Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Petr Klima Found Dead In His Home

05/04/2023 at 9:53am EDT

Source below.


Very sad indeed. RIP Petr Klima, and, my most sincere condolences to the entire Klima family.



from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

    It appears that Robert Mastrosimone can officially be classified as the first bust of the Detroit Red Wings draft under GM Steve Yzerman. Detroit spent a second-round pick (54th overall) to claim the undersized left-winger (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) in the 2019 NHL entry draft, Yzerman’s first as GM of the team.

    However, after four underwhelming college campaigns – three with the Boston Terriers and one for the Arizona State Sun Devils – the Red Wings are opting to walk away from the third player ever drafted on Yzerman’s watch.



    from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

    Klima joined the Red Wings in 1985-86 after defecting from the country then known as Czechoslovakia. The story of the Red Wings helping him defect reads like a James Bond saga than a hockey tale. Red Wings executive Jim Lites and assistant general manager Nick Polano went to Germany where the Czech national team was playing.

    They met with Klima in the woods outside Nussdorf, Germany. It was a tense situation. Polano and Lites had no idea whether Klima’s Czech team officials had suspected anything. They didn’t know whether it would be Klima meeting them or Czech officials. He left a team dinner and did show up. After renegotiating a small detail he had already signed in a previous clandestine meeting, he agreed to come to the Red Wings. He left his team with no clothes or passport. The Red Wings also managed to get his girlfriend out of the Czech Republic.

    Grateful for his new life in America, Klima wore No. 85 throughout his NHL career as a reminder of his defection.

    read on


    DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Petr Klima, who passed away at the age of 58 in Chomutov, Czechia. Klima spent the first five seasons of his career with Detroit (1985-90) before returning to the Red Wings in his final NHL season in 1998-99, logging a total of 223 points (130-93-223) in 306 games. In all, Klima was a veteran of 786 NHL games between the Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins, claiming the Stanley Cup with Edmonton in 1990.
    The Red Wings organization offers its heartfelt condolences to the Klima family during this difficult time.


    What a bummer. He has two twin sons only 25 years old. 

    I was jacked when Klima started playing for the Wings. Three straight 30 goals seasons. He and Probert broke my heart when they decided to hang out at Goose Loonies the night before playing Edmonton in the Conference Finals.

    Good article from Khan:



    from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Sun,

    The trade for Carson was one of Sather’s best. He kept holding out for more because Carson was from Detroit. Klima was a scorer there, certainly one of the best Red Wings’ players, but had alcohol issues off the ice. His talent trumped whatever other problems Klima had with the Red Wings.

    “He was a good player. He wasn’t that big, but he was a good skater and could really handle the puck, saw the ice well. Yeah, I asked for Petr,” said Sather.

    “I actually made the deal with the owner Mike Illitch. Sat in his box. He said he really wanted Jimmy Carson because he was from that area. I said: ‘Well, we’re losing a 50-goal scorer and that’ll really hurt us but here’s what I’ll take.’ He (Illitch) said OK. (GM) Jimmy Devellano was pissed off with me for doing the deal with the owner,” said Sather.

    much more, mostly on Klima's time with the Oilers...

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