I was absolutely devastated this morning to hear the news about the tragic plane crash that took the lives of KHL team Lokomotiv. Almost everyone in the hockey world has some connection to this tragedy. In my case, it is Pavol Demitra and the brief time he spent as a Vancouver Canuck. It seems appropriate at this time to share one of my favourite moments from Demitra’s time in Vancouver, though it was not in a Canucks uniform.
Demitra returned from injury during the 2009-10 season just in time to participate in the 2010 Winter Olympics. The veteran forward was phenomenal during the tournament, leading all players in points and was the only non-North American player named to the tournament all-star team. But he came just short of leading his team to the gold medal game, thanks to a glorious glove save by Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo.
Now it may seem odd to remember a moment when Demitra did not score as a favourite, but that’s not actually the moment I’m referring to. My favourite Pavol Demitra moment came after the game was over as the two teams lined up to shake hands. Demitra and Luongo met in the middle of the ice and embraced each other, smiling and sharing what seemed like a genuinely joyful moment. The save and exchange ended up as the #2 moment on TSN’s Top Ten Hockey Plays of the 2010 Olympics.
That’s the Pavol Demitra I remember. Happy. Full of joy. Always ready to smile. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, children, and extended family, as well all the families affected by this tragedy.
Tags: Demitra, KHL, Luongo, Olympics, The Worst News