## Sunday, April 21, 2013 ... //

### Pilsen wins 1st Czech Stanley Cup

Many people in Pilsen follow soccer as well as ice-hockey; our teams were great in recent years.

A flag of HC Škoda Pilsen...

Just minutes ago, HC Škoda Pilsen, the local ice-hockey club, defeated HC Zlín in the last, seventh match. At 96:15 (!!!), the captain and playing 40-year-old owner Martin Straka – the local ice-hockey emperor whom North American readers may know as a New York Ranger (and, previously, a member of 5 other NHL teams) – scored the decisive goal in this incredibly hotly contested series of final matches.

Despite the immense contributions of Pilsen to the Czech ice-hockey, this is the first victory of the Pilsner team.

A reason why North American TRF readers should be pleased is that Pilsen is the most American city in Europe; and HC Škoda Pilsen is also the most American/Canadian team in the extra league – as the flag above, one of the unofficial flags below, indicates. Nicolas St. Pierre of Canada and Ryan Hollweg and Nicholas Johnson of the U.S. are among current players who celebrate the title. Several other Canucks and Yankees have played here, too.

Several years ago, this Native American was added to the logo which now shares the place with the Škoda logo. The Native American on the logo is a modernized version of a symbol of the 2nd Infantry Division that liberated my hometown in 1945. Throughout communism, it wasn't quite possible to discuss the liberation by the U.S. army. The ice-hockey club has changed its name 11 times.

A few years ago, Pilsen won the presidential trophy – the best team before the play-off stage begins. This season, Pilsen was the 1st team during most of this early stage but at the end, they decided to save some power and the ultimately runner-up – HC Zlín – won the presidential trophy.

HC Zlín is a Moravian team from the town where Tomáš Baťa founded the shoe company. During communism, the town was renamed as Gottwaldov after the scaled-down Czech counterpart of Mr Stalin, namely Mr Gottwald.

#### snail feedback (8) :

This strikes me as highly unusual or a good chance of "a first"; i.e. that an (co-?)owner (or even more unusual if full owner) of a sports-team scores a winning goal in a final of the sport's top league!

On the other hand, that the owner was 40 when he did it is almost something to be expected to follow from the fact to that it usually takes time to gather enough funds for purchasing of a top team of puck-pushers. ;)

I won't allow myself to undermine my mild but pleasant amazement any further by thinking that he was after all not just someone who obviously had been a great ice-hockey player but who also now plays with the status of a kingpin by force of his legal and financial powers, i.e. a team-member so powerful that all his team-mates are extra motivated to work their butt off in order to service him with goal-scoring opportunities. %-\
Nevertheless ;-), my congratulation to you Lubos for having this reason to feel Pilsener pride! :-)

Dear Peter, it isn't unlikely because NHL players belong among the best paid occupations in Czechia, and if one earns money in the NHL, it's probably because he likes ice-hockey and investments into ice-hockey are the most likely ways to deal with the money. ;-)

Straka is still an amazing player.

Martin straka, Alex Kovalev, Robert lang, ...a line for the ages.

Why in the first image the flag looks like a blue Canadian flag?

It's not blue. It's blue-and-white which are the club's national colors. Why the theme is Canadian is left as an exercise. Reading the whole blog entry and IQ above 50 should help. ;-)

Fine, I had just skimmed the entry before. I understand now.