Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wild All Time Top 10: #9-Pavol Demitra

Pavol Demitra
Seasons With The Wild: 2
Goals: 40
Assists: 78
Points: 118

In the 2006 draft, then Wild GM Doug Risebrough decided to give up :s #17 overall pick and top prospect Patrick O'Sullivan to get the veteran forward Pavol Demitra away from Los Angeles (It was the #2 Draft Moment in Wild History, as ranked on this blog this past June). It instantly boosted a stale Wild offense, giving them a former 30 goal and 90 point scorer in Demitra. Oh...and he was going to play on the same line as his countryman Marian Gaborik.

From the opening puck drop of the 2006-07 season, Demitra was the man Gabby needed. But, he was also what the team needed. During that season, Demitra finished 2nd (Behind Brian Rolston) in points on the team, putting up a 25-39-64 line. He instantly became a fan favorite, helping the Wild to their 2nd playoff appearance in team history.

The following season, Demitra saw a drop off in goals (only scored 15), but carried the same number of assists (39), while being a driving force behind Gaborik's (42-41-83 +17) and the Wild's (Division Champs) season.

But unfortunately for Demitra and the State of Hockey, he could not help the team get that elusive Stanley Cup (Lost to the Ducks in 5 in 2007, and lost to the Avs in 6 in 2008), and the team let him leave via free agency following 07-08.

Following his tenure with the Wild, Demitra played a season and a half with Vancouver before he was released. He then played in the KHL for Lokomotiv Yarolsavl in the 2010-11 season.

Just prior to the 2011-12 season, Demitra was set to play for Lokomotiv once again, but he was killed along with the rest of his team as their jet crashed just as it was about to take off.

Pavol Demitra was one of the more underrated players in the NHL during his time. He was a 30 goal scorer 3 times in his career, and was consistently good at putting up at least 65 points in a season. He didnt quite have that type of success here, but, his contributions to the State of Hockey will never be forgotten.

Check back tomorrow and see who comes in at #8. 
#9-Pavol Demitra
#10-Dwayne Roloson/Manny Fernandez 

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1 comment:

  1. Also important- he was teamed up with Pronger and Tkachuk to form one of the deadliest NHL Hitz 20-03 teams.