Hockey: Bondra Resigns, Hanlon Sacked, What Now?

Now that the Ice Hockey World Championships are over, the real clean-up campaign has started. In addition to an investigative audit being conducted on the cost of the restructured stadium in Bratislava, heads are now starting to roll for how the Slovak team failed to get past the group stages in the tournament.

Glen Hanlon sacked - photo:

Earlier this week national hockey team general manager Peter Bondra stepped down from the post, even though his term would have finished at the end of May anyway. He therefore managed to resign before the Executive Committee of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation had a chance to sack him at its session yesterday.

Team coach, Glen Hanlon, waited it out only to be dismissed from the coaching job yesterday by the Executive Committee. After being told the news, Hanlon left the Committee meeting, saying he could not look for a new job. Hanlon has only been in the job for a year and his contract was not due to end until 2014, but the Executive Committee felt that he had failed to do his job properly and get Slovakia further in the competition.

Since the Championships ended, there has been much discussion about the future of Slovak hockey and how there is a shortage of young players, something the other teams did not have a problem with.


  1. Guys , lets just say ….it’s been Emotional .

  2. George, George George of the Jungle, Strong as he can be. (Ahhhhhhhh) Watch out for that tree, DOOOH

  3. I’d heard from other sources, George, that Scotland, honourable debating nation that it is, was actually in eager anticipation of your visit. Your razor-sharp wit and searing analysis of the problems affecting modern Europe is just what the country needs to hear right now. Hope you’ve got your soap-box packed.

    And what an innocent fool I am for earnestly asking you for clarification in my last post when, tease that you are, you were stringing me along all the time.

    Yet, a memory comes to me of another discussion, where a poster calling himself George M picked someone else up on their English. In doing so, George M didn’t refer to himself as a ‘smug cretin’, in fact he seemed to get quite self-congratulatory. Funny that….

  4. I hear there is a “Band Wagon” leaving from Mlynske Nivy tomorrow for Glasgow, if you hurry you might make it. It seems some airports in the U.K and Ireland are also closed, bet they are chuffed you will be not on any of those flights either.

  5. Well at least I now know you bother to read my comment post , which is more than I do to your own .

    ………A couple of questions before I do that, however :

    2. ‘It was also not the SOURCE facts presented you were enquiring about, as I was in the FOOD Thread, but again the actually commenting on the comment .’
    I know that, according to you, I’ve got all sorts of attributes but, sadly, they don’t include the ability to crack code. So could you just explain that sentence to me in terms I could easily understand?…….

    I MAKE grammar and spelling mistakes a feature of all my web comments as it makes people read them , several times and even over and over again .
    It also allows the cretins to feel so smug, that they can actually point out my deliberate mistakes .

    ……1. Is our discussion about Hanlon and Slovak sport over for good?

    WELL I was going to step on a plane to Scotland today, but I guess I now have a few days …Saddle up Wyatt Earp ?

  6. Hello again George and apologies for not getting back sooner. Apologies too for underestimating you. There I was likening your entertaining rants to the finger-jabbing of a pub drunk but actually you could make a fortune with that imagination of yours.

    In the one week of our acquaintance you’ve had me down (amongst other things) as a native backwoodsman, Wyatt Earp on a high horse and now a paranoid internet geek with a complex about plagiarism.

    Add in the superhero on his white steed charging round righting the wrongs of Slovakia, saving minorities and setting journalists on the path to honesty and integrity and you’ve got the makings of one hell of a Hollywood script. Would you like me to call my contacts and see what I can do?

    A couple of questions before I do that, however :

    1. Is our discussion about Hanlon and Slovak sport over for good?

    2. ‘It was also not the SOURCE facts presented you were enquiring about, as I was in the FOOD Thread, but again the actually commenting on the comment .’
    I know that, according to you, I’ve got all sorts of attributes but, sadly, they don’t include the ability to crack code. So could you just explain that sentence to me in terms I could easily understand?

    Respectfully yours.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to give me “a handle” I must have really gotten under you skin. I look forward to your next educated and intelligent jibe. I wonder if you have considered a soap box?
    I am far from a flapper, I was born in the 1960’s, I am not female female and I have never danced the Charleston. But please go ahead and knock yourself out, we love your jibes. Keep up the good work! Is your high horse a rocking horse by any chance. The news can be informative and interesting but subsections are what make papers or online papers what ever you want to call them interesting, if the were not , no one would comment.

