I created this list of possible future invitees to the NT. I chose players born between 1987-1992, still I of course realize that we will have players a bit or even much more older on the NT and at the same time it is possible that we might have someone younger as the 1992ers too. The lits includes the usual NA suspects, but I also gave ma attention to the European guys as they might be even more important right now especially in the light of our current world ranking situation and with us very probably facing the 2014 Olympics qualifications, which is played during the season.I think it also illustrates nicely one phenomenon in Slovak hockey that´s gone pretty much silently unnoticed by most people- the Slovak league is far ahead of our national team when it commes to the generation change. Also, one more note- I´m not saying that all these players belong on the NT or that they will play, I´m just saying they will probably get some consideration. Feel free to add if I forgot someone or say who should or shouldn´t be there.

G Branislav Konrád 1987
G Július Hudáček 1988
G Jaroslav Janus 1989

D Martin Grundling 1987
D Marek Biro 1988
D Juraj Mikuš 1988
D Ján Brejčák 1989
D Marek Ďaloga 1989
D Radek Deyl 1989
D Juraj Valach 1989
D Peter Hraško 1991
D Lukáš Kozák 1991
D Adam Jánošík 1992
D Martin Marinčin 1992

F Marek Bartánus 1987
F Mário Bližňák 1987
F Michal Chovan 1987
F Marcel Haščák 1987
F Juraj Mikúš 1987
F Tomáš Záborský 1987
F Rastislav Dej 1987
F Tomáš Marcinko 1988
F Marek Slovák 1988
F Dávid Skokan 1988
F Richard Smotrila 1988
F Milan Kytnár 1989
F Radoslav Tybor 1989
F Martin Bakoš 1990
F Jakub Gašparovič 1990
F Libor Hudáček 1990
F Radoslav Illo 1990
F Tomáš Klíma 1990
F Adam Lapšanský 1990
F Marek Viedenský 1990
F Ján Sýkora 1990
F Tomáš Tatar 1990
F Dalibor Bortňák 1991
F Marek Hrivík 1991
F Andrej Kudrna 1991
F Richard Pánik 1991
F Andrej Šťastný 1991
F Tomáš Jurčo 1992

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05-10-2011, 11:37 AM
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Thx for that list, very useful for how to get informed. Will be interesting to see how those guys coming to the Czech league will be doing. Bartanus was pretty ok in his first season I think. And also it will be interesting to see if some of these young players will get a chance in HC Lev next season.

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05-12-2011, 07:21 AM
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That's a great list, thanks for that. It got me wondering who would I like to see at the next WC.

For the goalies I guess it depends on their season but it would be great the have one of Hamerlik/Hudacek at least as the 2nd goalie. I've been watching closely on Janus this year, he again showed flashes of excellency. However he was somewhat unbalanced in his performances at the beginning of the season but he improved as the season progressed. And his on and on movement from Florida to Norfolk didn't help much either.

Looking at the young D-men I would take Marincin if he will be in the AHL next season and plays good there because we need a solid D-men who can also make the plays and has good passes as Visna does and I believe Martin is on of those. Also maybe some of Sersen/Mikus/Daloga/Brejcak/Hrasko. Hopefully we won't see no Majesky/Baranka and Strbak is just too old and slow.

It will be exciting how many of the young forwards will make the cut in the end. Many of you will agree that Panik and Tatar should be there and I personally would love to see Viedensky center them. Marcinko and Kytnar have established themselves as a good bottom 6/ checking line players in the AHL so at least one of them should make it. As for the others let's see how they do the next season.

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05-12-2011, 04:59 PM
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That's a great list, thanks for that. It got me wondering who would I like to see at the next WC.

For the goalies I guess it depends on their season but it would be great the have one of Hamerlik/Hudacek at least as the 2nd goalie. I've been watching closely on Janus this year, he again showed flashes of excellency. However he was somewhat unbalanced in his performances at the beginning of the season but he improved as the season progressed. And his on and on movement from Florida to Norfolk didn't help much either.

