Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Petrovicky Hoping Blues Will Be Sticking Point

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Petrovicky Hoping Blues Will Be Sticking Point

Article excerpt

Talk about your pay cut.

If center Robert Petrovicky fails to make the Blues in training camp, he'll earn $75,000 to play in Worcester, Mass.

That's a decent wage for minor-league hockey, but it's quite a cut compared with what he's been making. A first-round draft pick of the Hartford Whalers in 1992 - the ninth player picked - Petrovicky has earned $1.6 million in four seasons as a professional. This while playing only 82 games, the equivalent of one full season. Petrovicky, 22, earned $400,000 in each of the past four seasons, whether playing in the NHL or the minors, where he spent most of his time. The Czech never quite made it with the Whalers, who shipped him to Dallas last season. The Stars let him go, too, and the Blues, desperate for youth, speed and skill up front, gave him a shot. Petrovicky signed a two-year contract with the Blues two weeks before training camp. The second year is at the Blues' option. "If I stink my first year, I don't know where they'll send me," he said. The first year of the contract is two-way, meaning he'll make less money to play in the AHL, which is where the $325,000 pay cut kicks in. "That's a big drop, but I'm not thinking about that," he said. "I want to make this team, work hard and stay here. I want to prove that I can play at this level. That's my goal." So, it's a pride thing as well. Petrovicky arrived in Hartford with great promise. In 1991-92, he had 25 goals and 61 points for Dukia Trencin in the Czech league. But he was only 18 when the Whalers threw him to the wolves of the NHL. He's 5 feet 11, but he weighed only 165 pounds and got bounced around a lot. He played 42 games as a rookie, with only three goals and nine points. The next season, he played 33 games, with six goals and 11 points, and that was pretty much the end of his stay in Hartford. Petrovicky played only two games there in the 1994-95 season, but he had his most productive season in the minors with 30 goals and 82 points. But that wasn't good enough. Last season, he failed to make the team out of training camp and balked about going back to Springfield. …

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