Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brno expresses interest in Palffy

HC Kometa Brno has told website hokej.cz that they are interested in acquiring the services of veteran Slovak star Žigmund Palffy for the 2011-12 Extraliga season.

Photo: Kaiser Matais.
"From our side, we are definitely interested," said Kometa general Manager Jaroslav Medlík. "I contacted Žigmund and some negotiations have taken place. But he was waiting for a lucrative offer from the Russian KHL, so it is now stalled."

For his part, Palffy seems to be eyeing a comeback, and has said there has been some interest from Czech teams, but didn't specifically mention Kometa. "A few people from Russia have called me, but nothing concrete ever came of it. Currently, there are only two applicants from the Czech Extraliga; one even came with a specific and serious offer." 

The 39-year-old Palffy hasn't played the past two seasons. His most recent team was his hometown Skalica HK 36, where he played from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that, he played 12 seasons in the NHL with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins, where he amassed 713 points in 684 games. His best season was 1996-97, when he had 48 goals and 90 points with the Isles. He also has experience playing in the Czech Republic, as he played with Slavia Praha during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.

Internationally, he won a bronze medal with Czechoslovakia at the 1992 Winter Olympics and a gold medal with Slovakia at the 2002 World Championships. 

Whether it's Brno or elsewhere, Palffy seems intent on playing: "I want to play hockey as long as it still fulfills the sense of satisfaction that comes from being with the boys on the team. I don't look at age. Age is indeed important, but just look at Dominik Hašek, who is 46 and still enjoying it. The key is always hunger. When a man enjoys hockey and doing it well, there is nothing to worry about. Once he discovers that the team is not so beneficial, it's time to stop."

And clearly, Medlík thinks that Palffy and his team can mutually benefit from each other: "We'll see how it evolves. Our party is obviously still interested, so it will only depend on the decision of the player. We are ready to go again at any time to act."


  1. Hi Derek

    Really like your blog. Have been following it now for several months. I'm planning to visit Czech Republic later this year and am hoping to watch some hockey. Was wondering if you could offer me any advice on good teams to watch whilst I am there?

    I've been to Czech Republic before but the only game I've ever been to was a Sparta game in about 2004 so my knowledge is abit limited. I gather that Pardubice and Brno have good fan support-is that right? Are they any other teams that it would be really good to see?

    Are they any teams in the lower leagues that get relatively big attendences or who have passionate support? I was thinking about maybe trying to see either Jihlava or Usti Nad Labem? I know Vsetin used to be good but they seem to be in 3rd division now.

    I appreciate this isnt really on topic-although I would like to see Palffy play if he signs for Brno-but I wasnt sure how else to contact you.

    Any advice would be great.



  2. It depends what area of the country you'll be in. Yes, Pardubice and Brno draw the largest crowds, so those are fun games. Good games to see are the "derbies". Pardubice-Brno is a good one--they played outdoors last season. But go to watch the Prague teams, Sparta & Slavia play each other. Or Trinec-Vitkovice (who met in the finals this year).

    In the 1.liga, I think Usti nad Labem-Chomutov is a good match-up. Close to each other and both top teams in the league.

    Orli Znojmo, who used to be in the Extraliga and spent the last couple of years in the 1.liga, will be playing in the Austrian EBEL this year. I'm curious to see a game there.

    If other readers have suggestions of good places/games to see, please mention them.

  3. Thanks for your reply.

    I've had a quick look through the provisional Extraliga fixtures for when I'm going to be around. Dont think Sparta-Slavia or Vitkovice-Trinec are on then but Pardubice-Brno and Usti nad Labem-Chomutov seem to be playing each other then so, depending on where I am, I think I'll try to get to those 2 games.

    Have booked some return flights to Praha. Was just planning to travel around (mainly) Czech Republic and Slovakia for a couple of weeks, visit some places I've not been to before and hopefully watch some games on my travels if possible.

    Orli Znojmo could be a good idea. The EBEL seems like a very intriguing prospect-where you can watch a Croatian team play against Czech team in the 'Austrian' league. I was also reading about the Slovak team (HC Lev) who are playing in the KHL next season so if I make it into Slovakia I might try and see them and HC Kosice play if I have the time and can get tickets.

    Should be a good trip. Its 3-4 months before I go and I'm already looking forward to it.