Who knew that blogging about the Canucks would morph into obituary writing? In the wake of the passing of Rick Rypien, the Canuck family is now left to mourn Pavol Demitra, one of the many victims of a tragic Russian plane crash.
Demitra, who was mostly enigmatic during his days in Vancouver, will be best remembered in this town not for his play with the Canucks, but his outstanding performance for his home country of Slovakia during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Indeed, when it came to his play in a Vancouver uniform, Pavol was most notable for being a dead (excuse the pun) ringer for notorious underacheiver Jan Bulis.
In the end, those close to him are saying all the right things about his character at this tragic time. And clearly, his former agent and friend Mike Gillis held Demitra in very high esteem. From a fan’s perspective, he was a skillful and intelligent hockey player.
While his performance in Vancouver was disappointing to most, history will show that he had a very successful NHL career, compiling nearly a point per game in an 800 plus game career (at the height of the dead puck era no less). And perhaps, even more remarkably, over the final 13 seasons of his career, he didn’t post a single season with a negative plus minus.
Amongst him countrymen, he will be remembered for playing with passion and skill whenever representing his nation - his tournament leading performance in the twilight of his career being the crowning achievement on an impressive international hockey resume.
Jan Bulis Pavol Demitra.