The prophesied hockey pro
Article - The prophesied hockey pro
With his genes, David Musil could barely have become anything other than a professional athlete. The stocky stay-at-home defenseman stands for success in the Czech Republic – and, in his third attempt, wants to succeed at the Spengler Cup as well. This time together with his brother.
During the 60s and 70s, his grandfather Jaroslav Holik was among the best forwards of his generation in Czechoslovakia. Father Frantisek Musil, played in the NHL for numerous years. His uncle, Bobby Holik, was even a star there. Mother, Andrea Holikova, once was the world’s number 67 in tennis.
Based on these genes, David Musil (30 years old) and his younger brother, Adam, had their career paths paved; ‘We had quite a bit of luck’, says David with a laugh. Of course: they became athletes. And built impressive hockey careers. David was drafted in the second round by the Edmonton Oilers in 2011, Adam four years later 94th overall by the St. Louis Blues. Neither achieved the breakthrough in North America, where David at least played four NHL games. ‘Everyone dreams of making it in the NHL. But there are other things than hockey. In the meantime, I have a wife and two kids. And I am happy how everything worked out’, he says.
His status in his homeland is undisputed. Since returning from North America in 2017, he has represented Czechia at two world championships and also at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2022. The stay-at-home defenseman (193cm, 96kg) has won the championship with Ocelari Trinec three times. He played two Spengler Cups with his former club – he left for Pardubice in the summer of 2022. In 2019 the underdogs from Trinec were the tournament’s big surprise, only falling to Team Canada (4-0) in the final game. ‘I have very good memories of the Spengler Cup. The schedule may be tough with many games over the span of only a few days, but the atmosphere and prestige are worth the stress. And well, I prefer playing rather than practicing anyway. In addition, we don’t get to see much snow in the Czech Republic. I really enjoyed the panorama in Davos’, says Musil.
Now Musil returns to Davos with Pardubice – and his forward brother Adam. Thanks in part to the Musils, Pardubice has become an absolute top team. The team of coach Vaclav Varada (formerly with HCD) finished atop the 2022-23 regular season standings for the first time in six years. Consequently, they are highly ambitious, also regarding the Spengler Cup. ‘We are not the favourites, that much is clear. But we have a strong team and are hot. For us the Spengler Cup is a welcome change of scenery from the day-to-day in the championship. Every one of us wants to show their best side’, says Musil.
The athletic family’s resume is already now quite extensive. But surely there would still be room to add a Spengler Cup title.
Text: SLAPSHOT – Das Hockey-Magazin der Schweiz Foto: Keystone