Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google

Exhibition Games to Honor Demitra

Several of Demitra's former Blues teammates expected to participate

Monday, 07.21.2014 / 4:01 PM / St Louis Blues - News
Share with your Friends

Exhibition Games to Honor Demitra
Several former Blues players will participate in a series of exhibition games in Slovakia in August to honor Pavol Demitra.
Make a Donation to the Pavol Demitra Fund

Pavol Demitra will be honored in a series of charity exhibition games in Slovakia next month, almost three years after he and 43 other passengers died in a plane crash in Yaroslavl, Russia.

A group of Slovakian All-Stars and alumni from the St. Louis Blues will participate in three games to raise money for grass-roots hockey in Slovakia. The first game will take place Aug. 20 in Poprad, to be followed on Aug. 22 in Trencin and Aug. 23 in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava.

Slovakian legend Anton Stastny is one of the players participating in the game, as are former Blues players Kelly Chase, Lubos Bartecko, Scott Young, Jamal Mayers, Marc Bergevin, Bernie Federko and Tyson Nash. Almost all the Blues players participating played at some point with Demitra, who played eight seasons in St. Louis from 1996 to 2004.

"[Demitra] just got along with everyone. He came in a room and he didn't have to say much, but people liked him and he always took time for everyone in his own way," Chase said. "You go to talk to these guys and everyone says the same thing. This guy was just solid. We just had a real liking for him because he had a great personality. You want to be around a guy like that because he was good to everyone."

The games were organized primarily by Chase and Bartecko, a Slovakian who lived with Demitra when he first arrived in St. Louis during the 1998-99 season. Chase and Bartecko have worked tirelessly on the event and collaborated with the NHL Players' Association and the Blues to help collect equipment for youth hockey players in Slovakia.

"The alumni will fly over to Slovakia and play a few exhibition games in memory of Pavol. Just kind of be there and go see his family and pay respect," Bartecko said. "I kind of liked the idea and talked to a few different people in Slovakia to see if it would be difficult to organize it. That's how it came across and we've been talking over the year and organizing this. We put it together and we're doing it. We're excited about it."

Demitra was playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League when the team's plane crashed shortly after takeoff on Sept. 7, 2011. Of the 45 passengers and staff onboard, flight engineer Alexander Sizov was the lone survivor.

Demitra was 36 when he died, leaving behind a wife and two children. He also had forged a proud hockey legacy in his home country. He was a ninth-round pick (No. 227) of the Ottawa Senators in the 1993 NHL Draft, but went on to play 847 games with the Senators, Blues, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks. Demitra scored 304 goals and 768 points.

He was also an icon in Slovakia, serving as an alternate captain on the national team that finished fourth at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. He was an integral part of the upstart Slovakian squad's run to the semifinals, leading the tournament with 10 points in seven games.

"Pavol is one of the few guys that had a huge impact on everybody, whoever played with him. He was always there for everybody if you ever needed him. He was a great teammate and a great guy off the ice," said Bartecko, also a member of that 2010 Olympic team. "I don't care where you are in Slovakia, you mention his name and everybody knows what he was and what he accomplished and what he did for the fans and for people."

Since the crash, events have been held in Slovakia and St. Louis to honor Demitra's memory. But these games will mark the first time Demitra's peers from both hockey communities will come together on this scale. The focus of these games will certainly be Demitra, who will also be the subject of a documentary film coming out in Slovakia later this summer. But the objective of this exhibition series will also be to raise funds for a variety of charities in the country where Demitra's legend still looms large.

"That's what we want to do. We want to remember him, who he was and what he has done," Bartecko said. "Just spread the feelings and memories with everybody else."




1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46


V. Tarasenko 61 31 29 27 60
A. Steen 59 19 32 4 51
J. Schwartz 54 20 26 16 46
D. Backes 60 20 21 3 41
T. Oshie 53 17 24 12 41
K. Shattenkirk 49 8 32 18 40
P. Stastny 53 11 23 10 34
J. Lehtera 54 9 24 16 33
A. Pietrangelo 61 5 27 -3 32
P. Berglund 57 8 11 -2 19
B. Elliott 19 9 2 .921 2.21
J. Allen 17 6 2 .905 2.50

Single Game Tickets
Full Season Tickets
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

In the System
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

Regular Season
Practice Schedule
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

Player Stats
League Standings

Blues Overtime Blog

Video Channels
Game Highlights


Find a Player
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, and are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.