August 10, 2015

Milan Tichy

It appeared that the Florida Panthers had high hopes for Milan Tichy when they drafted him from the Chicago Blackhawks organization in the 1993 NHL expansion draft.

The Panthers found a lot of early franchise success by loading up on veterans when stocking their inaugural roster. But the first defenseman they picked was Tichy (pronounced Tee-Hee), who had played less than 100 games in two seasons in the minor leagues since coming to North America as a 22 year old. He put some impressive numbers there, earning him a 13 game trial with the Hawks in 1992-93.

Tichy was billed as a slick defender with offensive upside. He was tall and gangly, and not a flashy skater. But given enough time he moved the puck really well and could run the point on the power play. He wasn't a classic physical defender but was a solid citizen in his own end.

Yet the Panthers would change their strategy before they dropped the puck on their first game. Just before the season started Tichy was traded to Winnipeg for tough guy defenseman Brent Severyn. Severyn would skate with the Panthers all season, but Tichy battled through an injury plague season in the minor leagues, never appearing with the Jets.

Tichy signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders in 1994-95. Despite putting up some strong numbers with the farm team in Denver, Tichy only got into ten NHL games over two seasons.

Tichy would walk away from the game after a back injury plagued 1995-96 season and all but forced him to retire. He would return to the NHL as a European scout.

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