Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who will win the Golden Stick?

The Golden Hockey Stick (or Zlatá hokejka) is an annual award presented to the Czech hockey player who had the best season. The player can play anywhere in the world, and contributions to both his club team and the Czech national team can be taken into account. The 2011 winner will be announced on Saturday night at a special ceremony at the Grand Hotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, beginning at 21:00 Central European Time. It will be televised on ČT1 and webcast at More information can be found at

Following last month's World Championships, a group of panelists voted on who they felt were the ten best Czech hockey players over the past season. Each panelist ranked them one to ten, with the top-ranked player getting 10 points, and the tenth-ranked player getting 1 point. The panel included all 14 Extraliga head coaches, plus coaches from the Czech national men's senior and U20 teams, retired Czech hockey players, and members of the media.

Once the top ten finalists were determined, a second round of voting was conducted, where the panel again ranked the ten remaining players. The result of that second-round vote will be revealed on Saturday.

Here are the ten finalists, listed alphabetically:

 ČERVENKA, ROMAN   Avangard Omsk (KHL)
 ELIÁŠ, PATRIK  New Jersey Devils (NHL)
 HAVLÁT, MARTIN  Minnesota Wild (NHL)
 JÁGR, JAROMÍR  Avangard Omsk (KHL)
 KREJČÍ, DAVID  Boston Bruins (NHL)
 PAVELEC, ONDŘEJ    Atlanta Thrashers (NHL)
 PLEKANEC, TOMÁŠ  Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
 STRAKA, MARTIN   HC Plzeň 1929
 VOKOUN, TOMÁŠ   Florida Panthers (NHL)
 ŽIDLICKÝ, MAREK   Minnesota Wild (NHL)

Of the ten finalists, seven played in the NHL, while two played in the KHL and one, Martin Straka, played at home in the Czech Extraliga. Straka, who has never won the award, would be a sentimental pick, as held the titles of President, General Manager, and team captain and had to deal with a ton of front-office headaches and still finished second in league scoring. He would be the first domestic player to win the award since Jiří Dopita in 2001.

The two KHL players, Roman Červenka and Jaromír Jágr, were linemates in Omsk. Jágr, who with nine Golden Sticks has won the award more than any other player in history, surely made his way up the voting with his performance in the World Championship, where he registered 9 points in nine games.

Jágr is one of three finalists who have won the award before. The others are the past two winners: Tomáš Vokoun and Patrik Eliáš. Like Jágr, Eliáš's presence in the Top Ten is likely aided by his World Championship performance, where he also recorded 9 points in nine games. Vokoun, on the other, hand, won the award last season based on his performance at the Worlds, but his refusal to play this season will likely prevent him from repeating. The other goaltender on the list, Ondřej Pavelec, was spectacular in goal in the Worlds, but may not have had enough of a spectacular regular season to top the voting.

Eliáš, along with Martin Havlát and David Krejčí, would seem to be the three favourites to win. The trio finished tied with 62 points to lead all Czech players in the NHL. While Eliáš and Havlát starred in the World Championship, Krejčí won the Stanley Cup as a member of the Boston Bruins and led all playoff scorers with 23 points in 25 games.

In total, 58 players received votes:

11. Tomáš Vlasák (Plzeň) 212 points, 12. Dominik Hašek (Spartak Moscow, KHL) 181, 13. Karel Rachůnek (Yaroslavl, KHL) 178, 14. Martin Růžička (Třinec) 170, 15. Milan Hejduk (Colorado, NHL), 129, 16. Jakub Štěpánek (St. Petersburg, KHL) 124, 17. Zbyněk Michálek (Pittsburgh, NHL) 108, 18. Tomáš Rolinek (Magnitogorsk, KHL) 83, 19. Milan Michálek (Ottawa, NHL) 76, 20. Tomáš Kaberle (Boston, NHL) 74, 21. Miroslav Blaťák (Ufa, KHL), 45, 22. Jakub Voráček (Columbus, NHL) 42, 23. Petr Sýkora (Davos, Switzerland) 36, 24. - 25. Michal Neuvirth (Washington, NHL) and Alexandr Salák (Färjestad, Sweden) 29, 26. Lukáš Krajíček (Třinec) 26, 27. Aleš Hemský (Edmonton, NHL) 24, 28. Petr Nedvěd (Liberec) 18, 29. Michael Frolík (Chicago, NHL) 16, 30. - 31. Jakub Kovář (České Budějovice) and Roman Málek (Vítkovice) 15, 32. Jiří Burger (Vítkovice) 14, 33. Radim Vrbata (Phoenix, NHL) 12, 34. Lukáš Kašpar (Astana, KHL) 11, 35. - 36. Roman Hamrlík (Montréal, NHL) and Jan Marek (Atlant/Yaroslavl, KHL) 10, 37. Milan Gulaš (České Budějovice) 9, 38. - 40. Petr Čajánek (St. Petersburg, KHL), Petr Hubáček (Kometa Brno) and Jiří Hudler (Detroit, NHL) 8, 41. Josef Vašíček (Yaroslavl, KHL) 7, 42. - 43. Miroslav Kopřiva (Slavia Praha) and František Ptáček (České Budějovice) 6, 44. - 45. Tomáš Duba (Zlín/Třinec) and Marek Malík (Vítkovice) 5, 46. - 48. Petr Leška (Zlín), Radek Martínek (New York Islanders, NHL) and Petr Průcha (St. Petersburg, KHL) 4, 49. - 50. Viktor Hübl (Litvínov) and Viktor Ujčík (Vítkovice) 3, 51. - 54. Jaroslav Bednář (Davos, Switzerland), Radek Bonk (Třinec), Petr Čáslava (CSKA Moscow, KHL) and Martin Růžička (Pardubice) 2, 55. - 58. Radek Duda (Chomutov/Plzeň), Jan Kovář (Plzeň), František Lukeš (Litvínov) and Ondřej Němec (Cherepovets) 1.

