Miroslav Ihnacak: Defector of the Universe

leafsResponding to a guest blog entry moments ago, I dropped the name Miroslav Ihnacak. Leaf fans old enough to remember the horrible 80s will be flooded with unfulfilling memories at the sight of the name Miroslav Ihnacak. For a twelve year old Leaf fan, it's a memory I'll never forget.

In 1985 the Leafs were awful, but there was a new hope. Peter Ihnacak's younger brother was defecting from Czechoslovakia and he was going to be something special, or at least that's what we were told. Because Peter defected in 1982, Miroslav was kept under tight wraps and getting him to Toronto wasn't easy. He arrived just before Christmas that year and we all believed we had received an early gift from Harold Ballard. If he wasn't the next Gretzky he was surely a Jari Kurri or Peter Stastny, with the mystique and buzz surrounding his arrival, I thought he was our savior. He wasn't.

In parts of two seasons he scored a whopping eight goals for the Maple Leafs and was a complete non-factor. He wasn't the next Kurri, he wasn't even the next Peter Ihnacak. He was a bust.

The next time something fails to meet your lofty expectations, think about Miroslav Ihnacak, Defector of the Universe.


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