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Pavol Demitra

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09-16-2011, 11:45 AM
  #1
vadim sharifijanov
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Pavol Demitra

was reading about demo's funeral just now and i thought back about his career.

i'd forgotten that he had three top ten finishes in points. i'm not making a HHOF case for him, or anything even close to that. but it seems like because those years were all sub-95 point years in the DPE, his accomplishments tend to get forgotten.

anyway, i'm curious if anyone remembers his early career. he was a key contributor on the '93 czechoslovakian WJC team that finished third behind canada and sweden the year forsberg destroyed the field. and yet he was still a 9th round pick.

then he played in the minors for three years, even though he was putting up huge points in the AHL. why was demitra's stock so low early on? he was putting up big numbers at every level, wasn't small or slow, and seemed to be brimming with offensive talent, which he showed after being traded to st. louis.



here's an interesting story about the st. louis blues' brief slovakian renaissance, when peter stastny was a scout there and they had demo, handzus, nagy, and bartecko:

Quote:
So how did the Blues become so obsessed with a nation in Eastern Europe about the twice the size of New Hampshire? The answer can be summed up in two words: Peter Stastny. Working as a Special Assignment Scout, the native of Bratislava, Slovakia began uncovering NHL talent out of his homeland on a regular basis. More importantly, he was successful in bringing elite players across the Atlantic and getting them acclimated to the North American style of hockey.

The Slovak movement began late in 1996 when the Blues fleeced Ottawa in a straight up swap of Pavol Demitra for Christer Olsson. At the time, the trade slipped under the radar as a swap of career minor leaguers, but Stastny unearthed a gem in Demitra.
http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article..._sent_packing/

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09-16-2011, 11:55 AM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cursednumber6 View Post
The answer is basically in the article. Ottawa was an expansion team and did not do a good job evaluating talent at the time. As far as the knock on Demitra goes, he was considered a bit soft,but other than that did not have many, if any, flaws. RIP.
that explains why he was given up on too early (like marty straka, another offensively gifted senator who went on to become a top ten scorer). but the question still remains why he fell to the 9th round, especially after a good showing in the WJC in his draft year.

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09-16-2011, 12:16 PM
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Ottawa management was pretty bad at the time.

The Ottawa Citizen had an anecdote about Demitra. In his last year in the AHL he scored on 10 straight shootout attempts at the end of practice. He then skated to centre ice, stripped off most of his equipment, raised his arms, and shouted "What am I doing here?"

Demitra was called up not long after that and had some success. The next year he held out for a one way deal and was traded.

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09-16-2011, 12:53 PM
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begbeee
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Hope it really helps you:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=125790

Pavol Demitra was one of the most underrated or better forgotten players basically because he put up good numbers in low scoring era and then was still great playmaker but just maintained level little below PPG.

I never was big fan of him, he wasnt good leader nor in NHL neither in Slovak jersey. However his hockey IQ was phenomenal and I have to give the credit to him for his playmaking skills.
I dont know the background of his offers during his last year in NHL, but I'm pretty sure he had quite lot of juice in the tank and dont understand why Rangers didnt offer him cheap contract. Combo Demitra - Gaborik could work well at least for year or two.
Vignealaut (coach of Canucks, cant spell his name) IMO destroyed him, Demitra called him "an idiot".



Last edited by begbeee: 09-16-2011 at 01:04 PM.
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09-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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vadim sharifijanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Hope it really helps you:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=125790

Pavol Demitra was one of the most underrated or better forgotten players basically because he put up good numbers in low scoring era and then was still great playmaker but just maintained level little below PPG.

I never was big fan of him, he wasnt good leader nor in NHL neither in Slovak jersey. However his hockey IQ was phenomenal and I have to give the credit to him for his playmaking skills.
I dont know the background of his offers during his last year in NHL, but I'm pretty sure he had quite lot of juice in the tank and dont understand why Rangers didnt offer him cheap contract. Combo Demitra - Gaborik could work well at least for year or two.
Vignealaut (coach of Canucks, cant spell his name) IMO destroyed him, Demitra called him "an idiot".

thanks for the link. seems crazy to think...

re: demo on the national team, you didn't think he was a great performer and leader in vancouver 2010? from that performance and what i've read his fellow slovaks saying about him (which i guess need to be taken with a grain of salt because one tends to say nice things about the dead), it seems like he has been the slovakian sundin this last decade.