  8. John, Being considered as ‘ Mr Cynical ‘ is a rather broad term and I will carry as a joke persona . I assume you have lived in Slovakia a fair amount of time? Whilst I do understand as Editor, Moderator, Site Owner, the need for you to balance the many comments made, perhaps with some actual evidence, however , you can be in danger of painting the wrong picture.

    Take Noel ‘The Blog Flapper’ and his very rosie even cosy view of Slovakia and Slovaks …He appears to have forgotten that 300,000 Roma are treated worse than dogs ( or in the case of Kosice police, almost fed to the dogs ) and 500, 000 ethnic Slovak – Hungarians are considered as a fair whipping target and the mortal enemy, by a political group that were actually voted into Parliament and were even a big part of the last Government .

    Bringing these types of matters to those that have missed or lost the plot, because it is an inconvenient truth, is hardly being cynical , I feel ?

  9. Not taking it personally at all, or indeed, seriously. I’m rather reminded of the pub drunk who wakes up in the morning with his head on the table and an empty glass in his hand and wants to resume last night’s silly finger-jabbing row. Everyone else, meanwhile, has woken up to a nice sunny morning ready to get on with their lives.

    But what I said in the previous post about George’s earlier contribution to this discussion still stands.

    1. Of course if the were true, ” I JUST HAPPENED, ie by pure co’incidence, to read ( some Guardian newspaper) on Saturday and found interesting.” ….Then why did you not just say so James?

      So Much better however to deflect , the charge of being sad , paranoid and a smart arp by claiming the one who does actually point out the truth of matters that the guy is actually a pub drunk who wakes up and wants to resume last night’s silly finger-jabbing row 🙂

      BTW . It was also not the SOURCE facts presented you were enquiring about, as I was in the FOOD Thread, but again the actually commenting on the comment .

      James old son, please take it from me OK , anything I personally print on this entire comments area, is not an original thought, probably copied from someone else , but does represent my view at that hour . Then we can all just get on with our lives, rather than imagine how sadly you spend all your living hours on the web.

  10. Come on James, you still haven’t learnt about George’s incessant need to be cynical? Just don’t take what he says too personally.

  11. Actually, I was simply curious as to whether Mr Wlado had also read an article which I JUST HAPPENED, ie by pure co’incidence, to read on Saturday and found interesting. I guess I do read a lot about sport on the net, therefore if something gets cited, I have at least a small chance of knowing what the source is.

    Odd that you’re judging me for that, George, given that you were quite busy yourself on another forum speculating about where some figures might have come from.

    Would you be offended, or think I’m just ‘look at me, Mr Smart Asp’, if I also noted here that I found your insights into the matter at hand in this discussion interesting and worth engaging with? I hope so as a) it happens to be the truth and b) we seemed to be having a reasonable exchange.

    Have a good rest of the day.

  12. I am curious to know James, why yet again, you spend your life commenting about the comment , rather than the actual comment content, as again is the case with Mr Wlado’s post ? Are you one of those trolls that would like to be some moral moderator, by constantly Googling the Web for possible plagiarism ? That does seem rather odd, geeky, perhaps paranoid no ?

    With appologies to Noel ‘This is my Blog’ Flapper , your elements of sarcasm were hardly tastily, intelligently and carefully constructed and presented, but appeared to be just look at me, Mr Smart Asp .

  13. Parts of this are from the Guardian’s The Secret Footballer, aren’t they?
    Perfectly relevant, I guess.

  14. The most effective thing I have ever seen for a group of players was to sit them down to watch a montage of their best pieces from the season. There was no negativity whatsoever, just highlight after highlight of skill, goals, inch-perfect passing, crunching tackles, goalline clearances and great saves, all punctuated by clever shots of players hugging, high-five-ing, smiling and laughing. It only lasted about 10 minutes but it was long enough for each player to feel reassured about his value to the team. So simple, but so effective.

    Many people seem to believe that the last thing team Slovak should need is a rousing team talk, given the motivation that they should already have be at home. But, by definition this team were already short on players and confidence and haven’t been playing well as a team for sometime. Very often they had a fair amount of disquiet in their Star ranks to contend with too. If any group of players needs a huge stirring team talk, it was these boys.

    On the playingfield things take their natural course, the nerves are either conquered or they aren’t. This is usually the deciding factor, because once the game starts the fans are just as nervous and become too edgy to be of any real benefit.

    When it comes to the crunch, though, with just 40, 60, 90 or whatever minutes standing between success and failure, much of what a player has learned, so far as skill and technique are concerned, just goes out of the window. As Churchill once said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

    Does anyone think Slovakia gave blood and toiled quite enough???

