Imagine what Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky, 37 years old and as clean cut as they come, looked like two decades ago when his professional hockey career began. Well, here’s a big hint: This was 1994-95 and the Czech was playing for a team in his country based in Kladno, hometown of Jaromir Jagr. Mullet? “Yes,” Zidlicky said with a look of embarrassment that turned into a lot of giggling. When he stopped laughing long enough to talk clearly, Zidlicky threw out some details: “I have picture. I had my hair down to my shoulder. I was 17. I could feel from my helmet a little ponytail. At the time, everybody in Czech had long hair. Everybody. Even Patty.” Patty, aka Patrik Elias, also was on that Kladno team in 1994-95, the year before he was in the NHL and on his way to becoming the Devils' all-time leading scorer. And due to an NHL lockout, Jagr was there, too, for the first half of the season. At the time, he was a 22-year-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins superstar known as much for his long wavy locks as being Mario Lemieux's sidekick. In the Czech Republic, he was their Michael Jordan, their Beatles, a national hero beloved by most everyone. “I think it was because Jagr had long hair, everybody wanted to be like him, especially hockey players,” Zidlicky said. All these years later, Zidlicky, Elias and Jagr have been together again this season playing for the Devils, as well as the Czech Olympic team in January, too.
Devils' Marek Zidlicky in hairy situation again due to uncertain future
Newark Star-Ledger | Mar 25