The Great Zigmund Palffy Finally Retires…

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Okay.. well, maybe you already though he was gone.  And why wouldn’t you?  Or, if you’re a newer fan, maybe you don’t even remember who he is.  After all, he hasn’t played in an NHL game since 2005, and it’s been a while since his forgettable performance in the 2010 Olympics.  Still, it bares acknowledging, old Ziggy Palffy has hung up the skates at long last, after spending the last 5 years in the Slovak Extraliga.  It was a wonder he even played that long, after the injuries he’d sustained near the end of his career, as well as the season he spent away from the sport… and all this back and forth on retirement, really diminished the appreciation we all should have had for Palffy, because he was damn good.

In a lot of ways, he was the star of a golden generation of Slovak hockey players, that included standouts like NHL stars Peter Bondra, Miroslav Satan, Jozef Stumpel, Lubomir Visnovsky, Michal Handzus, and the late and great Pavol Demitra.  With all those great names, you could see why Palffy would be lost in the clutter..  But really, he shouldn’t be.  In 684 NHL games, he had 713 points, which is damn good for any era… but consider this.  Palffy played in pretty much the worst offensive era of all time.   His first full season was 1995-96, during which 12 players put up over 100 points.   The following year?  Just two.   And the year after that? One.   It speaks to Palffy’s acumen as a offensive threat that he was able to put up such impressively consistent numbers during such a repressive era, and even more so since he was able to do so despite injuries.

However, Palffy left the NHL to little fanfare because of the injuries.  There was initial speculation that he might return when he healed, but that chatter became increasingly silent as he continued his career with HC Slavia Praha in Slovakia.  Sadly, this robbed Palffy of the proper sendoff he deserves.

So, how about some goals…

Happy Retirement Palffy.

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