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."