Hey! Whatever Happened To ...

Have you ever wondered what happened to those players that were skating for your team one day and gone the next? If you haven't, pretend you have. I've seen my fair share of prospects come through Wilkes-Barre, and occasionally some that seemed pretty decent ended up disappearing (by disappearing I mean heading overseas). So here's a little 'where are they now' session of some Pittsburgh prospects who quietly slipped away.

1. Konstantin Koltsov - Koltsov was probably one of the more impressive players I watched, and I guess the main reason for that was his speed. I haven't seen very many players who skated faster than Koltsov. He played 144 games in Pittsburgh and 116 games (regular & post-season) for Wilkes-Barre. He's now over in Russia playinig for Ufa Salavat Yulayev. He was always a quiet kid - probably because his English wasn't so great, but I will never ever forget his Game 7 OT goal in the first round of the 03-04 Calder Cup playoffs that came after WBS was in a 3-games-to-1 deficit before battling back. I've never felt more pride in a team than in that moment, and for that reason, I will never dislike the kid.

2. Michel Sivek - I never had a problem with Michel Sivek. In fact, he was a pretty decent player. But after 93 games and 55 points with Wilkes-Barre and 38 games with Pittsburgh, he headed home to the Czech Republic where he's played for Sparta Praha ever since. At the time, I remember something about his mother being sick as a main reason why he was going home, but don't hold me to that 100%.

3. Milan Kraft - Other than Koltsov, Kraft is possibly the best player on this list to leave. He was so much fun to watch because his skill level was incredible. He made it look easy. At the same time, he had a tendency to fall into what seemed like an 'I really don't care' mindset. He played 108 games in Wilkes-Barre where he accumulated an unreal 114 points, and he spent 215 games with Pittsburgh where he racked up 82 points. After the 03-04 season, he headed back to his home country of the Czech Republic, and with the exception of one stint in Russia, has played there since. He is now with Karlovy Vary HC.

4. Sebastien Caron - Caron was one of my favorite players when he was around (What? I have a soft spot for goalies, okay). Even though he weighed about 25 pounds and wore his pads so loose they hung off his legs, he had a lot of potential. He wasn't an above average goaltender, but when he first came on the scene it seemed like he could be someday (see: this save). Caron played 90 games for Pittsburgh (to be honest, I didn't even realize it was this much) and 123 games for Wilkes-Barre. He didn't leave North America until this past season when he played for Fribourg-Gotteron in the Swiss League, but he seemed to slip under the radar before that as he was tossed around from Chicago to Portland to Norfolk and Anaheim (where he did manage to win a Stanley Cup). Unfortunately, he controlled his own destiny in all of this. He had a case of laziness and immaturity (proof: a teammate and good friend of his once told a story of how he pushed all his vegetables to the side and only ate the noodles of his dinner) ... neither of which equal success.

5. Tomas Surovy - Another European who left the Pittsburgh organization for Europe. He was a good player who could put up points -- 177 in 239 games for Wilkes-Barre and 59 points in 126 games for Pittsburgh. He left for the Swedish Elite League where he's continued to do pretty well. He faked everyone out with a Phoenix Coyotes contract last summer only to have it cancelled and return to Sweden.



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