Looking at the young D-men I would take Marincin if he will be in the AHL next season and plays good there because we need a solid D-men who can also make the plays and has good passes as Visna does and I believe Martin is on of those. Also maybe some of Sersen/Mikus/Daloga/Brejcak/Hrasko. Hopefully we won't see no Majesky/Baranka and Strbak is just too old and slow.

It will be exciting how many of the young forwards will make the cut in the end. Many of you will agree that Panik and Tatar should be there and I personally would love to see Viedensky center them. Marcinko and Kytnar have established themselves as a good bottom 6/ checking line players in the AHL so at least one of them should make it. As for the others let's see how they do the next season.
What about Jurco? He seems promising from all the reports I have read although I have not seen him play yet.

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05-12-2011, 05:08 PM
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What about Jurco? He seems promising from all the reports I have read although I have not seen him play yet.
Might be a bit too young, we´ll see what he can show at the WJC when he gets some significant ice-time.....can´t see him playing at the men´s WC though, if nothing else he most likely wouldn´t be even available considering that Saint John is hostin the Memorial Cup in 2012....

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05-18-2011, 08:13 AM
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So Glen Hanlon just got fired. Speculations are that a czech coach might take over.

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05-18-2011, 08:50 AM
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So Glen Hanlon just got fired. Speculations are that a czech coach might take over.
The absolutely best news about it that the whole staff has been fired- so I hope never to see Hossa Snr. and Pokovič again involved in there.

The new coach will be decided after the SZĽH elections and since Nemeček is the most likely caniddate for that position, God help us.....

I actually have heard some rumours that Ernest Bokroš could be the next NT coach....

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05-18-2011, 12:46 PM
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The absolutely best news about it that the whole staff has been fired- so I hope never to see Hossa Snr. and Pokovič again involved in there.

The new coach will be decided after the SZĽH elections and since Nemeček is the most likely caniddate for that position, God help us.....

I actually have heard some rumours that Ernest Bokroš could be the next NT coach....
I don't think it is great news that Hossa was fired also, now it means Majo will only now very rarely represent. Of course it is not good to keep an assistant coach around just for that reason, but I am telling you the reality.

I feel that Hanlon deserved to be fired after the monumental disaster in the home World Championships. Someone needed to pay for that. On the other hand I believe it would be good to keep Hanlon around now as his passive defensive style will be useful given we have no quality players left. Hanlon is at his best when he has nothing to work with.

As for who I would hire: probably Riha or Stavjana if you were able to get them out of their existing contracts. After this World Championships I find I don't really care anymore. The time for low expectation hockey is now. We can't expect former ECHL guys like Zaborsky to carry us to a medal.

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05-18-2011, 01:01 PM
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I don't think it is great news that Hossa was fired also, now it means Majo will only now very rarely represent. Of course it is not good to keep an assistant coach around just for that reason, but I am telling you the reality.

I feel that Hanlon deserved to be fired after the monumental disaster in the home World Championships. Someone needed to pay for that. On the other hand I believe it would be good to keep Hanlon around now as his passive defensive style will be useful given we have no quality players left. Hanlon is at his best when he has nothing to work with.

As for who I would hire: probably Riha or Stavjana if you were able to get them out of their existing contracts. After this World Championships I find I don't really care anymore. The time for low expectation hockey is now. We can't expect former ECHL guys like Zaborsky to carry us to a medal.
Sorry, but that´s crap. Well, if Majo´s only motivation to play for Slovakia would be his father (or playing with his brother) then.... that´s putting asides the fact that we´re talking about a 32 year old NHLer who will most probably be involved in the NHL play-offs during the WC and could be available at the earliest in Sochi 2014, where we have not qualified for yet....plus it could mean that we finally get rid of Marcel too....good riddance on two counts in that case....

And who are you and what have you done with Kamzik anyway? It´s not that long ago that you have been calling me pessimistic and have been really positive about our future.

