Miroslav Satan loves to travel. He’s been all over North America and Europe, and still has a few places left on his agenda.
“I like to travel to foreign places,” the new Penguins forward said. “From where I’ve been, I like Mexico. I liked Italy and France. I still have some destinations I’d like to visit. One of them is China, another one is India. Hopefully when I get a little more time I would like to go there.”
For the time being, Satan will have time to discover the city of Pittsburgh.
“I don’t really know the city except for (the) airport and the rink from my years coming here (on opposing teams),” the 13-year NHL veteran said.
But Satan, who was born in Topolcany, Slovakia, won’t feel completely away from home given the city’s history of Slovakian immigration.
“Actually an interesting fact I found out about the city is that in the past a lot of people from Slovakia (came) here,” Satan said. “I heard that at a certain time more than 60 percent of people in Pittsburgh were Slovaks. I still see a lot of Slovak names around here.”
Satan signed a one-year contract in the offseason with Pittsburgh. It was an easy decision considering the Penguins were always a team that Satan wanted to play for because of their historical emphasis on offense and skilled forwards.
“I like the teams that play an offensive style,” Satan said. “Pittsburgh is one of those teams. I was looking for a team which was winning. I think I found the right team for me. I’m hoping we’re going to have a lot of wins and a lot of fun this year.”
Satan developed a sniper-reputation during his NHL career, tallying 337 goals before joining Pittsburgh. He registered nine seasons of 20-plus goals, four times topping 30 goals. Satan recorded his first goal as a Penguin on a power play against the New Jersey Devils in the Penguins' home opener.
“He's a proven goal scorer,” Pascal Dupuis
said. "He's got a nose for the net and knows what it takes to score goals in the NHL. He's done it in the past and right now he's starting to click. It's great to see."
Satan essentially replaces Marian Hossa, who departed to Detroit, on the Penguins’ top line with Dupuis and Sidney Crosby
. The three are still adjusting to each other’s styles and tendencies.
“It takes time,” Crosby said. “There’s no set time. He’s a guy that’s trying to find holes a lot. He’s a goal scorer. He probably likes to hang around the slot a little bit more, look for openings. When he gets his chance he fires the puck.”
“It’s an adjustment,” head coach Michel Therrien said. “We have a lot of confidence in Satan. He’s a good player. We know that he’s going to be the player that we’re looking for eventually.”
Satan has played hockey all his life. There isn’t much adjustment as far as the game goes. However, he and his family will have to acclimate to a new city.
“I’m just in a process of settling down in the city, getting to know things around, where to go for groceries and other stuff,” said Satan, who lives in a two-bedroom apartment with his wife, Ingrid, and son, Miroslav. “I’m getting more and more comfortable everyday. It’s the same for (my family). We’re just trying to get comfortable and used to living in the city.”
Young Miroslav has to adjust to a new setting and school. But mostly, he’s working on his cheering.
“He’s learning his new chant, from ‘Let’s go Islanders’ to ‘Let’s go Penguins,’” said Satan, who played the previous three seasons in New York. “So that’s kind of funny. He’s having fun. He’s screaming that around the house now.”
A visit to India and China will have to wait for the offseason. In the meantime, Satan is enjoying his time in Pittsburgh. He’s looking forward to a successful season.
“The team here has a lot of upside,” Satan said. “You could see it last year when they made it to the (Stanley Cup) Finals. I hope that they will be playing again for a Stanley Cup. I’d like to be a part of it and help out as much as I can.”