Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Last in Line

The end of the roll call: part three of the Czech Thrashers.

Zdeněk Blatný -- Guy's from Brno! A product of the first draft, I can honestly say that (even with my eye for such things) I don't remember a minute of Blatný playing in Atlanta. (He only managed 20 games over two seasons for the Thrashers, so perhaps understandable.) Went to Europe in the lockout year, came back for a season in the Bruins system, and has been bouncing around Europe ever since. He split 2010-11 between three different teams in Slovakia and Germany, doesn't seem to have a team for next season. He's still just 30, though, so I imagine he'll pop up somewhere.

Tomáš Klouček -- What could have been. Official hero of the PPA. 38 games over two seasons for the Thrashers, his time ran out with Barys Astana of the KHL and he's been linked to Slovakia's new entry in that league. Mark my words, if he'd stuck in Atlanta, things would be so different now. (I'd have about 14 more Thrashers jerseys, for one thing.)

Jaroslav Modrý -- Gosh, did I ever want to like him, but my enduring memory of his one Thrashers season goes like this: power play, puck goes to Modrý at the point, it skips over his stick and out of the zone. That happened one trillion times (give or take) in 2005-06. Kind of amazingly after that, he managed two more NHL seasons with the Stars, Kings, and Flyers, before returning to the Czech Rep. He played in Plzeň last year, not sure if he's back next season.

Bobby Holík -- He was here for three seasons, according to the internet (which has no reason to lie) -- I would have sworn it was much shorter. I remember being excited about the signing, but then never really warmed to him with the team. I believe he lives in Wyoming now, which I've always found rather curious (people living in Wyoming, that is, not Holík in particular).

Pavel Kubina -- Another longtime favorite (Czech defenseman, natch), though by the end of 2009-10 he seemed to be going through the motions. Granted, so did every other player except Evgeny Artyukhin. I was still sad to see him go -- a really solid player whose reputation was tarnished by playing in Toronto. He suffered a concussion in the playoffs and I'm hoping he'll be fit to go next year.

Ondřej Pavelec -- Ahh, perhaps the saddest entry. He showed many signs of becoming the goalie we hoped last year -- now, if he pans out, he'll do it in Winnipeg. Left out to dry far too often by the shaky defense, I get the sense he's got a good future. He's getting more looks for the Czechs in international play, too. Maybe, down the line, a Pavelec Czech jersey will make its way into my home.

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