By Jonah Levitan aka Satan81

A lot of people on this forum tell me that it’s nice to collect someone who isn’t a superstar like Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos. It’s refreshing to see someone collect an average player. Well let me tell you, to me, he’s a superstar. Perhaps more.

I am talking about my favorite hockey player, Miroslav Satan. Miro started as a very late draft pick by the Oilers, then traveled a few times from Buffalo, to Long Island, to Pittsburgh to Boston. That’s where his NHL days ended. He would then go on to win a championship with Slovan Bratislava, leading the playoffs in scoring on the team. Those days would (seemingly) end too, however, due to a bad injury from Zdeno Chara.

However, to me, they’re still very alive, through the cards I collect of him. And something bolstered my admiration for this hockey player.

Meeting him.

My cousins play ice hockey in a rink a fair ways away from where I live, and it just so happened Miroslav Jr. was in the camp there, and none other than Miro himself was assisting in drills. Knowing he was my favorite player, he notified my dad of such, and offered my dad and I to visit one day, perhaps meet him.

As any kid of fifteen years of age would, I immediately accepted, knowing I would probably become extremely timid at the time of meeting him. I was partially correct.

The day came and we went into the rink. I couldn’t pick out where his kid was, but it was no challenge picking out Miro. I was wearing my away Pittsburgh Penguins Satan jersey at the time. Before I knew what was happening my dad called out: “Hey Miro!”. Apparently, he had heard and skated over, smile on his face. My dad explained to him my admiration, and he immediately proposed a picture. So we did. Afterwards, I asked if he could sign the jersey and he said yes, I still have it hanging in my room to this day.

Afterwards, this was something none of the hockey players I’ve met (Bob Nystrom, James Neal, Joe Vitale) had done. We, my dad, him and I, actually had a 10 minute conversation, rather than him going back to the rink straight away. And what a conversationalist he was.

One of my dads questions was “I gotta ask you, what was it like being a line mate with Sidney Crosby?” The response was amazing.

“Eh, it was alright.” We shared a laugh. Then, my dad asked him how it was being an Islander. He said it was a great place to play, and the crowd was the loudest he’d ever played for, spanning his 5 teams. Afterwards, I asked him what it was like to skate with the cup, and he told us it felt like he was skating with a feather over his head. Goes to show the adrenaline a Stanley Cup winner gets after all is said and done. So then, my dad told him I collected his hockey cards, to which he showed interest. He asked how many cards there were of him, and being honest I said somewhat over one thousand. He was shocked, then asked me how many I had, and at the time I had a little over one hundred, to which he was also shocked. He laughed and said thanks, in an appreciative way. After our conversation, he thanked us for coming out to see him, and said he hoped to see us again. Was truly an amazing moment.

I will never forget it. True superstar, and perhaps one of the nicest people I have ever met. And from then on, my collection has only grown. Notched my first two 1/1 of him, which is always a nice thing for a player collector to achieve. Plus, I would call him above average. He’s the 8th top scorer in Sabres’ history, and 6th top scorer of Slovakian NHL hockey players. Although he did win a cup in Pittsburgh, his most well known goal was with Boston during the 2010 playoffs. Double overtime, against Ryan Miller. Always nice to get a game winning goal, right?

He’s had a great career in his 1050 games played. I would not say he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but he’s definitely a player worth remembering. I would most certainly say that. Average player? Maybe. But superstar of a guy.