Slovakia: The (uncertain) future of Slovak hockey

Discussion in 'Central Europe' started by slovakiasnextone, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    Just to clarify this is not yet another negative thread pondering the sad future of Slovak hockey. Kind of the contrary.

    2015 could turn out to be a bit of a historic year for Slovak hockey. We have already had our juniors winning a medal at the WJC as unlikely as that possibility might have seemed to many of us, we will have the WC played in neighboring Czech republic, where it will not only be decided wheher Slovakia gets a direct spot at the 2018 Olympics, but where it also will be officially confirmed that Slovakia will host its 2nd World Championship in 2019 as Slovakia is currently the only candidate as the Swiss withdrew their bid (and decided to go for 2020 instead).

    But perhaps the most interesting event to follow will take place during the off season, when the elections to the Slovak ice-hockey federation (SZĽH) will take place. Back in February former Slovak national team D-man finished his professional career (he played the season for Dukla Trenčín in Slovak league) and has announced that he wants to change Slovak hockey and he has kinda been having a media campaign since then and has been slowly uncovering some more information bit by bit. He has revealed that the plan has been in the making for a few years now and that he has been working on it together with Miroslav Å atan and Peter Bondra. He has not really said much, but the key points would be 1) Changing the Slovak Extraliga into a strong league, 2) also improving youth hockey in a way that would produce more Slovaks drafted into the NHL and 3) he doesn't really repeat the whole 'government needs to give us more money' mantra, instead says that the money that is in Slovak hockey should be used effectively. You can read more in the interview from Slovak weekly .tyzden, where he has probably talked most extensively about the whole thing so far.

    Lintner himself has not actually announced that he will run for SZLH president, only that a candidate that will come out of the iniciative wil and who will have the support of the whol golden generation of Slovak players.

    Meanwhile incumbent president Igor Nemeček (whom many consider little else but the lap dog of former SZLH president and Slovan Bratislava owner Juraj Å iroký) has announced that he will run for the job once again. Nemeček and Å iroký are likely the most hated people in Slovak hockey (and even beyond hockey when it comes to shady businessman Å iroký: http://spectator.sme.sk/c/20005465/agent-siroky-served-stb-in-d-c-embassy.html, http://spectator.sme.sk/c/20034597/the-spy-who-prospered.html), but it's not the fans or players who get the votes. It's the various Slovak hockey clubs and people from inside the federation. So it's going to be a tough and most likely dirty battle.

    You can vote in the poll on who should be the president. As only Nemeček has officially announced his candidature, I went with the three options Nemeček, Lintner's group (whether it's Lintner himself or some other candidate that comes out of the iniciative) and other (if there's a different candidate unconnected to either of the first two).

    The interview with Lintner I mentioned above:

     
  2. ThrashersfanSVK @Jakub_Homola

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    I keep my fingers crossed for Richard Lintner, however do not have too high expectations. Win of Lintner would mean that Trencin would manage the whole federation, and if we do want to have something like separation of power, then it's not the best thing to have almost whole federation just from the one city.
     
  3. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    Do you think that it's a likely scenario? So far I haven't got the impression that he has the attitude like Pálffy (which at the moment seems like as long as it doesn't concern Skalica, he doesn't give a ****). Also Å atan and Bondra are not exactly from Trenčín (ok, Å atan has a bit of a past there, but he's from Topolcany and more involved with Slovan than Trencin). Though of course there is the fact that they leave overseas, not many people have fond memories of Bondra as NT GM and IMO there were at least some childly antics from Satan in the feud with Chara, which I would not have expected from him.

    Perhaps you have more information than I do, but so far I did not get the impression that this was a Trenčín thing. Though of course it would be great if Lintner could get people from other parts of the country on the thing, I suppose HandzuÅ¡ and Stumpel could be good candidates as they both have played in Slovakia this year.

    Whatever might happen, I think the one thing we can all agree on is that we would not like to see another 4 years of Nemeček.
     
  4. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    So while we didn't exactly learn anything about their plans, Lintner unveiled his team today, which consists of:

    Richard Lintner
    Peter Bondra
    Miroslav Å atan
    Rastislav Pavlikovský
    Oto HaÅ¡čák
    Andrej Miklánek
    Ján Gajdošík
    Peter Žifčák
    Rastislav Železník
    Ján Filc

    So while there's a lot of Trencin connections there, Kosice for example are represented as well.

