Name: Andrej Meszároš

Birth Date: October 15, 1985

Birthplace: Povazska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia

Nickname: The Butcher, Mezzy, Mesz

This 24 year old defenceman started out playing in Slovakia for Dukla Trencin before being drafted 23rd overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He played one year in the WHL with the Vancouver Giants and recorded 41 points in 59 games making him fifth in WHL rookie scoring.

The next year Mesz made the jump to the NHL with the Senators and played with Zdeno Chara on Ottawa's blueline, finishing the season with 10 goals and 39 points. But during the summer of 2008 while an RFA, Meszaros and the Senators couldn't come to deal so he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning signed him to a 6 year $24 million contract.

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Meszaros also enjoys to drink energy drinks arm in arm with Marek Svatos

Since being dealt to the Lightning, Meszaros has had been dissappointing compared to his rookie season. Though the whole Lightning team could have been considered a dissapointment as a whole in 2008-2009, and coaching and management debacles can be more to blame that Meszaros' player individual player performance. In February 2009 he had surgery on his shoulder and missed the remainder of the season. This past season to date, Meszaros has had 4 goals and 5 assists and been a minus-11, in other words, he's been a dissapointment as an offensive defenceman. Because Meszaros has been in a slump during the past few weeks with the Lightning, thus he has had his time cut or has been a healthy scratch by head coach Tocchet.

Internationally, Meszaros has played for Slovakia three times in the WJC, twice in the World Championships and in the 2006 Olympics.

At 6'2' and 223 lbs he brings in size to the blue line as well as a left handed shot and can log big minutes. Though he has size, he doesn't use his size to its potential and he sometimes makes mental mistakes. Recently he has been overthinking decisions with the puck and not just getting back to using his instincts. If he can rebuild his confidence leading up to the Olympics he will be able to provide an offensive edge to the Slovak blue line. The upside about Meszaros is that he's still young at 24 years old and can gain experience for the future.

Something you probably didn't know about Meszaros:


Meszaros is a beast. Last year he took a slapshot to the face in a Lightning game against the Hurricanes. He ended up getting 64 stiches to the face and a displaced fracture of the maxilla extending from just above his upper teeth to his nose. He wanted to go back to the game, but the doc took too long stitching.The team then flew to Atlanta for the next night's game. He only slurped shakes through a straw. He face swelled twice its natural size. They pureed his food. Coaching staff expected for him not to play.

He insisted that he take the warm-up and then played one of the best games of his year. He logged 15:31 of ice time with two shots, two hits and a blocked shot. "I wanted to help the team," Meszaros, 23, said. "I knew we had a couple of guys banged up. I said I wanted to play every game if it's possible. It's not like it's a broken arm or leg. You have to suck it up and go."

Vancity CanuckVancity Canuck writes about the Vancouver Canucks at Benched Whale and the Tampa Bay Lightning at The Hockey Bay Blog in addition to her work on Bloguin's Olympic Hockey Blog.

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