  15. ‘I understand many stars did not want to play in this World Cup ..and Bondra and Hossa were perhaps brought in to get them ?’ Quite likely. And that would support the theory that their respect for Hanlon was less than total(?)

    ‘However, I think a willing player is always better, than a forced one ..?’ Definitely.

    I don’t think we’re discussing great coaches but I do think Weiss, in a Slovak context, is a damn good one. You’re right about that Poland game but it’s worth remembering too that he had to patch up his side for it, with a lot of key players either injured or suspended and some less heralded ones on the pitch.

    There are perhaps bigger expectations towards hockey here but right now the team isn’t in a good state so someone with Weiss-like pragmatism and ability to attract good fortune would do for the time being.

  16. Well, I’d say Weiss fits your blueprint pretty well too. He represented Czechoslovakia at World Cup ’90, he bonds the egos together (as well as getting the players to overcome their playing limitations and defeat seemingly more talented opponents – Czechs away, Italy in SA, Russia away etc) and he often gets lucky. Funny, though, how luck seems to follow the good coaches around, making you wonder how much of it really IS luck.

    With Hanlon, I guess it could be argued that four successive single goal losses were unlucky but, as an enthusiastic. part-time fan, I’d say they were more due to things like crap power-plays and inability to defend leads, ie things a better coach might have eliminated. In his defence, having two ex-coaches hovering around like bluebottles at a picnic didn’t help. Failure is bound to follow when it’s not quite clear who’s in charge.

    1. To discuss great a manager or coach in this small space of comment would be silly , but if we stick to Weiss for now. One thing that impressed me as a former soccer coach was how Wiess sets out his team to be difficult to beat first …as Belgrade , Celtic , Rangers and Porto found in the Champions League . With a bit less respect for an hour of the opposition , they could have had secured a home point against Inter Milan in a game they lost 0-1 , and if they had gone through to the knockout phase . He would try and frustrate the opposition and if the team lasted the pressure of the first 30 minutes against a better team , he was in with shout on the break ….as Italy discovered . As for is he lucky , ask him after the Poland away game that he won in terrible playing conditions, by a huge sliced own goal …..but having blown a few days before a in our own hands 0-2 loss against Slovenia .

      As for Hanlon, well as an observer , Slovakia never look very hard to beat , as was proven . As for the bluebottles , were they invited or imposed ? I understand many stars did not want to play in this World Cup ..and Bondra and Hossa were perhaps brought in to get them ? However, I think a willing player is always better, than a forced one ..?

      Apart from that , Slovakia never looked like they had the confidence and that they should win the Cup, unlike the Russian”s, the Germans or the Czechs …or the Crowd who were always reminding the Sloavak team ” We are home !!!”


  17. National teams in front line sports tend to do well in major championships when lead by a great former star, or personality, who can bond upto 30 ego’s into team, rather than just being a great manager or coach . Being a successful coach at club level, does not always convert to success at national level, as many have found out .

    As Napoleon , said when told the virtues of a new General, ….. eg..the man’s heroism, bravery,etc … “That’s all very well,” said Napoleon , “yes I know he’s brilliant, but is he lucky?”

    Not being rocket science has little to do with success on the field of play .

  18. Inevitable I guess. I’m no expert but it’s clear Hanlon has been an unsuccessful experiment. A couple of things struck me during the tournament :

    1. The continuing roles in the set-up of Filc and Hossa Sr. Surely having them hanging them around didn’t help Hanlon establish any authority over/relationship with the team(?)

    2. Related to the above, the players didn’t look they ever listened to Hanlon. When there were time-outs, he’d be there, trying to get his point across, with voice, gesture, pen and paper or whatever, but the players were mostly looking elsewhere. Other coaches seemed to command more attention from their players. You have to wonder about the language factor here. I know a lot of Slovak players have played NHL and supposedly speak English but this is the Slovak national side. A Slovak-speaking coach should have been the priority.

    The verdict? Do what football did. The SFZ are known for infighting and balls-ups but they got it right when they appointed Vladimir Weiss. It wasn’t rocket-science ; the man had been a success in the domestic game. The hockey authorities should be on the phone to the coach of Kosice to offer him the job and should promise him that, if he doesn’t want Filc and Hossa around, they’ll be asked to leave too.

    Would welcome anyone who really knows their hockey and could give their verdict on such an idea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.