And passive deffensive style is not the only thing you can do if you don´t have such a great player quality, but our player quality is not that bad, it´s just not on par or near the top 6, but hockey is played outside there as well and it can be pretty exciting. And anyway it is not player quality that wins games, just look at Finland.

Stavjaňa absolutely not, he is well known for his "love" for young players. If we were to go Czech, I´d be a fan of Čada, if for nothing else for the way he handles his players, his really strict with them off-ice as well, maybe he could teach our players that the NT/WC is not just an excuse to get together and have fun...

So, basically you´re saying that you don´t care because we won´t medal or don´t have a chance to? Do I understand you correctly? What a load of crap in that case- what kind of fan are you?s

Oh, and btw hmm ECHL guy leading Slovakia to medals never happened before, right? Like this dude in 2000 for example or the other bunch of nobodies from Czech/Slovak leagues who played infront of him....pretty much everyone on that team asides from a few NHLers like Šatan, Handzuš and Bartečko.....and that is not mentioning the way the KHLers from the 2nd best league in universe and the NHLers from the best league in the universe have played for us in recent years....

Personally, I am pretty excited about the few next years and will be more than happy to finally stop seeing the same faces not only on ice, but on the bench as well.....

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05-21-2011, 11:47 AM
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Sorry, but that´s crap. Well, if Majo´s only motivation to play for Slovakia would be his father (or playing with his brother) then.... that´s putting asides the fact that we´re talking about a 32 year old NHLer who will most probably be involved in the NHL play-offs during the WC and could be available at the earliest in Sochi 2014, where we have not qualified for yet....plus it could mean that we finally get rid of Marcel too....good riddance on two counts in that case....

And who are you and what have you done with Kamzik anyway? It´s not that long ago that you have been calling me pessimistic and have been really positive about our future.

And passive deffensive style is not the only thing you can do if you don´t have such a great player quality, but our player quality is not that bad, it´s just not on par or near the top 6, but hockey is played outside there as well and it can be pretty exciting. And anyway it is not player quality that wins games, just look at Finland.

Stavjaňa absolutely not, he is well known for his "love" for young players. If we were to go Czech, I´d be a fan of Čada, if for nothing else for the way he handles his players, his really strict with them off-ice as well, maybe he could teach our players that the NT/WC is not just an excuse to get together and have fun...

So, basically you´re saying that you don´t care because we won´t medal or don´t have a chance to? Do I understand you correctly? What a load of crap in that case- what kind of fan are you?s

Oh, and btw hmm ECHL guy leading Slovakia to medals never happened before, right? Like this dude in 2000 for example or the other bunch of nobodies from Czech/Slovak leagues who played infront of him....pretty much everyone on that team asides from a few NHLers like Šatan, Handzuš and Bartečko.....and that is not mentioning the way the KHLers from the 2nd best league in universe and the NHLers from the best league in the universe have played for us in recent years....

Personally, I am pretty excited about the few next years and will be more than happy to finally stop seeing the same faces not only on ice, but on the bench as well.....
It was written out of frustration and disappointment. What could have been a great moment for Slovak sports was lost. It really does sting.

About the ECHL debate, the ECHL functions differently for goalies and players. If the team has more than 2 decent goaltending prospects, one must go to the ECHL. But if you are a player down in the ECHL it says something quite different about your talent level. I don't mean to diss Zaborsky or the national team going forward, but I have serious doubts.

Anyhow of course I will continue my keen interest in SVK hockey. On Tuesday I will for the first time go see Tomas Jurco play in person.

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06-08-2011, 12:59 AM
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The following interview with Peter Bondra appeared this week in Pravda. The translation to English is mine. I thought it would be of some interest. Peter was a favourite player of mine.

Pravda: What weighed most into your decision to depart from the position of general manager of the Slovak national team? Can it be considered running away from the battlefield?

