Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NHL stickwork gets high marks from Czechs

So much is said and written about how much more skilled the European game is compared with the NHL. But Jiri Kalous, an assistant coach with HC Slavia, the Czech elite league team in Prague, disagrees, especially when it comes to the stickwork between players. "Here, it is not good playing in hockey," he said. "There are many fouls in our competition. In the NHL, if somebody plays with the stick, immediately out. You have cleaned (the game) up. It is hard but clean. It is very good."

Why are there so many stick infractions in the Czech Republic? Kalous blames the larger European ice surface. "It's very hard to catch him and defend him," Kalous said of players. "So, from there they use their sticks."

Czech native Vinny Prospal said a lack of fighting also contributes. Fights in the Czech Republic earn a two-minute penalty for a minor dustup and a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for a brawl. Kalous said players used to be suspended up to three games for fighting, but the rule recently changed.

"So you're not able to square with someone in a fighting way, so you use your stick," Prospal said.

No room for goody-two-shoes

The Senators took some heat after last season's playoff flameout for being too much the party animals. Asked if the topic came up with defenseman Andrej Meszaros, whose rights Tampa Bay got from Ottawa, coach Barry Melrose said no.

Besides, Melrose said, "There's not a lot of televangelism in hockey."

"Mez is a competitor and plays hard on the ice," Melrose added. "I'd much rather have a guy like that who has a couple of beers than a guy who doesn't compete, who's home at 5 o'clock every night watching the Brady Bunch. Same thing with guys who live in the weight room; give me a fat guy who hits anything that moves."

Cap arithmetic

The Lightning's salary cap number is $54.8-million. Salaries (in millions):

Player Cap hit

Vinny Lecavalier $6.875M

Marty St. Louis $5.25M

Ryan Malone $4.5M

Andrej Meszaros $4M

Steven Stamkos $3.725M*

Vinny Prospal $3.5M

Matt Carle $3.438M

Radim Vrbata $3M

Olaf Kolzig $2.5M*

Gary Roberts $2.07M*

Jeff Halpern $2M

Jussi Jokinen $1.812M

Mark Recchi $1.5M*

Chris Gratton $1.25M

Marc Denis $1M**

Evgeny Artyukhin $950,000

Shane O'Brien $950,000

Mike Smith $950,000

Paul Ranger $933,000

Vladimir Mihalik $850,000

Ryan Craig $787,000

Mike Lundin $688,000

Jason Ward $675,000

Adam Hall $600,000

David Koci $525,000

Jamie Heward$475,000

* Includes bonuses. ** Buyout.

No trail of crumbs

Good thing the path from the locker room to the bench is so short. Coach Barry Melrose and goaltenders coach Cap Raeder, right, proved in Prague they are directionally challenged.

The pair took a walk through the historic and beautiful city from the team hotel to the Charles Bridge, found a cigar shop and bought some Cubans. But something went terribly wrong after that; wrong turn after wrong turn got the pair hopelessly lost.

"People said, 'Why didn't you just jump in a cab?' " Melrose said. "Well, it became a matter of pride. You've got two guys of reasonable intelligence. Surely, we can find a hotel."

They did, two hours later, but only after buying a map.

NHL stickwork gets high marks from Czechs 10/04/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 10:46am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021

    Bucs

    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  2. Sputtering Rays keep falling one run short

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Even going into play against the Angels on Tuesday just a game under .500 at 23-24, the Rays have some issues they have to resolve.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb waits for Mike Trout to finish his trot after homering to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.

  4. Rays journal: Brad Miller won't return from DL when eligible

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — 2B Brad Miller (left abdominal strain) will not return from the 10-day disabled list Friday as he hoped. While he took ground balls Tuesday, he has yet to resume running.

    Rays second baseman Brad Miller, left, with infielder Tim Beckham, says he’s letting his left abdominal strain “cool down” before testing it by running.
  5. USF baseball rallies to beat Tulane in AAC tournament opener

    College

    CLEARWATER — With Tulane runners on first and second and two out in the top of the ninth inning Tuesday, USF's dugout watched as burly American Athletic Conference co-player of the year Hunter Williams' fly to left went deep.

    USF outfielder Chris Chatfield is congratulated by third-base coach Chris Cates after hitting a three-run homer in the third inning, tying the score at 3.