This article is the sixth in a series ranking all Penguins throughout history from different countries. Some lists will rank just the top 10, due to the number of players from those countries. Today, we continue by ranking all Penguins players from Slovakia.
There have been nine Slovak players to suit up for the Penguins in their history — two defensemen and seven forwards.
Let’s see how the Slovak Penguins rank, not necessarily in terms of overall skill, but by their impact on the Penguins during their time in Pittsburgh.
9. LADISLAV KARABIN
Karabin wasn't around very long. He was the Penguins' ninth-round pick in the 1990 draft after spending the previous season playing in the Czechoslovak First Ice Hockey League. He spent three more years in the Czechoslovak league before making the move to America in 1993.
Karabin played just nine NHL games with Pittsburgh in his first season, recording no points and an even plus/minus rating. He spent the remainder of the season in the IHL with the Cleveland Lumberjacks, where he scored 13 goals and 26 assists in 58 games.
Karabin spent the entire 1994-95 season in Cleveland, scoring 15 goals and 25 assists in 47 games. He played one more season in North America, split between Rochester of the AHL and Los Angeles of the IHL, before returning to Europe. He played three seasons in Slovakia and seven in Germany before retiring in 2006.
8. RICHARD LINTNER
Lintner was originally a fifth-round pick by the Coyotes in 1996. The Penguins acquired Lintner in February 2003 along with Rico Fata, Mikael Samuelsson, Joel Bouchard, and cash considerations from the Rangers in exchange for Alexei Kovalev, Dan LaCouture, Janne Laukkanen, and Michael Wilson.
Lintner played 19 games with Pittsburgh, recording three goals, two assists, and a minus-9 rating, and six games with Wilkes-Barre, recording one goal, four assists, and minus-2 rating.
Lintner returned to Europe the following season. He played another 12 seasons, including stops in Sweden, Switzerland, Belarus, Finland, and Slovakia before retiring in 2015.
7. RONALD PETROVICKY
The Penguins signed Petrovicky in 2006, after he had already played five NHL seasons with the Flames, Rangers, and Thrashers.
Petrovicky only played in 31 games with Pittsburgh in the 2006-07 season, recording three goals, three assists, and a plus-4 rating. He was sent down to Wilkes-Barre for four games, where he was scoreless. He appeared in three postseason games with Pittsburgh, recording no points.
Petrovicky spent the following season with three different leagues in Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. He played the 2008-09 season in Latvia, and played six games in the AHL with Springfield in 2009 before retiring.
6. MARTIN STRBAK
The Penguins acquired 28-year-old NHL rookie Strbak and Sergei Anshakov from the Kings in November 2003, in exchange for Martin Straka.
Strbak played the remainder of the season in Pittsburgh, scoring three goals and 11 assists and recording a minus-10 rating in 44 games.
Strbak returned to Europe for the 2004-05 lockout season, playing in Slovakia and Russia, and never returned to the NHL. He played 12 more seasons after leaving the NHL and retired in 2015.
5. ROBERT DOME
Dome played the third-most games with the Penguins of any Slovak player.
Dome was the Penguins' first-round pick in 1997, and he made his NHL debut that season. He scored five goals and two assists in 30 games, and played the rest of the season in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, where he scored 21 goals and 25 assists in 36 games.
Dome played for Syracuse and the Houston Aeros of the IHL in 1998-99, then saw NHL time again with Pittsburgh in 1999-00. He played 22 games in the NHL that season, scoring two goals and five assists, and spent the remainder of the season with Wilkes-Barre in its inaugural season, scoring 12 goals and 26 assists in 51 games.
Dome played the 2000-01 season in the Czech Republic, choosing to play in Europe rather than play in the AHL again.
"For three years, they didn't give him an opportunity to show anything, always sending him to the farm team," Dome's agent Jiri Crha told Dejan in August 2000. "I don't want Robert to go through that anymore. I don't want him to go up and down, with everybody telling him over and over why he's not playing. Just let him play. You need a chance at least to prove somebody wrong. If you play six shifts a game, you're never going to produce."
Dome returned to Wilkes-Barre in 2001-02, scoring nine goals and eight assists in 39 games.
Dome spent the majority of the next two seasons with the Flames' AHL affiliates, only playing one more game in the NHL. He returned to Europe midway through the 2003-04 season, and played in Sweden, Germany, and Slovakia before retiring in 2009.
Dome has been coaching various levels of hockey in Sweden since 2012, and was head coach of IFK Osteraker in the Division 3 league last season.
4. MARIAN HOSSA
If this list was ranking players by overall skill, Hossa would be ranked higher than fourth.
The Penguins acquired Hossa and Pascal Dupuis from the Thrashers in February 2008, in exchange for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a first-round pick.
Hossa injured his knee in his first game as a Penguin, and scored three goals and seven assists in the 12 games he played in the regular season.
He was the Penguins' No. 2 leading scorer in the playoffs, trailing only his linemate Sidney Crosby, with 12 goals and 14 assists in 20 games as the Penguins went on to lose to the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final.
Hossa bolted for Detroit the following season, only to again be on the losing side of the handshake line in the Final. He signed with Chicago in 2009, where he finally won the Stanley Cup in 2010. He won two more Cups, in 2013 and 2015, before retiring in 2017.
3. MIROSLAV SATAN
Satan's 65 games are the second-most of any Slovak Penguin. He played in 65 regular-season games in the 2008-09 season, scoring 17 goals and 19 assists, and scored another three goals and six assists during a 10-game stint in Wilkes-Barre.
Satan played in 17 playoff games that spring, scoring one goal and five assists as the Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup. He's the only Slovak player to win the Cup with the Penguins.
Satan played one more season in the NHL, with the Bruins, then went home to Slovakia. He played four more seasons before retiring in 2014.
Satan was the general manager of the Slovakian national team the past two seasons, and was named the president of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation in June. He was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame last season.
2. ZIGGY PALFFY
Palffy wasn't in Pittsburgh long -- only 42 games in the 2005-06 season -- but he was a point-per-game player in that span, scoring 11 goals and 31 assists on Crosby's wing. Palffy "retired" midway through the season due to a shoulder injury. He had two years remaining on his contract.
Palffy came out of retirement after one season and played the next three seasons in Slovakia. He sat out of the 2010-11 season, then played another two seasons in Slovakia before retiring (presumably for the final time) in 2013.
Palffy was also inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame last season.
1. TOMAS SUROVY
Surovy is the clear No. 1 choice. He played the most games with the Penguins of any Slovak player (126) over the most seasons (3). He has more goals (27), assists (32), and points (59) than any other Slovak Penguin.
Surovy was the Penguins' fourth-round pick in 2001, and spent five total seasons in the organization, primarily in Wilkes-Barre. He's Wilkes-Barre's No. 2 all-time leading scorer (behind Tom Kostopoulos) with 89 goals and 89 assists in 239 games.
The 2005-06 season was Surovy's final season in North America. He's still playing at age 37, and has played in Sweden, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Belarus, and Slovakia since leaving the Penguins. He's played for HC Banska Bystrica for the past three seasons (and captained the team for the past two), winning three consecutive Slovak Extraliga championships.
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