    Also like that it's not just hckey players on the team.

    I wonder whether Filc will be the candidate for president? Not quite sure how I'd feel about that, I remember back when he was working with the federation he kept repeating himself about how they can't really do anything unless the government gives them more money...

    But the biggest worry is that only 3 Extraliga clubs showed up to today's meeting with them, which doesn't really bode well for their chances to get voted in.
     
  5. Kamzik Registered User

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    With some of the lowest taxes in Europe, and one of the lowest tax revenues as percentage of GDP, I am guessing the Slovak government does not have any money to hand to anyone. This won't change regardless whether the president is Lintner, Filc, or whomever.
     
  6. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    Even with the lower taxes, they might have more money to spend if they were not as corrupt as the Slovak governments tend to be, but in that case there are plenty of areas they should put the money to use other than hockey (health infractructure, education, building new roads etc.), but this not really the place to discuss politics and it's not really the point I was trying to make.

    Lintner has outright said:
    and I was just pointing out that for years Filc has been saying the complete opposite of this that we can't really do much unless given the money even though what Lintner is saying about needing to do the best what you can with the money you have in order to attract the private sector (which has the money to spend) sounds like a logical and sound plan.

    Futhermore Lintner has been talking about wanting to ""clean up" at the federation saying that the younger generation should get in, and with all due respect to Filc's coachin achievments, he has once kind of been a huge part of the incumbent power ups back under Široký's presidency.

    But it's a minor point compared to the worries about their chacnes to get voted in at all. I mean this quote from the chief of MHC Martin after yesterday says a lot:

    :huh:

    So basically they think that what Lintner and co. offer is better than what Nemecek and co. do, yet they don't know whom they're going to support. That makes a whole load of sense.:sarcasm:
     
  7. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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  8. alko Registered User

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    Who exactly has voting power? Club owners?

    IMO there will be big pressure from the "Siroky" group to the owners and their sponsors. And as we know, how it is in our country, that could be the difference point.

    And second point. Many people dont want here something "new". With something "new" there is always a lot work. And they dont want it. They want to have nice, easy life, without any complications. Anyway, Slovak won bronze on last junior WCH. So , everything is ok. No need to change. :sarcasm:
     
  9. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    There goes the Slovak pessimism again. Makes it kinda hard to believe that someone so optimistic with so much enthusiasm as Lintner shares the same nationality as we, the nation of eternal pessimists :D

    You know, it's kinda like when we sometimes say about our players that they lost the game in their heads even before the puck dropped.

    It will hardly be easy, but a bit early to give up.
     
  10. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    So Nemeček introduced his program today:

    https://www.facebook.com/slovakprospects/posts/897932540269239

    Since we now have both programs

    Lintner and co.

    vs. Nemeček

    Also some nice words addressed to the Slovak fans by Mr. Nemeček today:

    Now imagine the president of Hockey Canada saying something along these lines about Canadian hockey fans...
     
  11. Jakub1904 Registered User

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    Funny, Nemecek denies his responsibility for the results of our NT and a week later he uses the exact same results as a part of his campaign.
     
  12. alko Registered User

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    When will they realize, that the number of NHL players has only a little influence to our national team success on WCH?
    :shakehead
     
  13. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    Is this sarcasm? Because clearly it doesn't have small influence? NHLers have played an important part in all of successes of Slovakia at the WHC, even if they were there in small numbers like in 2000 or 2012.

    I'd like to know who he thinks is to blame for the falling numbers of Slovak NHLers? I mean, I'd cut him some slack if he only entered the federation back in 2011, because that's not enough time to see the influence of his work on the numbers of NHLers. But he's been named the general secretary of the federation for the first time when? in 1998? Sure, you can't blame everything on one person or even the federation, but if someone who has held such high positions in Slovak hockey as he has doesn't share the blame for that, then who does? I suppose it's the bad bad fans :laugh:
     
  14. alko Registered User

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    Sure, NHL players are important. But lets see, how many of them were on the roster in 2000 and 2012. In first case only 6 and in 2012 only 4.

