Player of the Month
The European Hockey.Net European Player of the Month is awarded to the player with the most oustanding performance over the course of the month
Nominations are collected at the end of each month, then a vote by the site's admin team decides the winner.
November 2004 - Marian Hossa
The winner for November 2004 is Marian Hossa of Mora IK in Elitserien (Sweden) and HK Dukla Trencin (Slovak Extraliga).
While there several excellent candidates for this month's player of the month award there was one player
specifically standing out above the others.
Marian Hossa is not an unknown for the hockey fans. He has appeared in three NHL All-Star games and played in 2 Olympic Games for his home nation Slovakia.
Other than his blistering speed and finesse, Hossa is known for him being a potent scoring threat at any level. He does not deliver bone-crushing hits or drop his gloves, but finishes his checks and uses his size and strong upper body to hold off opponents and win battles along the boards. He is tough to stop legally coming off the boards and heading to the net.
He quickly caught the eye of many NHL scouts during his junior period with Dukla Trencin. In his first full pro season with the team he scored over a point per game. A remarkable performance for a player who started the season as a 17-year old.
The Ottawa Senators picked him up in the first round of the 1997 draft. After a single season in the WHL, Marian was NHL ready. It didn't take long before he became a scoring threat on that level too. He accumulated over 150 points in the previous two seasons for the Canadian capital team.
Hossa, a quiet man who has in the past preferred to avoid the interviewers, is growing more comfortable in his role.
"Everybody that scores goals gets more attention," said Hossa, whose exploits are being closely followed in his native Slovakia. "It comes with the job. I try not to let the attention (become a distraction). It's not a big deal for me if I don't score in three games. If the team is winning, everything is perfect', he told a Canadian news paper a few years ago.
Whilst growing up in the days of the Czechoslovakia, Hossa was very much inspired by another Slovak who was making a name for himself in the NHL those days; Peter Stastny. "Peter is one of my biggest influences," Hossa said. "He was one of the greatest hockey players ever."
Due to the NHL lock-out, Hossa started playing this season with the team he so much adores, Dukla Trencin. In 19 games he scored 17 goals along with 13 assists in the Slovak Extraliga. In last month alone he played 3 games in which he collected 4 goals (2 power play goals and a pair of short handed goals) and 1 assist. After that, he decided to move to Mora, Sweden, where he accompanied his brother Marcel. During the 6 games he played for the team in November, Hossa scored 5 goals. And not just that, he also left a great impression on both the Mora fans as the opposition fans. The Mora fans have more to cheer about this season than just the Hossa magic.
The team promoted to the Elitserien last season and saw their local rivals Leksands IF relegate. Whilst every expert regarded the team the top favourite to go finish bottom this season, the team management have done an excellent job making good use of the NHL lock-out. The acquired players really make a big difference and have boosted the team to a surprising 5th position in the league above giants MoDo and last year's champions HV 71. Those players, other than the already mentioned Hossa brothers, are Canadians, Daniel Cleary and Shawn Horcoff, who are topping the team's scoring list. Furthermore Swedish defenseman Andreas Lilja opted to play for Mora rather than for MIF Redhawks, where he spent most of his career. A thing that upset the Malmö fans a lot.
Marian Hossa himself plays on a line with fellow Slovak, and good friend, Rastislav Pavlikovsky. Pavlikovsky played for rivals Leksands IF last year but moved to Mora to secure playing at the highest level. There is a rotation system in place for the third spot on the Hossa-Pavlikovsky line.
For the moment things do look good for Mora, but Hossa's presence will be limited. As of February he will return home to Trencin to continue to play for Dukla there and guide the team through the Slovak playoffs. A tough loss for Mora and their fans who will surely keep great memories of the short spell Marian Hossa had with the team.
- March 2007 - Petr Sykora
- February 2007 - Bernd Brückler
- January 2007 - Martin Prochazka
- December 2006 - Martin Kariya
- November 2006 - Pavel Brendl
- October 2006 - Kimmo Rintanen
- September 2006 - Aleksei Morozov
- May 2006 - Kenny Jönsson
- April 2006 - Aleksei Morozov
- March 2006 - Reto von Arx
- February 2006 - Nicklas Lidström
- January 2006 - Patrick Yetman
- December 2005 - Miroslav Hala
- November 2005 - Vasily Koshechkin
- October 2005 - Tony Salmelainen
- September 2005 - Sergei Zinoviev
- May 2005 - Jaromir Jagr
- April 2005 - Henrik Lundqvist
- March 2005 - Henrik Lundqvist
- February 2005 - Marian Gaborik
- January 2005 - Jaromir Jagr
- December 2004 - Tim Thomas
- November 2004 - Marian Hossa
- October 2004 - Jukka Voutilainen
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