PB: Firstly I want to explain why I accepted the position four years ago shortly after retiring as a player. I didn’t plan for the job, nor did I prepare for it. The position was offered to me by Julius Supler. I remain thankful to him, namely for the start of my career as a player. I took it as a nice entry into the world on the “other side" of the boards. I was pleased to continue as GM when Supler’s replacement Jan Filc announced that he would like to work with me. The president of the federation Juraj Siroky immediately offered me a multi-year contract, but I insisted on playing it year to year. In any event, I wanted to make sure that I was in fact well suited for this position.

Pravda: Were you?

PB: It is very interesting and exciting work. I have over the years worked with several experienced general managers and got to know them personally which in a sense prepared me for this role. My other great motivations were the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver and right afterwards the World Championships at home in Bratislava/Kosice.

Pravda: How did you take Slovakia’s continued fall in placement position at the World Championships: Thirteenth, 12th, and twice at 10th place. Did it ruin your appetite to continue or increase your motivation?

PB: Placement, with the exception of Vancouver where we were a pleasant surprise, did dissuade me. I want to add that in Slovakia, the person in position of general manager does not have the ultimate say on the roster as does a general manager overseas. The final word always belongs to the coach, and I always respected that. I was always informed of my role ahead of time. I tried to implement my ideas as best I could. My pay hovered around 20 000 – 25 000 Euro per year plus expenses that I had in the United States. I say this because there have been rumours that I made a lot more than that. I took this position because I wanted to help Slovak hockey.

Pravda: Let us return to the original question. Did you quit with a feeling of great disappointment?

PB: We all experienced disappointment, I was no exception. I have experienced both tremendous highs and lows with those players. Four years is long enough, the time has come to give someone else a chance. That is why I decided to inform the president of the federation and the general secretary before upcoming meetings that I would not renew my contract for another season. I did not run away from the battlefield, the battle ended for me after our last game.

Pravda: Where did the fault lie in Slovakia not making it to the QF? What have you come up with when thinking about this?

PB: (pause) We were swimming against the current and didn’t know how to change the direction. We were playing under great pressure. I still say that down to every player we really wanted to succeed. Maybe too much – and that was another mistake. In trying to help each other out, individual opportunities were passed up. We were finished by one goal losses. We complicated the situation in the first game versus Germany. We lost both important points and confidence. We played well against Russia and Finland, but with unhappy endings. A goal, such as Finland’s tying goal against us, would have really helped us a lot. A little bit of luck was missing. Luck did not come, so we struggled and sweated but to no avail.

Pravda: Shouldn’t the roster have been completed already in Kosice before the exhibition games against Sweden, three weeks before the start of the World Championships?

PB: Good question. The NHL players couldn’t have been there yet. Lubos Bartecko and Ladislav Nagy, after their two game series in the Eliteserien, received a few days off to heal and spend time with their families. Every player knew themselves what was best for them, so we made individual agreements for when they would join the team. Some worked out on their own. Miro Satan again showed the professional he is, joining camp already on the first day.

Pravda: Had you been in Kosice, would you say that the entire Zednik incident would not have occurred? How did it effect the team.

PB: If I was in Kosice, nothing like that would have happened I can guarantee you that. I know Riso very well already from our time spent together on the Capitals. We always sat next to each other in the dressing room. Maybe he had a bad day, or bad minute when he made his decision to leave. His departure was too precipitous. I told him outright that he was himself slamming the door on the team. I took his return to the team as being an impossibility since it could have disturbed the atmosphere in the dressing room.

Pravda: And did he disturb it? What effect did he have on the mood of the team?

PB: His return was decided by individuals other than myself. It was against the will of some players on the team, mainly the eight or so battling for a spot on the roster. Richard did behave like a gentleman, apologizing to the coach. The players themselves only discussed the incident behind closed doors. Zedo was also under a lot of pressure from the media. I was worried that it would carry to the team. Richard did say all the right things, but the attention did continue to build. But I don’t think it was the only reason why Slovakia was knocked out of the World Championships so early.

Pravda: Some experts and players believed that the team was missing some young talent. Most often mentioned were forwards Richard Panik and Tomas Tatar. Did they not fit into the framework of team? Coach Glen Hanlon said this very thing in Kosice with regard to Tomas Tatar.

