This is Ziggy Palffy's rookie card. His big league career started way back in 1991 at the Canada Cup tournament. He went on to an all star career in the NHL before returning home to Slovakia to play.
The Slovaks are celebrating 80 years of hockey history this month. The hockey-mad nation is eagerly anticipating the 2010 Olympics, a team which may include the veteran Palffy.
The 37 year old removed himself from national team consideration 4 years ago, feeling his best days were done. But he wants to end his career at the highest level, and has made it be known that he wants to be at Vancouver 2010.
The Slovaks are expected to draw as many 14 players from their domestic league for their Olympic team. To help make their roster decisions and to foster good team chemistry, the Slovaks have assembled a domestic league all star team that is playing three games against teams from Czech Republic, Switzerland and Belarus.
Palffy played the first game on a line with former NHLers Juraj Kolnik and Marcel Hossa. Other names familiar to NHL fans on this "international break roster" include Jozef Stumpel, Ladislav Nagy, Richard Zednik, Branko Radivojevic, Martin Cibak, Lubos Bartecko and goaltenders Rostislav Stana and Jan Lasak.
Slovakia announces their Olympic roster on December 29th.