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Translations by Tomas Jandik
Pivko: I got killed by Nashville! (interview with "Sport" daily) - 24-Jul-06
http://www.deniksport.cz/clanek467251.htm

Q: In Nashville, you havenít made it in three years, you played just one game in the NHL. Do you believe it will be better in Pittsburgh?

A: In any case, I feel I have better chances now. Pittsburgh builds a new team; they seek players for short-handed situations. And when I was with the Nashvilleís farm team, I have been in those types of plays on the ice all the time. I hope they need this type of a player. Iíll give all I can in the training camp. I have nothing to lose. I want to make the first team. The farm does not exist for me anymore. That isnít the solution. If it does not work out, Iíll return back in Europe.

Q: How did the trade happen?

A: Pittsburgh new GM Ray Shero was the Assistant GM in Nashville. We talked after the last season that he would attempt to acquire me. He knows me well; he watched me for three years in the minors in Milwaukee. He even flew with us for away-games. He saw me play many times. We always had a great chat on a plane. Heís a super guy. I told them in Nashville that I would leave. I no longer wanted to play there. I felt they would not give me a chance. I had a hunch that Pittsburgh will work out. We are in agreement about the contract. It just needs to be signed.

Q: Do you have any explanation why you havenít made it in Nashville? You shined in the minors, this year you even played in the AHL All-Stars GameÖ

A: They did not treat me well. I have contemplated where the problem was. And I could not come up with anything. I saw the players the first team was recalling. Some of them barely played in the minors. Take Fiedler. A great guy, but he was an average player in Milwaukee. And he got a one-way contract. I was really upset with all these things. I buried myself in the minors for three years. I feel I am an NHL material.

Q: You really have no idea why you did not make it to Nashvilleís top team?

A: I could not have done more for it. I understand all the NHL teams, just not Nashville. They told me before the last season that I have a low point-productivity. Well, and at the end I was second in the teamís scoring. When I told them that I would leave, all of them were profoundly apologizing for not giving me a chance. That they apparently had too many wingers and similar stuff. What would you answer to that?

Q: It looked like you were headed to Europe. Where would you have gone?

A: There were some offers. For example, from Russia or Zlin [of the Czech Extraleague]. Those three years in the minors werenít particularly lucrative for me. Definitely not. Iím telling myself that Pittsburgh has to work out now. Time flies. If I returned back to Europe, I would hardly ever make it back to the NHL.

Q: So you havenít found any luck in America yetÖ

A: I am successful in my personal life. This year, my wife and I had a daughter, a little American. And now we will try for a boy. {smile}

Q: What do you know about Pittsburgh?

A: Almost nothing. I just briefly went through their roster, there is no Czech on it. I donít know any of their players personally. I know that they have young Crosby, who, alongside Ovechkin, is arguably the biggest media star in the NHL. He definitely must have skills; otherwise they would not have pushed him forward so much. But you know what media can do. If they praise somebody so much, then such a guy can afford to do whatever he wants on the ice. And I am looking forward to shaking my hand with Mario Lemieux. That will be a great experience. Actually, I consider it an honor to be picked by Pittsburgh. I know that there are no guarantees for me. I will be fighting for a roster space in the camp. Though what could you do if they put two goons on your line? It will eventually be also a matter of luck.

Q: What are your memories about your only NHL game?

A: I barely remember it {smile}. It has been 3 years. What can you accomplish if they let you on ice three times during the game? But I know I had three shots. Sometimes I am not able to do that during the course of the whole game. Then they told me that it was super, and sent me back to the minors. Thatís how it goes in America. I havenít changed my style of play over the last several years, but I have become mentally stronger overseas. Pity that there was a work stoppage. After the Calder Cup victory I felt I could play the next whole season with the first team. That subsequent year was then totally lost. I had to stay in the minors, where the quality was substandard. It impeded my progress.






Tomas Jandik is the resident Czech on LetsGoPens.com and is a man who unifies all the goodies of the American dream - meaning, of course, being a Pitt graduate, a Razorback, and a Penguins fan.

Back to Tomas' Translation List


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