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“Where are they now?”: Miroslav Satan and Zigmund Palffy Edition

August 5, 2011

Miro’s “second chance.”

Two formerly prolific scorers sit idle in Slovakia right now. They are Zigmund Palffy and Miro Satan.  According to IDNES.cz, the two Slovak wingers remain undecided in their plans for next season. They are advancing in age, but their utility to the NHL teams for which they played won’t be forgotten, even as they end their careers back at home, which seems all but inevitable. There’s interest in Palffy from Skalica again, his hometown team, as well as some Czech teams, according to the article, whilst former team Slovan Bratislava has interest in Satan. They are not completely “idle” as they are training hard.

Palffy put up 40-goal seasons with the Islanders in the mid-90s, turned in respectable 30+ goal performances with the Kings and played his last season with the Penguins in 2005-2006, at which time he moved to HK 36 Skalica of the Czech Extraliga, where he has remained.

Miro Satan was beloved by Bruins fans for his playoff performance last year. The Bruins may have been taken down, but the post-Olympics pick-up of Satan by Chiarelli proved important. He was with the club for only a bit, and while he showed his age, his deft hands were still there. Satan was far more than that, though: he played 79 to 82 games each season for many years with the Sabres in the late 90’s and early 2000’s before heading to the Islanders for three years where he posted similarly remarkable numbers, around 30 goals or more each season. He won a Cup with the Penguins in 2009. He’s been a key figure internationally for Team Slovakia. He played for Dynamo Moscow before being sidelined with injury.

But the two players wait now. Are their NHL days behind them? Perhaps. There may be a team in the market for Satan’s skills at a bargain basement price. But it’s more likely it’s the end of the road. A team like Vancouver would be right, but they just picked up Marco Sturm and Owen Nolan is coming for a professional try-out. As much as hockey is a sport that holds onto older players more than any other sport, the player that makes it into his late 30s is still a rarity. That’s even true in the Extraligas. It’s about the young blood.

I’d love to see either of them in Sochi in 2014. But I wonder if it’s the end of the line.  Players retire, it’s a fact of life.

It’s sad. Moves like these don’t come ’round all that often:

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