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09-16-2011, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vadim sharifijanov View Post
thanks for the link. seems crazy to think...

re: demo on the national team, you didn't think he was a great performer and leader in vancouver 2010? from that performance and what i've read his fellow slovaks saying about him (which i guess need to be taken with a grain of salt because one tends to say nice things about the dead), it seems like he has been the slovakian sundin this last decade.
Slovaks always were and always are really weak down to the middle. The backbone of the national team in terms of centers were Stumpel (unbelievable chemistry with Palffy), Demitra and Handzus with Satan playin' center when necessary. This was nowhere near the depth of Sweden (Forsberg - Sundin) or Russia (Fedorov - Yashin), even not tryin' to compare to Canada, heh.
When you take a brief look, Demitra stands out like most skilled and best overall center from this group. But we have to take into account that he was not only C but also LW. And he liked to play LW much more than to play C (by his own words). Of course, he didnt has the same responsibility for defense on the LW as he had on C.
I've always felt there was something like comrade-ship in the Slovak national team, especially in past five-seven years. The authority of a coach was always low and players tend to dictate who will play with who.
I.e. Demitra was not part of championship team from 2002 and after decline of Stumpel he took the role of best center around 2005 season. Now he was the leader. Honestly, Slovakia team was maybe the most stacked team during 2006 Olympic games, except of Canada, with Demitra as a captain. Result? We all know. Demitra as captain for second time during 2010 olympics. I cant forget when he didnt score on Luongo in the final moments of the 2-3 loss with Canada. Shame. He should score. Demitra as captain for third time during WC in Slovakia. He didnt score during the most important game in the clear chance twice. Couldnt motivate his teammates. He didnt do anything. And as a captain he didnt even communicate with media. In front of a camera after bad losses always stood Satan or Handzus despite not being captains. I didnt like his personality, he was maybe my most-unliked player on Slovakian team.
He got 3 chances and always lost. How incomparable to Miro Satan who is classy guy, clutch as hell with winning history. And Satan was never ever afraid to talk to media after bad losses.....

EDIT: Now I've watched video where he is saying he didnt like his nomination for captain (WC 2011). Yeah, really great leader....


Last edited by begbeee: 09-16-2011 at 02:10 PM.
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09-16-2011, 04:04 PM
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Demo was the captain in Vancouver? Really?



I agree, thoguh... Twice he was captain, twice he was not able to be a leader when the team needed it. Loss to Czech republic in quarterfinals of 2006 Olympics - Demitra was invisible. The only moment which I remember from this game about Demitra is when Jurčina shot right into the Demo's face...

He didn't play good in this year WC, too. It looked like he was not able to play under the captain pressure. In Vancouver, nobody trusted him. He was after two surgeries, even some Slovak fans didn't want to see him on the roster. He was not under pressure and maybe that's the reason why he played so good at Olympics.

I see the parallel with Jágr. I remember his as a captain of the team in Göteborg 2002 (IHWC). The Czechs were not able to beat weak Russia in quarterfinals. And also Jágr said many times he didn't want to be a captain.

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09-16-2011, 11:15 PM
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I've always felt that a big reason St. Louis never got anywhere in the postseason was because of the lack of sandpaper they had. Turgeon and Demitra were on the Blues back then and despite some constantly good to great regular seasons they never got as far as you'd like them to in the postseason. True, they had to face Detroit all the time.

But Demitra was a soft player and when people talk about the Byng trophy as being an award that you aren't proud to win you often think of Turgeon or Demitra or even Kariya. These are former winners their reputations weren't solid.

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09-17-2011, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrashersfanSVK View Post
Demo was the captain in Vancouver? Really?


Point still stands and I'm glad you've proved my opinion.

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09-17-2011, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Hope it really helps you:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=125790

Pavol Demitra was one of the most underrated or better forgotten players basically because he put up good numbers in low scoring era and then was still great playmaker but just maintained level little below PPG.

