Friday, June 13, 2008

R.I.P. Defenseman

In case you haven't noticed, I am a lifelong Flyers fan. I watched every game growing up looking forward to hearing Gene Hart's perfect pronunciation of the Russian and Eastern European players' names.

I know. I was a strange child.

One of the greatest names is no longer with us:

Miroslav Dvorak, named the winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers' top defenseman in 1983-84 - and a player whose off-ice demeanor reminded some teammates of a legendary Saturday Night Live skit - died Wednesday in the Czech Republic after a long battle with throat cancer, the club announced yesterday.

Not only did he have a cool name, he was a pretty good defenseman too. Always on the plus side (a career +58), plenty of helpers (74 assists over parts of 3 seasons) and was a physical presence on the ice.

He also helped the team make the finals in 84-85 against the Oilers before returning to Europe to finish his career.

It's always strange when an athlete you remember watching as a kid dies. Rest in peace Defenseman.

[Thanks to for the story and for the picture]

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