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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Balinsky in the NHL. Will it be successful?

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On Tuesday, 26-year-old Uvis Jānis Balinskis became the rare Latvian to be given the opportunity to prove himself to the National Hockey League (NHL) team. He has a one-year two-way contract with the Florida “Panthers” in his pocket, which has not been a successful stop for Latvia so far. Will Uvi from Ventspils be able to climb the Everest of world hockey?

Balinskis has so far only played professionally in the Czech Republic and Latvia. It is true that he goes his own way and has always been a strong personality. Both while studying at Ventspils and later realizing that growing up requires leaving one’s homeland. With the help of a friend, he joined a German youth team, but in his spare time he made money by sorting mail to relieve his family’s financial burden.

Uvis, who got into Riga’s first team “Dynamo” very quickly, jumping from the youth, did not hesitate to say out loud that the losses in 2020 are already up to his neck. Therefore, he joined the Czech Extraliga club from Litvinov in order to change the environment, find new challenges and at the same time enjoy some victory. His two seasons in this industrial city have allowed him to know Czech hockey well, but this season he has become the most prolific defender in the entire league in the ranks of Liberec’s “white tigers”.

The unprepared Latvian did not go unnoticed, as he signed a contract with the organization “Panthers”. It’s clear that no one will give him the opportunity to play in the NHL right away (I hope I’m seriously wrong), but climbing Everest will often have to start from the bottom of the American Hockey League (AHL). Over the years, Florida has tasted the system, chewed it up a bit, but spat out Rudolph Balcer as well as Sandi Ozoliņa, Herbert Vasiļjeva, Jānis Sprukta, and Rodrigo Ābola. It is hoped that Balinski will have the opportunity to sunbathe for a long time in San Raiz, where the “Panthers” arena is located.

KLIK spoke to three coaches working with Uvi to get their thoughts on the defender’s chances in North America.

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Source: Tv Net

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