Saturday, June 04, 2011
In some parallel universe, it worked out this way. Tomáš Klouček and Libor Ustrnul were the cornerstones of an impenetrable Thrashers defense in the latter part ofhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif the 2000s, helping propel Atlanta to playoff glory (and solidifying the team's presence in the Big Peach). Two big physical Czech defensemen, giving the Thrashers an identity they sorely needed.
Rather far-fetched, but why not. I can daydream. I'm hard-pressed to explain why I gravitate toward Czech defensemen -- I can't explain it to myself so I could hardly explain it to you. Klouček, Šlégr, Kubina, Kaberle, many more.
And Libor Ustrnul. He never made it to the NHL, never really came close (a few half-seasons in the American Hockey League), got derailed by injuries, but he from all accounts was a hard-working guy and seems like a genuinely fun and decent person in interviews. Got to like that he took time away from hockey to take care of his family -- also got to like the oddity of a Czech defenseman ending up in South Dakota.
Alas, after one season with the Rapid City Rush, he didn't catch on with the team for 2010-11 and who knows if there are any prospects for next season. I'm holding out hope, though. People -- those of you who still have a team in your city -- encourage management to SIGN LIBOR.