Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Peter Stastny's Curious Crusade

by Jes

When Peter Stastny, a Slovakian icon like few others, was no longer holder of the GM position with the Slovak national team, most of us suspected the usual shenanigans within the Slovak Hockey Federation.

The Slovak federation has always been beset with politics, patronage, granting of family favours, and a lack of foresight that will keep the country from ever reaching the sustained level of skill that the TOP SIX countries maintain.

Seeing Stastny want to get away from all of that nonsense made some sense ... why would he want to bother with all of that?

His quote "Those old communist officials didn't want any part of me. They could hardly wait for my contract to expire about 18 months ago and refused to renew it. They were so well organized that when it came to the vote on my contract, all seven officials turned their thumbs down.

OK, so Stastny was the 'defector', the 'new guard' that clashed with the old guard. So be it.

Well, in a story that doesn't seem to have been picked up my any mainstream media outlets here in North American, Stastny has gone on a personal crusade to oust Juraj Široký, a complete dumbass who knows little about hockey and all about weaseling his way into positions of power, from the Slovak Hockey Federation.

In a letter to Rene Fasel, head of the IIHF, Stastny makes his points quite clear. It's interesting to note who he copied into the letter, including NHL commission Gary Bettman.

Now, this letter wasn't really supposed to be public, but I happen to have a contact in Cesko-Slovensko that can provide me with such things.

I apologize for the length of the cut-and-paste, but feel that it's worth posting the letter in its entirety.


From: Mr. Peter Šťastný

To: Mr. René Fasel, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation

Cc: Mr. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament
Mr. Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee
Mr. Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League
Mr. Bill Hay, Chairman and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame

Re: Mr. Juraj Široký, President of the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation as a real threat to democracy and integrity of the game of ice hockey

Dear René,

Please accept my warm greetings and my apology for the second open letter. Myself and all Slovak hockey fans are grateful for your significant contribution in correcting injustice against our team and our players by improving fairness of Olympic tournaments with the new format starting in Torino 2006.

Today, seven years later, I have equally serious matter to present concerning democracy and integrity of our game.

Mr. Juraj Široký is current president of the Slovak Ice-Hockey Federation and he also serves on IIHF Council. His past was revealed last summer by the official Slovak institute dealing with communist era. UPN (Nation´s Memory Institute) delivered undeniable verdict.

Mr. Široký was high ranking officer (captain) in feared communist STB (same as Soviet KGB, East German Stasi etc.). In height of Cold War he served as spy resident and second-in-command in Washington D.C., USA. Why is this official verdict important and what was revealed from his files?

- Mr. Široký always denied ever working or collaborating with STB. He was therefore constantly lying to media and public. It is almost certain he lied on application to IIHF Council where he probably wrote "diplomat" as a past occupation. As full fledged professional spy loyal to communist ideology he certainly worked hard to subvert and destabilize Western democracies, the external enemies of communist regime. Such a job does not fit the definition of diplomat.

- UPN published only tip of the iceberg from his files. There was his application to work for STB where as a reason he stated his desire to help regime to fight against internal and external enemies. Cruel and inhumane communist regime was so clear about its objectives to dominate the world that every 12 years old understood definition of internal and external enemy. Internal enemies were all people living in the country who did not agree with Marx-Lenin ideology. Like myself, my entire family and millions of Czechs and Slovaks believing in God and / or basic democratic freedoms. External enemies as mentioned above were Western democracies led by USA and any group or individual trying to bring real democracy back to our country. Again I was clearly enemy of regime and target of Mr. Široký along with all democratic countries and almost all Slovaks and Czechs living abroad.

- UPN also published report of Mr. Široký to his superiors that particularly shows how low one can drop and how sleezy one can become in guest of a "career". He reported on his own mother having correspondence with her relatives in USA.

- Now the most important fact either not published by UPN or missed by me. As high ranking officer he swore and signed Pledge of Allegiance to STB. He swore to fight the enemies of Soviet Union, CSSR and enemies of socialism. This document is most direct evidence of Mr. Široký conspiracy against democracy and hundreds of millions citizens living at the time in free democratic countries. Same document can be interpreted as conspiracy against his own country and majority of co-citizens.

Under overwhelming evidence and authority of UPN, Mr. Široký stopped denying his past. He only stated that every country had, has and will have intelligence service and he only served his country. Another bogus attempt to lie. As he himself so eloquently wrote about his desire to help regime fight those internal and external enemies he knows too well his activities served against his own country, citizens and against democracy. He served the regime!

STB has been proved to be the most feared architect and executive arm of evil communist regime. Its job to keep communism in power at any cost was very painful and tragic for Czechoslovak citizens. They lived in constant fear of persecution and punishment. Hundreds of thousands were prosecuted and jailed. Hundreds were executed or killed, tens of thousands got long term jail and forced labor camps. Millions others suffered from consequences for their beliefs. Loss of job, no chance of promotion, limited education past elementary schools etc. They were all innocent people.

We owe it to the memory of all these victims to insure that any person closely collaborating and condoning such crimes should not participate in public life in true democracy. That is my belief. I called publicly few times on Mr. Široký ´s resignation. It fell on deaf ears. Now I am turning to all who share my conviction to at least isolate any person who openly conspired against democracy and values we all hold dear. If we act, it will undoubtedly contribute to strengthening of democracy and adding to integrity of our beloved game of ice hockey.

To conclude, I am announcing my decision to add to public debate. If Mr. Široký does not abandon all the positions in Slovak ice hockey in 3 months period from today, I will withdraw from Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame. At the same time I will ask to pull out the banner with my name and image from ceiling of Slovan Bratislava stadium for as long as Mr. Široký remains the majority owner of my alma mater club. Unless my requests are fully satisfied, my decision will rest firmly in place.

Yours truly,

Peter Šťastný

Now, I'm no fan of Siroky (d'uh), but it is kinda sad the way Stastny is crying for attention like a little child, and trying to use his popularity in the country to fight a personal issue with someone.

Speaking with another friend from the old country, this is what he has to say.

I call it dirty politics. Stastny knows how to play the game (both on and off the ice) as he’s already Slovakia’s man in the European Parliament despite holding a US-citizenship, if I’m correct.

With no political experience under his belt he accepted the job after which he claimed “if it’s not fun I’ll just walk away in a year or two”. You don’t often hear the words fun and politics together but it doesn’t sound to me like someone who is willing to fight for your rights as a Slovak citizen at the European parliament.

I wonder if the mainstream media here will pick up on this story. It's certainly quite intriguing, and you don't often hear about KGB-like spying tying in with hockey.

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