First awarded in 1969, the Golden Stick began essentially as an MVP award for the Czechoslovak First League, and continued to be until the administrative breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. At that time, due to the fact that most of the best Czech hockey players were now playing abroad, the award was changed to its present format, where all Czechs are eligible for the award, regardless of where in the world they play.

Past Winners:

1969 - Jan Suchý (D), HC Dukla Jihlava
1970 - Jan Suchý (D), HC Dukla Jihlava
1971 - František Pospíšil (D), Poldi Kladno
1972 - František Pospíšil (D), Poldi Kladno
1973 - Vladimír Martinec (RW), HC Pardubice
1974 - Jiří Holeček (G), HC Sparta Praha
1975 - Vladimír Martinec (RW), HC Pardubice
1976 - Vladimír Martinec (RW), HC Pardubice
1977 - Milan Nový (C), Poldi SONP Kladno
1978 - Ivan Hlinka (C), CHZ Litvínov
1979 - Vladimír Martinec (RW), HC Dukla Jihlava
1980 - Peter Šťastný (C), HC Slovan Bratislava
1981 - Milan Nový (C), Poldi SONP Kladno
1982 - Milan Nový (C), Poldi SONP Kladno
1983 - Vincent Lukáč (RW), VSŽ Košice
1984 - Igor Liba (LW), HC Dukla Jihlava
1985 - Jiří Králík (G), HC Gottwaldov
1986 - Vladimír Růžička (C), CHZ Litvínov
1987 - Dominik Hašek (G), Tesla Pardubice
1988 - Vladimír Růžička (C), Dukla Trenčín
1989 - Dominik Hašek (G), Tesla Pardubice
1990 - Dominik Hašek (G), Tesla Pardubice
1991 - Bedřich Ščerban (D), HC Dukla Jihlava
1992 - Róbert Švehla (D), HC Dukla Trenčín
1993 - Miloš Holaň (D), TJ Vítkovice
1994 - Roman Turek (G), HC České Budějovice
1995 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), Poldi Kladno/Bolzano/Schalker Haïe/Pittsburgh Penguins
1996 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), Pittsburgh Penguins
1997 - Dominik Hašek (G), Buffalo Sabres
1998 - Dominik Hašek (G), Buffalo Sabres
1999 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), Pittsburgh Penguins
2000 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), Pittsburgh Penguins
2001 - Jiří Dopita (C), HC Vsetín
2002 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), Washington Capitals
2003 - Milan Hejduk (RW), Colorado Avalanche
2004 - Robert Lang (C), Washington Capitals/Detroit Red Wings
2005 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), HC Rabat Kladno/Avangard Omsk
2006 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), New York Rangers
2007 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), New York Rangers
2008 - Jaromír Jágr (RW), New York Rangers
2009 - Patrik Eliáš (LW), New Jersey Devils
2010 - Tomáš Vokoun (G), Florida Panthers

Most wins:

9 - Jaromír Jágr
5 - Dominik Hašek
4 - Vladimír Martinec
3 - Milan Nový
2 - Jan Suchý
2 - František Pospíšil
2 - Vladimír Růžička


  1. I'm hoping, this year D. Krejci'll win this award. He did for Boston really good work. I mean, without him and Tim Thomas Bruins won't win SC

  2. I think if the award takes Krejčí's playoff performance into account, he should win. However, the second round of voting was done on May 20, when the Conference Finals were still on. If it's not Krejčí, probably Eliáš.