PB: When I phoned Richard Panik after his season ended, he was surprised by my call. Within 24 hours his team let him go and he joined camp. Believe me when I say that both coach Hanlon and I like him very much. With Tomas it was a little different. Detroit called up him for the playoffs to serve as a black ace. We have an agreement not to contact players until their season is over. His agent did say some unfortunate things via the media. In addition, I wanted goaltender Peter Budaj to be on the team, but it didn’t work out.

Pravda: Instead of?

PB: That is another discussion that is not worth opening. I don’t hide that we built the team under the Vancouver Olympic template. We gave priority to those forwards. Yes, perhaps youth would have brought some life to the team. However that is just thinking with hindsight. In Vancouver, nobody expected any impressive wins, but the team did achieve some. It became a given that in Bratislava the team would again achieve some big results. The difference in expectations was the biggest difference.

Pravda: You were for four years the general manager of the Slovak national team. What are the biggest problems facing Slovak hockey?

PB: I’ll leave that to those individuals who have been involved longer than I have and are more aware of the situation. From my position I think that compared to other countries we are lagging not only behind in hockey but also in economy. That is very serious. I take it to be unfair that we are expecting a high degree of professionalism from our players while not treating them particularly well in return.

Pravda: In what way do you mean?

PB: When coach Hanlon and I cut players from the team, it bothered me that we couldn’t give them anything more than a handshake. For example a lump sum of money or a vacation. They spent a month in camp away from their families with no pay. For every exhibition win the players were given 300 Euro, and nothing for a loss. Yes playing for the national team is the highest motivation and does elevate the status of players. But times are changing. Players see the game now as a business and it is up to them how they spend their time. Slovakia doesn’t have that many high quality players. Nobody can say when a given player will next agree to represent. If we want professionalism from players then we must treat them as such. I tried to improve things here, but to no avail.

Pravda: How did you take the news of the firing of Glen Hanlon?

PB: I took the decision to be too precipitous. Good – they fired the coach – now what? Do they have some vision for the future? It struck me that nobody asked for my opinion. Is nobody over there honestly interested? If it was me trying to make a big decision than I would want as many opinions from qualified individuals as I could get. Can I return to one more thing?

Pravda: Please go ahead.

PB: Several journalists have not been fond of me. It wasn’t my intent to fight against them. I know very well that it is a fight that is impossible to win. For me it was most important that nobody would bother the players in the hotel, and invade their privacy. I stuck by that whether journalists liked that or not.

Pravda: What will you be spending your time on in the immediate future?

PB: I received an offer to coach a youth team in Washington in which my fourteen year-old son Nicholas plays on. I am really looking forward to this, and I hope I am able to teach the kids something. Maybe an offer will come from the club which I spent most of my career with. I am not in a rush anywhere, I will continue to enjoy hockey retirement. At the end of June I am planning to vacation in Slovakia.

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06-08-2011, 01:01 AM
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Kamzik
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Just from the above interview, something I wish to add is that I am not sure why SVK requires a GM. They don't decide the roster, they don't hire or fire coaches, etc.

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06-08-2011, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamzik View Post
Just from the above interview, something I wish to add is that I am not sure why SVK requires a GM. They don't decide the roster, they don't hire or fire coaches, etc.
But good GM with good relations to GMs in NHL clubs could be useful.

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06-08-2011, 05:45 AM
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Harv
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamzik View Post
Just from the above interview, something I wish to add is that I am not sure why SVK requires a GM. They don't decide the roster, they don't hire or fire coaches, etc.
Thanks for the translation.

Do you have the original link in Slovak?

Edit: Found it.

http://hokej.pravda.sk/bondra-z-boja..._sk_hrepre_p43

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06-08-2011, 07:22 AM
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I've just looked at Juraj Mikuš of Spartak Moscow EP profile and I wanted to ask how did he put together that crazy 08/09 season? And what happened to him after that, he looks nowhere near that form right now.

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