A series of charity games in Slovakia will honor the legacy of former Minnesota Wild forward Pavol Demitra, who tragically died along with 43 others in a plane crash near Yaroslavl, Russia almost three years ago.
Three games will take place in August starring Slovakian stars and former members of the St. Louis Blues. The first of the three will take place on August 20 in Poprad with games on August 22 in Trencin and August 23 in Bratislava to follow. All three games will be raising money for grass-roots hockey programs in the country.
Players participating in the game include Slovakian legend Anton Stastny and former Blues Kelly Chase, Lubos Bartecko, Scott Young, Jamal Mayers, Marc Bergevin, Bernie Federko, and Tyson Nash. Demitra played eight seasons with the Blues from 1996-2004.
Wild fans will remember him from his two-year run with Minnesota in 2006-07 and 2007-08. He played 139 games in a Wild sweater, scoring 40 goals and 78 assists.
Demitra had a long and respectable NHL career totaling 847 games with 304 goals and 464 assists. Aside from the Wild and Blues, Demitra also spent time with the Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, and Vancouver Canucks.
Demitra’s final professional season was played for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. When his plane tragically crashed in 2001 it was carrying the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team.
Speaking about the charity event in Demitra’s honor, Kelly Chase told NHL.com, “[Demitra] just got along with everyone. He came in a room and he didn’t have to say much, but people liked him and he always took time for everyone in his own way. You go to talk to these guys and everyone says the same thing. This guy was just solid. We just had a real liking for him because he had a great personality. You want to be around a guy like that because he was good to everyone.”
Watch a few highlights and tributes to Demitra below.
Demitra Scores A Hat Trick On Hat Night
Minnesota Wild Tributes To Pavol Demitra
Pavol Demitra Highlights With the Wild