Remembering Pavol Demitra – You Will Be Missed
“Always under control of the game, always full of heart during play, always a gentleman on the ice. We miss you pán kapitán.”
Dozens of Facebook pages dedicated to remembering the life and hockey career of the late Pavlo Demitra are already receiving thousands of warm regards and followers, shortly after the horrific plane crash that took the former Vancouver Canuck’s life.
Demitra was one of 43 people killed when a Yak-42 plane crashed northeast of Moscow on Wednesday. The plane was on its way to Belarus for the opening game of the Kontinental Hockey League, the hockey club made up of former Soviet Union nations.
On board was Demitra’s team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, including Swedish goalie Stefan Liv, forward Josef Vasicek and defenceman Karel Rachunek of the Czech Republic, Russian defencemen Ruslan Salei and Karlis Skrastins, and Canadian coach Brad McCrimmon, long time NHLer and former assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings.
This tragedy adds to the significant loss of hockey talent endured throughout the off season, with the passing of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak that shocked fans over the last few months.
Demitra spent the majority of his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues, ranking fifth on the team’s all-time scoring list with 204 goals in 494 games. He spent his last two years with the Vancouver Canucks from ’08 to 2010. A statement issued by the Canucks remembered Pavol as being “dedicated and passionate about his young family and the game of hockey” throughout his time with the Canadian team.
An impressive player throughout most of his NHL career, hockey fans on the west coast most recent memories of Demitra’s speed and aptitude are from the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. Demitra brought Slovakia within an inch of knocking Canada out of medal contention in the semi-finals, and scored the most goals and tied for most assists of any player in the tournament.
A look back at some vintage Pavol Demitra in his time with the Canucks.