September 07, 2011
Blessed with amazing speed, Pavol Dimetra was a pretty good NHL player and scorer for 16 NHL seasons. But once he put on the Slovak national team jersey he somehow turned into a superstar.
That was never so evident at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. He was arguably the best individual player, leading the tournament in scoring with 10 points. He was just absolutely fantastic in that tournament. He gave Canada fits in their showdown, nearly tying the game with less than 10 seconds left in the game. It was truly amazing to see, It was as if that Slovakian team uniform might as well have been a Superman outfit - that's how good he was at the 2010 Olympics.
Dimetra was a pretty good player in his NHL heyday, too. Playing alongside Keith Tkachuk, Demitra was a dynamite player for several seasons in St. Louis. In fact in 2002-03 he scored a career high 98 points, the 6th highest total in the NHL that season. In fact three times he finished in the NHL's top ten scorers. Three times he played in the NHL all star game and in 2000 he won the Lady Byng trophy for his clean play.
Later in his career he formed a dangerous duo with countryman Marian Gaborik with the Minnesota Wild.
After the 2010 season Dimetra headed to Russia, signing with KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He was said to really being enjoy hockey in the KHL and life in Russia. The Slovakian great was excited to return to Yaroslavl for the 2011-12 season when the unthinkable tragedy struck. Pavol Demitra and all of his Yaroslavl teammates perished in a plane crash as the team made their first road trip for the season.
The hockey world lost a great Slovakian legend that day. Pavol Dimetra will always be remembered as one of the best players from his country, and as a long time, entertaining NHL player.