    Years 2002 and 2003 are something different. There were many NHL players. 11+...

    In 1999/2000, we had 19 players, that had at least 1 NHL game. 15 with more than 20 games.
    In 2011/2012 we saw 12 Slovak players in NHL, also counting Milan Kytnar with 1 "emergency-call" game.

    Also, it is possible to take a medal with roster, where only few players are from NHL. NHL is good, but they should focus to Europe and make a ripe core from this players.
     
  15. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    I think that's mixing up two things a bit.

    The number of NHLers is important in regards to the NT no matter from what angle you look at it. It is a difference whether you have 10 or 20 or 30 players in the NHL. Because the higher the number and the quality of them, the higher the chance that you will have several of them on the roster and that you can form a team such as the Slovak ones from the time between 2002-2005 and that your success at the tourney won't be just a surprise like it was in 2000 and 2012, but it will be expected based on your roster strength.

    Sure it is possible to medal at the WHC with having just a few NHLers like Slovakia and Switzerland in 2012 and 2013, but that's a one tournament wonder.

    Also we were quite lucky in regards to which NHLers were available in 2012 and in what kind of form they were (I'd dare to say that without one of Chara or Sekera we likely wouldn't have won that silver). Also in 2000 we had only a few NHLers at the Worlds (though if you count guys like Visnovsky who went to NHL after the tourney it might turn out to be more).

    So in conclusion, yes, you can manage some kind of success at the Olympics even with a few NHLers, but those NHLers have to be of a certain level, not 4th liners whom you're somehow trying to rebuild into productive players.

    But the other thing is that it doesn't mean the NT staff should solely rely on which NHLers will be available at the WC (that's something only Canada can afford to do, and what US and perhaps Sweden would were their NHL players more willing to go to the tourney) and should not focus building a solid core Euro team, which would be competitive even with small NHL additions.
     
  16. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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  17. Jakub1904 Registered User

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  18. Jakub1904 Registered User

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    Nemecek wins.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Ivo Registered User

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    I can't say I am surprised, considering the number of voters whose job was on the line, if Nemecek didn't win. Nevertheless, it is mind-boggling how a person with zero support of hockey fans, players and public wins against someone who is supported by virtually everyone.

    I read many people saying they will boycott the extraliga and other SZLH events, but I don't think that matters one bit. These people don't give a ****, attendance is dropping for a long time now, so nothing new there. They will fill their pockets once more on the iihf World Championships in 2019 and move on to leech on something else.
     
  20. Hesher Sagan for President

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    RIP Slovak hockey.
     
  21. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    I don't think that Slovak hockey will die just yet, so unlike the others I'm not gonna say RIP. However I would like to express my deepest condolences to Slovak hockey for having to battle cancer at leadt for another four years.
     
  22. Jakub1904 Registered User

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    Honestly, I would like to see our players boycott. It's not gonna happen, but I would want us to be forced to send an extraliga roster to the WC. Maybe then will Nemecek see in what condition Slovak hockey truly is.
     
  23. slovakiasnextone Registered User

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    The Extraliga players should be the first ones to boycott, they are among the first people who will be influenced by today's result it's not the NHLers' future that depends on it.

    But I don't think that a player boycott or a fan boycott would do anything much.

    I mean they are not even trying to hide the fact that the 2019 WC is the ulterior motive here.

    Media and sponsors come to mind as the only possibilities, where the boycott would make sense. But, it's not happening.

    Also, I can imagine the following scenario: As an alleged good will gesture towards the fans, Lintner will be offered the leadrship of Pro-Hokej, which will push him into a corner. Accepting it will be signing the deal with the devil, declining it will result in Nemeček going all "but we offered him to change things and he didn't want to, so now he has no right to comment". But perhaps that's falling too deep into conspiracy territory.
     
  24. jcbio11 Registered User

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    That translation gives me a headache.

    Concurence? Concurent???

    Competition and competitive are the words you're looking for.

    Disclaimer - I have no idea whose translation that is.
     
  25. Hesher Sagan for President

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    Why would Lintner accept such an offer? And besides, Pro-Hokej is probably entering its final season anyway.
     

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