I never was big fan of him, he wasnt good leader nor in NHL neither in Slovak jersey. However his hockey IQ was phenomenal and I have to give the credit to him for his playmaking skills.
I dont know the background of his offers during his last year in NHL, but I'm pretty sure he had quite lot of juice in the tank and dont understand why Rangers didnt offer him cheap contract. Combo Demitra - Gaborik could work well at least for year or two.
Vignealaut (coach of Canucks, cant spell his name) IMO destroyed him, Demitra called him "an idiot".

That's difficult to believe, he was a 1st/2nd round talent that dropped to the 9th round when everyone forgot about him?

I don't see the need to denigrate his leadership.

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09-17-2011, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
That's difficult to believe, he was a 1st/2nd round talent that dropped to the 9th round when everyone forgot about him?

I don't see the need to denigrate his leadership.
Why? It's about right evaluating of his career. He didnt want to be and wasnt a leader or clutch. He was a little bit soft. His hockey IQ and passing skills were elite. Decent goal scorer. Maybe a good teammate and friend.

It's just a coincidence that Canucks started their playoff runs after they rid of Demitra and Sundin?

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09-17-2011, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Why? It's about right evaluating of his career. He didnt want to be and wasnt a leader or clutch. He was a little bit soft. His hockey IQ and passing skills were elite. Decent goal scorer. Maybe a good teammate and friend.

It's just a coincidence that Canucks started their playoff runs after they rid of Demitra and Sundin?
So perhaps he was offered and accepted the captaincy out of respect from/for his country and teammates. Having the C on your jersey is overrated IMO. You're entitled to your opinion. It just seems like such an odd time to question his leadership, since he was an elite player and a well-respected person.

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09-17-2011, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
So perhaps he was offered and accepted the captaincy out of respect from/for his country and teammates. Having the C on your jersey is overrated IMO. You're entitled to your opinion. It just seems like such an odd time to question his leadership, since he was an elite player and a well-respected person.
I can link you a few posts from Slovak forums where I've heavily criticized his captaincy before, during and after WC in Slovakia. It's not like I'm questioning his leadership just after his dead.
And I dont take anything away from him in terms of his skills or respect in the locker room.

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09-18-2011, 06:04 AM
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I always liked Demitra, may not have been a gritty guy but he was a consistent point producer. Ottawa actually drafted him, wonder how Demitra would have performed for them. In any event RIP Demitra and the rest of the people killed in that plane crash.

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09-18-2011, 09:14 AM
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I agree with begbeee. I always considered Demitra to be great person, but not real leader with charisma... Similar person is Ľubo Višňovský. IMO in the last decade natural leaders (captains) in Slovak NT were only Šatan, Chára and Petrovický.
However no matter what, for sure the best Slovak play-maker since the days of Peter Šťastný. RIP

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09-18-2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by begbeee View Post
Why? It's about right evaluating of his career. He didnt want to be and wasnt a leader or clutch. He was a little bit soft. His hockey IQ and passing skills were elite. Decent goal scorer. Maybe a good teammate and friend.

It's just a coincidence that Canucks started their playoff runs after they rid of Demitra and Sundin?
I don't know so much about that last one. I agree Demitra was not a player who was lights out come playoff time but I think a lot of the problems the Canucks had went beyond him. It started with Luongo. Come to think of it, it still is Luongo and it still is the soft style of play the Canucks employ. As for Sundin, he was there for one season and one season only and he was 38 years old by then.

Besides, the Canucks were inches away from being eliminated from the Hawks in overtime. And they needed a controversial tying goal and then a fluke winner in overtime to beat San Jose. I don't know a lot of people, Canucks fans or not that were impressed with their run in 2011

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09-18-2011, 11:32 AM
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I know. I've tried to point out all the pieces were already there (Sedins, Kesler, Luongo) and combo Sundin - Demitra was sexy third line. Both werent stellar playoff performers in NHL before and never won anything before their Canucks times. And didnt win even with strong Canucks, which made run immediatly after they get rid of them. Dont know if there is any correlation, but at least it looks suspicious.

EDIT: IIRC Sundin went to Canucks just because he felt a chance to win Cup there.

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